Wow – time flies! Last week was just SO crazy – I don’t even know if I can remember it all! It was a jumbled bit of everything every day. All I know is I put more miles on my car than I have in months – driving here, there and everywhere! I took several friends up to see things and get advice – always good when you have folks around you with more building experience. None of them had yet seen the property, so I was pretty excited to see what they had to say.
The first great thing I learned is that I may not need to bulldoze my driveway after all – at least not right away. The area was already leveled mostly when it served as a staging area for logging at one time. Initially, I can probably get away with weed-whacking to level the tall grasses and then drop a few yards of stone. This would satisfy my need initially going into winter, if the money gets too tight. I don’t want much to plow out anyway – just a small parking spot really. I can do the rest after the build to level out the ruts further down or just do a curtain drain first – that way, it will drain off the snow and water into the brook come springtime. My neighbor will be getting some heavy equipment in for a project late September or October, so he said I could tack on to his project to save some cash. Nice!
The week started out with taking my trail-blazing (literally) musician friend Cody over to pick up the pallets I’d stored at my friend John’s place and taking them up to the property. Dropping them off to the side of the site for now, we quickly did a walk around of the area being cleared before making our way up to Cody’s friends’ farm to pick blueberries. George and Jen have the BEST blueberries I’ve EVER eaten! They grow 14 varieties using biodynamic farming principles. Let me just say – you haven’t had a blueberry til you’ve had some of these! They make most of the ‘store bought’ kind taste like imitations – which are mostly tasteless by comparison.
I am extremely lucky to count Cody amongst my many unique and creative friends here. An avid outdoorsman, Cody spent many years on trail and nature work throughout the U.S. in hiking clubs, mountain regions, state and national parks, etc., and is now using all his experience and memories to create his beautifully inspired music (codymichaels.com). His unique brand of sound inspires, tickles, and soothes just about anyone who hears it.
The next day, I finally got a chance to take my friend Alexis out there to check out the water situation. She’s an environmental field biologist now, so I knew she’d know exactly how to help. There was no doubt I had water – LOTS of water (could tell that by looking at it) – but finding enough water to use without drilling just yet is another thing. I had a dowser check things out when I initially bought it, staking out a well site. But, all things considered – I’d prefer a spring if one can be found. I think we got lucky – or hope so. We spent about an hour wandering around looking at the land to see how the water path flows when there really isn’t water – just wet soil. There were several places with pooled water, and then there’s the eventual pond site (tall blades of cattail grass are an obvious sign!).
Alexis dug a few holes here and there – checking water intake – and finally found one place that seemed promising. You can read more about it at Alexis’ blog onceuponayurt.blogspot.com/. The water will serve as a preliminary point for the winter – with a manual/hand or 12V pump to get to it – at least until something more permanent can be established with a plan and piping to the house. All in good time and as money is available.
Alexis and I had limited time that day, but are planning to do a much larger tour of the property when her partner, Sarah, can join in. They are two of the people I had offered out community life to, either as an interim step to saving for their own farm or as a permanent place. They are sweet, talented, and conscious young ladies that I would enjoy seeing grow and expand – like daughters I never had. While there is no telling at the moment which way the wind will blow in their decision-making process (it’s a job/location thing, I believe – important at that young age) – I do feel honored that they are considering it. I know they would bring a youthful and fun energy to the land and help provide some incredible vision that I may not see at the moment.
It’s a wonderful journey that I’m grateful to be taking, even at this late stage. I guess it runs in the family, though. My mom was 50 when she left the city to live off-grid with my brother and family, and my dad ended up wandering the country for a good part of his later life. So, maybe I should have expected it by looking at the gene pool. Still, I feel I’m the most blessed of all – for I am doing this journey in the company of my many beautiful friends. Life has truly given me much to be grateful for! To be continued …