We have been dreaming of moving to Beaver Island for years. 8 years ago we bought 10 acres with the intent of building a home on it and moving to the island. All we needed was a job to bring with us. The last 8 years has been dedicated to finding that job to bring with us so we could live on the island.
And now Annie’s is big enough to support us, and we are able to make our dream a reality. Construction prices were so high that it was a better idea to buy an existing home, so that’s what we did. 39 acres of semi-wooded and semi-cleared land on one of the old Mormon farms on the island with a small farm house. Perfect for us, well perfect after a lot of hard work. The land hasn’t been farmed in at least 50 years, so no fear of stripping it of nutrients or it being full of chemicals. But the soil is sandy and acidic and the grass is sparse. We have years of lime, green manures, and compost to apply. But it’s exciting to start from scratch, creating the perfect farm.
I’m not on the island yet, but Scott and the kids are. They are loving it, tending the few gardens I’ve put in, and preparing the land. Junipers and pine trees will be removed from the cow pastures in the next few weeks. We hope to turn the initial 10 acres into a certified organic seed farm. A few acres there will be cleared to start the green manures and pastures for the livestock that will provide the much needed manures for the organic seed production. There are already goats and chickens there, grazing what little grass is available and starting the long process to soil fertility.
By the end of the summer I will be up there. Just in time to build the winter livestock housing and prepare all the raised beds for the garden. Compost materials will be gathered, and we’ll start the long road to a very lush and fertile farm. I can’t wait!