If you told us a few years ago we were going to move to a farm, we would probably have laughed at you. But here we are. When we found our last home, we thought it was perfect. Big house, great neighborhood, lots of kids around, awesome schools; what more could we want? For a number of years it was a great place for us, but then things began to change a bit.
It started small, but over time we began to question much of what we had always just taken to be "the way things are." The first question was where is all of our money going? We were making good money and did not seemingly have a ton of bills, and yet virtually everything was going out almost as quickly as it was coming in. We started to really look at where the money was going and realized much of it was spent on things we really did not need, and worse, things that just made life more cluttered and complicated. So gradually, we began to simplify. We paid off some outstanding bills, we canceled our cable television, we stopped going out to eat so often, and the list goes on. Eventually we noticed the largest item in our budget, besides the house, was food, so we started to look at that.
We had been somewhat conscious of the food we were eating for a while, but as we started to look into it in more detail, we realized we had no idea where a lot of our food was really coming from. I guess that is not entirely true. Sarah had been paying some attention, and knew where the food she was buying from our local farmer (England Acres) came from, but the rest of us were not paying much attention. None of us really knew where the food we were buying from the grocery store came from, or how it was produced. We began to look into that question and soon discovered we did not much care for the way most of the food we were eating was produced. Keep in mind we limited most processed food, but we were finding that even the "good stuff" in the grocery store was animals raised under less than ideal conditions and veggies infused with tons of chemicals. Even worse, much of what was being done to the food was only being done to allow for it to be transported long distances, make it look perfect, or simply to make the operation more "efficient." We started getting more food locally and paying attention to how it was produced. We joined a couple different CSA's and started doing some gardening.
As we started researching how to garden we began to notice that there were many life skills, including gardening, that were common knowledge as recently as two generations ago, but almost no one possessed them any longer. The average American used to know how to garden, raise chickens, fix their car, take care of most problems around the house, the list goes on. Looking around us it seemed most people no longer could do basic things for themselves, and we could count ourselves among that group. It was striking and a bit scary. What would happen if you ever needed to do some of these things for yourself for some reason?
About this time we also began to look around where we lived and realize we no longer wanted to be on top of our neighbors. It wasn't that we did not want neighbors, just that we felt closed in. One afternoon while walking the dog, Sarah stopped and looked around for a bit and said, "I can see 38 houses from where I am standing." We finally decided we needed to make a change. We started looking for homes with more land. Initially we were not really sure what we wanted, but as time went on and we acquired more knowledge about gardening and animals and looked at more and more homes, we compiled and refined a wish list of property features we thought were right for us. We found one farm we thought was the one and made an offer. It was a beautiful 8 acre property with an old barn. It had plenty of space for what we felt we wanted to do, but it did not work out. The buyer had multiple offers and ours was not accepted. Eventually, after almost two years of searching, we located a place that met many of our wishes and we had our offer accepted. We moved into this little house on the windy hill in April of 2017. It is a 3.3 acre property surrounded by larger farms and we love it!
We have no idea what we are doing yet, but we are learning, and plan to document our progress as we go. In the short time we have been here, we have done a lot, but it will be fun to see the place change over the next few years. Each of us has our own blog, which you can reach by clicking our name on the front page. There is a shared blog in the top menu where we will put common information. We will probably add more functionality as well, since this is also a project to help the kids learn about developing and maintaining their own website. Stick around and see what we are up to. Leave a comment to let us know what you think.