Harmony Hill Farm
Farm Heritage Award Winner
Year of Award: 2003
Original Use: Hay, Livestock
Current Use: Other
By the time Joe Rude and Wende Elliott arrived in 1999 to begin farming in Colo, Iowa, the old barn was on its way out. With boards missing and a variety of wild animals living in the barn, it was time to decide whether to preserve the old barn, or to start over with a new building.
Rude and Elliot decided to preserve the barn, and it took six different crews to complete the work. A new foundation was laid, the barn was straightened, and a new cedar roof was added. With these jobs done, the barn showed much improvement. Rude and Elliot continued their barn's restoration by replacing the antique cupola, weathervane, and lightning rods. Repairs were made to the heavy timber structure, siding, doors, windows, and flooring. A coat of paint was also applied to the barn.
By the end of their restoration process, Rude and Elliot had spent just over $40,000, and saved an estimated $10,000 by preserving the building. Rude and Elliot are currently operating a small farmer's coalition, named Wholesome Harvest, while raising chickens, lambs, ducks, geese, and turkeys on their 120 acre farm.