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Alex Abbott
Posts: 5
Location: Zone 5b
1
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Greetings!

Alex here, long time lurker, first time poster. Let me start by saying that I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've posted on a forum (and I was a forum mod on some other place, quite some time ago!). Please forgive the following, I am an awful writer! My thoughts are not well organized.

[begin]

I found this wealth of information known as permies.com when I was looking for information on seasoning cast iron. I had acquired a nice Griswold skillet and wanted to start it's life with me right. So I followed some information I found here and it is probably one of my favorite cooking devices. Quite some time later, I was looking for information on natural pest control, and lo-and-behold, I found another article on this "permies" place that talked about diatomaceous earth! Something clicked in my head that maybe, just maybe this permies place might just be a place I could enjoy!

So more about me- I have dreams, goals, aspirations, that I would say most people that I know don't share (including my kids, and sometimes my wife). I've wanted land for ages, I want to renew land to a flourishing state. Just recently (like maybe in the last 3 days) I've realized that things held in captivity, or outside of their natural realm are really kind of a PITA. This includes exotic plants that aren't designed to grow in my zone, fields of the same thing, fish in an aquarium, me in my office at work, pigs in a pen. I know I'm probably preaching to the choir- so to speak- but have you ever just wanted to "break out" of the cycle that you're in? Maybe some would call it a midlife crisis, I don't see it as a crisis, as much as a midlife realization, or midlife opportunity for improvement!

For ages I've wanted to get out into the country. Over the last 4 ears or so, the wife and I have scouted out some places, walked around in derelict houses that were probably abandoned for a good reason, hiked into the wilderness looking at sites for us to potentially buy.

Monday, I finally closed on a place that fits our bill pretty well! It is relatively close to where we live now, it is in the heart of Amish country so there is a wealth of reasonable high quality craftsmanship, within 3 miles of an e-way, at the end of a dead end road, woods to the north and west, open to the south and east. 38 acres, mostly wooded. Based on Google's calculations, 8.22 acres are clear, with the remaining pretty dense forest.


I have promised my wife that I will wait at least a year before I do anything on this property, aside from putting in a small kale plot for us this winter. I am going to take this opportunity to observe the way things work on this piece of land- where the water goes, what the soil is like, what types of birds, wildflowers, and other animals inhabit the land. So far, I have observed white tail deer, and mosquitos. I mean lots of mosquitos! I'm certain I donated better than a pint of blood in taking pictures last night.

Mosquitos make me want to try and entice bats to nest in the area.


I stumbled upon this while walking in the woods, and I thought "Jackpot! Ginseng!" Nah, turns out it is just Virginia Creeper, which is too bad because there is lots of it!



I walked to the back of the clearing to take a look back at the barn and house. I found more mosquitos, and a decent stand of blackberry brambles. (looking down at the scratches on my legs as evidence)


I walked just inside the woods and found what looks like turkey tails growing on a dying tree


One thing that I did notice that concerns me a bit is the amount of small trees that are dead/dying. Not in the woods necessarily, but out in the open. They seem to all be covered in either lichens, or a fungus. The bark is peeling away from the wood, and the wood is filled with small holes.
I don't know which came first, the holes, the peeling bark, or the fungus/lichens? Maybe the trees were incompatible with the land, maybe they were planted incorrectly, maybe they were poisoned, maybe they were infected, I don't know!

Anyways, I worked my way back to the house/barn to take a peek inside the "I probably shouldn't go inside" barn. I went inside anyways. It is rough, I would love to save it, but I just don't know if that will be a reality.

This is what the roof looks like. All of the rafters are still there, none are broken. I am going to ask for some advice from my Amish friends on what to do with it.


A perfect place to grow a tree, inside the barn!



Anyhow, this is my new place! Want to hear my dreams?
I would love to accomplish all of the following:
-Make every living thing compliment one another, either with it's needs, or with it's wastes
-Organic, naturally!
-Mill lumber on site (although I literally have 10 sawmills within 10 miles, so maybe not a good idea)
-Have ducks
-Have a highland bull
-Have a tractor, and a hay wagon to give hay rides
-Host a bluegrass concert
-Host field trips
-Have a big "Abbott Gang Hideout" somewhere on the property
-Enjoy living
-Keep the money in the black
-Grow mushrooms of the legal variety


I suppose that's all I have for now. I should probably look busy!
 
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