Monday, November 03, 2008

A New Project

When we bought our property, it was with the idea that:

a.) We wanted to know what would be on all sides of us...that is, we wanted to be sure no one was going to snatch up our neighboring property to build a strip mall or apartment complex!

b.) We wanted a lot space for the kids to explore and learn about the outdoors.

c.) We were looking at possibly having a barn and some livestock in the future...and no, we weren't exactly thinking chickens way back then...more like steers, or horses or goats. But I like my chickens just the same! ;0)

d.) We knew we'd have to find a way to make our property work for us...that is, to generate some sort of income. Whether it be growing hay for neighboring farmers, renting it out for farmland, selling veggies, beef, or eggs...we didn't know. But you get the idea, right?

Well, we started with some chickens. No barn yet, so no big animals...but all in due time. We have plenty of space that the kids really enjoy exploring and they are definitely learning about nature. We know exactly what will be on all sides of us for as long as we live here. But how to make the land work for us?

We grew hay on the front part of our property and sold it to one of our friends this summer. That was about as far as we had gotten on that...except you can never be quite sure, because Barry's mind is always workin' on a plan, if you catch my drift. He had been working with Soil and Conservation to work up a plan to put some of our property into a conservation program. Basically, they came out and tested our soil to see what parts of the property could be used for wetlands in a program called CREP. Then they drew up some plans and submitted them to us for approval. Turns out, they wanted to build three wetlands...two in the front and one in the back. COOL! This is great folks, because this is a cost-share plan where we pay half and the government pays half to create these wetlands and plant trees and tall grasses, thereby "protecting environmentally sensitive land, decreasing erosion, restoring wildlife habitat, and safeguarding ground and surface water." So in very simple terms, after the construction is finished and the trees and grasses are planted, they pay us to leave it alone and let the wild take over. This will be in effect for 10-15 years, at which time we can reasses.

Last week, the construction began! The backhoe and the bulldozer were out here all week, and the kids couldn't have been more giddy...

I can't even imagine what it will look like when all of the grasses and trees start getting some growth on them. Wow, in 15 years, this place will be PERFECT!!! I really WILL be a hermit by then! LOL!


Miss Got Wings said...

How exciting for you! That's QUITE a project. I just love to hear all your stories about living out in the country. We hope to be there one day too, in another state, but for now it's suburban life for us. I'll live vicariously through Kuckie :)

You're going to have so very many happy memories there~ Already have tons, I'm sure.

Kuckie said...

Kate - nothing wrong with starting out in suburbia...we did it for 9 years or so...Just keep your plan in the back of your mind and keep working toward it! It's soooo worth it!

terri said...

What an amazing project. I read this to my hubby. His reaction? "The duck hunting's going to be incredible there!"

Not quite what I was thinking, LOL!

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