"Foster Garden Homes"


Garden Master
Sep 4, 2009
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East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
Property is interesting. In our little town, the one where I will be sworn in for a 4 year term as Mayor this evening, several abandoned homes have been torn down, and that means less revenue for taxes for the town.
Our atty was able to get us ALL of the tax money that the town and the County Clerk's office allowed the town to spend on taxes on a 50 acre farm lot that never belonged to us.
The farm property that we REALLY own is 35 acres and south of the former RR spur. I TOLD everyone that the 50 acre property adacent to and just west of my property belonged to a woman who now lives in Arizona, but they all argued that I was mistaken.
My good friends and the best next door neighbors I have ever had, who moved 8 years ago, spent a lot of time with us. I often mused about BUYING said 50 acres. Something about winning a lottery.
"L's" stepfather's sister, the Arizona owner, said that she would NEVER sell. For years she hired out the farmer to work it. She would never sell, until she DID sell, last year.
That's when we found out the stupid truth.
Twenty years worth of taxes paid on TWO farms, one which the town owns, and the other, which the town did NOT own amounted to something under $12,000.00 which we overpaid.
A housing development fully built would be worth far more.
Friend got an inheritance and bought the 50 (?maybe?) acres just adjacent to and south of the southmost E-W street, on our (west) side of town. It had been in hay for several years. He couldn't find anyone to farm it, so he has chickens, goats, peacocks and his brother and sister-in-law have 1 out of the 2 horses they moved there last Fall. The new owners, the "A" family, have discovered that the long ago brick factory had left a lot of bricks on the farmland. We do not have lots of rocks and stones to clean up when we garden. It reminds me of stories of Pennsylvania and New England farmland, where the first farmers claimed to harvest rocks.
The two horse owners in the family colicked her favorite horse last January and he died. Probably fed him too rich a diet bc it was cold.
I KNOW that you cannot tell new (5 years) horse owners ANYTHING, but I would have suggested their horse move should have been NOW in milder weather. I find the relationships do better if you keep your mouth shut, but it makes for a good story HERE.
They have a small fenced in area for the one horse's turnout and have moved in shipping containers, one for the one horse's shelter, and the other for ?????
But the ????? is none of my business. Probably storage and I am guessing that used shipping containers can be had cheap.
They recently tilled up a large garden. They have a friend who sounds like a Master Gardener to assist.
I wish them success. If I REALLY want to know what they are planting, I will have to ASK THEM and they will gush.
Right now it is hard to find people to work the land.
MY property was once part of the 50 acres which sold last year. The second owner, a farmer, like the first owner, sold off all but 5 acres, and raised up 5 steers each year to sell. That was his retirement business and the reason for my very nice barn.
IF you garden his plot and keep it going it will probably help the widow to sell.
I just finished reading, "A Vineyard in Tuscany." Mate, the author, used his book writing wealth to buy a 70 acre property that had been neglected, but was once a Roman winery and he brought it back to life, and made himself a successful retirement business.
As always, food for thought...
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Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Dec 2, 2022
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Southwestern B.C.
LOVED A Vineyard in Tuscany, and especially how it chronicles the trials and tribulation of attempting to tame a neglected patch of soil in order to transform it into a working garden. And Steve, if you read this book I suspect that you will be wanting to plant grape vines in your new garden space. 😊


Garden Master
Dec 13, 2007
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border, ID/WA(!)
Land may have a convoluted history. I like that word "convoluted" but only on a printed page :D. "Rolled together," etymologically speaking.

I went off on two weird reading trips this morning — one, a encyclopedic look at a musician/actor's family, back to great grandparents. Crazy! The second was the migration west during the 1840's, in the US.

This Frerenc Máté author of the Tuscany volume has been writing books since the1970's (over20), @ducks4you . Wikipedia shows 3 books on his new homeland and, maybe, now a 4th.

In my limited research of climate during growing seasons, I recognized the Tuscan environment as being quite similar to here, in the Interior Northwest. It may be that we are in the most northern and upland part of the wine growing region but there are several wineries here - altho I have noted that they import some of their grapes from just a few miles to the south.

So, maybe I should buy the property and plant grapes & beans ;)? How about coffee beans @Branching Out ?

Whatever the future holds, I hope it includes a firm attachment to growing :).