Westborough MA organic farmhouse
Transformation - Earthly Home into a Heavenly Dwelling
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Well over a year ago--we were contacted by a couple who were referred to us by Randy Waterman--a well known civil engineer and good friend and client in Westborough--who thought we would be a good fit for them to build a modestly priced home on their organic farm in town....a place where hundreds of free range chickens happily lay eggs, kale and dozens of other vegetables grow in abundance, and Wes and Jen work day jobs to support the land and labor they love.
Five hundred emails and fifteen months later--other subs are putting in the finishing touches with countertops, appliances, fixtures and plaster after Dennis and Theron built the shell and did the vast majority of the interior finishes--including a gorgeous, custom "Demeyer" kitchen built in less than a week from leftover on site materials....while I had the privilege of becoming a last minute part of the build installing the stair bannisters and balcony railings. The crew were magnificent--building the shell during one of the worst winters ever--but coming back to do the interior in record time and on a very modest budget. They also lived on site and were fed morning, noon and night by one (and on occasion two, three or four) of the best cooks in the world with fresh food right off the farm. While we seek to bless and did so here--it was palpably obvious to all of us that we were often as much on the receiving end through their love and generosity....from our now friends for life.
This incremental life transformation was nowhere as evident as one of the last evenings when we were reminiscing about how they found about us through Waterman Design Associates and wrote for the first time--giving rise to a typically spirited bantering argument between the two feisty spouses over what she said and how long it took me to respond. I ran into the room, grabbed my computer, and read her first email from 05/22/2013 @ 8:53 AM as well as my response five minutes later at 8:58...the room got really quiet and a few tears were shed reflecting on the journey that led us to this metaphorical "last supper"....filled with thanksgiving for the goodness of God that fills our lives through the love and engagement of other people we met just over a year ago. The evening would not have been complete without their presentation of special "Emery Farm/2014 Geobarn Build" T-shirts they made for all of us.
While they got a house and we earned some money--we all sat around that table filled with unspeakable blessings--the fullness of which were well beyond our capacity to ask or imagine. Wes and Jen, Leigh and Tim (parents), Dennis and Theron--thank you, thank you.
Our experience with George and the Geobarns crew was one of the most amazing experiences my husband and I have had the privilege to be a part of. It is almost hard to put words to what our build with Geobarns has meant to us. I will humbly try here.
My husband and I operate a 13 acre organic farm in Westborough, Massachusetts. In addition to running the farm we both carry full-time jobs. We were willing to drop our expectations a bit to fulfill the desire of having a home on the farm. At first we looked into modular homes because we wanted a home that was “nice”, but more importantly something we could afford. However, a serendipitous recommendation led us to George. What we got was more than “nice” - we got a home beyond what we imagined, and a unique experience that gifted us lifelong friendships.
George was immediately intrigued with our project. He wanted to help us preserve our way of life and carry on the labor of love that is farming. His impassioned nature shone through from the moment we spoke with him and we immediately knew he was our builder. The next question was price. Could we afford to build a modest yet beautiful home on a very lean budget? The answer was yes.
When we met with George he wanted to know more than just what we wanted. He wanted to know who we were, what we liked, what was important to us in life and for our home. He wanted to be sure it would be everything it could for me and my husband. I found this to be so different than the stories I've heard about other builders. However, it makes so much sense. There may be no other inanimate object in your life more intimate than your home. Shouldn't this much care and thought go into it?
Part of keeping our cost down was housing and feeding the subs who would be building our home.
The sincerity George has is also evident in those who work for him. Most people could not believe we had the “construction crew” staying with us. However, to us it did not seem odd at all. They were giving us the gift of our home after all. Knowing Dennis and Theron the way we do now it would be hard to imagine them not staying with us. These two men built our home with such care, precision and earnest drive. They are two of the hardest working, talented, respectful and fun people we've had the privilege of hosting at the farm. I think we have spoiled them indefinitely with a morning of pasture raised organic egg breakfasts.
My husband and I heard a lot of push back from those who were accustomed to conventional building and from those who have built homes with other outfits - “you can't do that” “that's impossible” “that will cost you a fortune” “your builder is going to sneak in charges on you.” Oh, the list goes on of the warnings we heard, and of course, we loved educating the doubters just by continuing on with our build.
George's enthusiasm and passion for what he does goes beyond the norm. He gave us a gorgeous home way above what we thought we could have. He gave us a lifetime friendship with him and his crew. He gave us the key to the future generations on our farm. How do you express gratitude to someone who gave all that to you? -- with a joyous and humble heart.