I know at least a couple of my readers are waiting for my post dedicated to our prayer garden, but I wanted to give a little background, kind of an introductory post.
When my husband and I got married in 2007 we were living in a manufactured home community (where we still live today). We knew we wanted more, a place of our own where we could grow our own food, raise chickens and bees (and maybe goats) and let our dog(s) run; things we just couldn’t do on our little leased lot. If you live in the US you may remember that in 2007 the economy was on the verge of collapsing – the 2008 “subprime” mortgage crises was just around the corner. This was no time to make our move.
We continued to bide our time in the manufactured home park as the country went into crises. We were blessed that my husband had continuous work during those years so we were able pay down our debt and put some money away. We were also able to do some gardening in raised beds in our small courtyard, and as we outgrew that space my sister and brother-in-law offered up garden space at their place so we were able to grow a lot of our own produce. I also preserved a lot of it.
It was probably sometime in 2009 after housing/property prices had dropped and the market was being flooded with foreclosures that we started talking about what we wanted to buy. We decided that our minimum requirements were between 5 and 10 acres, half wooded, half open field, with a source of water. We wanted it to be in a rural area and we set a price per acre that we were willing to pay. We also began praying about it.
I’m not sure when we really began looking for property, but I’m sure it was well over a year that we searched realtor.com, talked to realtors (who really weren’t much help) and drove around three counties looking at pieces of land (some with houses) for sale. None being exactly what we wanted.
While we continued to pray and search we were becoming antsy. We were also becoming frustrated with not having our own place to let the dogs run. When we first got Scout in 2007 we would take him in the woods behind our house and let him off the leash where he could run around and sniff and chase a squirrel up a tree or go for a swim – all the things that dogs like to do. Then one day my husband and Scout came across a neighbor who was walking his dog in the woods. Although there was no incident this neighbor complained to the park management that Scout was not on a leash, so we received a citation and were told that he must be kept on a leash.
Over the next few years we found some opportunities to allow the dogs to run off-leash. First a friend who had a sawmill on eighty acres nearby allowed us to bring the boys to walk in the woods and swim in his pond. This became a daily routine and went on for well over a year until one day when his neighbors complained that the dogs were scaring the deer away.
It was around this time that we discovered the newly open Columbus Park. I wrote about the park last year in this post. The old homestead turned park offered over 400 hundred acres of fields and woods, a valley with a river running through and wonderful walking paths. In the early days of visiting the park it was a perfect place to take the boys and let them off leash as we were often the only visitors. Over time that began to change. A sign with park rules was posted which stated that dogs were required to be kept on leashes and more often than not there were other visitors at the park. While we continued to visit the park the boys were often restricted to being on leashes.
It was a day in early April 2011, after finishing a walk at Columbus Park, that my husband decided to take a different route home. As he pulled out of the parking lot he made a left hand turn pointing the vehicle in the opposite direction from our house. He then made a righthand turn on the next road we came to. Crawford Road, a gravel backroad that neither of us knew where it would lead. It had been years, perhaps even decades, since I had traveled this road and my husband said he had never been down that road before. We had driven a few miles and as we approached a stop sign and an intersection where Crawford Road ended my husband suddenly said “What was that?” as he stopped the vehicle then backed up. I didn’t know what he spotted until he pointed to a “for sale” sign that was sticking out of the snow bank that despite the warmer spring temperatures was taking it’s time to melt.
My husband pulled into the driveway and hopped out to read the sign. It Said: For Sale By Owner, 7.6 acres, $39,500 and a phone number to call. There was no house on the property so I got out of the vehicle and we decided to have a look around. There were many mature trees on the property but as we walked to the end of the driveway, which extended maybe a couple hundred feet in, we realized that the rest of the property was overgrown with unidentified bushes and shrubs. Though our path had ended we continued to make our way though the thicket, thankfully there was no foliage on the bushes so we could at least see the ground and where we were walking. We continued to walk perhaps a few hundred more feet where the property adjoined to an open field. We assumed this was the property line. As we made our way back to our vehicle my husband called the phone number on the sign. He left a message inquiring about the property and we went home anxiously awaiting a return call.
The call came and we set up a time to meet the owner at the property the following day. At the meeting we learned that we were wrong in our assumption of where the property ended. Instead it included that open field which nearly doubled the size of what we thought was the parcel. It also had a well. The well had been dug within the last few years, it was eighty feet deep and I think it was rated at something like 25 gallons per minute. (WOW!)
This property was everything that we had prayed for. We left that meeting certain that it would be ours. We were so certain in fact that my husband removed the “for sale” sign before we pulled out of the driveway. Within a few days we had negotiated a price and the property owner was arranging to have the paperwork drawn up and scheduling a closing date.
While we waited for that we went shopping for fruit trees. I think we bought nine trees and my husband asked the property owner if he could plant the trees one the property. The owner agreed and my husband drug a small rototiller through the thickets and back to the ridge that divided the front of the property from the back field. It was there he planted our first fruit trees.
Less than four weeks after we first spotted the property, that has since become known as our farm, we signed the paperwork and exchanged a cashiers check for the deed to the property. To this day we are still in awe of how God answered our prayers.
Below are the few photos I have of the farm when we first bought it.
Thanks for visiting. 🙂