Introducing the Upper Peninsula Tree Farm!
Have you ever been so excited about something that it is all you can think about? That’s how I’ve been for the last six weeks since we decided to purchase the tree farm!
In my previous post, A Brand New Adventure ~ Part 1, I started sharing with you how excited we were about some property we found about an hour north of us. To add to the excitement we now know that this property can become a tree farm!
We were thankful the owner gave us 30 days to make our decision regarding purchasing these lots. Mr. Man and I knew this was going to be the biggest decision we’ve made together since we got married. A decision like this requires a huge commitment, so we didn’t take this lightly.
When I was a kid we lived out in the country on a small “farm” with some acreage. Then when I was in my early 30’s I owned about 18 acres that had lake access. So I wasn’t coming into this completely green like Mr. Man was. He grew up in a traditional neighborhood in town and has always lived in the suburbs.
Our realtor, Ed was so helpful at this time. He always answered all of our questions and was willing to meet us there multiple times, including showing us another property a few miles away! We just wanted to be sure we looked at all our options in this area.
Thankfully we were allowed to access the property on our own, which we took advantage of on several occasions. This allowed us to browse the land at our leisure.
Exploring the possibilities!
Each time we visited I felt like we became more connected to the land. I know that probably sounds corny, but it’s true!
The kids followed us up to Clarksville for lunch one weekend and then we headed over to the farm for a tour. It was fun showing them around Clarksville and the two lots. We all went to the boat landing as well to see what amenities it offered. My two grand-dogs enjoyed a swim in the lake while we talked.
The kids offered suggestions and opinions which were extremely helpful! My soon to be son-in-law is very knowledgeable about land and building homes so we were grateful for what he was able to share with us.
Going up to visit the land was also a wonderful distraction from my breast cancer treatments as it gave me something positive to look forward to.
During each trip, we would do a bit of exploring the area. This was always fun and provided us with a lot of wonderful ideas.
That small still voice in my heart directed me to take the time to go out there on my own to walk the land. So early one morning, I headed out to do just that.
Luckily it was still relatively cool outside so I was able to wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to protect myself from the ticks! UGH, they are RIDICULOUS out there due to it being overgrown in so many places.
I knew that I had to walk as much of the almost 40 acres that I could since all of the brush-hogged paths are to the front of the property. Using the GPS on my phone, I ventured forth!
The path less traveled.
The GPS on my phone worked great to guide me through the property! It showed the 2 ponds and streams as well as the road and the VA state line that I could use as landmarks.
Once I was beyond the brush-hogged paths the hike required some careful navigation through the underbrush. But it was peaceful and relaxing finding my way to the back of the property so I didn’t mind zigging and zagging as I went.
The birds were singing cheerfully and I happened upon several rabbits and I even saw a deer on the fire lane grazing in the dappled sunlight.
I was pleased to find many open areas beyond where we had been previously. I know Mr. Man was concerned that it was all overgrown towards the back and it wouldn’t be able to be used or enjoyed.
Seeing the beauty in the forest.
Once I got to the very back of the property I laughed to myself as I had one foot in NC and one foot in VA! After reaching the northernmost point of the property, I began working my way back towards the road.
As I walked, I found some old barbed wire fencing as well as an old galvanized bucket. It will be fun exploring more after we’ve had a few touches of frost and the underbrush dies down!
There is one area of the property that is absolutely gorgeous where there are old growth hardwoods. This is one of Mr. Man’s favorite areas.
When I reached this spot, I stopped and listened and spoke aloud, telling the forest I was going to buy it and take care of it! I turned slowly around taking in all of the beauty around me just knowing this was meant to be.
The following weekend, Mr. Man and I walked the entire property together so he could see it as well. It was fun picking our way carefully around the lots exploring what was around us.
As we walked we talked about all of the possibilities owning this property would provide for us. It gave us a sense of hope for the future and of wonderful things to come!
My decision to purchase the land was easy after this visit. And it wasn’t long before Mr. Man was on board to purchase it as well! So we contacted Ed and shared our decision!
A learning experience.
Over the next few weeks, we met with several folks out there to discuss a wide variety of things. One gentleman that came showed us some of the areas that perked, explaining to us what installing a septic system would entail.
He has the machinery and knowledge to properly clear the area where we will eventually build, all while maintaining the integrity of the land and the soil. Plus he can grade and install a proper driveway for us! We were very pleased to know he will be able to help us when the time comes.
