Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

I Claim This Land for Chiot’s Run

November 16th, 2011

Mr Chiots and I have been wanting to buy the lots on either side of us since we bought Chiot’s Run almost 10 years ago. Not being ones to get into debt, we weren’t about to borrow money to do it. We worked hard and paid off our house last year and have been saving with hopes to purchase a nice sized plot of land in a few years. As luck would have it, this spring the lot below us went up for sale for less than half of what it sold for 5 years ago. We purchased it and started clearing it to add more full-sun garden space; something severely lacking here!

We made a reasonable offer on the lot above us 2 years ago, but the owners refused wanting twice what we offered. Being patient people, we decided to wait. They put the lot up for sale with a realtor and waited for 2 years without an offer. Right before we went on vacation in July, they contacted us again wondering if we were still interested in the lot. Since we had just purchased the lot below us for a great price we said, “Well, not really, especially not at the price you’re asking.” We offered what we paid for the lot on the other side and they accepted. The funny thing is that we purchased this lot for 20% less than what we offered them 2 years ago. Because we were patient we got a great price on both lots and have been able to expand our property to 3/4 of an acre from the 1/4 that it was originally.

This lot is just like the one below, filled with trees both big and small. There are six gigantic tulip trees that are at least 80 ft tall on it. We plan on clearing out the trees to make room for lots of edible garden space and using a lot of the wood to heat our house and to boil down our maple sap. Hopefully we’ll be able to clear it out by spring and spend the next year or two growing cover crops to improve the soil. The lot below that we purchased this spring will become an orchard when we finish clearing it.

We’re still saving money to buy 100 acres someday. Originally we were thinking of staying here in rural Carroll county, but with the arrival natural gas drilling and fracking, we’re considering a move to New England, maybe Maine or Vermont. It may happen before our original goal of 10 years if the gas/oil company starts drilling wells nearby. We’ll be “getting out of dodge” before our property values tank and our water gets polluted by the fracking. This is very sad because we’re investing a lot in this little plot of land and we really do like our community. Until then we’ll garden as if we’re not leaving, you really can’t know for sure what will happen in the future.

How big is your garden space? Have you been able to expand it at all?

30 Comments to “I Claim This Land for Chiot’s Run”
  1. Boni on November 16, 2011 at 5:20 am

    congratulations on the purchase. patience paid off well too. very smart. sorry to hear about this gas drilling in your area. that sounds awful. Is it so close to cause problems to water? I am sure there laws in the US to prevent just such things?

    Reply to Boni's comment

    • Susy on November 18, 2011 at 9:33 am

      The US is really no different from other countries. The companies that pay the most to the politicians get legislation in their favor. This goes for the USDA and the EPA too. Even with all the environmental havoc fracking is wreaking in other states they find “No risks associated with it”. I personally have witnessed someone being able to light the water coming out of their faucet on fire.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Dani on November 16, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Congrats – it looks a wonderful plot.

    Our government is considering allowing fracking to take place in South Africa. Terrible. Terrible. Terrible. Hopefully all the petitions I know of / have signed will have some impact. But I fear greed is going to be the greatest motivator.

    Reply to Dani's comment

  3. tami on November 16, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Congrats on the land, very exciting!

    Carroll County? (For some reason I had you closer to Cleveland.) My husbands family is from Jefferson County and he has strong enough ties to the area that we’ve often discussed moving back to a small place for retirement. We’ve been watching the Natural Gas / fracking issue with interest. Not sure how all this will impact the area. We’re happy enough in NC but have always loved Ohio.

    Why New England, though? I would expect cost of living / land to be out of this world.

    Reply to tami's comment

    • Susy on November 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

      We do head up to Cleveland for work every so often. We do love Carroll, but the gas drilling will most likely drive us away.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. B ryan N. on November 16, 2011 at 6:15 am

    the gas industry is all over this area. We have 3 wells scheduled to go in within a mile of our house what used to be a 20 min drive to work has doubled because of the frackwater trucks.We live along the Susquehanna River and the fracking has ruined almost everyones well water with either Methane gas or mud or both.When they 1st came to this area everyone thought it was a get rich quick deal they couldn’t pass up.I would like to know how many would sign the leases if they knew the outcome now.

    Reply to B ryan N.'s comment

  5. daisy on November 16, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Y’all are so financially smart. Great that you’ve already paid off your house at such a young age. Congrats on expanding the gardening space!

    We are hoping for more property with our next home. Until then, it’s a square-foot garden!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  6. Andrea Duke on November 16, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Sorry to hear that vote didn’t go your way!

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

  7. kristin @ going country on November 16, 2011 at 7:30 am

    1,800 square feet. If I expanded it any more, I’d have to hire an employee. Or at least get my husband to help. Fat chance.

