Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in some of LandVest’s properties? We invite our owners to tell us a bit about their experiences, what they love about their homes and a bit of their history. Yvette Lanneaux and Tim Wilkins’ vibrant renewal of a white clapboard farmhouse in the heart of horse country in Woodstock, Vermont provided a launching point for our recent conversation with them about their hilltop retreat.
1. LV: Tell us about some of the property’s special features.
Yvett Lanneaux: The location of Hubbard Farm is what makes it such a unique and special place. It’s privately tucked away where all one sees are the farm’s surrounding meadows, pond and woodlands, yet it’s a five minute drive (or a fifteen minute stroll) to the Country Store in South Woodstock or a ten-minute drive to the Woodstock Green.
We enrolled the property in the Current Use Program. In addition to the significant tax savings gained, we’ve learned much about managing and protecting our woodlands for the health of the trees and the varied wildlife that it supports. In connection with these efforts, we’ve created a trail system of several miles in addition to the already existing horse trails. These new trails are perfect for hiking and taking in 270 degree views over to Mt. Ascutney, Mt. Killington and the surrounding area.
Tim Wilkins: I came to hiking later in life and feel quite humbled to be able to hike for hours without leaving the property. There’s one path where you wind through the pines, maples and birch leading at the top to a small clearing with a drop dead view of Mt. Ascutney. We carved a simple wooden bench from a tree on the property to mark the spot. I dare even the most cynical poet to not hear his or her muse call from that perch on the hill.
2. LV: What is your favorite room in the house and why?
Yvett Lanneaux: When we bought the house, it was pretty much a heap. We undertook an extensive renovation and updated all the heating, electrical and plumbing systems but always with an eye to preserving the traditional feel of a casual and inviting 1840’s farmhouse. We brought light in by adding windows and opening up the house to the views so there is a continuous feeling between the house and the land. We brought in (literally) tons of dirt to create a broad and level area leading out of the kitchen’s French doors that has been the site of many football games, croquet, baseball, and intense water gun fights. The stone walls were built by a local fourth generation family of stonewall builders who also laid the bluestone patio. The crowning jewel of this modification of the outdoor space is the porch. We added the wrap-around porch constructed of beautiful and durable ipe wood.
The porch is by far my favorite “room” where I read, take in the sunsets, sneak naps, enjoy a cocktail, watch a game on the tennis court below or keep an eye on the kids catching frogs in the pond. The main floor’s music system includes the porch so there’s a beautiful soundtrack at will while lounging there and soaking up the visual pleasure of it all.
3. LV: Can you tell us something surprising about Hubbard Farm?
Tim Wilkins: I like to tease my tennis buddies telling them I have the prettiest court in America. There’s something about how the court is nestled in the hill on the property, bordered on two sides by whispering pine trees and then opening up to a breathtaking view of rolling green hills and farms. I repaved the court last summer and fixed the fencing so that it would blend into the natural surroundings. It’s absolutely private so when you’re playing all you hear is the harmonic sounds of the tennis ball, chirping birds and the wind through the trees.
4. LV: Woodstock is such a special community; can you share a story that touched you about being a part of Woodstock?
Yvett Lanneaux: We participated in The Naked Table Project for sustainability. Charles Shackleton purchased maple harvested from our land. People built tables at his workshop from wood that was milled from our trees. For each tree felled, every participant was given the GPS co-ordinates for a replacement tree. The completed tables were lined up end-to-end under the covered bridge in Woodstock where we all had lunch. It was a really lovely occasion, making so clear the link between the land, the trees, and gathering together. It was featured extensively in local, national and international press.
For more information on Hubbard Farm contact Story Jenks, (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 802-238-1332. For more information on Vermont farms and properties for sale contact Ruth Kennedy Sudduth (email@example.com), Director of Residential Brokerage at 617-359-5584.