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Beginning again

Lolly Knowles

Joined: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 159
Retired toolmaker with land and extended family looking for like minded persons for friendship or more

Well, if the title line was longer that might be where I started.  I've been divorced for over 30 years.  The first portion of that time was spent raising my kids, attending college, working two or more jobs to pay the bills and trying to find a little R&R on weekends when test schedules permitted. 

In the late 80's I quit tending bar and moved to an apprenticeship.  Twenty years of working with hundreds of men every day did something to my dating schedule.  It disappeared.  The companionship I had on the job was enough, then.  I'm now several years into retirement and still making plans for my next career ... homesteader and hedge witch.  And if I'm still making plans, it's easy to adapt those plans to include another.  While I haven't been "looking" for a long time, perhaps I'm ready to be found.

About me...  I'll be 61 very soon.  Overall health is good to very good.  While I have hundreds of acquaintances, my friends are few and of long duration.  Most of my family still speaks to me.     Omnivore, left of center, hetro, committed to providing for me and mine so far as humanly possible while being still part of a larger circle.  {Grandpa built his own house with blocks he molded himself.  That house still stands 70 years later.  Maybe it's in the DNA.}  Oh yes!  I'm in north central Indiana and plan to stay there. 

After many years of dreaming and looking, the right piece of land came along a few years ago.  The property is a "square 40" in an area with rolling hills, frequently used for monoculture crops.   Lucky for me, this plot doesn't do well for commercial planting.  The hillsides, trees, and high water table were more trouble than it was worth for a couple of the local farmers.  One of them did put in the black walnut plantation about 25 years ago, which saved a lot of work.  Of course that was also the reason the land entered the CRP program, which curtailed usage until recently.  I don't come from a farming background, but have nurtured the desire for 40 years or more.  Last year I was able to attend a conference on no-till farming, on-line research has been going on for years, and once upon a time I grew peas in my backyard in Tacoma.  So far the only crop I've attempted has been potatoes since they don't require a lot of fussing. 

The property is currently unimproved, other than a few campers I have handy to use for the March/Oct. season and tool storage.  We did install an outhouse after a few summers of bucket latrines.  That is now home to the 12 volt battery that runs the two lights we installed last month.  The house in town where I "live" is a 90 mile round trip, so it's nice to be able to have a place to stay for days on end when the feeling strikes and weather permits.  The site for the new house has been chosen, but not vetted by the local planning commission.  We plan an earth sheltered home in the south face of one of the fingers of the hill, and while I don't anticipate any problems with approval, the hoops must be jumped.  In the meantime, there are dozens of trees that need to be girdled this fall so they can be cut in the spring to allow for construction and provide at least a portion of the building materials,

Once the house has a livable start, we can begin to introduce animals to the mix.  Chickens, goats, a couple of pigs have all made it to the short list of things to plan on doing, along with raising Irish Setters.  We do have our eyes open for a female, just in case ...

After a week of rain and high winds, the coming week looks like there might be some good weather for doing farm things.  The tire is ready to go back on the bush hog so I can get a little mowing done.  There needs to be some sort of shelter set up for the equipment to protect it from the winter weather without encouraging the squirrels to start nesting in the wires.  Garlic to plant and potatoes to harvest, with little chance of getting any help before the weekend since my sister and her husband live further away in the other direction.  Hopefully it will be a productive week.

Lolly Knowles

Joined: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 159
I know you never get a second chance to make a second impression. 

But I thought a picture might come in handy {crossing fingers that this works}.  My brother-in-law decided to take a hydration break and let me run the backhoe to move some dirt.  The now excavated space contains the "equipment with tires", under a tarp for this season.

subject: Beginning again