It's raining, a soft, steady, soaking rain. A good day to look over the iPhoto library. To sit down and remind myself of all the marvelous moments that make up my life here. To remind myself of the ways we are influencing the land here and the influence these few acres have on me.
Not yet part of our property, this narrow strip of land along our eastern border looked like this when we closed here on August 13th, 2010. The old dairy barn, its silo, and all of the scrap lying in the weeds were just outside of our property line.
Before the corn was harvested at the end of that summer, a friend of the land owner had been given permission to go into the old barn and remove beams for a building project he had in mind. He left that old dairy barn in ruins and Mother Nature's flora and fauna moved in.
Because it was a tiny piece of many many acres of land rented out, the ruin and its dangers meant nothing to anyone but us. I was here alone most of the time often worried what would come out of the wreck in the evenings to threaten me or my chickens.
With the help of our realtor we explained our reasons for wanting to buy this nearly one acre, which was all they'd consider "letting" us purchase. We also agreed to take on all the expenses in removing the wreckage. And in having a survey done to determine exactly where our lot lines ran. In May of 2013 we became the new owners.
First, all salvageable metals were removed and carted to the scrap yard. We offered the proceeds from the scrap metal to our Amish friends if they would be willing to clear it out and haul it.
Jerome rescued some ancient railroad ties that were buried along the edge of the property and spent hours removing shrubs, tall weeds, bits of metal and wire. whatever would make the barn's removal difficult or dangerous. Hours and hours he labored.
Next, the waist high weeds, grape vine, grasses etc. in front of the barn and to the road were brush hogged by our good friend and neighbor. During this process, to my delight, a lovely cranberry viburnum was freed from a stranglehold of wild grapevine.
An enormous hole was dug and everything went into the hole except for the silo.
We had truckloads of topsoil delivered and it was spread about.
We let the land settle over that winter and in spring of 2014 put up the pole barn and added yet more top soil. It was seeded then. This spring we added more soil, adjusted it for run off, and reseeded once more.
In April we put in the row of 30 baby pines. Later we planted the crab apple and Autumn Blaze maple. The Indian Summer rudbeckias were left from last season and Jerome has worked hard to allow them to shine on the slope behind his pole barn.
This is how it looks here this morning.
I do get impatient. I do feel blue sometimes. But the truth is, we are making progress, and every day is precious and full of grace.