Tag Archives: buying land

Just as I’m about to leave for my ridiculous mission, the sun warms the grass and the air seems full of life and I’m touched with enthusiasm for rending and tearing and building.  I’ve been so buried in work I haven’t wanted to force anything else into my overcrowded brain.  But I had a look at the barn I need to work on and found it patiently and hopefully waiting to be shucked from its shell of disrepair and turned into something cute.  So much potential!

I need to create an envelope of insulated living space to move my stuff into it.  I’m thinking rockwool insulation, canvas instead of drywall, a couple patio doors replacing the barn doors for some passive solar.  Definitely bedroom in the loft.  Composting toilet.   I’m planning to partition the giant space and make a smaller habitat at first, that can be expanded later.  I’m still mulling over the plumbing.  How much is enough?

Then there’s the garden.  There are a number of retired gardens, all owned by grass again.  I’ve got my eye on the old pond.  The ruined liner is tattered, but the earth beneath is black and rhizome free because of the water and poly.  It would make a lovely terraced garden, and in the middle of the horse paddock, it’s already fenced for deer. The obvious downfall is that the depression will be a cold sink, with all the coldest air around pooling there, frosting earlier as well.

Then I can move on to camper renovations.

New Place.

Moved the scamper to the new place!  Kevin approves.  It’s fantastic to sleep every night like camping.  The cool clean air is rich, the stars in the extra-dark country sky are magnificent, and waking up in the yellow dawn and mist among trees is sometimes still like dreaming.

Shift.

It seems like it’s been raining for ten days straight, but today, there’s a splash of sun on the mountains lightly sugared with snow.  I couldn’t for the life of me get a decent shot, even after climbing on the roof.  There’re power lines everywhere.  It’s been so gray for so long.  I’m grateful to be so busy.

It’s getting cold at night and I’m not sure how long camper life will last.  The colder it is, the more condensation occurs inside, and I’ve not yet learned what it will take to correct that.  Besides the dripping windows in the morning, I can take it much colder but can Kevin?  So far so good. I’m addicted to the bed-preheating electric blanket, which makes every bedtime audible-sigh-worthy, and she sinks into the duvet in the V of my legs and purrs herself to sleep.  Very very happy times.

Getting a little excited about having a farm to live on.  Loosely planning for veggies and trees and berries- more things to research than anything else.

A small but valuable accomplishment: beginning.

Having an odd sense of non-emotion now around the potential purchase of property.  It’s not at the top of my mind, hardly a priority in my day, yet the process is sailing along ever more smoothly.  It looks like it’s going ahead, and we’ll be on the new 5 acres of digs in a month, with a horse.  Every so often I think, oh yeah, in no time I’ll probably be on some land and life will look completely different.  I’m sure I’ll be bursting with excitement as soon as I pull the camper into the barn, and start cleaning brush and designing gardens, lists flying everywhere, but until then, other things dominate my head.

Like writing!  Praise be, we’re writing.  My friend and I are both working on big projects that have stayed more in the realm of vision than reality for far too long.  Now together, we’re making them real.  We have a writing date, and both of us sit down and click and stare sternly at our pages, pausing over word choices and spelling.  The half hour we promise to do turns into an hour and half every time.

I’m familiar with the way that an idea is perfect and glowing, bursting with energy and perfection, but then you sit at the keyboard filled with intention, and the words don’t come out in nice sentences with the pop you imagined.  Three hours later you look up hungry, thinking you still have to finish it up, rewrite the beginning, and edit the whole thing, let alone format and post it.  I know that song.  That’s just what it takes to make something real instead of a fantasy.

As I plunge into the hitchhiking book it feels like I knew it would take time, but now I know how much.  The table of contents that flowed out of me on a break between rides on my last trip is a blessing.  It gives a structure and creates a list of topics.  Every day I’m tackling one little category and writing about it.  I’m sure every word will change in the edits that will be required, but right now I’m getting the ideas out in words.  It’s terrible, artless writing, but it’s out there now, and after all of it is “out” will come the stage of editing to make all those pieces readable and entertaining.  Then will come the stage of editing that will give it form and cohesion.  It’s a hell of a lot of work, and I “knew” that before, but now I KNOW.  And it’s underway, which is spectacular.  A small but valuable accomplishment: beginning.

Things are moving so fast!

Farming may be closer than I thought.  Out of the blue, as ever, my friend calls me to come inspect a house for her she’s thinking of buying.  5 acres, 5 outbuildings, and a house with a brand new well, roof, and water pump.  I wasn’t thinking of myself at all when I first looked at it, but a few days later the ways which the property could suit us both emerged, and suddenly we were talking about a partnership- a two year plan to be negotiated after that.  So possibly, I’ll be on rural land by December 1!  The working plan is that I will winter in the camper, parked in a shed equipped with hydro, and for the next couple years spend my time writing, creating a suite in the large, empty barn, and gardening and tending animals, all free of the burden of monthly payments.  Very exciting!

Agent 009

CIMG9895
Poppies volunteering in the weeds by the back stairs.

Work proceeds on getting the Farm in the Forest.  The seller is very nice and honest and currently on the other side of the world, so every evening I watch breathlessly for the latest email coming in from an opposite time zone.

I’ve spent a remarkable amount of time on the phone and confuser,  talking to lawyers, researching the place, the community, the resources (3 CSAs in Nova Scotia), local bloggers, negatives, planning, water testing, moving options…

 

Next stop, Nova Scotia

So last night, “out of the blue”, like all real magic, we found a “Organic Farm in a Forest” listed on Craigslist.  Ridiculously cheap, by BC standards, for 20 acres of neglected orchard and agricultural land, old farm buildings in unknown condition, in… Nova Scotia.  Seeing as I was born in Newfoundland and get breathy talking about Halifax, it’s not like I’m considering buying lunar real estate sight unseen, but….close.

To say suddenly moving to Nova Scotia is HUGE is understating it a bit.  I’ve been running up and down the Pacific coast for roughly 18 years now- to leave the mountains for the Atlantic is breathtaking, and totally exciting.  New province, new politics, new everything.   Especially to choose it over 24 hours, seeing only a sketch and google earth.

I want this place.  I’m going to get it.

Stumbling towards sustainable

I am in an ultra-transitional time.

I’ve just finished a five year project restoring a derelict house to urban desirability, and sold it.  I made some money on the sale; which I am grateful for, which gives me choices.

These are my options for my sale proceeds, the way I see it:
a.  fire proof safe
b.  bank
c.  buy property
Only c seems intelligent.

I was planning my version of a caution-to-the-wind pleasure blitz, while we still have oil-soaked infrastructure fabric (an extensive BC camping/hiking tour, a trip to see Cuban sustainability initiatives, a healing retreat, a slow and thorough cross-Canada scamp on wheels), but I find that when the moment comes, it doesn’t feel right to bank the cash and have a good time.  Continue reading Stumbling towards sustainable