Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life on the Farm 09/21/09: Down in Trouble Town

This week we offered the newly acquired and derelict Tarte House to ReCycle North; they never got back to us.

Then we put it on Craigslist (for free) in order to get it as dismantled as possible before we replaced it with something more suited for human habitation. I had figured that someone somewhere must be able to use those original floorboards for firewood.

“Take what you want”

“We purchased land and this house came with, but it's not habitable. Do you want materials to create a fishing shanty, playhouse, shed, or wood to stoke a furnace? Take anything or leave nothing.”

Twelve hours after listing it, we had to pull the ad because there was too much interest, and I didn’t want a disorganized mob of people descending on the place, especially since the majority didn’t seem to believe my version of the condition it was in, or that salvage was the only opportunity available.

That the house is standing at all is starting to bother my husband Dan; he is increasingly agitated by the unsightliness of it and would like nothing more than for the place to become an unpleasant memory.

He’s already looking at house plans and the necessary permits for a replacement dwelling - but I don’t mind it, it’s something for company to do when they come over, as in: ‘You won’t believe what we bought, lets all go on a house tour’.

(One of our friends is assessing the condition of the Tarte House basement.)

We have already burned the collapsed barn across the road from the house and cleared the site.

The scenic value of the property has been much improved, but even that was not without undue strife.

My brother-in-law Denis called the local fire department one morning about whether or not we could do an open burn and if we needed a permit – the barn had already been gleaned for the roofing and some timbers; it had no siding, insulation or shingles.

The verdict was, ‘yes, we could’. So we did.

At the point where the fire started waning, some Vermont State employees showed up, blocked the road with their vehicle, started taking pictures, stated we needed a permit, and called the fire department to put it out. I honestly can’t guess what the end to this story will be, but if the anecdotal information coming our way is even partially correct we will probably need legal representation to get it all straightened out.

As if all the other things plaguing Vermont dairy farmers in general and our farm in particular weren’t bad enough, there was some vandalism done to sold round bales that hadn’t been removed by the buyer from their location on the roadside (Tarte Road).

Rude words and diagrams spray-painted on the white plastic wrapping I can tolerate, but not slashing bales; that’s hateful, costs money to fix, and ruins the storage life of the feed.

(There's something about tall corn that gives me "The Willies".)

So far, the only bright spot about acquiring this property has been that the corn we planted has caused no supernatural problems.