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I went out to the next town over yesterday to look at a piece of land for sale. It’s actually two plots of land separated by a 300′ power line and gas line easement. One section is 7.5 acres, the other is 13.5 acres. Both are wooded almost completely, and both are beautiful. We spent about an hour tromping through the four-foot high weeds, blackberry brambles, and poison ivy, and I took a handful of pictures. The boys had a blast. They love exploring new places, and this place had a lot of fun things to see like fallen trees, a pond, and TONS of flowers and bugs. We stopped every couple minutes so I could pick some blackberries and shove them in my mouth, take a picture, and look around with dreamy eyes.

It’s probably way too early for us to be thinking about buying land, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look and imagine the possibilities. The 13.5 acre plot is the one I liked best, but it does have  drawback. Since the power company won’t cross it’s own high tensile wires to bring electricity to a new home, and since all the land for miles on the opposite side is privately owned by someone who refuses to allow power lines across their property… the 13.5 acres is going to remain off the grid into the forseeable future. When I told my husband that, he was worried that it would effect resale value, but if we buy land and build a house I wouldn’t really worry about that because I’d like to stay there, well, forever. I’m sick and tired of moving. And if we have it all paid off and are able to set up a homestead on it… I can’t see any reason why we would ever have to sell.

It is a valid concern, but I’m overcome with my dreams of having an off-grid home, I suppose. I wouldn’t mind living in a more simple home, just like the Amish do. I wouldn’t mind heating with wood, lighting with kerosene and propane, cooking on a wood cookstove or a propane stove, and using a propane refrigerator. I wouldn’t even mind giving up my microwave and blow dryer, not if it meant we weren’t dependent on the grid anymore. I think the only thing I would miss is air conditioning. If we built the house right, however, maybe we wouldn’t have to worry about it being over 100 degrees in the house in the middle of summer.

I’m torn. It’s truly beautiful, down a secluded dirt road, and will remain peaceful for the rest of our lives because the land around is ravine-filled and unbuildable. It has passed the perk test, and is obviously fertile from the abundance of life growing on it now. It would need a bit of clearing, but that just means we’d have firewood for a few years already cut.

Our talks had led us to think that our ideal land would be old, clear farm land. Something that was free of trees and water and a totally blank slate. But after seeing the awesome woods on this land, I think I would be very impatient for all those trees to grow up around our home if we built on a flat lot. The 13 acres is more than enough to act as a wood lot for chopping down our own firewood, and there are already two clearings that total about 2 acres where we could build our house and outbuildings and plant our gardens.

What would you do?

This is just a quickie. I’m sorry I’ve been bad about posting updates on our life here, but whew! We’ve been busy! The garden is in full swing, the chickens have finally started laying, and summer is taking my breath away. We found out that we have golden raspberries, black raspberries, and cherries growing wild on the property. Yum! So we’ve been out picking a lot. I even got enough black raspberries and cherries to make some jam. I supplemented with strawberries from a local farmer’s market, and was able to kick out 30 pints of various jams. My boys helped me every step of the way, including with the dishes.

Let’s see. Oh, yes! I also got a new toy. It’s a 1950’s edition Singer sewing machine on a treadle base. I LOVE it. It’s a workhorse compared to that “new” Brother machine I have (which has broken for the third time!) sitting out in the mud room. This thing can sew through 9 layers of denim without snagging, where my old one choked on 3. Hubby’s work pants, here I come! This also means that I might actually be able to finally finish up those two jean quilts for the boys this winter in time for Christmas. My mother-in-law came over for some quality time with me and helped sand/stain the table. It turned out really pretty, don’t you think?

Well, that’s it for now. Like I said, short, but I’ll try to get moving along on my posts soon. I’m throwing a Family Fun Day here at the farm next weekend for a bunch of local families and their children. One of my atheist homesteading pals down in Illinois is even going to put in an appearance. (Shout out to Our Happy Chaos!)  I’m so excited! We’ll be doing all sorts of old-timey games like sac races, bobbing for fruits, watermelon seed spitting contests, and bean bag toss. Plus, I just spent the entire last week building a big playground for the kids in the yard. I was hoping to get a big sandbox in, too, but that may just have to wait until after the party.

Hope y’all are enjoying this beautiful weather!

July 2010
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