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Friday, January 3, 2014

new year and new farm

My last post was August of 2012. It has been a very long time and a LOT has happened.  I've moved. Four times. I've started a mildly successful business from home selling honey handmade soaps, candles and misc. bath and body care products. With moving from Ohio to Nebraska came the loss of  the majority of my customer base, financial struggles, finding and starting a new and not well paying job, having to move again, joining a organic farming *co-op, basically getting kicked out and having to move again so we have access to land and the ability to do the things we want to do. It has been a year of struggle. Struggle after struggle.

While living on and sustaining ourselves off of a farm has been our goal, and I knew it wouldn't be easy, I had no idea the amount of challenges we would face in 2013. For 2014, I wish for myself enough balance and stability that I have enough time to work on this blog and share my experiences. It helps to have people to vent to in a place where I have ZERO friends, even if I can't talk to them in person.

Instead of rehashing all of the things that have gone wrong this last year, I would rather just start from day one of 2014. If you know me personally, then you probably have heard me complain about all the bad stuff. If you don't, we aren't close and you probably don't care very much or are just tired of hearing people whine. That's okay by me.

So here we are. About two months after moving into a 70's era house trailer on a 60 acre property Southeast of Lincoln, Nebraska. We plan to start a farm here but we rent so there are some challenges in and of themselves. The house is safe and dry but that is about it. It was gutted by previous renters (after the first house was burned down) and the owner put in the bare minimum (from salvage yards) to make it livable again. This means that we don't have a dishwasher. We don't have a washing machine or dryer. We have bad water pressure with occasional grit and sand. We have NO CLOSET SPACE AND NO CABLE OR INTERNET. Because its an old trailer, we have terrible insulating and it gets cold. When we first moved in we had electrical problems and I was half convinced that we had a ghost because the power went out every time I stepped into the bathtub. We have a feral cat (sometimes two that fight and wake us up at 4:30 am) that lives under the trailer. By spring there will probably be eight. That's what happens when you feed feral cats.

But the property is actually very pretty. There is a grove of cedars with well established trails,a very large pond and lots of space for future livestock and for a really big garden. We have a resident pack of coyotes, deer, and the occasional bobcat. You really can't put a price tag on that. I probably don't sound very thankful or excited but it is -10 degrees today. My jeans were still wet (and cold) when I put them on, one of my eyeballs froze shut when I went out to start my car and my windshield wipers were stuck in the upright position for half of my 40 mile commute to work this morning. Enough said?

So there is the 60 acres and the Trailer. There isn't anything else. There are no out buildings, save for a small chicken coop in need of tlc. There is not even a garage. The ground hasn't been broke for agriculture in years. We want to quit our jobs and eventually live solely on income from the farm. The coldest part of the winter will be spent making the house more cozy and hopefully, attractive. I will probably be plugging my Etsy Shop a lot, because without it, I literally couldn't make all my ends meet.We are going to have our work cut out for us if we want to be able to sustain ourselves here. Some days I really don't see it happening. We must be crazy. We are going to need lots of help and support, encouragement and advice.

Yesterday, Greg put up some new shelves in the room we lovingly coined "the cold room" because for some reason the heat doesn't get all the way to that side of the house. Hard to believe we will soon be using it for starting seeds for the garden.

If you haven't "liked" my Natural History facebook page yet, you can do so HERE.
If you haven't "liked" our new farm's facebook page yet, you can do that HERE.

The great thing about social media is that it literally takes you 2 seconds to hit that "share" button, it helps us tremendously and it costs you nothing :)

So here we go. Back to blogging this year.

*it wasn't really a co-op but the easiest way to describe it in the amount of allotted time I have estimated before I will lose your attention. I won't use the organization's name because I would not put it past them to stalk me without my knowledge. Or have voodoo dolls that resemble Greg and I. I don't know why my arm hurts.

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