The "New Place" - Beginnings of a MO Homestead

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by Dadio, May 6, 2016.

  1. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Almost exactly two years ago we closed on The Place. I've really enjoyed the land and the rehab of the old cabin, but its location isn't very convenient at a little over an hour away. We knew we'd never be able to build there and, ultimately, the plan was to be able to walk out the back door and spend some time in the woods.

    We signed the contract to purchase this afternoon, so the new place isn't ours yet and there is always the possibility that something will fall through, so this might be a little premature. It's more money than we want to spend, but we've been looking at every property that came for sale along the current hour plus commute I've taken for about 4 years and this clicked all the boxes but price. And, as someone wise once said, "nice things cost money" which might not be 100% true, but seems to be a good rule of thumb.

    It's 47 acres, about 14 of it tillable, half pasture and half woods, with a small creek running through the middle. The old homestead has a house (in poor shape), equipment shed (in good shape), small grain silo (good shape), barn (very poor shape), small outbuilding (poor shape), deep well (good shape) electricity (good) and some beautiful trees.

    The old farmhouse is just too far gone to rehab, although we considered it. It's not been lived in for more than a year, has had wildlife and cattle walking through it, and doesn't have a good roof. We'd pour a lot of time and effort and money and still wouldn't get what we want. So Momio is looking through house plans and we'll eventually start looking for a contractor.

    One VERY cool feature is that it comes with a 19th century log cabin, cleverly disguised with steel siding. I very much want to restore it and will start studying all I can about how to go about doing just that. Who knows? Maybe there will come a time when I'll ask some folks on this forum for assistance.

    The log cabin (and root cellar) The photo is crooked, not the cabin, which is remarkably straight:
    [​IMG]

    fence by the farmhouse
    [​IMG]

    Bottom land along the creek
    [​IMG]

    Equipment shed. Well, half of it. The tractor doesn't come with the land, unfortunately.
    [​IMG]

    More to come when slow-as-molasses Photobucket finally loads (that site is quickly becoming more trouble than it's worth, but I can't figure out how to post from Flicker yet).
  2. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]

    Maybe this is some good luck
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And oddly comforting, for when our time on this earth is done, carved out of one corner of the property is this:
    [​IMG]
  3. ClutteredShop

    ClutteredShop Scout

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    Looks beautiful. I hope you're young and energetic.
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  4. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

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    Next meet at Dadio's!

    Congrats.
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  5. 14ers

    14ers Last man standing Supporter

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    Awesome man, congradulations!
  6. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    How about fat, old and imaginative?

    Definitely will need a tractor and brush hog.
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  7. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    You know, that's not totally out of the question. It is close to Prairie Home, which is semi legendary around here.
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  8. 1773

    1773 Guide

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    Congratulations, looks like it will make a fine place. Don't know about your experience but buy a tractor one to two size classes bigger than what you think you will need, you will be glad you did in the long run it will save you a lot of time and reduce the aggravation factor.
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  9. Mholder

    Mholder Tracker

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    Prairie Home is just down the road a ways from me. The boonville radio club does field day there in June. Give a holler, I'd help if you need a hand.

    holder
    Saline/Cooper county MO
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  10. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Congrats on the new place Dadio, it looks very nice.
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  11. WhisperInThePine

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    Looks like some good land. I'm looking forward to more pictures.
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  12. The Warrior

    The Warrior Guide

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    Congrats man. I hope you get it, and wish you and the wife well in your endeavor. Been looking for another place myself.
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  13. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog Supporter Supporter Bushclass III

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    Congrats, looks like a wonderful place.
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  14. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Congrats, That is awesome....You are gonna like the barns....
    The adventure continues......
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  15. ClutteredShop

    ClutteredShop Scout

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    Imaginative can go a long way. Take me for instance: I'm imagining that I have a nice rustic, rural, bucolic, pastoral place in the country...
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  16. Brew-Jitsu

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    I'm so happy for you. The Mrs. and I plan to do something similar in our 5-10 year plan, so seeing you realize this dream is awesome. I can't wait to see project pics and gathering reports.
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  17. TX-1948

