Thursday, January 5, 2012

'The Property'

Over the past year I've had a few questions about 'The Property' in Alabama. Who owns it and why we are there so much. Why we work so hard there and why we call it 'ours'. So this post is all about the property. I have some aerials (luck you!) taken about 2 or 3 years ago - courtesy of Google!

This is the property:
It is located in Barbour county. Southeast Alabama. It's over 100  acres and it's an old peanut farm. I wish the picture could show the real terrain. It's hilly and craggy and just beautiful... but I do have some old pictures I can dig up somewhere to show you those. Of course it would help if some maniacal beast hadn't broken my external hard drive (TWICE!) but, I digress. I'm sure I can find SOME photos. ;-)
Anyway. the outline in orange is what our family owns. That doesn't mean me. That means my parents. I don't stand a chance at inheriting a dime, but this - this is worth far more than money to me. AND - this year (OK -2011) my parents and I made sure that was taken care of. The property is now entirely mortgage free and in the will to myself and my children, and their children. THAT means no one can turn key it. No one can turn around and sell it in 300 individual plots to the highest bidders and make it some development. Not in my lifetime, and not in my children's lifetime.

You know what that makes me? HAPPY! :-D SOOOO HAPPY!  *Doing the happy dance* 'Cause I just hit the frikkin lifetime Lotto. The Lotto for my kids- and their kids!

OK back to the property. The swirly patterns are the areas that have been planted (6 or 7 years ago now) in trees. This has been turned into a tree farm. The easiest type of farm for my parents to take care of going into their retirement. A wise decision if you ask me. Not only for them, but for us as well. It allows us to continue to be able to care for the land and the fields on a nearly quarterly basis when we can get there.  They just need to do a few things here and there and hire someone monthly to run out the tractor and either till or spray. (fields only, not the trees) Low cost and low upkeep.
There are several key features here I'd like to point out so I'll do some close ups...

This is the homestead. The silver building with the brown stripe is the barn... hmmm - Let me pull this into photoshop. I'll be right back.............................................................
                          Bet you didn't even miss me, did ya?
OK - so This picture might explain things a little better. The Barn, the Main House is my parents place. It was built in the late 1800's. They revamped it about 2 years ago. I posted some pictures about it. They did a great job on the place and literally went board by board so they could keep the majority of the same wood original. They did replace the glass but kept a lot of the old doors and locks (they don't REALLY lock but you can see by the aerials it's not like there are many people around to worry with. LOL. Our place is a trailer that we've put a real roof on and siding over the front so it looks, well - more like a house. But, lets get real it still looks like a trailer. Our intentions are to keep it for as long as it last being shut up all summer the way it is. We'll then build a small cabin with a loft for the kids to sleep in. Meanwhile we'll be doing some repairs to the trailer as the first signs of deterioration are fast approaching from the heat. The cheapo particle board cabinets that came with it are warping and will need replaced soon, and that is only the first of the repairs that will start.

Anyway-  The purple circles are the main pecan trees. There are several more- but those are not harvested regularly as they are too far towards the woods or in a gully, etc. These trees are the ones we get our pecans from. We only get our pecans AFTER the harvest. We don't take from the main harvest as it isn't our property and there are usually plenty that come down after the main harvest. This year we got 72 pounds!!! There is still 2 of the trees that are usually our late trees that have nuts on them that will continue to provide for the them if they want to get out there and make a few more dollars. ;-)

The blue fluerdelies? (Oh, WOW I butchered the spelling)They are the areas for open foraging. Blackberries, plums, persimmons, and a few other things like may haw and huckleberries. We used to hay in here but with no livestock any more it just doesn't make sense. Besides I really enjoy the berries there and now that we go and package for the freezer when we are up in the summer my parents are glad to have them too.

Other points of interest that help manage our herd and our/our parents lifestyle:
Of course when the picture was taken the fields weren't fully in. Right now the corn is all down and the wheat is all bent. The rye is brilliant colored and the brassicas are just happy to be cool. 
Adjacent to our property is 300 acres that belong to a generous man who also believes in managing land for wildlife and replanting when possible. We lease his property from him for a minimal amount each year and in return he allows us to use some of his trails and streams and to hunt during season. Its a win-win situation as he needs access to his landlocked property and the easiest access is from our entrance.

So the areas you see shaded in pink are the areas that we 'lease' from him. Once a year we have a meeting sign a paper and shake hands. he hands 'us' money for use of the road, 'we' hand him money for use of his fields and all is right with the world. I love neighbors like that. Additionally, he doesn't even live there. Gotta really like that! So, in the entire picture you see is my place, my parents and one other home that belongs to a military guy. He's quiet and rarely seen, if he's ever home. He's got 3 horses.
The cows that resided across the way on the old Peel farm recently moved. I miss them. When I'm there that is. I loved hearing them and seeing them. It's kinda lonely with no 'neighbors' mooing from the front door or while I'm making dinner. (across the street)
Random pictures:


As for those 72 pounds of pecans? (massive subject change because I ran into the pictures) They have completely and thoroughly taken over my life and my kitchen... UGH. I'm about SICK of them. Not sick of eating them (yet) but sick of seeing them and of cleaning up after them. Sick of cracking them, picking them, roasting them and picking up after them....

My husband is completely obsessed and won't stop. I see his point. I do. I mean, I don't want to waste them either but - REALLY - there isn't even room to eat dinner on the table any more. And my counters are covered, too. I'll save that picture for Harvest Monday since it's been so long. Off to try to make a birthday cake for my honey - Guess I'll sprinkle some pecans on top!

'Till next time!



  1. Barbie: I love your property! Is the plan to move there full time in the future? My son planted two hundred acres of pecans a few years ago..we won't have a huge harvest for a couple more years...but for now, I have more than enough for me, my friends and family and to sell. I love cracking them out...I also crack out my 40 English walnut trees.

  2. The future, yes - but it would be the distant future. Like after the kids are done with college/early retirement OR if something happened with our jobs. THIS would be self sustainable. The cost of living here is very minimal. The feilds would be 50/50 for us/profit and small farm animals would be brought in for us. (chickens/goats, etc)

    40 Walnuts! Wow! I get sick of pecans from only 10 trees. I can't fathom!!!