Ready, get set:

I found the property markers today.

And drew a line between them. Which drew the neighbors out of their house – apparently they had slowly been mowing more and more of our property and come to think of it as their own. Luckily it was quickly and amicably resolved: it’s not too hard to dispute a straight line drawn between two clear, surveyed points. It helps to have nice neighbors.

So now that I know exactly where my back yard ends, I can start planning my veggie beds and poultry house. Which brought this tree to my attention:

I think that if that one tree were taken down I would have a fair swath of sunlight in which I could grow veggies. It won’t make everything perfect since there are a couple of big trees (on the neighbor’s property) right behind me in this picture; but it should give me at least enough arable land to enable me to have a small patch and hold my horses until we can get some land cleared on the other side. (Have I mentioned that I hate that I finally have a picture-perfect long swathe of cleared, south-facing yard and it’s still completely useless because of all the shade from the million trees?)

I was pretty horrified to learn that clearing that land may not actually be possible; apparently the county has a policy that for every tree cut, an identical one must be planted. And actually I think that’s kind of part of the fine if you’re caught doing it; I think you’re just not supposed to cut trees at all to begin with. It would be just awful and so frustrating if we weren’t allowed to cut any of our own trees, or use any of the land we’d bought the house for! I’m going to call the county extension tomorrow and see if I can’t learn some more about the regulations and permits and guidelines and such – hopefully I’ll be able to clear at least half an acre eventually, so I can have my orchard and vineyards.

Grr! Bureaucracy!

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