Friday, August 10, 2007

A hunting we will go….

A hunting we will go….

Shhhhhhh. Be very, very, quiet. We're hunting HOUSES!

Here we go again. We're flying out of San Francisco tonight and heading back to Portland for a whirlwind tour of Yamhill County. Tomorrow we'll be walking around five different places, trying them on for size. Will one of them feel right? Will it meet our needs? Who knows? We've got some pretty specific requirements and I'm very picky. Let me restate my needs.

The new house has to be comfortable. Good light and a good layout are key. We're leaving a house that we've really made into someplace special. I love my kitchen and hate to leave it. I love our neighborhood and hate to leave it. I love being so close to the coast and the open spaces of the Bay Area. Our new house has some pretty big shoes to fill. I'm sure we'll find some new places in which to fall in love, just like we did here.

I thrive when I have a good view to inspire me. Things just flow out of my hands and brain easier when I have a pretty vista upon which to feast my eyes. Mountains, fields and trees make nice views. Good cheese comes from happy cheesemakers. This happy cheesemaker likes to have a good view.

There's got to be good, sweet, clean water and lots of it. I'm making cheese and good source of water is essential. A strong well or spring goes a long way towards making tasty cheese. Oregon has no shortage of water. It rains a lot there, remember? I trick is finding GOOD water. Tasty water. Water that doesn't smell or leave tons of rust stains on everything including curds.

We need a site to build our cheesemaking facility. There's got to be space for a cheeseroom and aging facilities. I can retrofit a barn or milking parlor, but I'll need good drainage. It might be easier to start from scratch and get one of those metal ag buildings. They aren't the prettiest things, but they're modular and allow for expansion. I'm hoping the business will thrive, blossom, and we'll need room to grow. That's my plan.

We'll need room for a big septic system and draining field. I don't plan on sending my whey down the drain, but I'll need someplace to put that grey water. The driveway and road to the property needs to be able to handle a milk truck. Milk is heavy. The road needs to be able to take the weight. Can't live anyplace with a narrow gravel road or steep slope.

A fenced property makes a good property. I don't want my critter to wander away or be preyed upon easily. I don't want too many animals but I want the option of having a place to put a goat or three. Fencing is a must when you have goats, dogs or chickens.

I want a habitat pond. The water that heats and cools the pasteurizer can be reclaimed and fed into ponds to make fish, frogs and birds very happy. Goat Lady Dairy has a beautiful habitat pond along side of the barn. It is full of thriving wildlife. There is a pipe from the pasteurizer, under the floor of the barn and into the pond. Very smart. The pond can even be used as supplemental irrigation for the garden during times of drought (like right now.) The pond sits above the garden so you can easily run hoses from it and water the garden via gravity.

We're hoping to find something this weekend. Our flight is at 7pm tonight. Wish us luck!

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