We had a Forester come and assess the property for us to see if it could become a tree farm prior to purchasing the land. This was extremely helpful for us in making our decision to purchase the property. Just knowing that we can enlist the services of professionals like this made us realize we can do this!
The Forester helped to develop a plan so we can become certified as tree farmers! He explained that sometime late this fall or early winter, we will need to have a controlled burn done. This will help clean out the underbrush allowing the larger trees to flourish and giving the land a more park-like appearance. Plus this is a huge benefit to the wildlife!
Since we received our official tree farm plan from the Forester we are even more excited since we now have a “road map” to follow going forward. This gives us peace of mind knowing that things will be done properly to preserve the environment!
The real estate closing and beyond.
In some ways, this all still seems like a dream to me as I have been wanting to take this leap for years! The day we closed on the property was so fun. We met with the realtor, the banker, and the attorney to complete the paperwork in a small town about 30 minutes from the farm.
Once the closing was done, we headed home to get around to go out and celebrate! We went to a local steakhouse and enjoyed a meal fit for a king!
Since we closed on the farm we’ve been looking at house plans as well as visiting multiple modular home displays within a few hours of us. Our dream is to build a traditional looking farmhouse with a deep porch across the front of the home. Ideally, we want it to look like a farmhouse did 100 years ago!
We have really enjoyed the day trips we’ve taken on the weekends. Always opting to take the back roads to see the farmhouses along the way! This has helped us to really formulate a plan as to what we want our house to look like.
We have been exceptionally pleased with what we’ve seen so far! Modulars have a lot to offer and are actually able to withstand hurricanes and strong winds better than a stick built house. Plus we can get a metal roof as well as Hardiplank siding which will be very important for us to have if we do any controlled burns after we’ve moved in!
A bright future.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Haven Blogging Conference in Atlanta, GA. I learned a lot from some exceptionally talented bloggers and was made to feel like I was one of the group! For this, I will be forever grateful. The kindness they showed me and the opportunity to discuss all things blog related with them was wonderful.
I also received an unbelievable amount of “swag” from the different brands that were there. Over the next week or so, I will be reaching out to these brands. Hopefully, I will find several that are willing to sponsor some of my posts! Rest assured that I will only give my honest opinion on the products I feature for them.
Since I’ve been gone the last two weekends I haven’t been able to go up to the farm and quite honestly I missed it terribly!
So first thing Monday morning, after returning from Haven, I headed up to visit the farm. Although I was exhausted from my trip, it was a much-needed respite! ***sigh***
When I arrived I was so glad we had hired a very resourceful young man to maintain the brush hogged and mowed areas for us. I was exceptionally pleased with what he had accomplished over the past weekend!
This weekend, Mr. Man and I look forward to visiting several other modular companies and are excited to discuss our options with them for our farmhouse!
In loving memory of my Daddy.
Daddy was one of those men that could literally do anything he set his mind to. In my post, Remembering Daddy, I touched on this amazing attribute about him. Although he has been gone 17 years, I still miss him every day.
Purchasing this property is a way for me to honor his memory. When I was out there on Monday morning it was as if I could feel his presence around me. There was such a sense of joy in my spirit!
I opted to take my fishing pole with me as I’ve been extremely curious to see if there were fish in the big pond! Once I reached the edge of the water, I baited up my hook and cast my line as far as I could out into the pond. Within seconds I had a hit! I couldn’t believe it!
So I reeled in the line to find an absolutely gorgeous albeit small bluegill! Within about 15 minutes I’d caught about a dozen of them. Since I had no intention of keeping them I gently placed each small fish back into the pond to continue growing! I was over the moon excited that the pond was full of fish!
It was fun watching all the turtles laze about in the sunshine. They didn’t care that I was near them. But the frogs leaped into the water with a splash when they noticed me. A beautiful dragonfly kept me company as I enjoyed the peace that surrounded me.
I know in my heart that my Daddy would approve of my choice to purchase this property. As I looked out over the pond while I watched my orange and white bobber sit on the surface it brought back so many memories of fishing with Daddy…
So what’s next on the blog?
Updating my cookie cutter garage door! You are going to love this exceptionally easy project and you will be amazed at what a difference this will make in your curb appeal!
I hope you will join me then. As always let me know if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you!