We’re Moving!

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!

6 Responses to “We’re Moving!”

  1. Laura Ducheny

    Lots of hard work finally paying off. I miss working with you in the gardens. The kids miss playing. Our big move is next year. We will have to take a trip to the island next summer. Congrats on the fulfillment of a long sought goal!!!
    – Laura

  2. Dorothy

    Just found your site tonight! Looking for heirloom seeds to purchase in the Kansas City area north near Liberty. Are you still around? Do you know of anyone that I can get seeds from in this area? Best wishes in pursuing your dreams!

    • Julie

      We’re still around and going to be around for a long time. Our home base will be moving, but we’ll still be offering heirloom seeds with our same next day shipping. We might have a few days down time when we move all the seeds up to the island, but that should only be a day or two in August.

  3. Jackie Laughlin

    Congratulations, sounds exciting. Just discovered your site while surfing this morning. Glad you have sustained your dreams. When you get a chance can you suggest recommendations for a container urban gardner with no land (shade garden) best for your seeds.

    • Julie

      Shade gardens can be difficult with vegetables. It’s best to stick with veggies that you don’t eat the fruit, but eat the root or greens. My kids love growing lettuce and carrots in pots, which would both do well. I’d try a chard, any variety, and if I was adventurous some Golden Acres cabbage, which stays small. There’s always radishes, and cucumbers, if you trellised them would do well in the shade too. They can be a bit trickier in a pot, but with a good trellis they can be done. Let me know if you want to try anything else!

  4. Mary Acker

    Dear Julie and Scott,
    So great to have you as new neighbors on the island. It has long been a dream of mine as well. I’ve been building my dream here for a few years, and still not finished, but happy to be here and making progress.
    I hope to run into you again soon. Happy days ahead!

    Mary Acker