Unreal estate

So what had happened was, the land we bought for our orchard doesn’t exist.

And that’s why anyone who’s been waiting for an update on the alleged orchard might have started to think this blog was taking a Samuel Beckett bent.

Is an orchard update coming? Is it not coming? Is it coming, just not today? Did Brad ever get that dang boot off? What does it all mean?

For anyone just tuning in, last November we purchased a little spit of land between two Habitat for Humanity houses. The land went for sale in an auction. And it was a good deal for us and for Habitat. We gave them a little money for a piece of property they couldn’t build on — there’s a stormwater drain running right through the middle of said land. But a small army of fruit trees would be perfect for this lot.

Except that through conflicting files at various county agencies, the land they auctioned off may or may not exist. Seems a few years ago, there was an attempt to split our “lot” among the two adjacent lots to give them each bigger yards. One agency had record of this. One did not. And Jenn and I simply aren’t sure which is right.

Original orchard.

Luckily, the wonderful Habitat folks, who felt horrible about the situation, offered us a choice of several nearby lots as a trade.

Even though the closing attorney insists the original lot is legit, it’s problematic. After surveyors took a close look at it, one house isn’t set back from the property line at all, and their paved driveway is actually on our alleged land. Taking away that driveway and fencing right up to the edge of their house isn’t our best choice for a first impression.

We’re taking a lot across the street instead (and wanted to wait until it was all legalfied before we updated you’uns).

The pros:
  • The property lines are undisputed.
  • At a third of an acre, it’s a little bigger than what we started with.
  • There’s a hobo path and a small trash dump on the site. We’ll eliminate both and improve the neighborhood.
Can this temple of gloom become our orchard?
Can this temple of gloom become our orchard in time for fall planting?

But there’s always a catch, right?

The cons:
  • This lot is heavily wooded with thick brush and small trees.
  • There’s a BIG oak tree near the front of the lot, blocking morning sun to part of the farmable land.

There’s an old concrete-block retaining wall which might be, um, problematic. But Jenn and I are both of the opinion that this makes the land more interesting — and poses some possibilites for a little publicly visible art on our land.

With all that land clearing ahead of us, our original schedule of planting in the fall is in jeopardy. But c’est la vie. It’s still better than mistaking our claim.

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