After some searching and not finding the right place to buy, I decided that it would be a good idea to look for land to lease for 2012 so that I could take my time finding the perfect permanent home for the garden. After contacting many, many local farmers and being told no time and time again, I turned to Craigslist.
I put up an ad asking for 2 acres to lease for the season and although I got a lot of responses, once I explained all that I wanted to do on the land, again I was told no many, many times. Then I talked to Mike Barker, who told me that I could use the land that I am currently on, and even better, I could use it for free as long as I used organic practices. What a deal, right?
Well, like all great deals, there was a catch, and it was a catch that I didn't find out until I had been working long days for a couple of weeks. Mike didn't exactly own the land, his uncle did and Mike and his uncle were in the process of taking their disputed piece of land (upon which my garden had taken residence) to court.
But, after talking to Uncle Earl - now landlord Earl, I was told I could continue to work on the land for the season, but now I would have to pay rent to him. That all seems fair, so I continued to work and all seems fine for the time being.
I am keeping my fingers crossed.
The moral of the story, I guess, is don't take people's word for things on Craigslist, or you will become embroiled in a bitter family land dispute. I guess that isn't the worst thing that has happened to someone on Craigslist. ;)
Anyway, I am getting settled in and green things that I want to come out of the ground (and greenhouse) are starting to pop up. I have also had the chance to get to know some of my neighbors. Mike's parents live on the land adjacent to mine and have goats, sheep and cows that regularly come around the fence line and say hello. We are in an otherwise quiet valley so when some of the cows moo, it seems louder than any moo I have ever heard before. Maybe it is a special kind of loud cow, I don't know. There are baby sheep that are adorable and not interested in standing still long enough for me to take a picture of them but I was able to catch this baby goat sunbathing:
I also found out that all of those holes I have been seeing are probably occupied by things that look like this:
I will start taking pictures of things I am growing soon. Stay tuned.