Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Terra Nova Gardens Are Almost Mine

The new property (Terra Nova Gardens) paperwork is moving along. We are now into the final phase of the process. The owner has not responded to the pay up notice so now the title is being cleared of all the liens and back taxes. This should take about another 30 days. It's almost 100 percent assured that I'll have the deed by January or maybe by Christmas. What a present that would be.

Bradley and I drove out to the property today because I had made some discoveries a couple days ago and I wanted to get some pictures of what I had found. 

  

I discovered that a flock of wild turkeys had taken up residence on the property just north of mine. There is one magnificent tom and about 20 hens. I walked over all the properties all the way to the fence. Most of the rest of the properties belongs to the city. This property with the Turkeys on it will come into foreclosure in January and would be a great addition to the one I have. It's cheaper, bigger, and would require a lot more work to clean up. Two major cottonwood trees would have to come down to open up the property to allow gardens to get sunshine. In addition to the two cottonwoods there are many downed trees and four inch sapling trees to clean out. It would, however, make the property a tad short of one acre of land. What you see in the above picture would be left in woods as it begins the steep climb to the top of a bank which needs to have the trees to prevent erosion.

 

Here's a little better picture of Tom and his harem. He is a magnificent bird. For a fleeting moment I thought, "Thanksgiving dinner", but then the thought left.

 

Another shot of this beautiful bird. They had actually climbed up the steep bank and were now across the busy highway in a small patch of brush cover. Cars were stopping along the road just look at the flock of wild turkeys in the midst of the city. Now I expect I'll have to find out what to plant in my gardens to feed the flock. I wouldn't mind having them hang around. Hopefully, they will become accustomed to me being there and working the gardens and not cross the busy road any more.

 

Here's Bradley, my grandson, standing about half way up the bank. He tried to climb to the top but it got too steep and he didn't make it all the way up to the top. His first visit to Terra Nova Gardens in his words, "Grandpa this is awesome but it looks like a tornado hit this place." Don't you just love the uninhibited truth that kids speak?

 

The second discovery was this very wet spot. I found several other bigger spots like this one including one that flowed water under the road through a culvert. That one belongs to the city and I seriously doubt that I could buy that property. Since we have not had any rain for about three and a half weeks, I suspect these spots are natural springs. I may have to rethink the water issue. Most folks would think this is just an old mud hole but I on the other hand thought it was a remarkable find. I just have to figure out a way to utilize it for watering Terra Nova Gardens. I took samples of the water and soil to be tested by the county extensions service to see just what the issues, if any, there are.

As you can probably tell I am quite excited about the purchase of the property and hopefully but this time next year it will look quite different.

Have a great day. What are your plans for gardening next year?

nebraska dave
12/7/2011 2:35:23 PM

Sheryl, yeah, I'm really thinking about buying the property next to mine just to keep it as a sanctuary for the turkeys. With minimal clean up to help them get around in it easier .... well, maybe for me to get around in it easier, it would be great for them to just hang out there. I'm fencing in my garden beds but then again wild turkeys can fly so I may have to cover each bed with a screen covering as well. Either way it would be worth the expense and extra effort for them to hang around. I think you are right about the soil. It's been left fallow for at least 11 years so the natural cycle of weeds and tree leaves rotting into the soil would be especially good. The natural weed that grows there is the Nettle weed. I've been told that Nettle weed grows on rich soil so we will see come spring. I took a sample of the soil and water from the spring but had second thoughts about it because the samples were in Styrofoam cups which I thought may contaminate the results. I'll get samples in the spring when I'm working on the gardens to have them tested. I had the same thought about snakes with all the dark damp hiding places. I been there several times starting back in August and have never seen a snake or any kind of bugs. Very strange. The only life on the property during the summer months was snails which maybe a problem but I think once it gets cleaned up that they won't be living there any more. Thank you for the congrats and I am wishing spring was here already. Have a great day.


