12/6/15 the morning
5 acres. A little overgrown. But not too bad, nothing a few goats couldn’t handle. Even in December, when lots of plants are dead and dying, or dormant, its very beautiful. I can’t wait to see it at its peak in the summer when everything is lush and green and beautiful and in bloom. The cabin is much larger than we thought it was, and a roof was added since the pictures were uploaded to the real estate website. Which is a huge deal and a lot of money we don’t have to spend! It still needs siding, windows, and insulation. About half of the cabin needs floorboards replaced, because the wood used in that spot was cheap lumber, not real flooring boards. But all in all, the cabin is in way, way better shape than I expected it to be!
Electricity is run to the edge of the property, but not up to the cabin yet. Again, the expensive part has already been taken care of. Running a couple hundred feet to wire to the house is not that bad. We need a well dug, solar panels, a generator, a wood stove. But there is SO MUCH potential here.
The soil is very rocky. Instead of breaking our backs trying to remove the rocks to grow crops, which would be fighting a losing battle, the permaculture method we may use is to build the soil up over the rocky parts. We will have compost, mulch, wood chips, etc delivered by the truckload and build our own soil up.
There are lots of oak-trees in the woods, which will be a great basis for silvopasture for pigs. We’ll clear out the dead trees (and chip them up for mulch) but nuts, acorns get to stay. We’ll even plant more nut trees. The most sustainable food forest systems are based around nut trees. The nuts produce so many calories, for wildlife, livestock, and humans. We walked around our property for a while, but hard to identify the trees without leaves. It’s also kind of hard to tell where the edge of our land is just now. Although I don’t think we were anywhere near it. One of the things we need to do in the first year is to fence the property, and to do that we need to know where our land ends and the neighbor’s begins. There are a few occupied plots nearby. Last night while we slept in the truck, we heard the yip-yip-yip-yip howl of coyotes, and the crowing of a rooster warning them to stay away. This morning I could hear goats, although I couldn’t see them. There are people nearby who must want to be homesteaders, just like us. I even saw a few tiny houses when we crossed the creek.
I hope we can become friends, in time, in would be amazing. 2 dogs and 1 cat came over to introduce themselves this morning. I haven’t meet any of the human neighbors yet, but the 4-legged ones were plenty friendly and curious. Alex says he thinks he saw wild turkeys, too.
12/6/15 later that afternoon
We drove around Rolla for a while, wanting to get to know the town. After talking to a few people, we found out that its pronounced “Rhaw-ah” by the natives, and “roll-ah” by out-of-towners. So we are going to have to be sure to say it right, lol.
It’s looking like we may move to Rolla very soon. There are plenty of place we can get jobs there. The only downside is that the dogs would most likely not come with us right away, since there is no fencing and the cabin is not ready yet. A close friend is already taking care of them for me since I can’t have them where I am currently staying. I hate thinking that they might think I’ve abandoned them. 😦 But I don’t know what else to do right now.
We left the grill, the wheelbarrow, canner, and lots of hand tools in the cabin. He put a hasp and padlock on it. Leaving some of our belongings there, just a few, really drove to home that THIS. PLACE. IS. OURS.
Outside of Rolla, we saw a sign for “Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q” and decided to sample some local cuisine before leaving. We ordered the ampler platter, which came with 2 sides and Texas Toast. Alex and I split it, and it filled both of us up. The place makes their own bbq sauces, and there are bottles of 5 different kinds at the table. I think smoky sweet was my favorite. The waitress was genuinely friendly, in a way that almost freaked Alex out. She asked if we were from around here, and when we told her we would be moving nearby at some point she engaged us in a real conversation. Everybody, including third shift gas station attendants, seems to smile more out here. I love the mountains too. This is it, this is the place for me. I’m so excited. I’m also terrified at the same time. I have no real reason to stay tried to South Bend anymore, but change on this scale is still scary. I have several friends in South Bend that I care for a lot, but I almost never see them anyway. Missouri is only one day’s drive if I want to visit, and the world is not as big as it used to be.