Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Survey Says Success!

Another strange day for the weatherman and for those of us who think the end of November means blustery conditions and snow. Although the temperature didn't rise as high as I expected today, it was warm enough that I found myself shedding layers as I cut and moved wood and brush down off Route 2. Our new property has to have a name but so far it has just become "going downtown to work a little". I suspect this may be common place until we make the final move and start the 2008 season. Anyway that's where I ended up this afternoon following a road trip-work day in south central Vermont.

Waiting for our land boundary survey to be completed was kind of like waiting for Alex fourteen years ago. We knew what we were getting but we didn't know what he'd look like. We had many of the boundaries figured out but there was just enough question involved that we ordered up a survey and parted with a few dollars to quell the mystery. When the survey became a reality yesterday, we were more than happy and at the same time greatly relieved that it was over and we knew what we had.

For Gail and me, there are certain things we refuse to substitute. There are a lot of surveyors out there just as there are many carpenters, well drillers and a bunch of companies that will build a septic system for you. We go with the experienced people who have a reputation for being fair, honest and willing to explain what they are going to do for you. It's the kind of situation where you may have spent a couple more dollars for the product, but in the end you don't care and may not even consider it because you're so pleased with the quality of the work.

Our survey shows that our property borders US Route 2 for 845.81 feet, extends 472.89 feet from Route 2 to the Winooski River on the west side, has 360.90 feet on the Winooski River and has a border of 404 feet on the Marshfield Village side. When the land was listed for sale it was described to be 4.1 acres and when the survey was completed we had picked up another .35 acres of flat meadowland. The land is also located within the village which is important from a development standpoint and also with respect to zoning permissions. Having a recent survey as well as a title search are two things to remember as critical when getting into the property business.

This afternoon I worked some more clearing brush from the east side towards the village. This is the end where we picked up more meadow than we thought existed. If you look at the photo you'll notice two yellow "X's" on the left of the photo. These are the "new found" boundary. Along the tree and grass line is a red dotted line I added to show where I am clearing brush. Essentially this is the piece we picked up during our survey.

Having a survey doesn't always mean you find more land. Many people find they have less than they thought they had. Having a survey defines boundaries using modern day equipment and good paper-trail research. To us there is no question about obtaining one. New businesses or businesses in motion like ours have enough things to coordinate than an unexpected dispute over who owns what.

Where the red dotted line crosses in front of the tall grasses will become the front edge of a massive shade garden. I am cutting out all the alders and poplars. These are both fast growing trees of absolutely no value. They are often diseased and die quickly. In spring we'll dig out the stumps and roto till the entire area in front of the tall trees and then we'll continue tilling around the entire property. Over time there will be a walking path and an ongoing display garden in front of the deer fence around the entire perimeter. Lots of work but it's part of our business plan to promote Vermont hardy plants and good landscapes.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where late November fog and warm temperatures will become snow, sleet or freezing rain come Saturday morning.

Gardening wishes,

George Africa

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