A few people have asked me how we knew that this was “the farm”. The short answer is that we just knew. We both just said, “Yep, this is it. Let’s try to get it.”
The long answer is that we have been looking and dreaming of this for a while. We’ve read countless books, magazines, and blogs about homesteading. We’ve gone to the Mother Earth News Fair for the last few years and we have begun to do many of the activities that we will do on our homestead. Some of the more specific considerations were:
Location: We knew that we would be moving closer to my parents. We started looking in the Centralia/Chehalis/Toledo area as it was a lot closer to them and Eric is still able to go up to Bellevue twice a week. For the last year we have been driving down to the area to get familiar with it and see exactly where we would like to live.
Land/house: Eric wanted at least 20 acres. Some wooded, some pasture would be ideal, but we were also looking a forest land. The reality is that we are going to transform any land that we get to become a permaculture homestead. We’ll be able to change it into what we want it to be. One option was putting a yurt on a piece of recently cut forest property. The land is very cheap, but it wouldn’t have any services and we would have had to live in a yurt for two years. Eric thought this would be great. I, on the other hand, thought this would be hell. My ideal was to find a property that had a house and property that had been worked before.
When: Eric’s move date was 2014. He was actually “banned” from looking at property. He was banned because when he found a great property while I was pregnant with Alfred, he said it would be okay to move before Alfred was born. That comment sent me into a “You are not going to look until it is much closer” rant. So Eric stopped looking. He actually told me a few months ago that we should probably set the move date to 2015 because of my broken leg. So what did I do once he was banned? I started looking. It started off easily as I had hours upon hours of computer time while I was stuck in bed for a few months. Then it just became habit to look every few weeks.
Routine: After finding way too many properties that were wrong for many reasons, we figured out a system to find out if it was even worth looking at. Parcel maps, soil maps, elevation grids, it is amazing what you can find out about a property just from the internet.
Then we found the ad for the 32 acre tree farm. There was just the one picture of the house attached to it. We decided we should drive out to see it.
Even before we toured the inside of it, we knew it would be ours just by walking around a bit. Here are a few of the highlights:
It is in a town called Dryad. Dryad is a female tree spirit. Need I say more?
The homestead sits right on the Willapa Hills trail. It is a trail that starts in Chehalis and goes to the ocean. I can totally envision us having a farm stand on the trail to sell fruits, veggies, crafts, canned goods.
There is a house on the property. While it is a lot smaller than what we have, it is a mansion compared to a yurt. It will be a lovely place to call home while we build our earth bag home.
Although it is plenty of land, we still have neighbors. I won’t feel totally isolated.
Now that we are in the final steps to buy it, we love it even more. We love the story behind it. One of our new neighbors is the great grandson of the original owners. His family has been there before WA was a state. He knows the land like the back of his hand. He is willing to share with us. Be still my sentimental heart.
There it is. We just knew. And when you know, it all just seems to fall into place and all work out.
Now the hardest part is trying to figure out what to call it. We thought picking out baby names was hard, boy were we wrong! This could take a while.