    TX-1948 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Congratulations!! I have enjoyed following your "cabin" thread.....look forward to watching as the new place develops....
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  18. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    A couple more photos
    I have a soft spot in my heart for sycamore, and was pleased to see a few on the land
    [​IMG]

    A good deep well- 280 ft with the pump at 180
    [​IMG]

    forget four leaf clovers, it's sorrel that is lucky
    [​IMG]
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  19. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    See there is a good well....how about septic?
    In our area many people buy old farms...not for the buildings......but the well and septic ma bey grandfathered in.
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  20. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Got an email from the banker. Everything looks good.....

    :dblthumb::dblthumb:

    (And there is a septic system, but we likely won't use it. It's not hard around here to get one installed. No local or county permits and very few state codes.
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  21. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Congrats, man....The fun begins....
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  22. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man

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    That's good news! Congrats.
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  23. Sealbilly

    Sealbilly Guide

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    heck yeah!

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
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  24. NJStricker

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    Congratulations! I hope to get out of the suburbs one day!
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  25. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    image.jpg

    Well, things are still on track for a closing date in mid July, but in the meantime I've begun to collect the appropriate apparel for a country gentleman! Actually, these were a Father's Day present from Momio. Cool duds, in any case.
  26. foxfire

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    Congratulations!
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  27. CharClothed

    CharClothed Scout

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    What are your plans for this place?
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  28. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Darn good question. I'm thinking I will use the blog feature, if I can figure that out, instead of a thread like we did with The Place. So keep an eye out for that.

    The basic answer is that we bought it to build a home, put in a good garden and start an orchard, and have elbow room away from neighbors. Both Momio and I grew up on properties with some acreage and we'd like to get back to that.
  29. CharClothed

    CharClothed Scout

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    Are you going off grid with this place? I know you have a well and a creek you said. There's quite a bit of things you can do with that creek.
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  30. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Not as a primary method, but perhaps as a backup or as the source for the old cabin. The other The Place really lends itself to solar for lights, but honestly, we like air conditioning too much to rely on solar at a primary home, and the creek doesn't have that much flow in summer. It could be done with putting in water catchment but that's not a priority.
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  31. CharClothed

    CharClothed Scout

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    Could you dig the creek so that you have a mixture of gravel and sand to use on the grounds but as well as digging, increase the amount of water in the creek? Also is the creek spring water or county water?
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  32. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    After closing I'll get some photos. Frankly, there are parts of the property I've not even walked on at this points and lots of its secrets to yet learn. Springs are fairly common around here, and I'd be somewhat surprised if there are no seeps or small springs on the property. From what I have seen, though, the creek runs on bedrock with some, but not a lot, of gravel. I'm not really interested at this time in setting up some type of hydro power system.

    The seller told me of an old lady who lived on the farm in her younger years. I'll get her contact info and look her up just to document what she remembers of the land and who lived there.

    Also, I learned that the old farmhouse was built in 1911. It's a crying shame that they have let it deteriorate so badly. I'd love to get some idea of when the log cabin was built. Perhaps the lady knows.
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  33. Tangotag

    Tangotag Scout

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    Nice property. Lots of potential there for a handy guy. One thing I'd suggest is if you don't have a metal detector to borrow one and walk the homestead area. Mainly to get all iron out of the ground to protect tires of lawn tractors etc. not to mention possible small treasures.
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  34. hillst1

    hillst1 Scout

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    Congrats. Looking forward to hearing more about the property.
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  35. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Good idea. I'm a bit concerned about the first mow - I've replaced a spindle on my mower and am not crazy about doing it again if I can help it. One of my brothers in law likes to run his metal detector and I'll turn him loose on the place.
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  36. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    That would be good to know....where the water is from.
    Thought I had a spring...turns out it is more of a drain from the river.......river makes a turn.....then the low spot takes up the seep and drain back into the river down of the neighbors land.
    Around here you don't dig in any river creek, lake or even some swamps... without a permit from the DNR.....wetland.
    if it's just a spring....might be a different story.
  37. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    You can take gravel from a creek on your land for personal use without a permit. What you can do (at least without a lot of red tape) also depends on whether it's a 'named creek', which this is. I'm fine with it. I'll probably take some rock for use here and there but I'd rather repair the creek from the damage the cattle have done to it than mess with it too much. There are a couple areas that would work well for a pond, and I'll start saving my nickels for that. There are a couple small ponds already but they are shallow and silted in for the most part.