sheryl.renfrow
12/5/2011 9:08:33 PM

What a bonus you have in those turkeys! You know, when I was still working and traveling to towns within an 85 mile radius of home, I used to see 3 different flocks of turkeys in the same separate locations year after year, especially in the fall. Although my knowledge of turkeys could fill a thimble, I tend to think they stay pretty much in their same location. However, with the drought this year, everything is moving to find water wherever they can. I do know they eat acorns, insects and weed seeds. In looking at your pictures of the land, I can only imagine how rich that soil must be underneath all the leaves and dead grasses-composted soil, you think? Being a worry wart, I'm also thinking come summer or late spring, there might be some of those crawly things-SNAKES!! I can hardly stand to think of them, much less type the word. By the way, cute grandson you have there. Congratulations for the soon to be your own "Terra Nova Gardens".


nebraska dave
12/2/2011 1:50:18 PM

Cindy, thank you for always being a faithful reader and commenter on my GRIT blog. Your words of encouragement always inspire me to do greater things. I'm not sure how those turkeys survive in the middle of the city but they seem to be doing really well. This picture of Tom and his girls was not really the picture I wanted because just few seconds before I got this picture his was facing the road with all his feathers fluffed up and his tail fanned out with the attitude of "Go ahead make my day." By the time I got the camera turned on and the window down he had stood down and started to walk in to the brush with his harem in front of him. That would have been the star picture if I could have been just a few seconds faster. Oh, well, maybe another time. Have a great late fall/early winter Michigan day.


cindy murphy
12/1/2011 10:09:35 PM

Beautiful birds, those turkeys are. Very, very cool, Dave. We have a lot of turkeys around here too - not in the neighborhood that I know of, but I see them all the time on my way to work, and for a number of years, there was a flock in the woods on the nursery. I hope you get your Christmas present and Terra Nova is yours very soon.


nebraska dave
12/1/2011 8:30:48 AM

Allan, The property's name, Terra Nova, as you know means a new beginning. This land has been neglected for 11 years maybe longer. It's covered with brush, weeds, vines, and sapling trees. It just seemed to be an appropriate name. I just hope that I can do it justice this next year and the years that follow. It will take a huge amount of work. Two major cottonwood trees will come down to provide the sunshine needed for gardens. It should keep me busy for quite some time. I'll keep an eye out for the Raptor. Do they roost in trees? :0) Have a great day in/or planning the garden.


allan douglas
11/30/2011 2:27:53 PM

Terra Nova Gardens huh? On anything named Terra Nova turkeys are good. Great even, but their prehistoric cousins not so much. Hope you don't discover any velociraptors. :-) I hope the final details go smoothly and you get your best Christmas present.


nebraska dave
11/29/2011 5:05:38 PM

Mary, the possibilities are almost endless. There could not be space for fruit trees, berry bushes, corn, melons, and the list goes on and on. Many projects for improvement and ease of working will be planned. Perhaps another patio :0) and most certainly a fire ring to cook burgers at the end of a working day. I have a picnic table that I hardly ever use that would be a great addition to the patio. I want to make a hanging sign for the entrance to the gardens. Kind of like a coral gate only without the gate .... or maybe not. There's certainly enough young trees that have to go that could go far in making an old fashioned rail fence. I might have to tap into Hank Will's expertise when I get to that part of the land improvement. Talking with other folks around the city, I've been told that flocks of turkeys are starting to pop up all around the city. It's almost like they have been intentionally introduced here as well. I'm not sure if turkeys generally hang out in one place all year if the food is available but I hope so. It may make gardening a little more challenging but just to see old Tom strut his stuff one in a while is worth it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


mary carton
11/29/2011 3:06:35 PM

Oh I forgot to add, we've recently started seeing wild turkeys in my area. They were re-introduced a few years back and are doing great.


mary carton
11/29/2011 3:04:11 PM

Congratulations Dave, I know your'll have fun with the new property trying to decide what to plant in it.