Friday, March 14, 2008

Why This Land?

What makes this land special? Why choose something this size? What about this place really jumped out at you? You may be wondering about our answers to some of those questions, and to tell you the truth we tried to ask ourselves these questions and more as we were making the decision. Besides the fact that we need to find a place for cute calves like Tabitha who was born Monday (more on that another day), I thought I would throw out a few of the reasons that we decided to try and purchase this exact piece of land.
  1. Our number one reason is that it just felt right. It sounds kind of cheesy, but we did spend a lot of time in prayer about this and despite all of the hurdles we just felt like enough doors were being opened to go ahead. It won't be easy, but we think it is the right land ... of course if the something falls through on the loan we would feel okay.
  2. We looked at other properties with houses and buildings and bare plots of land in varying acreages, but this just seemed like the best bang for our (lots of) buck. We could have purchased a place with usable buildings and a nice house, but then we wouldn't have had the land. Or we could have found a smaller piece of land, but then we wouldn't have much room to grow. 40 acres seemed like a good enough size for a small diverse farm and it is the most we can afford.
  3. Location, location, location! On a day when the roads are super muddy and the driving is slow it is only about 12 minutes to the church where I work and about 6 miles out of town, so it is a good distance for us. Also, it is located in such a place that it is easy to get to the farm from Des Moines if/when we could begin on farm sales. And, it is just a pretty view. The lay of the land itself is beautiful and the borrowed views around us are great!
  4. It is a pretty clean property. One thing you face on many farms in Southern Iowa is the junk ditch. You know the place where everyone throws their old appliances or vehicles. My dad's farm has it, my uncle's farm has it, and I know other people who have a similar place on their farm. On this particular piece of land the closest thing to "junk" is two neatly rolled bundles of old woven wire dropped in a spot that was eroding. It is nice and clean!
  5. There are a lot of other reasons, but one last thing we liked about this piece was that it just seemed like the right mix. Just enough timber and the right amount of pasture to have a small diverse farm. We have a woodlot that we can use to heat our house, pastures to run livestock, and places for an orchard ... garden ... and berry vines. The Southernly slope of the pasture is a bonus, and if we want to there are two great places to build a pond. On a acreage of this size it just seemed like the right ratio.
Those are just a few of the reasons we liked this place and hopefully we will be calling it home this summer. There is a lot of work to be done and I know we can't even grasp what all that will entail, but we are excited about what is ahead of us and ready to work together!


Anonymous said...

Your reasons seem to be good ones. I think the one thing that you have pointed out a few times is really the best part. With this land, you get to make it what you want it to be. We are hoping to find something similar in the next couple of years. Again, Good luck on the deal. We praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Ethan! I saw on the Irish Dexter Cattle site that it's your birthday today. Hope you enjoy it!
Vanleer, Tennessee

Ethan Book said...

sea2shore - You are right, we will be able to make it what we desire and we are starting with a clean slate (as opposed to one piece that we looked at that had been row cropped and was full of junk). That will be a bonus as we put the pieces together

And thanks Linda ... the cat is out of the bag! Of course it isn't so bad because I'm still pretty young :)

farm mama said...

Congratulations on your new farm! I think one of the most important reasons is that it felt right. If you stay plugged into your Source, you simply can't go wrong. A year ago, my daughter had a dream that she thought was years away from realization (if ever). She wanted to have a farm where she and her family could be as self-sustaining as possible, especially with a mix of animals. They looked at a lot of properties, most of them 5 acres or less, with really poor housing, or none at all. In August, they moved to their 12-acre farm. paying $30,000 less than the closest contender, and with a very nice double wide mobile home on a permanent foundation. She said that when they first walked onto the property, it just felt right. Her goal was to have her first milking goat by spring - she currently has 11, and one of her does is due to give birth in the next couple of weeks. She wanted to be able to quit one of her part-time jobs by this summer - she quit last week. because she is making more money selling eggs than she was clearing after babysitting and gas expenses at the job which entailed an hour long (one way) commute two days a week. She and her husband know that it is all a God thing - it has surpassed all their greatest expectations.

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