    It's got a 14 acre field that's been in row crops or hay. That's actually a bit of a dilemma because I don't really want to let it revert to the wild, but I'm not going to farm it myself and I'm not 100% sure I want to rent it out either. So I'm thinking of making a deal with some cattleman to just cut the hay off it to keep it clean. Or I might contact the Conservation Dept about putting it back into prairie. Not sure. There are about 8 acres around the area where we are thinking the house will be built. Some of it will go into an orchard and grapes and berries, but honestly most of the appeal of the acreage is just buffer between us and the neighbors, and a place to hunt for myself and family.
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  38. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Now is the time to really think things thru.....
    I have a farmer plant and harvest about 11 acres ....he decides what he is gonna plant.
    He use a drill and Round up ready seeds so a basic "No till"... recommended in run off river bank or adjacent fields.

    He doesn't pay me. I don't pay him....I just get my USDA farm number, so my taxes are about 1/3 or what they were.

    If I was to put it in a Conservation program.....that limits on what I can do with it and for a fairly long time.....contract.
    Also if you take their money in Wisconsin, you have to allow the land to be used by the public to a point.

    Letting it go gets ugly quick with weed trees and weed in general....until it goes back to natural prairie.....may take years

    You also have to control the vegetation....(mow) to keep to their program.

    I want to keep as much control of my land as possible,... but get the max benefits.
    So far my set up works well....I'm the Owner, farmer registers it as Operator....we both make out....AND I hunt his land for turkeys.
    I like shooting your turkeys, ducks and deer.....not my own....LOL

    Be very careful with any wet land or creek work.......our DNR is really strict here in Wisconsin.

    Take a lawn chair and a 6 pack and just sit there on the land every once in a while....inspiration of what feel right will come to you....Don't rush....or you will cut down the trees you planted as your plan change.....Trust me on this.
  39. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    ETA- AARGH! Just saw an email from the banker saying that closing will have to be delayed to resolve a title issue! Wow that sucks! Man, I hope this turns out to be no big deal, but there is no sense freaking out too much about things we can't control, at least till we learn the details. Doesn't sound fatal.

    Anyway: We've been getting excited and are having fun planning for the future. I ran out just to see the new property a couple times over the last couple days.

    The current owner is still running cattle out there, including what he assured us was a fairly cantankerous bull, so I was pretty much limited to looking from the property line, but that's fine. I did find out a little more info: the log cabin is essentially 17'X17". The two stall machine shed is 28X40, which is a pretty nice size for what I want.

    I believe I'll put walls and a floor in that machine shed to create a workshop/woodshop that would basically be about 14X28. I may carve a small living quarter into the back end of that, maybe about 10X14, leaving me 18X 14 for the woodshop proper. I'll take a look at the old cabinets in the home we will be demo'ing, and perhaps the windows or other fixtures as well to see if they'd fit in.

    There are portable fencing and gates there now that, per agreement, the current owner will be taking with him. Gates leading into the property will be replaced, though. I'll be building some fences at the entry points to allow me to pull the truck off the road while I mess with the gate. There are a few honey locusts which look like future fence posts to me. Haven't seen any hedge, but I bet there are some when I get a chance to look closer.

    A couple photos.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  40. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    A little more detail- and you have to love a banker who will respond to an email at a quarter to ten on a Saturday - apparently a minor is a part owner of the property and a judge has to approve the sale. Bizzarre. Hopefully it won't take too long but with courts.....

