our new home

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We are now five days from moving in at last to our new home in a secluded valley just north of Corvallis, Oregon. It has been roughly six months since the idea first emerged of moving to Oregon, back in early April. The intervening time has been amazing, frustrating, inspiring, and tedious. We are so glad to be almost home.

The new property is incredible. Almost five acres, including pine forest, sloping meadows, riparian forest, cattail/sedge wetlands, a year-round creek, and some of the most glorious dead trees ever.

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The mossy, lichen-strewn snags are rooted in wetlands that were flooded by beavers. The large branches loom overhead. What interesting life forms live up there? Are there owls?

More than an acre of the property is wetlands, including the cattail marsh below the trees. The inactive electric tape fences are being removed, so that the wetlands can be one single span of nature. We have not yet managed to get to the creek because the wetlands are so dense. An early project is to carefully construct a sustainable, ecologically safe trail into the marsh, down to the creek, and back up the other side.

Up by the road there is a slice of native pine woodlands. Every large branch is covered with moss and lichens.

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Standing among the trees, one can clearly feel the cool, peaceful flow of forest energies.

Another treasure is the riparian forest. This gets flooded often in the winter. What will it look like after a fresh snowfall?

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A narrow footpath now leads through one section of the riparian forest. It twists and turns, revealing new surprises around every bend.

A large part of the upper area is overgrazed horse meadow. Currently it is massively degraded, stomped into reddish cement by years of grazing. Still, there are quite a few species of plants growing here.

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The plan for the meadow is to grow a food forest using permaculture principles with swales and berms to catch the rains and create varying microclimates. There will be fruit trees, vines, herbs, root crops, and more. Paths will wind among the trees, giving human access to the abundance.

The horses visible in the photo below will be gone by the end of next week. We do not plan to replace them.

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Our new home in the country. We are eager to arrive and settle in!

We move in for real on October 2. After that day we will be Really Quite Busy with thousands of tasks to begin to shape the property into what we would like it to be.

During that time there might not be much energy for blogging, but there is something else to share in these pages while we get ourselves situated. We’ve been staying at a rental house in South Eugene these past few months, and it’s been a blast getting to know Oregon, its neighborhoods, its ecosystems, and its people. Watch these pages for a series of pre-queued posts from our stay in Eugene, Oregon…

…and when the time is right, the next posts from our new country home near Corvallis, our private nature preserve, our long-term commitment to creating a more sustainable life and a more beautiful planet.

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2 thoughts on “our new home

  1. I hope you’ll tell us when you’re taking in seed for the Spring. There’s not a lot of time – do you plan on rolling out areas in the food meadow according to a plan? Dependent on rain, etc. I have Scarlet Runner seed from a three-year-old plant.

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    • The food forest will be installed gradually at first. We are not in a big hurry, and the seasons and weather will partly determine what gets done when.

      First we need to prepare the ground, digging with forks to loosen the soil but not fully turning it over. We have a lot (A LOT!) of horse manure (from the previous owners) which will be spread on the meadow to begin restoring fertility. We’ll build a few swales and berms once the ground gets moist from the rains, and add step-stone paths along them.

      As for planting, we’d like to get some fruit trees in during the winter. Then in the spring, we can begin adding shrubs, vines, herbs, and root crops. All in time with the seasons.

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