Mr. Adventure Rich and I were thrilled when we bought our dream home and property last year. Ten beautiful farmland and wooded acres with the “right-sized” house located towards the back of the property, creating a private, pristine setting for what we hope is our family’s “forever home”.
The Property Dilemma
While we counted down to closing day with bated breath, the enormity of our decision began to settle on us. In a single signing, not only did we become first time home owners, we also became the owners of 10 acres. This is a big leap that we are still learning to navigate as we plot out our future plans for our property.
A large portion of our property is comprised of two large poplar tree lined fields divided down the middle by our driveway. Mr. Adventure Rich found a used riding lawn mower for our basic mowing needs, but taking care of the front fields would require a bit more horsepower… trying to mow the fields with that little mower would take several days! Not to mention, there was still an entire yard area surrounding the house which we wanted to clean up and utilize as well… where to begin?!?
Visiting our Neighbors
In the midst of our moving madness, Mr. Adventure Rich roasted some coffee and whipped up a batch of cookies. We figured it would be a nice gesture to swing by with the treats and introduce ourselves to our new neighbors (some of whom didn’t even know about our move since our house was listed on Craigslist and is remotely located!).
On a cold, November evening, we embarked out to meet our neighbors. After visiting with one welcoming neighbor, we made our way over to meet the cow farmers bordering the opposite side of our property. A jolly man greeted us with a loud “Hello!” and a big wave as he emerged from his barn. The cows were in for feeding and he brought us into the warm, dimly lit outbuilding to see his “girls” chow away at dinner.
After a few minutes of chatting, our neighbor made a proposal.
“Now, completely your call, but would you be interested in allowing me to hay your field next summer? Basically, you’d let the grass grow up and I’ll hay it for some extra feed for me cows.”
To sweeten the deal, he added:
“I’d be willing to offer half a pig worth of meat in return for the use of your land.”
It took us a hot minute to reply that this sounded like a great plan! We took a day or two to sleep on it, but we called our neighbor back and accepted his offer.
And I am pleased to announce that the deal went really well! We allowed the fields to grow tall and our neighbor drove his tractor over to harvest the hay in mid-July. Our fields were taken care of and put to good use while we were able to focus on improving other parts of our property in Year 1. And the pork that will be delivered for to our freezer in the near future? That was just icing on the cake (or maybe, “fat on the bacon”? 😉 )
Does anyone else have interesting or unique agreements with your neighbors (or anyone else)?
Always an Adventure,
Mrs. Adventure Rich