    Again, though, it's out of our control.
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  41. TX-1948

    TX-1948 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hopefully the approval of sale by the judge will go smoothly. It is much better to find this out now, and get it cleared up. Looks like you will have plenty of projects to work on after getting everything signed and clear title transfered to you....
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  42. Gascozark

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    Dadio, a neighbor of mine just square-baled most of my cleared lower field. He probably did around 10 acres or so and got around 470 bales. We worked out an arrangement like you mentioned, he cut and baled the hay and I didn't have to mess with brush hogging it. I've been brush hogging it for the 5 years that I've been on the place. A couple of other neighbors had looked at it before and said it wasn't the type of grass they were looking for. A couple of people looked at me like I was crazy when I told them I'd given the hay away. I told them that the neighbor did all the work and I didn't have to mess with it! It was a win-win for both of us in my opinion!
    Another bonus was that it looked like a mowed yard when he was done with it, much better than it did when I hogged it.
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  43. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Some google earth images. Keep in mind that the elevation changes are quite exaggerated, but the layout is accurate. Also, the image was taken in early spring so it's much more "tan" than it would normally be.
    [​IMG]

    View of the creek bottom. The 'Homestead' pin doesn't signify anything particular, it's just roughly in the middle of the property. The flat area in the farground is the main tillable field, now in grass. The cemetery is in the upper left corner.
    [​IMG]
  44. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Met the seller this afternoon to talk over some trees that need to come down and finalize some other details. Momio and his wife walked down to the creek and across to another site that the wife had particular love for. They are glad to see that the property will be going to someone interested in taking care of it and improving it back to the showplace that we're told it was a few decades back .

    I took advantage of the trip to snap a couple more photos, including some of the cabin. It's a lot of work ahead of us, and my head is already trying to figure out how to get a good stable foundation under it to help it last another hundred plus years.

    Here is the only part of the interior exposed to the log walls. The remainder is covered in lath and plaster in various state of disrepair. I appear to be buying an impressive colony of mud daubers as well. Anyway, the seller's wife spoke to a woman who lived on the farm at one time and was told that the walls are all walnut. I can't tell in their current state but certainly they seem to be a hardwood. The gables are covered in tin, and you can see the tin peaking through the missing chinking in the lower part of the photo. You can also see the narrow stairs leading to a loft. From what I can tell, the original roof sheathing was removed and replaced with tin attached to the original rafters. Love the hewing marks from the broad axe on those logs.


    [​IMG]

    A close up of the same corner showing the wood scraps placed on an angle to which the chinking was placed. I'll have to see what the chinking itself was made of - it appears to be clay, but I'll reserve final judgment till I can look closer.
    [​IMG]


    Here is a shot of the east wall where the kitchen was. I'm not sure how the chimney was constructed or if any of it is salvageable. I wouldn't be surprised to see sign of a fireplace and mantle under the plaster, or even to find that it was always designed with a wood stove in mind.

    I'm sure the plaster really brightened up the walls compared to the natural logs, but right now my intent would be to remove all the plaster and expose the logs to the interior. I might, though, keep one wall in the plaster just to demonstrate the difference. In any case, I see a dusty winter ahead of me as I take down the ceiling and most if not all of the plaster.

    At the lower left corner you can just see the top of a partition wall. That wall is made of two slabs of walnut that are at least 18" wide and about six feet long. It's beautiful dark walnut, and I immediately thought that we have to use it to form a table top.
    [​IMG]

    One more photo of a gorgeous maple. Looks almost like something out of The Hobbit. There's a sister tree, a hard maple, in the old farmhouse yard as well as a large but doomed soft maple. Can't wait for fall!
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    Closing is in twelve days now. Can you tell we are excited?
    maximus, Rook, oddjob35 and 10 others like this.
  45. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    We are running into problems settling the issue of minors having partial ownership of the land. It's been through a judge but the title company isn't satisfied that the requirements were met, so closing is put off. The only real harm is to our patience, I guess, and we absolutely want no snags on the title, but it's still a little frustrating.

    I'll likely start a new thread to chronicle at least the rehab to the old log cabin once we get into that.
  46. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    A couple other things:
    Momio and I took a trip out there and I had a chance to look in the small corn silo. It's a nice building with concrete floors and it appears to be weather tight. One of the outbuildings I planned to have removed looks to me to be about the right size for a small garage built in maybe the 30's. There's one large hewn beam in there but the fingernail test suggests it's not salvageable. On the other hand there is some beautiful rough sawn oak on the walls and the old door has that faded red paint that people seem to love. There are also some large hinges on that door.

