A 65 Acre Paradise

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This 65 acre Ozark mountain farm lies 3 miles into a lovely valley off AR highway 5 between Calico Rock and Norfork , Arkansas. The land runs from the year-round clear flowing creek bottom and up one side of the valley. There is a large spring on the property pumped by a solar water pump to a 1500 gallon tank on the mountain which is piped across the bottom of the land and to both houses. Another 2” water system pumps creek water for irrigation.

The landform of the area is called Karst which is limestone bedrock undercut by caves and spring aquifers. The mountainside is dominated by eastern Red Cedar, Oak, Hickory and Pine. This woodland has been managed sustainably and contains harvestable timber along many 4WD trails. The bottom land includes Sycamore, Sweet Gum and many producing Black Walnut trees. Approximately 5 acres are in flat creek bottom land which ranges from a very sandy loam to red and dark loams. Three farm areas in the bottom, two of which are fenced, have been recently operated as an organic farm. Over 20 years a collection of more than 30,000 multicolored daffodils have been naturalized around the property. These continue to multiply each year providing a dazzling display every spring.

A historic 1860 hand hewn log cabin  lies at the entrance to the property near the cool water spring. The original cabin features traditional half-dovetail wall joinery, stone porch and is about  400 sq.ft. with hardwood floor, sleeping loft and a more recent kitchen and bath addition. There is a poultry barn and rabbitry near the cabin, a seasonal stream with waterfall flows beside this dwelling. Near the cabin is a fenced kitchen garden and a 1 acre field with soft sandy soil superb for growing. Further back is another 1 acre field with 7 ft. fencing and a small orchard of apple, pear and fig trees. This field has a dark loamy soil and was the main organic farm plot.

A 3244 sq. ft home was built by the owner, an engineer and craftsman, in 2000 using earth-friendly slip-form masonry construction of native stone in Caribbean Victorian style with gingerbread accents. It lies slightly above the bottom land on a circular drive surrounded by mature forest. Beside the home is a 40 x 20 ft. workshop building ready for projects with a 20 ft. worktable, sink, 220V power and shelf filled storeroom. Both buildings are solid stonemasonry 10 inches thick with heavy gauge metal roofing. The house is 1-1/2 story, 3 BR 2 baths on a slab floor downstairs and hardwood flooring upstairs. All metal doors and insulated casement windows with aluminum soffit and vinyl gables create a maintenance-free exterior. Two large porches with scroll sawn balusters flanked by elegant stone staircases lead up from the gardens and underneath one porch is a root cellar.

Outside the home are extensive perennial garden beds, stairs and retaining walls of both masonry and dry-laid stone. An 8 x 24 ft. stone woodshed is behind the house beside an outside wood boiler and an active solar home heating system with 1000 gallon stone hot water storage tank. These two elements make the property completely self-sufficient during the heating season using green solar and renewable fuel grown on site. A propane tank is hidden inside a small stone building providing gas for cooking use and a separate gas heater indoors is available as back-up heat.

With 10 inch thick stone walls super-insulated inside by foam on the first floor, R-19 walls and R-30 ceilings upstairs, the house takes advantage of the large thermal mass from 300 tons of stone to make it green during all seasons and very quiet inside. Even the floor joists for the second floor have R-11 insulation underneath to enhance performance of the hydronic radiant floor heating system. This custom engineered system uses a network of tubing inside the slab and hardwood floors to distribute heated water circulated from either the wood or solar heaters. With always comfortably warm floors in cool weather, radiant heat makes this home cozy and quiet, draft free and hypoallergenic without dust spreading ductwork or noisy fans. Normally the heating system is needed only during daytime with thermal mass and superior insulation keeping the home silent at night.  The house is equipped with an almost silent yet powerful central vacuum system which turns on when you plug the lightweight hose into conveniently located receptacles. All dust is exhausted outside the house rather than being recirculated and there is no heavy vacuum to carry around.

Inside, the first floor is tiled with a large central foyer featuring a built-in oak gun cabinet. Along the entry hall is a formal parlor room, an office, closet and an entry bathroom with custom cabinets and vanity, a walk-in shower all tiled with a decorative border. The downstairs bath also has a separate entry door leading from outside for easy access. Because the walls include 10 inches of stone and 2 inches of foam insulation, all window sills downstairs are 12 inches deep providing wonderful places for display of objects d’art. Ceilings throughout are treated with embossed high relief Anaglypta covering for an ornate and durable finish. 7 inch crown and base moldings, doors with rosette block plinths and unique ornate reproduction brass door hardware is used throughout the house.

The large kitchen is tiled with matching back splash and custom flush-door cabinets enhanced with side and crown moldings and handmade apothecary spice cabinet. Counter tops have both a double porcelain sink and a bar sink with chrome fixtures and the ceiling has embossed paper in a silver tin-ceiling pattern. The kitchen has a great view through a double window topped with an arched eyebrow. The six burner gas stove with oven is styled exactly like a nickel plated antique wood cook stove but is a completely new antique reproduction with timer and vent hood. Off the kitchen is a walk-in pantry and laundry with cabinetry matching the kitchen, decorative shelving and a custom butler cabinet for food storage.

A 13 x 22 ft. dining room with six windows has ample room for a 10 place dining table, china cabinet and buffet with seating area. A painted high relief ceiling medallion is located for a dining table chandelier. The [insert size] family room has a custom made 10 ft. wide hardwood entertainment system cabinet with arched doors for TV, electronics, multimedia storage and built-in speaker system. There is a built-in cabinet for games and room for sofas, chairs and another dining table.

At the east end of the downstairs behind a pocket door is the library room with lighted hardwood bookshelves, faux marble walls, a custom mosaic tile floor medallion and three large windows looking out into the forest. There is plenty of room here for a private retreat on a couch or easy chairs.

An oak hardwood stairwell inside a dormer leading upstairs has Victorian newel posts with oak wainscoting and a wall display area on the landing below a stained glass window. Upstairs along a central hallway are two hall closets, a bedding closet and bathroom. The bath has a vaulted ceiling and stained glass window, 1” mosaic hexagon tiled floor and blue tiled walls. Fixtures are a clawfoot bathtub and pedestal sink. There is a laundry chute in the bath leading directly to a hamper by the clothes washer downstairs in the pantry, and a custom made cabinet for toiletries.

The 13 x 21 ft. master bedroom has a dormer alcove with casement window, a walk in closet and a smaller closet. French doors lead to a large private balcony looking out into the forest through an ornamental iron railing. The center bedroom has a walk-in closet and two skylights. At the opposite end of the house, the third bedroom has another dormer alcove and balcony with ornamental iron railings.

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