Farm Report April 2015


New camper at our farm

We were at our farm this past week and I am very excited because it was the first time we spent the night on our land and we got a lot of things accomplished like getting electric, water, and more rock on our driveway and I want to share how it all come about. Just like any construction job things don’t always go without problems and this trip was no exception.
Camping on our farm
Until this past week we had never stayed overnight on our land because we didn’t have a camper and I am too old to sleep in a tent (and so is my wife…her words not mine) so we always stayed in Chariton at the Motel 8. We had never experienced a sunrise or sunset on our land before and I wish we had bought this camper when we first bought our farm. It was great sitting around a camp fire and seeing all the stars at night and each sunrise and sunset was truly amazing.

This is our electric pole with our transformer  and 220 amp box.

This is our electric pole with our transformer and 220 amp box.

Before we got to our farm this past week I contacted the water and electric companies weeks earlier and had them go out to our farm so they could give us an estimate of what it would cost to have them put electric and water in. I just wanted an estimate and then have it scheduled to be put in when we were going to be at our farm so we could make sure everything was put in where we wanted it. Somehow the electric company didn’t follow our wishes and put the pole in some time before we arrived. When I had talked to the guy in charge of putting in new service I told him I didn’t want a pole up on the building site because I didn’t want to be able to see overhead electric lines because to me it just doesn’t look good with any home but especially with a log home. Anyway, the place where they put the pole turned out to be a pretty good spot so we got lucky there. I ran a temporary electric line on top of the ground with 10-gauge outdoor approved electrical wires to a 30 amp receptacle for our camper.

the water company boring or water line from our neighbors place down the road.

The water company boring the water line from our neighbors place down the road. This guy is following and controlling the depth and direction of the bore head with the machine in front of him. I thought that was pretty cool how it all worked.

I am so happy the water company didn’t put in the water service before we got there because where they had it marked was too far away from our home and they were more then happy to put it were we wanted it. They also put in a hydrant for us so we can have water on the farm for our camper and we will have water there when we camp with our new camper and when we stay there when we build our home next year.


Water and electric in ready for us to camp at the farm.

Water and electric is ready for us to camp at the farm.

We also had 4 dump truck loads of gravel put in to get our driveway ready for all the cement trucks and log trucks that will be coming next year when we start to build so they won’t get stuck on our farm if it happens to be raining.
gravel for our driveway

We hired a local farmer Cody Wright to spread our rock. I was amazed how fast he did the job.

We hired a local farmer Cody Wright to spread our rock. I was amazed how fast he did the job.

The gravel truck driver had a little trouble staying on our driveway. Cody was able to smoth it all out with his bobcat and we put some rock on it to widen the driveway some.

The gravel truck driver had a little trouble staying on our driveway. Cody was able to smooth it all out with his bobcat and we put some rock on it to widen the driveway some.


Our new widened driveway.

Our new widened driveway.

That’s it for now, we did wreck our new truck again while we were there on the farm and I will save that for my next post.

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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22 Responses to Farm Report April 2015

  1. Maxey says:


  2. Looks good, Gordon! You are big on the cliff-hanger endings. Can’t wait to hear the story about your truck.

  3. Thanks Mathew, I don’t post that often so I try to find a way to keep reader interest up the best I can.

  4. Rick Umphryes says:

    Going to our property outside salem this weekend. 5 acres with a 40 by 60 building with a 1200 square foot living area.

  5. Pam says:

    Love the Dodge Truck! Wondering what size your building in the pictures is? Its going to be beautiful I’m sure!

  6. Jewels says:

    It’s all coming along nicely Gordon, how exciting! I envy your new camper…

  7. Zephyr Hill says:

    I’m so happy to hear of your progress! It is hard to get utilities to get things right sometimes. But thank heavens you got your water where you want it; electric lines can always go underground later. Great job on the gravel work. It’s amazing what someone can do with a Bobcat when they get some experience; they can use that thing like a giant pair of hands! Now I’m hanging on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear about the truck. 😦 Please don’t keep us in suspense too long! Although since you wrote this, I’m guessing YOU guys aren’t wrecked, so that much is good.

    • Thanks Susan, we are finally feeling like its getting closer to the day we move there. It takes lots of planning and no matter how carefully we plan we know it will not always go as planed.

  8. Jocelyn Cromwell says:

    Loving the updates! Thanks so much!

  9. Woody says:

    And so it begins!

  10. Bill says:

    Great! I’m glad you can be on your property now. Thinking of y’all enjoying the sunrise, sunset and (especially) the stars at night reminded me of this from George Eliot, which you’ll probably appeciate:

    A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some area of native land where it may get the love of tender kinship from the earth, for the labors men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge. The best introduction to astronomy is to think of the nightly heavens as a little lot of stars belonging to one’s own homestead.

    I’m looking forward to following along as you get settled in!

  11. Thanks Bill, I do appreciate the quote from George Eliot that you sent. I feel the same as George about our land and I was just thinking the other day about investing in a telescope to check out our little lot of stars that are above our homestead.

  12. Rick Umphryes says:

    Sounds like a nice retirement place. I retire next March and we are going down tomorrow to our property in salem, mo. I have four telescopes and looking forward to using them in down there. We live in pleasant prairie Wisconsin now and rent the home. New renters moving in next week.

  13. Sounds great Rick, that is a far drive to Salem Mo from Wisconsin. Good luck in retirement and hope to be there soon myself.

  14. Langela says:

    I can’t wait to camp! And how perfect to be able to do it on your property, enjoying the quiet and the beauty. I love all your new gravel! Now you’ll need to invest in bunches of weed killer to keep it looking so nice. 🙂

  15. Dale says:

    I am so glad I ran across your blog, I am planning on building a pole-barn residence on my property as well and my research is helping me gather information and time lines when I’m ready to break ground, I’m so excited to build my new home on my property and it has been a life long dream and now that I’m retired and selling my present home in busy Topeka, Kansas. I will follow you blog and get some tips from you. Happy building

  16. Gwen says:

    Gordon, I live down in your area. Did you use 3-1/2 inch road stone and then pack it down on top with 1-1/2 inch fines? Otherwise you’ll lose your rock. It will give you a fantastic base. We’ve built 3 houses in the country and we learned. Our neighbors used landscape fabric and that didn’t work either because it raises up in the rock and then it gets snagged because they don’t keep enough rock on top. So don’t be discouraged when you have to get more rock. We are due for some more fines since its been 3 years but we are constantly running large equipment over the drive. Love your place and your stories. Be careful about what you reveal as to your possessions and have your neighbors keep close tabs. Good luck! Gwen

    • Thanks Gwen on your advice about the stone. We didn’t use 1-1/2 fines on top of your gravel and was wondering if that wouldn’t be a good idea. Once we get the house built we will add the fine gravel. I have a friend who lives down there too and he used the landscape fabric and it does show in spots and that’s why I didn’t use it. My wife also tells me all the time I need to be carful what I reveal on my blog about our place and I need to do a better job of that. Thanks for suggesting that and I am sure my wife will say ” See “.

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