    Fracking is becoming an issue around here, too. Luckily, there is enormous community resistance to it, along with quite a bit of negative publicity about the possibility, so I’m hopeful that will discourage the company exploring this area.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  8. Kathi Cook on November 16, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Congratulations on your added land! I began my vegetable garden about 7 years ago and it has tripled, but is still modest in size. We live in town on less than an acre. Since I don’t have room for adding on ,we have been looking for property with a few acres and a barn. We have been searching for about 3 years. Since prices keep dropping ,we are in no rush either. I do not want to force it . I feel we will know when we find the perfect house. I love your philosophy of gardening it like you will live there forever.Although my larger vision involves us moving, I really love what we have here now. I keep hesitating to put in blueberry bushes since we plan to move ,but I really should consider it land improvement for future residents (or birds).

    Reply to Kathi Cook's comment

  9. Jennifer Fisk on November 16, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Congratulations on your land purchase. If you do consider a move east don’t discount Washington County NY. It has all the charm of VT, lots of old reclaimable farms, and costs a lot less than VT. Western and northern Maine also has some beautiful farms/farmland for sale for a reasonable price but you’d be 3 hours from anything remotely urban.
    I am on a coastal Maine island more affectionately referred to as the rock. I had to have an excavator remove granite boulders and then truck in soil to build my 25×50 garden. As soon as the ground freezes, I have a fellow lined up to take out sun blocking Pines, Spruce and Balsams. I also reverted the garden on the south side of my house to vegetables rather than flowers.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

    • Susy on November 16, 2011 at 10:21 am

      We love rural, the more rural the better – so we’d probably love that. Might consider NY, we’ve always been a little leery of that state for some reason. I’ll have to research taxes and building code as that will probably play a role in where we choose to live in the end.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Nebraska Dave on November 16, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Susy, I’m glad to hear that you have purchased property to expand your gardening. It looks like you have quite a lot of work ahead of you to bring it under cultivation. You might remember that I am negotiating for a piece of land that has been foreclosed upon by the city. I should be hearing from the Land Utilization Commision any day now as to the outcome of the notice sent to the owner of the land. The property (Terra Nova Gardens as I call it) is about 160’X168′ and it too has many trees and sapling trees along with 11 years of wild wilderness to cleanup. About half of that property has trees that will remain to hold the soil on a steep bank up to a busy street. This property is about five miles from my house and is located in a secluded section of the neighborhood. It’s location is such that no building would be around the property. One portion of the property would allow me to begin next year with 18 four foot by eight foot garden beds without too much clean up. I am excited about being able to expand my five garden beds from the backyard to a now unlimited dream. The possibilities are endless. Fruit trees, berry bushes, bees, practically anything a gardener can dream could happen there.

    Have a great new property cleanup day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  11. Denimflyz on November 16, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Congratulations on your beautiful purchase. Enjoy!
    Our state put on hold, the Keystone pipeline for a while, but I am not sure for how long. Eventually, I’m sure it will come and contaminate our water supply, and the water supply to several other states.
    Take care and have a wonderful rest of the week and upcoming weekend.

    Reply to Denimflyz's comment

  12. Grace on November 16, 2011 at 10:08 am

    We were very fortunate to inherit property with plenty of everything. Now it’s just a matter of selling our house in Atlanta, organizing and getting ready to moving to rural South Carolina. Problems are cropping up. The water has gone rusty, the roof is iffy, we need a new hot water heater, the mice have taken over the house, there is no fencing for dogs. We have time to get that all taken care of before we move, though. 20 months and counting….I found a second fig tree there last weekend and it make me just stupid happy. I’m planning an orchard, too, Susy. It just makes so much sense. I’ve picked out where the chicken coop will go, and the livestock barn….so much to do but it is a joy, just a joy.

    Reply to Grace's comment

    • Susy on November 16, 2011 at 10:21 am

      Always work to do, but as we say, it keeps us out of trouble, and what would we do with our time if we didn’t work or garden?

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Allison on November 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I worry about that oil drilling/fracking stuff….I believe they are doing it not far from me, but it is very hush hush and I am worried I am not truly aware of what is all going on.

    Congrats on the property!!

    Reply to Allison's comment

  14. Texan on November 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Fracking sighhhhh I don’t know what its going to take to get that under control. Such a sad thing. Mother earth is so sad I think, for this and so many other things. Why do people feel its okay to destroy her. I don’t get it. Sorry don’t mean to get off on a rant but this fracking thing really has me annoyed!

    Texas always has been, always will be a oil, gas state. We are lucky and live in an area of Texas that does not have gas under us so no fracking near us, whew.

