Decision Has Been Made Part Two

This is another picture of our stuck tractor when I went to get our truck unstuck. It was a bad first day at the farm.

This is another picture of our stuck tractor when I went to get our truck unstuck. It was a bad first day at the farm.

In this post as promised, I will finish my last post “The decision has been made” and after this you will know which way we are going to go regarding our farm. I thought I was going to have some exciting news to tell you all but it didn’t happen like we had hoped. Someone once said something like “Its your attitude that makes something an ordeal or an adventure.” Right now, things sometimes seems like an ordeal but I am sure when we look back on it all in a few years we will think it was an adventure.

I am not going to bore you all with the details of what happened the other two days. I will sum it up by saying with over two inches of rain in two days we couldn’t get the concrete poured in our pole barn until Friday. It was just too muddy up on our building site to get a concrete truck in there so we ended up staying in Iowa two days longer than we had planned. I also won’t bore you with the poor communication we had with our cement contractor or how he cut a few corners that we may regret later.

This is a picture of our new concrete floor in our pole barn. We had to have 3 truck loads of gravel brought in to put in a drive way so the cement truck wouldn't get stuck.

This is a picture of our new concrete floor in our pole barn. We had to have 3 truck loads of gravel brought in to put in a drive way so the cement truck wouldn’t get stuck in the mud from all the rain.

With all the rain delays we did have some extra time on our hands and my friend Tom told me about a home for sale inside Stephens State Forest that was only three miles from our farm and he suggested I buy it and still keep my farm and live there. He said, “you could raise cattle on the farm and then bring them back to this house for the winter because it had a barn with a two acre pasture,” a lot of farmers do this around these parts he said. When he first told me about the place a few days before we got to our farm I really didn’t have any interest in seeing it. But after having the 3 really bad days that we just had and seeing how weather and dealing with contractors can be I was a little more open to the idea and I thought what the heck it won’t hurt to look at it.

It was a gorgeous spot right on the edge of the forest and it had mature trees all around with beautiful fall colors and a three car garage and a pole barn with stalls set up for horses. It had grape vines and apple trees and the house looked good on the out side, and more importantly my wife liked it. This was a first, we have looked at least a dozen farms and every time my wife kills the deal because she doesn’t like the house. We called the listing realtor and they showed us the house on the inside and we knew it needed some work but still liked it enough to put an offer in on it. After a few back and forth price changes the sellers and us agreed on a price. You don’t know how excited we were, here I wouldn’t have to do the daunting task of building a home from the ground up but only have to remodel which I have done a half dozen times before and I would be able to start farming that much sooner. I felt like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders.


The drive way leading up top the house we made an offer on.

The drive way leading up top the house we made an offer on.

We drove the 5 and a half hours back to Iowa this past weekend to be there for the home inspection. Sadly the inspection didn’t go so well, I don’t want to say much about it all except to say the sellers and us couldn’t agree on what they were willing to fix and that is what killed the deal.

We were both really bummed because we really loved the spot, but like I promised you and my wife, we have settled on which way we are now going to go. We have decided to build the log home from Meadow Valley Log Homes. I am going to go with what I have always dreamed of even though I know its going to be a lot of work, but nothing worth while has ever been easy.  Our log house will be part of my family’s legacy and my wife and I will take a picture of us in front of the house so someday my descendants will look on the pictures years from now to get a since of how there gg grandparents were.

Now tell me, who thought I was going to give up my dream of being a farmer?



About Gordon Milligan

I am a retired conductor for a commuter railroad in Chicago IL, I now live in and have bought a 40 acre farm in South Central Iowa that I have built from the ground up. My wife and I are trying to raise and grow most of my own food using sustainible and organic methods. I have a blog that journals my journey to becoming a farmer.
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21 Responses to Decision Has Been Made Part Two

  1. Langela says:

    I didn’t think you’d give up your dream, I just thought you’d move it to another location. I’m sorry it didn’t work out with the other house. The sellers may still come back if the home sits for too long. ??? All this time spent in Iowa and we still haven’t seen you guys! I guess I’ll have to wait until you two move here. 🙂

    • Langela says:

      I looked up the listing on that place. It looked so nice for you!

      • It does look really nice Langela but there was some problems and we figured if we have to tear out and replace those things we might as well build new. I don’t want to say what they are because these people still have to sell the house and they are our neighbors. We plan to live in this community for a long time and don’t want to insult anyone.

        We will have to get together someday when we move there, I would like that a lot.

