A Farm on 30 Acres

11

August 28, 2016 by Mike Oscar Hotel

We bought a farm on 30 acres here in Maine and moved in a two weeks ago.  Half of it is open fields and brush and the other half is well forested and has been mismanaged for a long period of time.  When unpacking, I decided to take inventory of what I have and don’t have to help me through the situation.

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Lots of axes and a few handsaws.  Don’t worry; there’s a 59cc chainsaw as well, which isn’t pictured.  I do need to pick up a peavey.  Somewhere in the move, I lost mine.  Not sure how you misplace a peavey, but if anyone can do it, it’s me.

I took my first hike to the back of the property and into the woods.  I brought the boys along, just so we could take stock of what resources we have back there and so that they could get a sense of what is now theirs.  I figure we’ll clear brush and branches this fall and get in there to cut firewood this winter.  I’m going to try to twitch the wood out with a small snowmobile.  Our farm is currently being farmed organically by a neighbor.  Here’s what he’s doing with the cabbage.  You should see the tomatoes and peppers!

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We hiked into the woods.  Lots of conifers and most of the hardwood is small and young.  We saw a lot of situations like the picture below.  I was actually really excited to see so much blown-over timber because we’re going to need dry firewood and I don’t want to buy any this year.

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Below, you can see newer growth coming up under older trees.  Some of the older trees need to be thinned to allow the smaller ones to come up through.  I’d say some of the smaller ones need to be thinned as well.

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I saw a lot of duff disturbances like the one pictured below.  I’m attributing them to skunks.  I think they’re nosing around, looking for grubs or other things to eat.  I suppose a bear might do it as well, but I didn’t see any sign or scat.

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Most of the boundaries are defined by rock walls.  This area is still farmed heavily and was back when the house was built in 1900.  I love the rock walls.  There’s a lot of work and character in them.  Think about all of that sweat.

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Many piles of deer scat.  I’d like to think they are from multiple deer, but my feeling is more that it’s one deer that’s heavily haunting the area.  I plan to get a game camera at some point to find out if we’re dealing with a buck or a doe.  Doe hunting in Maine is on a lottery system.  I missed the resident deadline by about a week.

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No farm would be complete without it’s own swamp, right?

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Not sure what the bone is from.  If I had to guess, I’d say it was from a fawn deer.

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Not a bad hike.  Stay tuned.  We’ve got a lot to deal with, including wormy apples, a collapsing roof on a shed, bush hogging and more.

 

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike Oscar Hotel

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11 thoughts on “A Farm on 30 Acres

  1. Michael says:

    Hey Mark, glad you are back updating the blog with recent news. The land looks great. Nice to have a neighbor already working it. That should prove convenient.

    • There’s no money changing hands over it, which I think is cool. Word is, he lets us take what we need, though I haven’t spoken to him directly. I told my wife that his presence keeps us from having to bush hog a large portion of it. That alone is worth it, to me. Just got your email. Will reply soon. Just started nights on the job!

  2. Rick Searles says:

    So it looks like you’ve moved onto a good place…how’s the house, anyway?

    • The house is good. 5 bed, 2 bath. About 2,300 sq. ft. 2/3 of it was built in 1900, the other 1/3 was built in 2000. So it’s got old horse hair plaster walls and some brand new stuff. We’re going to fix up the old stuff. We had to get out of Auburn. As much as I tried to like it……I didn’t. We’re about 40 minutes inland from Rockland. Beautiful farming community!

      • Brian says:

        Welcome back to Maine! Been following this blog for a few years to see how Colorado wears on a Mainer, glad to see more updates. I was happily surprised when you showed up in my RSS feed again.
        We’re somewhat close to you, off 95 halfway between Augusta and Bangor. You definitely need to check out the Common Grounds fair next month. I also recommend FedCo Trees company for getting fruit stock. Looking forward to seeing more about your homestead.

      • Awesome, Brain. Good to hear from you. The MOFGA fair was actually the first subject my wife talked to me this morning. I’ve been once before, but it was a long time ago. Can’t wait to go again. We’ve got 16 apple trees (all wormy this year), blackberries out the wazoo, and some blueberries. Do you have any other suggestions on fruit trees? That’s something I really want to invest time in. Just not sure what grows and what doesn’t.

      • Brian says:

        Yes we have apple trees too, some old heritage varieties we haven’t identified yet. No worms though which is good, but I have talked to someone who does. We only have 1 to 2 feet of top soil on bedrock, so this year we got some dwarf trees- an Asian pear, 4 in 1 pear (grafted together) and a necturine. Time will tell. We have a friend who has several large peach trees.
        We also are trying grapes and hardy kiwis. We hadn’t heard of hardys until last year, but they are a smaller version of the kiwi you see in the stores and you do not need to peel the skin. They are grape sized and will survive winters here. They are a vine like a grape and take several years to grow the trunk and the cordon branches.

  3. Rick Searles says:

    By the way, what town are you in? Last I read you were in Auburn area I think.

  4. kjsgarden says:

    Beautiful land, awesome possibilities! I can really see your kids growing up exploring this place, loving it, making great memories.

  5. […] Source: A Farm on 30 Acres | The Tiny Homesteaders […]

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