Monday, September 13, 2010

What Did We Get?

Here are some specifics about the farm:
In size, it is about 250 feet by 250 feet. That's about 62000 sq ft or 1 1/2 acres.
It is zoned agricultural and is in an area that was formerly a large dairy farm. In fact, there is still some dairy being practiced in the area. The land has been sold off originally in 5 to 20 acre parcels which have later been divided into pieces as small as 1/2 acre. There is some very dense development near by and eventually the area will probably all become high density housing.
The farm is only about 1/2 mile west of Interstate 5, the major transportation corridor along the western US. Between the farm and I-5 is also the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad. So this is really a rapidly changing area.
The soils are quite sandy and very well drained, unlike our last gardening spot. This will require that we work to incorporate organic matter into the soil and will probably mean that we will have a watering problem in August thru October.
The house and outbuilding occupy about half an acre. We plan to rent the house and 1/2 acre to someone who is hopefully compatible with us in values.
We will reserve the outbuilding and 1/2 acre of land for our own use. We will garden and probably keep a few chickens. This is what must be called a 'Hobby Farm.' Our intention is not to make money, but rather to feed ourselves and have some to give away to our friends and the Food Bank.
The house is a 90-year-old farm house that is really in pretty good shape. It needs some minor foundation re-work but that's about all. It has been remodeled recently and the interior is in beautiful condition. The exterior looks good because it has vinyl siding. If I were to do anything major to the house, I would remove the vinyl siding and put on something like Hardi-plank.
The outbuilding consists of a 5-car carport, a 2-room shop and a small barn, all in one building. Construction is cement block and frame. It is in very good condition and is supplied by 100-amps of electricity, but no water.
There is a row of cedar trees -- planted about 25 years ago, I'd guess -- lining the north and east sides of the property. Otherwise, the land is open to sunlight. This is perfect for the Northwest where our mornings are often cloudy anyway.

The Name

Along the road in front of the farm is a long row of pink roses that bloom all summer with very little care. We have learned that these are Simplicity roses, an old rose variety. The seller tells us that they have been there a long, long time. After mulling over several names, we decided that the farm should be called simply Simplicity Rose Farm.

July 2010: We buy the farm

Click on the above arial image for a larger view of the farm.
I'm starting this blog in September since it took us a while to pick a good name for the farm. In this ans subsequent entries my intention will be to bring the reader up to date on our activities and plans with this farm.
We bought the farm after a year-long search for a small )less than 2 acres) place with good, well-drained soil and excellent sun exposure within 15 miles of where we live in Everett, WA. We wanted a place where we could have a large garden, park an RV and invest money in a way that we feel is productive. Simplicity Rose Farm meets those criteria.