Names: Chris and Allan Green
Ages: 68 and 67
Occupations: organic farmers of small family farm, Woodcrest Farm, www.woodcrestfarmNC.com
Children: 16-year-old grandchild, Noah
Address: 5604 Dairyland Road, Orange County
Neighborhood: Orange Grove
Move-in Date: September 1993
Square footage: 2,500
Details: Original L-shaped farmhouse with porch had exterior stairs to second floor and bathroom outside. Family added family room and extended kitchen, creating rectangular floorplan. Stairs now inside, with full bathroom on both floors. First floor features parlor, formal dining room, kitchen with long island and wood stove, open family room and dining area, laundry room and bedroom. Second floor has 6 bedrooms and a sewing room.
Nearby Landmarks: Maple View Agricultural Center, Cane Creek Baptist ChurchWhere We Live
Chris: The property has always had cows on it and vegetables and pigs. Its historically always been a small family farm, which is what were attempting to keep it as.
Allan: This is the Manley Snipes House. We are fortunate to have purchased the house from the family who had owned it since 1920.
Chris: This is the parents bedroom that were sitting in, and all three girls were born in the corner of it.
Allan: We call it the parlor.
Chris: The house was built in 1880.
Allan: 1881. Weve had to renovate parts of it extensively.
Chris: We debated doing a restoration and decided that we needed it to be more useful to modern man. We added to the kitchen, and we added a family room and an extra bedroom upstairs and two full baths. And we had the builders open the house a lot. This was a house with many small doors. We developed a house with much easier movement from room to room, but at the same time we tried to keep the beadboard, the mantle. We tried to keep the flavor of the old house.Why We Chose Our Condo
Chris: We found it at the last moment. It had the acreage we wanted; it had the space we wanted it; and it was in the community we had been renting in.
Allan: It was serendipity.
Chris: We were really up against the wall and would have had to move back to New York, and then we found this house at the last moment.
Allan: We had no idea when we rented that house a mile away that this is where we would be living the rest of our lives. Well, a year later, I was just about at my 30th year, IBM was interested in downsizing, and we were interested in staying in North Carolina. Those three factors combined to allow me to retire at the ripe old age of 49. We looked at all sorts of places. Our criteria were we wanted at least 10 acres, we wanted a barn. Staying in the Orange County schools system was important, and staying in our church was important. We had found nothing. We were within a couple of weeks of having to vacate our rental. I went out backpacking. I called home from the trail, and she said, I think I found us a place to live.
Chris: Here we are 20 years later.
Allan: I got home and I realized it was the same corner where Chris had breathed one of her prayers into the air [on a house-hunting trip the year before] and said, This is where I want to live.Advantages
Chris: I think one of the best advantages, particularly as we age, is we have the advantage of being able to live a rural life but still are close to everything we would ever need including excellent medical care. We have a large family, and because theres all kinds of work in this area, several of our children have been able to settle in the area.
Allan: And many more of them were able to use UNC. Orange County is really progressive in a couple of areas that a lot of counties arent. Youre living in a county where the commissioners are working hard to develop the county in such a way so as not to pave it over and [are working hard] to develop recreational areas. Theres nostalgia and sentiment, but this is a great county to live in.Disadvantages
Allan: Mass transit is pretty poor.
Chris: Thats true; its hard to get around in this county.
Allan: We have a large family, and we tend to find people who wind up living with us from time to time. The buy-in for a car is pretty steep. If you dont have a job, its hard to get the car and buy the insurance. But if you dont have a car, its hard to get a job. Some sort of mass transit would be helpful.
Chris: I think one of the things that has been difficult is that in this part of the county, which is very rural, we have to fight hard to keep it clean. They wanted to put a garbage facility out here, and they wanted to put an airport here. The price of land is very high. Its under so much development pressure that its all being priced for housing and not for agricultural pursuits. My greatest concern is Im going to be a little old lady in this little farm surrounded by million-dollar homes.Our Community
Allan: Its an old, very close-knit community.
Chris: With a lot of support.
Allan: Your neighbors really are a part of your life. The people you find up and down the road are involved in a lot of the same things that we are. There are a lot of us that farm or farm partially. There are many of us that are interested in maintaining the rural nature of the area. It has a great deal of history, and thats fun for me.
Chris: It goes back to land grants in the 1700s.
Allan: This road here, Dairyland Road, was the old stage road.
Chris: The house up here on the left that says Anilorac Carolina spelled backwards that was the old stagecoach house.How We Made Our House a Home
Allan: By loving people in it.
Chris: When we moved here, we still had 10 kids. So there was a lot of food, cleanup, laughter.
Allan: And there was a lot of work. The boys and I did the lions share of the renovation and reconstruction that was going on.
Chris: I guess you made it your home by working on it. I made it my home by caring for people in it.
Allan: Part of the way we made this house our home was to continue our choice to try to help people in need if we can. In 98, it was two of our grandsons. In recent years, it has been some teenage boys who needed our help for a time. Were always moving rooms around.
Chris: Thats very true. I guess lots of years of loving and living.
Allan: Theres a Bible verse that says never hesitate to welcome strangers into your home because you may be welcoming angels unawares. A home is where youre safe and loved and cared for and accepted. And its a place where you can do that too.We might want to feature your neighborhood. To recommend your home or another home, contact Catherine Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.