Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Forquer Farm at Turkey Hollow

We have purchased our sanctuary!  This past August the family and I purchased five acres in Missouri.  It has long been our goal to at least get across the state line into Missouri to take advantage of the lower tax rates.  We have searched high and low and I have been scouring the Internet for the past several years searching for the perfect place.  About a year ago I saw and on-line ad for five acres with a creek.  I came back across the ad when I was going through old bookmarks and cleaning up my computer.  I clicked on the bookmark and the ad was still active.  I called the listing agent and was informed that lot had been purchased but they had another adjacent lot I may be interested in.  We got directions and drove out.  The kids and I were excited.  We thought from the first moment we saw it that it was the perfect spot!  Jennifer wasn't so excited about the thought of being 12 miles from town.  She was hesitant to say the least.  We decided we would wait and think about it prior to making any decision.  Jennifer said she prayed for a sign that it was the right thing to do.  We received a call from the agent the next day and she told us that the price had dropped from $22,000 to $15,000.  WOW!  I call that a sign!  Needless to say we immediately sent the down payment and closed within two weeks.

The place is what I have always wanted.  Five acres.  Half of it is open ground and the other half is forest with oak, birch, and hickory trees.  Wildlife is very abundant, we have seen turkey, deer, and other small game.  The nearest neighbor is almost a half mile away.  Perfect!

Since we purchased the land we had to purchase a lawn tractor.  And to get the lawn tractor out there we had to purchase a trailer.  I have been doing research on ways to make our land make us money and have come up with selling blue berries during the summer months when they are in season.  In the fall we will have pumpkins and gourds.  We have also talked about maybe growing mums to sell.  The possibilities are endless.  In preparation for planting the blue berry plants I purchased a rear tine tiller.  It is a Craftsman model and it works wonderful.  I tilled four rows four feet wide by 200 feet long.  I can honestly say it did not even feel like work.  The soil appears to be great with a good mix of sand and soil.  Blue berry's require a very acidic soil so we will have to work in oak leaves and use lots of peat moss when  we plant.  Otherwise they will not make it.  With the soil prepared I am researching nurseries to purchase the plants from. 

A good friend I used to work with came out and cut some brush from the front of our property along the road and he is coming out next week to put in our driveway.  We hope to have our house on the market by March 1 of next year and we will be putting in the electricity and water sometime early next spring as well.  As soon as our house sales we will be able to build our homestead.  The only problem is deciding the building method.  I have researched many:

  • Straw bale                                                             
  • Structural Insulated Panel             
  • Insulated Concrete Foam
  • Post and Beam
  • Log Cabin
  • Kit Home
  • Modular Home
I decided that given the fact I have had a spinal fusion and two shoulder surgeries I probably would not do to well with the straw bale idea.  I also and not convinced that I could get the level of water proofing we would need with our wet, humid climate.  Insulated Concrete foam would be nice.  It would be fireproof and nearly tornado proof but how much would I be able to really do myself?  Post and beam would be nice but it would require the purchase of a sawmill or finding timbers within a reasonable distance.  I could then incorporate the structural insulated panels for increased energy efficiency and this seems to be the direction we are leaning.  Whichever method of building we decide on we will definitely be incorporating passive solar features into the design and we will build only as big as we need.  Do we really need two living rooms, a seperate dining room, home office, and library?  The idea is to have a more open floor plan with more multi-use spaces versus rooms dedicated to a single purpose. 

View of property from the road
 Of course the girls have dreams of ponies and puppy's.  We are thinking about using goats to clear the underbrush from the forest.  Jennifer has always wanted some chickens so she will finally have her chance.  The only question is how to keep the coyotes away.  I have also read that geese are good to eat the weeds and bugs out of the berry patch.  There is so much to learn.  I really know nothing about farming but you have to start somewhere.  All we know is that we are finally fulfilling our dream of being in the country and being more self sufficient.  It will not be easy, it will not be cheap, and it may take longer than we can even imagine but I do know that we will be better off in the end!  When are you going to fulfill your dreams?

A view of our property

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