Sunday, August 19, 2012


(click on any pic to enlarge)
On August 15, 2012, God blessed us with the finalization of the purchase of 5 acres of raw Florida palmetto prairieland.  This has been a much-anticipated, prayed-for, worked-for, and hoped-for occasion!!!!  We thank God for directing us, helping us through the waiting times and the interminable dead-ends along the way.  In His hands are our dreams in one big bundle, so many of which are beautifully able to take wings by arriving at this stage!  We are joyful!!!  Please share in our joy!!

We stop and give Him thanks for His guidance, which has been very specific, and has been worth the wait.  We thank Him for this day of New Things, and offer the special prayer traditionally said when something new is being witnessed for the first time...

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu, Melech ha Olam, shehekianu, v’kiamanu, v’higianu l’zman hazeh.
Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has sustained us, protected us and brought us safely to this moment.

We pray that no matter what happens from this point forward, that God will help us use this land for good, to bless others, and bring honor to His Name.  We want others to experience the peace and beauty of His natural world.  We want to see what new doors will open as we continue to learn and interact with nature, to continue in a simpler lifestyle, to live according to the Torah and to return to the forgotten paths.  I especially want to continue to learn the healing qualities of our native plants and rediscover available forgotten foods.

To pray, play, breathe clean air, and include others!

These pictures were taken in June.  This raw land will be developed minimally and responsibly, and enjoyed!  I hope to catalog in photographs and writings the different plant species here and to research their uses and needs.  There is little to no grassland on the property, so this will determine some of the ways we choose to use the land ultimately.  It will be altered, but not cleared in totality.  We want to maintain the regional habitat and work within its characteristics, not against them.

We are so happy that the land is high and dry.  It's hard to get a true perspective of distance and such in these photos.  The palmetto scrub comes to about waist or chest high.  There are a few mature pines, and many young ones here and there.  And lots and lots of open sky.  It's quiet enough to hear insects buzz, birds sing, frogs sing a chorus.  I can only imagine what the night sky is like (can't wait to find out!)

In the pockets where there are not tightly-bunched palmettos, there is such diversity of wild plants, it's going to keep me busy learning as many as I can!  Wildflowers are tucked everywhere, and there are plenty of signs of wild turkey, wild boars, deer, rabbits, and other abundant wildlife.

And, importantly to us, there is available electric already on the road!!!  This will help us transition ultimately from where we are to this more remote area more smoothly and is a nice option even though we hope to be self-sufficient enough some day to be able to be off grid if we want to or have to.  It's nice to have choices!

Another very important thing to us was to have direct access to the property.  That sounds simplistic, but through our past experiences (other posts, not this one) we learned not to take that for granted in Florida.  What the state real estate law is and what is actual land sale practice are still not always on the same page in the here and now in Florida.  This land is RIGHT ON the road with no need for an easement through anyone else's property.  YEEE HAW!!  In this area, there are not many power lines anywhere.  It was unusual to find one with electric access, especially one without other issues, too.  Can we say YAYYY, GOD???!!!

In rural Florida, environmental  restrictions and things classified as wetlands can render a property either encumbered by endless paperwork without a sure outcome or other complications that would mean it's not build-able.  We definitely wanted a property that could be built on without those  hindrances or uncertain outcomes.  We also needed to find somewhere that did not have very restrictive building codes.  We'd have preferred NO building codes, but we feel we can work within the ones in this area. 

And it really helped that we did not have to put our own road in.  That would have been an additional expense, and since we are pay-as-we-go-with-cash folks (and cash poor, but very determined!) it's GREAT that the road was able to be navigated and had been built and maintained by the neighbor who lived farther down it.  The same neighbor who had the original electric lines put in.  Give that man a gold medal!!
Running electric lines out here is so cost prohibitive it's the reason we had to pass by other properties nearby.
Again, YAYYY, God for helping us find this one!!!

No standing water in roadside ditches, even after two months of rain.  High and dry, baby!!  The other thing we wanted (notice how the list had a LOT of wants??) was a property that could be used for agriculture.  We didn't want one limited to a certain number of animals, or that could only be used for horses, and so on.  That's the rub where we live right now...we are in an area zoned residential whose covenants forbid any animals but cats and dogs (etc) to be kept, even though right across the street it's zoned for anything and we can hear the roosters crowing in the morning.  Sheer torture for a gal like me who has dreamed of keeping chickens!  I can have as many chickens as I want on this property, YAHOOO!!!!

There's the electric pole Jack was so happy to see!  It's also the boundary marker.  There'll be more pictures to come batteries were dead at the last visit (argggh) but that won't happen twice!

THANK YOU for those of you who have followed our journey at different points along the way, and for your encouragement.  For those of you who are newer here, we expected this to happen for us when I began the blog in 2007.  SO SO much has happened since then, and a lot of things happened that could not be put here lest in the telling it jeopardize our negotiations at the time.  Or just get too personal in public.  But there is much backstory that can now be told.  I hope to tell some of it if it's relevant now that we have land.  Suffice it to say, it's a dream I've handed back and back to God, time and again.  After all, life is in the Now, and it does not hinge on whether a person owns land or not.  The moment is so important and we can plan for the future and work towards our dreams, but we are only given today and have to make sure we actually LIVE in it.

So there was a lot of hope deferred and this blog lagged greatly in my times of shrugging off disappointment or just getting on with the everyday here.  Sometimes I just didn't want to keep repeating myself.  But THANK YOU, at whatever point you joined the conversation here, for hanging in there with us.  We'll continue forward just as we have been...a step at a time.

This is just such a JOYFUL STEP!!!!!!!!!!!!


Much love from our household to yours.  We make our Homesteads right in this moment and take them with us no matter what our location or situation.  It's a mindset and lifestyle, as varied and diverse as our individuality.  We look forward to continue learning alongside you.  Thank you for sharing in the happiness of our next new step!

Robbyn and Jack