Monday, March 10, 2008

Offer Made ... Offer Accepted!

Well, this is pretty big news for us ... This past Friday my wife and I made an offer on a 40 acre piece of land it was accepted! Of course there are still plenty of details to work out, but barring any major problems or unforeseen things we should be able to get it. This has been in the works for over a month now, but because of various reasons we weren't really telling people about it. Plus, I don't like to get my hopes up too much until things are more certain so I didn't want to be blogging about and thinking about it more than I needed to. But, now that the offer has been made and accepted we are pretty excited to talk about the land.

Let me tell you about the land we are buying. As I mentioned it is 40 acres (well, really 38 if you want to be picky) about 6 miles outside of the town where we now live and where I work. In fact it is on the same side of town as the church and the high school so that is pretty handy. Twenty-six acres of the land is pasture that is a very strong stand of switchgrass right now and the remainder is timber. I think that is a very nice ration for the amount of land that we have. With land prices the way they are now this was as big as a parcel as we could afford, so we like how it is divided up as far as timber and pasture is concerned. Most of the pasture is on a gradual South facing slope which means the snow should melt quickly and it will warm up nicely when the sun comes out. The timber area is at the bottom of the hill and then it starts to rise again as it hits the Southern edge of the property.

We really like the location of the farm as it isn't too far out of town, but it is fairly secluded on a road with only two houses past us before it turns to a low maintenance dirt road. We shouldn't have much traffic, but we are in an area that also will be plowed out in the winter. Also, it is easily accessible from Des Moines and the by-pass South of our town. I think that will be a plus when it comes to marketing. In fact only a couple of miles away there is a brand new vineyard and we are near many of the farms I visited on the Farm Crawl last year.

As with any purchase there are a few downsides. First of all, there are no buildings on the place ... and there never has been. That means we will be starting from scratch in every sense of the word, but a blank slate is nice sometimes. Secondly, there is no fence along the road (this property is on a corner). And finally, the 26 acres of pasture and another 5.5 acres are all in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) right now. That means we will have to buy out the land in order to use it, and we plan on buying out the pasture acres.

One last piece of good news. Yesterday at our church annual meeting (I'm the youth pastor) the congregation voted to allow the board to sell the parsonage we live in. That means that we will be able to move to the land! We were ready to buy the land just to have a place to farm, but had really hoped that we could live there also and now that looks like that will be a reality. We are so thankful for the approval of the congregation and the blessings that we have at this church!

But, with that good news comes the daunting task of making a place to live! I will share a little more about some of our ideas along those lines tomorrow...

The first picture above is the aerial shot of the land ... The next picture is a shot of a little bit of the pasture area ... And, the final picture shows some of the woods when we walked around the land for the first time.

15 comments:

Bradley Barnyard Beginnings said...

Congratulations! The Lord answer's prayers. Good Luck with all the details.

Steven said...

Congratulations!

Devin Rose said...

That is great news: 40 Acres and a mule...

I look forward to reading about how you go about building your home on the new land. My wife and I hope to do something similar one day!

Mellifera said...

That sounds great! I'm so happy for you guys. Good deal on the southerly slope.

Are there electric and other lines nearby? Depending on how far out you guys are and what you anticipate in terms of needs in utilities, solar electric and other "Do-it-yourself" utilities can end up being a pretty good deal.

And look at alternative building strategies (I'm on a straw bale kick right now) with a healthy dose of "how's that supposed to work?", but don't write them off altogether. :)

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks everyone for the congratulations. We are pretty excited and somewhat overwhelmed at what we face, but it is all a good thing!

Tomorrow I plan on writing a little bit about our building ideas and what steps we will take first (or at least what we are thinking about, and hopefully get some great ideas from the readers!).

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

That last comment was really from my husband . . . I used his computer last night and it must have stayed logged in as me. Sorry for the confusion!

Mona said...

Wow! So happy for all of you
!!
aunt M

sugarcreekfarm said...

Congratulations! I had a feeling that's what was up :)

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

Hooray!!

Tim said...

We're so excited for you! Let me know if you need an extra hand sometime with any projects that you have to do. Oh yeah and maybe sometime we should take some time off and go fishing!!! :)

Dave_Flora said...

Ethan,
I just found your wonderful blog yesterday, so I'm busy going back and reading your adventure from the beginning! Congratulations on your purchase!
I am curious about something...where is your water? I checked the overhead view, but I didn't see any ponds or obvious streams. Does it have them and I'm not seeing it, or do you plan on digging ponds?
-Dave

Christy said...

Congratulations! What a big step.

Kramer said...

Congratulations. If you thought you had been busy at night thinking of things to do just wait. You won't get any sleep trying to figure out how to lay out your property. Here is your step to fulfilling your farmer instincts. Once again congratulations.

The Barber Bunch said...

Congrats on the land!

I found you while surfin' around the Blogs. Just wanted to say Hi!

Carolyn

Ethan Book said...

The Barber Bunch - I'm glad stumbled across the blog! I hope you will stick around...

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