It’s hard to believe that a little over 15 months ago, Jim and Mary Competti didn’t have a single Weaver Barns’ structure on their property. But fast forward to today, and they have a Weaver-built house, garage, pavilion and garden shed to boot!
“We joke all the time that we might as well just hang a Weaver Barns sign at our entrance!,” says Mary, “But we simply love the look and quality of everything they have built here.”
And “here” for Mary and Jim is a little 3 acre farm in Nashport, Ohio they named Old World Garden Farms. For them, the “farm” has been a way to slow down, downsize, and enjoy life.
Back In 2010, seeking a way to become more responsible for the food on their table and to simplify the typical life of 2 full time professionals balancing careers and a family of four – they decided to create a space and place to grow their own food.
Starting from scratch, they worked together to convert the overgrown 3 acre field into a self-sustaining farm that could feed their family and their soul. They wanted to grow their own food without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Most important, they vowed to always have fun in the process.
They now grow nearly 75% of their own food, raise a small flock of chickens, maintain two bee hives, a small orchard and a fledgling vineyard, In the process they have used reclaimed and recycled materials to build everything from their barn, chicken coop, compost bins and more.
In early 2012, they created a website (oldworldgardenfarms.com) to document the entire process. Much to their shock, the website quickly took off. It has now grown to over 30,000,000 visitors and 160,000 followers from over 226 countries around the globe.
“I don’t think that either of us ever imagined it would grow and become what it has,” says Jim, “but I think it just goes to show you how many people really want to go back to living a more simple and fulfilling life.”
Their ultimate goal was to move from their surburban house and build a house and life at the farm. And it late 2015, they started to put those wheels in motion.
“We had been looking at all kinds of houses and options but just couldn’t find what we wanted. We knew we wanted to downsize and create something unique, and something that fit the farm and our life. And then fate stepped in,” says Mary.
“It was late October of 2015, and we were heading home from the farm one night, and Jim stopped at a store just up the road for gas. When he went in to pay, there happened to be a Weaver Barns brochure on the counter, and he loved the look of the house on the front cover. He came back out and showed it to me, and the next thing I knew we were heading up to Sugarcreek the following weekend to look at their models on site.”
As soon as we met everyone there and saw the barns, sheds and garages, it was over. We just really felt comfortable the minute we started working with them. I loved the fact that they could work with us to come up with a home that fit our needs. The house is only 1054 square feet, but we absolutely love every square inch. I think when we first started building, half of our friends and family thought we were crazy for downsizing so much. But honestly, it was the best thing we ever did!” Before we knew it, we went ahead with a Weaver garage to match.
The Compettis had Weaver barns complete the outside, and they finished the inside themselves. “We love to build and create as much as we can, and it was great working with someone who understood that,” said Jim.
This past year they added a Weaver Pavilion to the mix as well. “It was just the final thing that we needed at the farm, I loved their Pavilion from the moment I first saw it,” says Jim. “We love to live and enjoy the outdoors. We added a brick paver patio underneath, and it has become our outside home for the summer!
“We sit under the Pavilion almost every single night, and can’t believe how wonderful it finally feels to live here. It has become a ritual that at least once or twice a week someone stops to ask about it. I think for many people, they just really love the craftsmanship and attention to detail that Weaver takes in their buildings. We couldn’t be happier with life on our little farm!”