One morning about 4 months ago, I was out walking to feed our goats (we have four acres on the edge of town). It was one of those perfect mornings. Overcast. You could feel the small tingles across your face and arms as the early morning mist settled on you. Even the birds seem muted, unwilling to disturb the quiet stillness.
And I couldn’t help but think, “What if I could live like this every day?” To walk along my own little piece of land, partner with God in maintaining and growing it. And that’s when things shifted for us.
We had been so busy chasing what we’d been told was “success”. Make a lot of money, own a lot of real estate. Work hard. Sacrifice time with your family to get ahead. But suddenly, all that seemed so…. empty.
Don’t get me wrong, we love to work! Bad things tend to happen if we go too long without some big project to work on. But we wanted to work for ourselves. We wanted our work to literally bring food to the table.
And then COVID-19 hit.
And the world fell apart. Grocery shelves were empty. People stopped traveling, so our real estate holdings were also empty. Suddenly, our “safe” investment didn’t feel quite so safe any more. Suddenly, our full bank account couldn’t guarantee food on the table.
It was our wake up call.
So within three short weeks we completely changed course. We listed our vacation homes for sale and within two days sold 2/3 of them. So we started shopping for land. . . And we found heaven.
Now, it might not seem like the perfect piece to anyone else. The road to it is impassable, so we’d have to put in a whole new road. There are no utilities, much less a house. But you step onto it, and all you can hear are the birds. All you can smell is the fresh green grass and the rising mist from the creek that meanders through the property. And we knew we’d found the place.
We haven’t put in an offer on it yet. We have to wait for our last vacation home to get under contract. So for now, I sit out on my back deck and look out over our tiny lot in town (complete with garden, chickens, ducks, and blueberry bushes) and dream of what it will be like to wake up and walk out onto 40 acres of wide open space.
Our Land Plans
But, as I’ve mentioned, we go crazy if we don’t have something to do. So while we wait for our final house to sell, we’re busy making plans for the 40 acres. We have a program called RoomSketcher (there’s a free and paid version) that we use to design our houses. My husband is a contractor.
But now we’ve been putting that program to use designing the home we’re going to put out on the acreage we’re hoping to buy. Construction will take part in 3 phases.
We will build a small home/shop that can be built quickly and inexpensively for us to live in. That way we can get onto the piece of land as quickly as possible and try to sell the house we’re currently in.
The house will be a small two bedroom, one bath house with a large pantry (a must!) and a double closet off of one bedroom. We won’t be putting central air in, so we’ll be relying on a wood burning stove for heat during the winter and window units to cool it during the summer. Since the house itself is only 1,000 square feet, this should be more than enough for us!
Attached is a large shop where we can let the girls run around and play in during the cold winter months and keep all my husband’s tools. Long term, we hope this structure will become a guest house and a workshop. But for now, it’ll keep us warm and dry. 🙂
The next phase will be planting and putting up fences! I’ve got to admit, this is the part I’m looking forward to the most. For so long we’ve wanted to get started with a small orchard and berries, but we didn’t want to plant anything knowing we’d potentially be moving and lose it all.
Now we’ll finally be able to put down roots (pun definitely intended)! There’s a nice long hill that gradually slopes down to the creek behind where we’ll have phase 1.
We plan to have apple, plum, peach, cherry, and pear trees out there. We’ll get a solar pump so that we can pump water up from the creek to irrigate the orchard. In between the trees (spaced roughly 18 feet apart) we’ll have thornless blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
During this phase we’ll also be putting up fences and barns for our goats, cows, chickens, ducks and (hopefully) a horse or two. 😉
After we have started making money from the farm, we’ll start work on our final home. A beautiful two story house with four bedrooms, massive kitchen, and beautiful views of the whole property.
This is literally my dream house. It’s got it all, including a fireplace. It’s not huge (because who wants to clean a massive 5,000 square foot house??), but big enough that it’ll offer some private corners that I can hide from the kids in. Wait, what? Did I say that?
It’ll have this beautiful backyard space with pathways weaving in and out of spaces where I’ll have my own set of fruit trees, berries, and plenty of flowers. They’ll be a garden shed, firepit, play spaces, and outdoor cooking area, and a pond for koi fish.
I am so anxious to start work on this area!
I hear a little 1.5 year old voice outside the bedroom door saying, “foooo” (food) and “dur” (door) so I’m going to sign off and get my little ones some food. Haha.
PS – Do you dream about your land? What would you have on it?