Here’s one for you. We closed on our re-fi in early December. In yesterday’s mail we get a letter from the Freddy Mac saying they now own the mortgage. So BB&T, the loan originator, must have held it for a few minutes. How should I interpret that – we’re such a good risk that Freddy just had to have it? Or are we such a bad risk, that BB&T had to get rid of it quickly? Certainly I know that mortgages are bought and sold in the normal course of business but I guess I had it in mind that this was a transfer that took place way down stream, not right away.
Went to a very interesting place yesterday, the Crump Family farm. It’s way out in the woods by DeLeon Springs, well off the beaten path. This is a farm where all the veggies are grown in containers. Nothing like I would have expected. The containers were 12â€ cubes made of 1â€ thick styrofoam, stacked 4 deep. Visualize a cubic container pushed down onto a 1â€ piece of vertical pipe; then another on top of that rotated 90 degrees; repeat with two more layers. Each of the containers is filled with potting soil. The triangle shaped opening that comes as a result of the 90 degree shift is the planting space for the lower 3 levels. The vertical pipes are lined in a row, each about 3′ apart, connected across the top with horizontal piping and T’s. A 1/2â€ piece of vinyl tubing runs along the top of the row with a piece of 1/4â€ tubing dropping down at each vertical to provide a drip irrigation system for the containers. It appears as if the water drips into the top container and then drains down naturally through to the lower containers. About half the space was in strawberries but there were a surprising number of other veggies being grown including several lettuce varieties, spinach, chard, collards, onions, peas, green peppers and even tomatoes. The tomatoes and peppers were interesting because they start growing upward, as you would expect, but then bend over and grow downward so they’re hanging fruit. In a way that makes sense because it’s a chore to keep tomatoes growing vertically in a conventional garden, requiring staking and staking and staking. With this technique they just hang down. You walk around the place with a knife and bags cutting what you want or, in the case of the strawberries, with a standard, grocery store looking, plastic container. Running along the bottom of each row was a frost blanket. So it would be really easy to cover up each row independently as required. Aside from the whole growing concept, the quality of the produce was amazing. Really beautiful, deep green leaves. The strawberries looked like picture book berries that had been photo shopped. I’ll say this, for somebody willing to spend a couple thousand to do the initial set-up, there would be an excellent payback and much less maintenance and labor than a conventional garden. I wonder how long the pots last or if they have to be cleaned and refilled after each growing season but they get a good price for their produce so I have to guess it’s a reasonable business. The other very appealing benefit is that with everything vertical, you do all your gardening standing up. That may not sound like a big deal except for seniors, but no doubt your back will thank you.
Got a really strange thing going on. It’s a bit gross but has to be commented on. About a month ago my neighbor stopped by and said there was a load of dog crap on the dock. I went down to check it out and sure enough there was a major load. It looked to me like a pack of about 100 large dogs had stopped by and did a simultaneous dump. I did have some doubts because I never see or rarely see any dogs wandering around. There is one little guy that looks like a miniature Rottweiler but this looked like the work of decidedly larger critters. It also seemed to me that it was all about the same age so no one or two or ten dogs could produce this much at one time. I hosed it off and figured that was that. I went back to the dock a couple days later and it was there again – a prodigious amount in the same exact spot on the outer deck. It has to be happening at night because I’d have to see any large collection of animals during the day. Hosed it off only to have it reappear a day or two later. Maybe it’s a pack of coyotes? Giant raccoons? But I’ve not seen or heard anything like that. I left the last batch sit there knowing that the rain would eventually wash it away and remarkably, no new deposits. My plan is to let it sit for a couple of weeks and check to see if anything new shows up then hose it off again. I’m so mystified that I have actually thought about putting a video cam down there to see if I can capture the dumper(s). I also might try blocking the entry ways but that’s easier said than done.