  2. Zephyr Hill says:

    I wasn’t sure, Gordon, you had me a little bit worried. I was afraid maybe some financial crisis had intervened or you’d been hurt in an accident or . . . I’m so thankful none of that happened! Wow, have you guys been through some rough times! Between the tractor getting stuck (I hope it’s out now), problems with the cement contractor for your pole barn, and having to have gravel down for a driveway–you have really had to overcome some adversity. On the bright side, your pole barn looks great–here’s hoping it functions great, too!

    What an incredible story with all the ups and downs. You kept me hanging till the end! Let’s just say in case farming doesn’t work out, you might try a career as a suspense novelist! 🙂 I’m really sorry that the other little farm didn’t work out. Gee whiz, if we were so lucky as to have an offer on our Alabama farm, we would TOTALLY work with buyers! Farms are just not selling that hot for a seller to be so difficult. It sounds like a lose-lose situation, and I’m really sorry about it.

    I’m glad you both have a plan, though, and your log house looks lovely. That will be another adventure, and we’ll all just hope it goes smoother than this last one. I’m so excited for you to see your countdown getting so close to 6 months. When that happens, I bet you’ll be so busy, you’ll wish you could slow the clock down!

    • Thanks for your kind a generous comment Susan. I don’t think I could ever make it as a novelist, they way I spell and the grammar I use is not novelist material. Plus writing really doesn’t come easy to me.
      I didn’t know you are trying to sell a farm in Alabama. You should do a post about it on your blog, I would love to see that.

  3. grasspunk says:

    How come you don’t park a mobile home on your land and get going now? It’s what I would do, four kids n all.

    • Thanks Brent, I would do that to if my wife would let me, but she says no manufactured homes. Actually we have looked at those and with the material they use it really has a lot of off gassing and my wife is very sensitive to those kind of things.

      • grasspunk says:

        Gordon, no need to thank me because my question looks rather impudent on second reading, Maybe I am using the terminology incorrectly, but a second hand trailer thing with wheels that is tiny but livable. Live in that, get the farm going and then build the real thing. But I get where you’re coming from. You both have to be keen in order to put up with the deprivations.

      • That’s a good idea Brent, you and I would do it but I don’t know if the wives would be so willing. She would probably tell me to call her when the house is done:)

      • purlygirl2 says:

        Hey, I’m right here!

  4. Jewels says:

    A log home sounds absolutely dreamy Gordon! Best wishes as the two of you move forward on that! 🙂

    • Thanks Julie, we have been buying lots of stuff that would fit into a log home and if the sale of that house would have went through, a lot of that stuff wouldn’t have fit or worked.

  5. Jocelyn says:

    Yay! The best of both worlds! A pole “barn” and a log home! Fantastic. Must feel great to have that decision. I didn’t think you were giving up farming…..I thought…how much worse could it get. I did chuckle (at the end)! That is a lot of !#*% they went through. Congratulations!

  6. Hope says:

    Great job, Gordon! I am in admiration of your persistence to accomplish your goals. I am peanut butter and jealous!

  7. Carol says:

    Gordon, I will admit it, I thought you were going to give up the farm after the day you had. Although I will tell you I was laying on Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota with my husband and daughter when I read your post. All I could think was you need a vacation! A log home sounds wonderful for the farm. Congratulations! -Carol

  8. Thanks Carol, I wished I was spending my vacation on a beach in Sarasota instead of working on our farm for our vacations like we have done the last 4 years. We usually enjoy working on the farm but I have to admit it wasn’t fun this last time. We sure could use a vacation but It doesn’t look like we will get one this next year either because the real work will be about to began this coming year.

    • purlygirl2 says:

      It got better before it was over. We spent some time in Des Moines, I bought yarn. We went to the History Museum and got some culture, I bought yarn. We stayed in a little log cabin one night and I bought some yarn. 🙂

  9. Bill says:

    I wasn’t expecting the surprise ending. 🙂 Sorry for all the ups and downs along the way but I have a feeling you’re going to be glad that you’re living on your farm instead of 3 miles from it. While I’m sure you would have made the best of the other situation (and saved yourself a lot of work and headaches) it sounds like you’re at peace that you’ve made the best long-term decision. I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures in a year or so when you’re happily settled in!

    • Thanks Bill, we do feel at peace now that we have made the decision to build the log home. I am glad we will be waking up to the view of our pond and Forest every morning instead of driving 3 miles to see those views and I can just look out the window to see how the cows are doing. In my heart I believe we have made the right choice.

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