Finding the Farm

I’ve been dreaming of buying my own chunk of dirt for almost 20 years. You’d think that growing up in a rural community I’d be thinking, “Hey! Why don’t I start a farm?” But really, I just wanted somewhere to stretch out and have a few apple trees.

Originally, I was thinking of buying a piece of land back in my home state of New York. I watched real estate there in the mid 1990’s. I found several multi-acre chunks of land for very reasonable prices. I fantasized about purchasing one, then I watched land prices inflate beyond my ability to purchase more than a small bit of an acre.

So, I settled on a small suburban lot in Utah and put in a garden. Not quite a hobby farm, but I got plenty of experience dealing with bugs and weeds. My dream of land wasn’t crushed, just deferred.

A few years ago,  I determined that I wanted a hobby farm with a small orchard, and chickens, rabbits, and ducks. I decided I wanted to grow and eat my own food. So, I began looking at land, again.

This time, I looked at land around Utah. I wanted something with seasons (other than hot and really hot.) I also realized I needed to keep my “day job,” so I needed something close enough to home that I could drive there on one tank of gas. Those requirements narrowed down my search to northern Utah, southern Idaho, and southwestern Wyoming.

Finding the Farm
A beautiful eight acre lot in Bear Lake County that we wanted to buy.

Probably my favorite location is Bear Lake on the Idaho side. The land  there is reasonably priced. The weather isn’t too cold—actually it’s very similar to the New England village I grew up in. The land is already cleared and well used for pastures and farming. I love the whole area.

Doing a little planning and dreaming, I realized I need between 1.5 and five acres. I’m not looking for a full-blown farm, just a nice small hobby farm. The parcels that size up in Bear Lake County are reasonably priced and absolutely perfect for what I want to create.

Unfortunately, I’m not a rich man. The reality of having a daughter in college, and three more on their way to college or trade school means reasonably priced land is still out of reach. What I need is some dirt cheap dirt.

So, I looked around some more. I’ve been looking at property in the region for several years, and knew how to find land. I also knew I’m not getting any younger. If I look too many more years, I’ll be a grandfather.

Weird.

Finally I settled on a dirt cheap piece of dirt … and sage. Not exactly the pastoral lands of Bear Lake, but we have to work with what we have. I can afford the land, and I still have a strong back. My wife and I expect to sign for the land within the next few days.

Wish us luck!

Finding the Farm
The piece of dirt and sage we could afford. It’s not much, but it’s ours.
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