If you are going to dream, you might as well dream big

IMG_4082_2On our last trip, we decided to look at a property that is less than a half mile from ours that has been for sale for some time, and were flabbergasted by what we saw. If you read the historic page for Dragonbelly Farm or all the updates I wrote for years, you will see that I always wanted to do a retreat center…..but since so much time has passed, it did not seem like that was any longer possible.  There are certainly the possibilities of doing that on that property with accommodations on DBF….without having to build the infrastructure.  It will be important for us to be able to provide some housing possibilities if we want to run a retreat center, and that means continuing with the plan for cabins and campsites on the 30 acre parcel at Dragonbelly. There are of course addition B&B and motel rooms in the area and in Pt. Townsend which is about 15 miles away. When we sell our 4 unit building in San Mateo, we could have the funds to purchase this property, but to do all this, we need a team. Our team will need folks interested in viniculture and gardening at Beaver Springs, either as renters or as owners.  Perhaps there are young farmers who have the agricultural background, but perhaps did not feel they had the financial resources to purchase the property who might be interested in partnering with us. Obviously, we need some musicians involved with the project, too.  I am thinking about some artists as well.  Some of the outbuildings could be set up for studios and for teaching projects.

We would hope we could find at least one additional owner who would want to occupy the home, as I don’t think you can have an ADU unless you have an owner in residence.   We are also open to investors. To facilitate sharing about the property I  see the lodge page here
Part of the reason it has been difficult for him to sell his property is that it is not zoned commercial, so although there are amazing culinary facilities, you can’t have a restaurant.  He has a permit for a home business to rent out meeting space.  That means that though you can’t be open to the public as a restaurant, you rent the hall to private people and organizations, whether for retreats, meetings, weddings, reunions, concerts, etc., as well as using the commercial kitchen to make products for sale….perhaps those acres of blackberries can be made into more than smoothies for our wonderful caretaker.

It’s a lot of s__t, or isn’t it.

Well, we are still waiting or that building permit.  There has been some hold up because they want clarity about our septic situation.  We built a “temporary” farm kitchen in the garage almost 20 years ago when we no longer had a house and about five years ago they asked us to add an additional septic tank for it and tie it in to the existing drain field.  Now they are saying we do not have the capacity to have the farm kitchen and the kitchen for the house on the septic so they will call it a construction building and it looks like we will need to disconnect it when we get approval for the house.  They will be doing some inspections this Thursday.

Al at Topsider assured me that we would not have to take delivery on the house according to contract….it would have been this week, but can wait until we are ready.


Third trip this summer….getting to really like this place, again.

We just got back from another three week trip. The weather was beautiful…perhaps too beautiful with only two days with any rain and weather as warm as the 80s…IMG_3746quite surprising and some amazing clouds and fabulous sunsets.








Michael had done a lot of working taking down the bathhouse, and Brian finished removal.

Then we were able to proceed with hiring someone to clear the site and begin leveling it.  This is the most the county would allow us to do before we receive our building permit.  IMG_3786

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They are not being very cooperative….or perhaps just moving a lot slower that we would like.  Some friends suggested that the best way to keep them working was to have our contractor nudge them.  He called last Monday and was told there was a flag in our file that had to do with the septic system.  We tried to reach that part of the county…environmental health, but they did not return our three calls.  During the last half hour of Thursday, they don’t respond to the public on Friday, I got a reception that said the flag was there, but the health inspector had not yet viewed the files and they would send a letter.  Besides everything else, I was appalled that they would use a letter.  What if they sent us a letter in CA when we were in WA or in WA while we were in CA.  I suggested email or a phone call is much more efficient, but I don’t think they will do it.


We also moved the old school bus that had been in the area behind the house site.IMG_3835 Last trip it was moved up to next to the house site, and this trip it was moved (towed by Mike and Brian using our backhoe) all the way out of the area. first near our barn and then using the excavator, clearingthe area further and they put it next to our steel “barn” and also pulled our old flat bed truck out of the forest.  It is almost a piece of art.




We did manage to get one bike ride in this trip also, four miles and back on the first part of the Olympic Discovery Trail into Port Townsend starting from our old friend Dashley’s house.IMG_3775  IMG_3777He is passionate about the bike trail and shared a story with us about his first ride around the Olympic National Park way back in 1960 when he was a teenager living on the northside of Seattle.  I see that he has an updated version of that story available on line.

The other big work project we did on this trip involved a new tool that Brian bought, a Stihl Pole Saw.  IMG_3767We did a lot of clean up of trees in the various groves, cutting off, primarily dead. branches to make it easier to walk around and just opening up the space.  I wish I had a before and after picture.  We also did a lot of trimming along the road/driveway into the property as it was getting where branches were scraping vehicles as they went by.