My Cottage

Side view of the cottage in the summer.

Side view of the cottage where I live (taken this summer).

For those who may be curious about my housing, this post is for you! I live on the farm in a lovely one room cottage most often referred to as The Girl’s Cottage.  You may also hear it referred to as The Heathernet, on occasion. It was built in the spring of 2011 to house female interns. If I remember correctly (I measured last summer), it is about 360 sq. ft.

Due to time constraints, the cottage was not quite finished before the first interns needed to move in, so the place was a bit “rustic.”  The picture below is how it looked last summer with three occupants.  I had the top bunk, which I loved.  It reminded me of being at summer camp a LOOOONG time ago.


Girl’s cottage summer of 2012.


One of the highlights of the cottage was our composting toilet.  I think composting toilets are a good idea and I was glad to experience life with a composting toilet, but now I have a flush toilet and let’s just say I can’t complain.  🙂


Composting toilet


After I was selected for the apprenticeship, I was told that I would still live in the cottage and that it would be getting a makeover.  The project started during the time between the internship and apprenticeship (beginning October 2012) and was finished shortly after Christmas. Here are a few more pictures.


“Mud room” and dining table.


Dining table and living room.


Living room.


Bedroom, closet, and part of the kitchen. The bathroom door is to the right side of the closet.




Flush toilet




More kitchen


This little place has been a total blessing. It is cozy, warm, and welcoming. Almost everybody on the farm helped in some way during the renovation. It is great how everybody on the farm has different talents and gifts to contribute to certain projects. I  learned a great deal about home renovations which I know will come in handy in the future. Also, I figured out the secret to keeping a clean home…live in a small, one room house! 🙂

Finally, here are a few pics of my “yard.”


Making hay last summer in the field outside the cottage.


Cows in the field by the cottage.


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About Heather Juda

Heather was born in Atlanta, GA, but spent 19 years in Colorado before moving to Virginia. She came to Polyface for the 2012 internship and has stayed on as the first female apprentice. She became interested in the food industry when she was in high school, and over the years sought to eat in a healthier way through community gardening, hunting and supporting local farmers. She had a very blessed and “comfortable” life in Colorado complete with a good IT career and condo, but on a calling from the Lord, she left it all to start a new life in farming at Polyface. She looks forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for the future and hopes to use what she learns at Polyface to provide healthy food for people!

18 Responses to My Cottage

  1. David & Tina says:

    That IS a cozy little cottage! We know just how it is to live with rougher/unfinished living for a while…..we are just now getting a kitchen put in our basement apartment on the farm…very exciting indeed! It makes you a lot more thankful if you have to deal with fewer/unfinished accommodations first, doesn’t it. Thanks for sharing those pictures of your little place. Having cows outside your front door is a great thing, isn’t it? We’ve got the same here on our farm sometimes (when they end up 10 yards from our front door in their rotation around the pastures).

    Looking forward to more of your posts, Heather! We love keeping up with happenings at Polyface ever since we visited in 2010 on our honeymoon (yes, we were crazy enough to pick-up two rabbit does for breeding stock on that trip and had to care for them in our little rented cabin before taking them home to GA). 🙂

  2. Jenny says:

    Your cottage is lovely and SO charming!! 🙂 I can see why you love it 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    Very cute comfy bungalow. Love the little color wood walls 🙂

  4. Dave says:

    I built our composting toilet (looks similar to yours) several years ago after we gave up on our Envirolet”.. With the kids grown and gone it is just Joan and I so it is not too labor intensive and the bucket doesn’t have to be taken to the humanure composting area very often. We call it our “friend screener” in that we have noticed some people just don’t come back to visit if you don’t have a flush toilet! We figure we have saved over 100,000 gallons of good well water over the past fourteen years with this system. The average person wastes over sixty gallons of water per day in this country just flushing their toilet….going tinkle?….you pollute 4-6 gallons of water with a few ounces of urine! I guess I can see someone being “relieved” using a water toilet instead of a composter but just think of how much water you saved when you lived in that cabin!!!

    • Dave says:

      Correction!!! We have saved over one half MILLION gallons using the composter!

      • Sheri Salatin says:

        Good point, Dave. 🙂 Our concession to flush toilets is that all of the gray water gets pushed through the toilet. So everything from sinks and showers goes into a holding tank, then back to the house into the toilet, then out. 🙂

        No need for friend screening!! 🙂

        • David & Tina says:

          That’s great, Sheri! Are all the houses and cottages at Polyface set-up like that?

          • Sheri Salatin says:

            At this time, only the intern and apprentice housing is set up this way. We’ll have to do some remodeling for our house. Our inspection kept us from this kind of creativity 11 years ago when we were building.

  5. contentwife says:

    Beautiful! Sometimes small spaces are just the right size.

  6. Dan says:

    looks great! was all the pine wall paneling milled from the property?

  7. Wendy says:

    I want to live there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Savannah says:

    The Heathernet… I miss that little cottage so very much. Sigh… But it makes me heart all kinds of happy knowing you are in it:)

  9. Leah says:

    It’s beautiful!!!! So beautiful 🙂

  10. That is so cool! I love it! It reminds me of the Ikea “house” they show – something like “living in x square feet”. (Some smallish number.) It’s really all you need if you’re by yourself! Perfect!

  11. Patti P says:

    Wow! Compared to the “summer camp” lay-out, it looks luxurious! Kudos to the carpenters and plumbers and architect (Rachel?) and of course – kudos to the housekeeper who is keeping it “photo-worthy” ; ) Glad to hear you can flush now (grey water – very cool, Sheri!) but I enjoyed Leah’s stories of the composting toilet so I appreciate that you all had that experience. Best wishes, Heather!

  12. Ray says:

    I enjoyed reading about your little cottage on the farm. My wife and I lived aboard a sailboat for some years and so like you, we REALLY appreciate having a place that is small and ‘cozy’, though our sailboat had about as much room as a Sears garden shed. We now live ashore in a sweet little 738 square foot house, a screened porch with wood stove (our favorite ‘room’) , 1 ‘socially maladjusted’ dog, 4 hens in a chicken tractor, gardens and I am almost finished with our 8×18 foot green house. You are right – the easiest way to have a tidy home is to keep it small and simple. Small & simple eliminates many headaches before they ever have opportunity to begin. Sure – and being land lubbers now, we have a flush toilet, though the thought of using ‘it’ to generate methane has crossed my mind a time or two. Fair Winds , Ray & Karen

  13. Joy says:

    The cottage is ‘perfect’. The whole farm looks like a happy place to live and work in harmony. I live in my mini van while on the road, and hope to find a small patch of land in a temperate climate….Fl, Nor S Carolina, Tn to purchase/lease as a home base , and work on a food forest /mini homestead. I homesteaded on five acres in Iowa for 15 years in the 70’s-80’s. Mini style suits me now, as I am ‘Golden’.