    Reply to Texan's comment

  15. Daedre Craig on November 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I have 3/4 acre too! I’ve hardly come close to using it yet, but my garden does keep growing a little larger each year.

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  16. risa on November 16, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Exciting developments! And you have the skills to follow this dream.

    We had 12 acres when we were young, and now we find one (well, 1.22) acre a handful. The present garden was quite large when the kids were here, then it shrank to a circle fifty feet across, and then in 2009, because it looked like family might have to descend on us, we jumped back up, all the way to 18 beds. We ended up with surplus, of course, so we’re converting a few beds to permanent plantings — blueberries, raspberries — but keeping an eye on the food world’s pulse, and putting in a few fruit trees every year.

    Reply to risa's comment

  17. vegeteble gardener cook on November 16, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I have lots of garden space, but what I really need is more sunlight. I have very old growth doug fir trees and it is such a bummer to cut them down!

    Reply to vegeteble gardener cook's comment

  18. Miranda on November 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Yay! That is so exciting! This is me also being severely jealous :(

    Onward and downward, i see some muddy knees and hands in your future. Oh, and a dream of Vermont is fantastic as well. I loves me some Vermont.

    Reply to Miranda's comment

  19. KimH on November 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I think thats wonderful.. I wish you all that you wish for! Congrats on gaining those awesome pieces of land.

    I have a tiny tiny little bit of yard to garden in now.. When I lived in Texas, I had 5 acres and about half of it was manicured with garden, fruit orchard, and mature pecan trees too.
    On my moms land, I had/have all the acrage I could possibly want for but its so danged hot and miserable, I dont really have any desire to go back there to live. Im loving Ohio, to be quite honest.

    I hope to someday be in the position to buy myself a nice little place in the sticks somewhere.. perhaps in the NE as well.. We just never do know. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  20. Mich on November 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Great news you have been able to buy another plot and at a good price..
    Land is expensive here in the UK, esp good arable land and small paddocks near villages; they either go for potential planning lots or pony paddocks!

    i am very lucky in that I have plenty of space around me as I own 300 acres, so its never too much of an issue if I want to expand my orchard or grazing.

    I’m going to have to google fracking as have no idea what it is…..but it sounds as though its destructive to the landscape.

    Reply to Mich's comment

  21. Teresa on November 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Our garden consists of five 4×16 beds and a lot of containers right now, but it may expand when we take down the dying trees in the backyard.

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with the fracking fracas. Many people in the area of central New York where my mom lives–a lovely but poor region–are all over the notion of fracking as a way to get some income. So far, those who don’t want the water supply prone to catching fire are prevailing, but money talks.

    Reply to Teresa's comment

  22. Victoria on November 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Congratulations – on so many things! Outright homeownership is a rare thing these days, and buying more land is such a great idea! I too am concerned with the fracking…over the last few weeks NPR has been covering the issue, but it is quite divided. The gas companies are handing over lump sums of cash to unwitting individuals that don’t seem concerned about their land, water or air. You are doing wonderful things in OH, I bet you’d be able to do so much in the NE!

    Reply to Victoria's comment

  23. goatpod2 on November 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    We have expanded our garden, my Dad put in a couple more garden areas in this Fall.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  24. Andrew on November 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Wow, congratulations on acquiring the land in such a reasonable price. You new land looks beautiful. It sounds pretty exciting learning about your plans to cultivate it. I learned a lot and I hope I can get the same successful purchase.

    Reply to Andrew's comment

  25. Gail on November 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Seems natural gas exploration is becoming a world wide issue, here in Australia it has started to rear it’s ugly head. 2 years ago I purchased a 12 acre block in a semi rural area as it was my plan in the next few years to move there for my “tree change” and live a more sustainable lifestyle however coals seam gas exploration is really starting to take off in that area and Im now worried that my little piece of country life will not happen as who wants to live next to gas wells? I guess I can only hope that the negative publicity and community action (Lock the Gate) can limit it or stop it from happening….here’s hoping!!!
    Congratulations on your new purchase, cant wait to keep following your blog and see how it all develops :)

    Reply to Gail's comment

  26. Darlene on November 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I haven’t been on the computer for a few days and when I was getting caught up on your blog I was so excited to see you are in Malvern! I live in Bergholz. We have the drilling here,too.Hate it!!!!
    Congrats on your land deals! I wish you well with all your plans. I’d love to move to New Hampshire or Vermont…..but now will add New York State,too.My sister lives outside of Boston and ADORES New York City,she can have it!!! I am like you,give me some land and I am happy!! Oh how I would love an orchard!!

    Reply to Darlene's comment

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
The Journey

Last week we drove up the Cleveland to pick my dad up from the airport as he was returning from...