Saturday, June 6, 2015

Homestead: The Land Search Starts Again

Well it has all started again. The land search that is. After the months of fighting to get the deal settled and the money here it is finally about to happen. Well maybe. The Money was supposed to be here on Friday but it was delayed one more time so now maybe this week. You may pick up on a somewhat skeptical tone to this writing!

I had told Ralph firmly we would not tour land again until the money was in our sweaty hands but his “Charm” wore me down and we made a quick trip to Kentucky this last week. Sigh! 

It was a very good trip over all but I did come away with a sense of tiredness I had not experienced from farm hunting before. The farm I really saw the most potential in will not make the cut. Ralph and I could have handled it 6 years ago when we started this mad pursuit and the first land deal was made and fell through. Now we have not got the time or finances to do it, with the unforeseen costs to the land sale and the plummeting exchange rate we have had to totally revamp our plans. Maybe not a bad thing as we are older now!

Anyway I am going to take you on a photo tour of this trip, both good and bad. I hope you enjoy this trip through Kentucky as much as we did!

Photo #1  This was a 32 acre property that we had on the list. Cut hay on a rainy day always makes me a bit blue. This was part of the supposed flat land that it had?

Photo #2  Timber piling collapsing under a corner timber on the tobacco barn.

Photo #3 This is at the farm I liked so much. 57 acres, but there is so much to do to get it back in working shape, from restoring a 84' x 66' foot tobacco barn to miles of perimeter fence and a basement repair. It had so much good about it though. For a young couple willing to work it could become a show piece.  It has two tremendous ponds both spring fed and a well with about the best drinking water I have ever had.  There is good pasture land and a very nice wooded area with some huge trees. Down one side there is a good field for hay or a market garden. The good things go on and on but the couple is ill and the place has got away from them. One of my favorite things is an old stone cellar house in quite good condition! Next to it is a storage shed that needs a lot of work.

Photo #4     A view of part of one pond and the pasture or cropland area around it, good fertile land and the bass were jumping!

Photo #5  This is the first sight of a property we really just wanted to see. 42 acres. By the photos on the website it did not have any where near enough useful land. The home was great and we liked the location but we could not find enough flat to garden. Much to our surprise there is a lot of good land nestled in a fabulous and secluded valley at the very head of a hollow.

Photo #6  Ralph out in the hayfield with the spading fork. He uses the fork to test for rocks by just stabbing it straight down its full length. He does not need to turn the soil as the fork tines make a heck of a noise if they hit rocks. Or they just stop! He was pleased with his testing and gently turned one forkful to find rich, red soil and an earthworm.

Photo #7     The House at "The" Hollow. It is 2100 and some square feet and of modular construction. We did not go inside this trip as, to be honest, we didn't think the place would work.

Photo #8   Just look at that Garden...really!  This is the backyard behind the home and below the garage/shop.

Photo #9   There are some erosion issues.

Photo # 10  Our last stop saw this pretty little farm with the sun slowly sinking in the west. This is a 15 acre property and it has a good ratio of open land to woods as well as nice buildings. It is on good well water, but the owners don't know how deep the well is....they never asked when they bought it. Ralph was shaking his head!

Photo #11 A solid, gravel drive leads to a welcoming home site. We noticed the hay was getting past its prime and needed to be cut.

Photo #12  A very nice piece of ground for a garden. This land slopes back away from the road. It has a nice mix of pasture/hay to woods and also has a spring that has never gone dry. The ground passed the rock test with flying colors!

Photo # 13 A photo I took with my Tablet as we headed home.

Photo #14 We saw two of these huge crosses on the way back, simple and stark and quite beautiful.

Photo # 15  Is a rainbow a good sign?

Now we will have to see and yes wait a bit more. I hope this glimpse gives you a bit of an idea what you can see on a land tour. Ralph has been working with the numbers and it is really close between the small farm and the surprise place in the Hollow. They both have a lot of potential and will be great places. The numbers will tell though and we are starting to get a bit more enthusiastic.


  1. There has to be a well log at the county offices. Unless the well was drilled 100 years ago, all well drillers must fill out the well log telling how deep and gpm and what kind of soil. We garden on sloped ground here. Good luck with your search; your new place is just waiting for you to find it.

    1. Thank you for the advice about the well log. We did not know that and it seems the realtor didn't either. We will be calling him about it on Monday.

    2. Know that I think about it, maybe it is the state that issues the permits. At least here in Oregon that is so. The state owns the water and issues a permit to drill and they keep the well log. At least that is the way I understand it. Back east it may be a different story.

  2. It looks promising, Fiona. Keep us updated!


  3. Very exciting! What part of KY are you all looking at?

    1. We are looking near Mt. Vernon and Somerset. It is getting exciting!

  4. You are clearly being very sensible about this farm buying business taking lots of care over details. If you are going to spend the rest of your lives farming the place has to be right for what you want and need.

    Best of luck; may it all come right soon.

  5. Oh I think you have some thinking to do. It looks like you know exactly what you are looking for and that is always a good thing. Good luck. Hug B