April 8, 2011 - the purchase price of property along the Hennepin Canal was agreed upon, two days
before the 1st anniversary of the house fire that destroyed the
home the Grahams were living in at Plow Creek Fellowship.
June 1, 2011 - the closing day for the property purchase.
Throughout (and before) June - floor plans for property, arrangements for septic, well, zoning, etc. are being made.
June 22, 2011 - a 5th-wheel travel trailer is picked up for temporary housing on the property, but due to mechanical and license problems, needed to be left in the state of Ohio with relatives.
June 27, 2011 - money was put down for application for a septic permit with the county.
July 9, 2011 - Pick up septic permit.
July 10, 2011 - Pick up used wood at B.C. Fairgrounds for use on house. See Boo in the photo HERE.
July 11, 2011 - Check with Post Office on new 911 address for farm - 10144 2160 E St, Princeton, IL 61356. Check at zoning office to see how to get building permit.
July 13, 2011 - Leave for Circleville, OH to pick up trailer for living on SOH Farm property.
July 15, 2011 - Leave with pickup (newly repaired, picture HERE.) and trailer (paid for another trailer tire) for Illinois, late. Stay overnight with friends in Indiana. They help us with a gift of gas money because of unexpected payments on the way home.
July 16, 2011 - Arrive near Tiskilwa late in the day after going slowly on back roads due to pickup overheating. Pickup stops overheating as it crosses Illinois state line.
July 18, 2011 - Steve delivered trailer to Seed of Hope Farm (Hooray! Praise the Lord!) with help from neighbors. See picture HERE. Steve starts sleeping at the trailer at night.
July 19, Tuesday evening, 2011 - Met with interested folks about what needs to be done next, who wants to do what, discussed the vision of the ministry. Photo HERE. Electrical service is reconnected at the pole, and hooked up to the trailer to recharge the battery, etc.
July 23, 2011 - Steve checked out straw for the house insulation. Photo HERE.
July 27, 2011 - Graham's and Lanier's met to discuss floor plans and other ministry options. Discussed having a booth at the Homestead Festival instead of the fair. Set next meeting date.
August 3, 2011 - Graham's and Lanier's met for devotional (by Brandie), looked at and discussed building plans.
August 18, 2011 - Met with Pam Horwitz about possible sources of farm income, government grants, etc.
August 23, 2011 - Allyson meets with Steve & Boo. They discuss funding possibilities, adding to the website, creating a presentation and gathering data to support our anecdotal analysis of the needs of Bureau County, having work parties and fellowship times.
August 28, 2011 - Picked up about 80 2 X 4 foot tempered glass panels for the greenhouse/solarium/etc. from a new friend in Henry County.
September 6, 2011 - Boo spoke to the board of the Willow Springs Mennonite Church about being one of the sponsors of Seed Of Hope Farm.
September 9, 2011 - Prepare for Homestead Festival booth at the County Courthouse in Princeton, IL.
September 10 & 11, 2011 - Homestead Festival booth - met interested people and received donations for building materials.
September 27, 2011 - Received back results of well water tests - high in bacteria but low (below detectible limits) in nitrates. Yea! Also received results on soil load bearing tests - at 4 feet down we can put in a reasonable foundation! Now to get a building permit....
October 7, 2011 - Army Corps of Engineers called - it appears we will have to apply for permission to build on or adapt the land due to it's likely categorization as a wetland.   Boy, did we not know what we were getting into.
October 8, 2011 - Locomotive passes Seed Of Hope Farm after cars it was pulling derailled just east of Tiskilwa. Thankfully, no injuries to people or to Tiskilwa town proper.
October 19, 2011 - Presentation about Seed Of Hope Farm at a small prayer meeting of friends in Princeton. See perspective of proposed house HERE.
November 22, 2011 - Meet with a consultant for wetlands issues, for walk-through of the land.   The building sites are covered in a wetlands indicator - Reed Canary Grass.   Uh-oh.
December 20, 2011 - Meet again with the consultant for soil sampling at house sites.   It appears that the soils are NOT wetlands!   Praise the Lord!
December 21, 2011 - Meet with Bureau County Zoning Officer to discuss building permit issues.   The well permit is the next item on progress toward getting the building permit.
January 7, 2012 - Meet with carpenter friend to discuss floor/house plans, problems and solutions.   Much help was received.
January 30, 2012 - Received permit for constructing the well.
Feb 18, 2012 - Meeting of some of the friends of Seed Of Hope Farm to discuss progress and set path for future actions. See photo HERE.
June 9, 2012 - Meeting of some friends of Seed Of Hope Farm to discuss progress and show things off at the house site.
July 24, 2012 - Meeting with Bureau County Zoning Officer to apply for Conditional Use Permit for a community facility, so we can legally have more than one family living in the house we are trying to get the building permit for. We have meetings coming up August 9th, 7 pm, for Planning Commision, August 16th, 7 pm for Zoning Board (public comment), and finally the County Board September 11th for the decision on whether to accept or reject the petition, and be ready for the building permit for the house. Please pray for us as we prepare and go through this procedure that the Lord's Will be done.
August 16, 2012 - Meeting at the County Courthouse with the Zoning Board of Appeals for public comment on our Conditional Use application. Many people from nearby property and the road back to town came to express their opinion that the application should be denied. The meeting will be "continued" on September 17th, Monday, at 7 pm on the 2nd floor meeting room for the County Board, which also means the earliest the County Board can decide on it is now at its meeting in October.
September 17, 2012 - Meeting continued at the Bureau County Courthouse with the Zoning Board of Appeals. This additional meeting was to take public testimony that could not be heard at the last meeting. Because of weather-related problems, the meeting had to be rescheduled to October 3rd.
October 3, 2012 - After all the testimony was heard, the Board of Appeals voted 4 to 1 to recommend the application for the Conditional Use Permit. Praise the Lord. However, the neighbors are still fighting the application. The next two meetings are on Nov. 5th (Zoning Committee meeting where some comments will be heard from people registered to speak) and November 13th, the regularly scheduled meeting of the Bureau County Board. This last meeting is where the application for the Conditional Use Permit will be voted for approval or denial. If we get approved, we can get a building permit and start to dig!
November 5, 2012 - The Zoning and ESDA Committee met tonight and voted by vocal majority to send the request for the Conditional Use Permit to the County Board without recommendation. Some testimony was given, but no new testimony from what was given at the Zoning Board of Appeals Committee.
November 13, 2012 - The County Board met this evening, and after some discussion decided to reject our petition for a Conditional Use Permit. Steve was unable to speak due to a misunderstanding about when the meeting began, so we arrived too late for Steve's part in the meeting. We are disappointed, but when God closes a door he almost always opens another. We will be looking for that other door. We want to thank everyone who supported us, in prayer and in deed, in the attempt to get the Conditional Use Permit. We still covet your prayers.
For more recent events, see our News Page.