Archive for November 16th, 2007

The Iverson Quarter has new owners

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Awhile back I discovered that three quarter-sections that we have been hunting on for decades were for sale. One of the quarters adjoins my brother Marv’’s land. Marv and Ray were moaning about the fact that it seems every year more local land gets sold to out-of-province buyers who promptly post it “No Hunting”, and they were afraid that these pieces of land might also soon be off-limits.

For a long time I have wanted to have a private woodlot of my own, and the quarter-section north of Marv’s place seemed a worthy candidate. However when I discovered the asking price of the land, I knew that footing the bill on my own would be a non-starter, so I placed a phone call to Glenn G, former pastor of the Mont Nebo Evangelical Free Church, very good friend of my brother, and a long-time hunting partner and friend. I knew that Glenn had expressed interest in buying it many years ago, so I asked him if he and Gloria would be interested in teaming up with Janet and myself in a joint purchase. It didn’t take long for them to say “go for it.”

After a few weeks of dealing with realtors, lawyers, bankers, etc., we can now say that we are the proud co-owners of 160 acres of our own.

Not everyone would be excited about owning “The Iverson Quarter”. It has broken the hearts of several farmers in the years since the first Norwegian immigrant homesteader first started clearing off the trees to discover marginal, rocky soil barely capable of growing a crop. A couple of small fields were abandoned about 20 years ago and are reverting to brush with aspen and the odd spruce tree. There is one field, 33 acres in size, that is still used for growing cereal crops. In fact this year’s crop (I believe it’s a variety of bearded wheat) was swathed but never combined. However most of the land is still treed, consisting mostly of mature trembling aspen, with a scattering of white spruce, and some pockets of willow and other shrubs.

Frankly it’s crappy farmland. However it’s nice deer habitat, and that’s what I’m mostly interested in.

We’ll probably rent out the field, and hope that the rental income at least pays the taxes. I think growing alfalfa would be a good idea, since the deer love it. Our only real plan for the near future is to do some trail construction, with the removed trees used as firewood. My inner silviculturist has some woodlot management plans, but they’ll need to be discussed with Glenn and Gloria. Dreams for the future might include a log cabin.

A couple of weekends ago both families spent a day at Shell Lake, including a walk around the property. Here’s a pic including most of us.

The estate

It’s hunting season, hence the high-visibility colours in this picture.

I told my kids that since we would soon be landowners, we needed to start behaving as the landed gentry, so I was bringing my tweeds, a walking stick and my pipe. Charlotte dryly replied that chewing tobacco would be more appropriate. So much for putting on airs.