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For several years, David has talked on and off about getting a small farm and being able to grow some of his own seeds for our business, David's Garden Seeds®. For the past 20 years, I have complained about the horrible traffic in San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the USA.
I heard about a seed festival in another state that I thought we would enjoy going to. In May of 2019, we went to this seed festival which was located in another state. The seed company hosting it was about 20 miles from the nearest town, down a dirt road, yet there were thousands upon thousands of visitors. It occurred to David that he did not need to be inside of a large city or even on a major highway to sell his seeds to the public.
When we got back home, David actively started searching for land out in the country. He looked online and we drove all around the outside of San Antonio. On one of our drives, we found our small farm with a big for sale sign on the barbed wire fence, pulled over, and called the realtor. That was in late June.
We had cash and wanted to buy this farm right away, but they kept pushing back the closing date a whole month. By the time we closed, we had already sold the home we built and lived in for 18 years and closing on that home was coming up but they would not get it in gear. It took them a whole month before they wanted our cash...
Today, we got the word that we would finally be closing on the small farm property tomorrow. It is about time since we have had the money to close and have been asking to close since we got a land contract.
Today, July 30, 2019, David and I closed on our small farm. We paid cash for 3.99 acres in Atascosa County, Texas. Our parcel of land is from a peanut farm that was inherited and divided by the children of the deceased owner into several pieces. Our parcel is 167.80 feet across by 1037.94 feet lengthwise.
We sell garden seeds for a living so owning a farm seems like a great idea. That way we have some room to grow our own seeds.
We felt pretty good about owning land in the country so we went to Luby's for lunch to celebrate. The meal was delicious!
We found out that drilling for a water well would cost us just under $20,000.00! We want to do it but are putting it on hold for now.
We met with the water company after closing and they informed us it could be up to three months before we get city water. We also met with the electric company. They said we wouldn't have power for four months. Insane!
This morning, we left the house at 6:45am to go to our farm. The grass, weeds, and wildflowers are waist high in some places. We can't really get in there to do anything. David has made arrangements to have it all shredded but the contractor cannot be there until tomorrow.
Today, we had appointments with representatives of four different
companies. We met with someone from the electric company, the portable
potty company, the dumpster company, and the transport company that will
be delivering and setting up our manufactured home.
The portable potty was delivered and placed in a corner. It is bright orange so everyone will notice it but it is necessary as the closest restroom is miles away out there. The delivery man got stuck in the sand so David hooked up the truck to our SUV and pulled it out of the sand.
The trash dumpster was delivered without a problem.
The transport company said it could be three to four weeks before they are ready to deliver the home. Then there was the disappointing news...
The electric company said it could be up to 17 weeks (that puts us in the middle of November, folks!) before we get hooked up. (Close enough! It was on October 29, 2019 before they let us have electricity!) As a city girl, I never dreamed that it could take so long to get water and electricity turned on in the country on our small farm. My birthday is November 17. Maybe if I am a good girl and I wish long enough and hard enough, I will get electricity so I can bake myself a cake.
We arrived early in the morning, waiting to meet with the above mentioned contractors. While we sat there, one of our neighbors drove over and introduced herself. We really don't have many neighbors right there since the lots on either side of us are empty.
Also, at our current home, an inspector came for the buyers. He was in and out of our home in 20 minutes.
We have to move out of our home by August 26, the day we close on the sale. Fun times for Mr. and Mrs. David's Garden Seeds®!
Today, the fence closest to the road was taken down. Some of the bushes were trimmed. Not much can be done until the weeds are shredded. That is supposed to happen on Saturday, August 3.
While we were out at the farm, our pastor came by to see it and to pray with us as we dedicated the farm to God.
Late in the afternoon, a surveyor came to our current home to survey the property for the buyers. He said it would take 90 minutes but he was there for two and a half hours.
David picked up his riding lawn mower with cart in the afternoon. I am very excited to try it out!
I packed more of our possessions early this morning for the big move. I worked on the linen closet and got most of it emptied. This evening I will work on our clothes closet and drawers. Our son, Matt, has been taking boxes down to storage. We now have four storage units. Apparently you accumulate a lot of possessions after you have been married for 32 years!
Today, we drove to Hondo, Texas to visit the TXDOT office so they would place our mailbox outside of our fence. The ground between our fence and the road belongs to the state of Texas. (We are on a Farm to Market Road.) We found a big mailbox at Walmart last week. The gentleman we spoke with was very helpful and said it should be in place by next Tuesday. Next we have to go to the Post Office in Poteet and give them our new address so they can add us to their mail delivery.
We spoke to our Manufactured Home salesman and he said we will definitely close sometime next week. Also, he said the transport company will be starting work on our property, getting it ready for the home by setting up the pad and driveway, sometime next week.
Today, we had a contractor shred the property with a tractor. He did all but the top near the fence. The property looks really good.
We will take some hand tools and a crew to the property on Monday and get that done so we can get to the trash pile the previous owners made. We need to get everything into the dumpster we rented because it will be removed next Tuesday so the transport company can make the road and driveway. The pad for our home has to be put in this week for the house delivery.
Today is Sunday so we went to church and then to Lowe's to find some tools needed for tomorrow. We will be packing up some more of our possessions for the big move in less than three weeks.
Week two of setting up the farm continues below.
Week 14- 10/28/19-11/03/19--Our New Farm (We finally got electricity!)
Week 26- 01/20/20-01/26/20- Backyard Farm (That is one half year of working on the farm!)
Week 40- 04/27/20-05/03/20- Baby Chicks (Our first farm animals!)
Week 49- 06/29/20-07/05/20- Portable Building (The business moves to the farm!)
This concludes our first year on the small farm we now call home and what a year it has been. We finally have our business here, lock, stock, and barrel and David and I are loving the commute! Thank you to all who have read our year one blog of farm life. (I know a year is 52 weeks but we didn't buy the farm until the middle of week one and the anniversary was in the middle of week 53. LOL!
First lesson: It always takes a lot longer to get things done than what they say. (True example: If they tell you they will be here on Monday, they mean a Monday two or three weeks out.)
Second lesson: It always costs way more than you expect it will because of unexpected stuff that you haven't thought of. We have spent a ton of unnecessary money such as the generator and propane gas which is extremely expensive. We had a good savings account but not so much now. That means we have to scrimp and save all over again
Third lesson: Don't set up a small farm in the summer in Texas; it is just too hot. It will be in the hundreds for the next eight weeks. Combined with the humidity, that makes for miserable days and nights.
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