    So now I'm thinking I will salvage the useable lumber and hardware before we get rid of that building. The corn crib looks like a good place to sort and store that material until I can get around to doing something with it.

    I'm thinking a good planer is in my future (and a hand held metal detector to search for planer head-destroying nails). Maybe use that siding cleaned up for built in shelves or wainscoting in my den? Making some "rustic" benches for sale at a local fair? Not sure, but as long as I have space to store it I have options, right?
    Rook, oddjob35 and TX-1948 like this.
  47. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    The seller is doing some dirt work for us before closing (whenever that will be, we've set and postponed three now) so I ran out this AM to see how its going. There's an old fence line I wanted pushed out and some storm damaged trees that are too close to the cabin. He takes the logs and I get it cleaned up in a fraction of the time (and better) that I could do it with my equipment. Log cabin is to the left, barn to the back of the photo.
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    A couple inside shots of a small shed (looks like an old garage to me) that we'll take down. I'll salvage the useable wood I can from it before I take it down, though.
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    Interior of the machine shed. Really like the nice poured concrete foundation. Obviously recycled tin. I'm back to liking the idea of spray foam insulation. This is the side I'd like to close in and build a woodshop. You can see where a door was intended to be - I'll probably put one in there.
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    That's about it for now. Momio and I ran into some neighbors who farm 750 acres in their "retirement." There's something likeable about that concept! Anyway, nice to know who we'll be waving at. Another neighbor is a young couple who are rehabbing an Amish home and who are shooting for moving in sometime in the fall. The husband had already put up a set of used telephone poles to hold up wires to grow hops. That will be fun to see develop. Thanks for reading!
    hunter63, maximus, Rook and 8 others like this.
  48. jstalljon

    jstalljon Woods Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Beautiful grounds, and looks like the makings of some fun 'sweat equity'. Hope you get things ironed out with the closing soon!
    Iron Woodman and Dadio like this.
  49. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Absent some further bizarreness, we should officially be on this place Wednesday. We ran by the property after church hoping to find the seller, but didn't see him. Took the opportunity to explore the creek a bit, though, as there are parts I've not yet seen. Cattle are hard on streams, they denude plants from the banks and encourage erosion into the water, so the damage was obvious. The potential is obvious, as well, though, and we are excited to get to work. Some photos (taken with my phone, so they aren't of great quality.)
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    Looks like the cattle are using this old hedge tree to get out of the sun.
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    I'll let a riparian zone grow up and maybe plant some willows on the banks here and there. Didn't see much in the way of aquatic life, which is a bad sign pointing to an unhealthy stream. I've got the equipment to do some checks - I'll be happy to see the first caddis or stonefly larvae. It will get there!

    Thanks for reading.
  50. Dadio

    Dadio Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Well, today marks the end (for now) of one chapter and the beginning of another. Momio's mother passed away on Monday and her body will be put to rest this morning. She was a kind and loving lady to the end, particulary to the boy who took her baby daughter from her, and she and I had long talks about her childhood on a small farm in west central Missouri with five brothers. No need to dwell; it wasn't unexpected given the events of the last year. Hug your mom while you can.

    I ran over again to walk the place while Momio spent some time alone with her father and siblings yesterday morning. I've always loved seeing the rays of the sun poking through clouds. They remind me that God shines his love down on us and, while I know it's not accurate to say from a theological perspective, see those rays as a path to heaven. So it was particularly fitting to see this scene on the east pasture yesterday morning and I was happy that the camera captured part of what I saw.

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    In any case, this afternoon we will officially take possession of the property late this afternoon. Hopefully it will cool off a bit as we are planning a small family get together with a fire and maybe some s'mores. That will mark the real beginning of a new chapter, one where we can enjoy creation and relationships for years, hopefully decades to come.

    Thank you for reading, as always.

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