Land Hoe! We got ourselves a farm!
The journey that started in January 2013 has hit a major milestone. The one thing we needed to put down roots has finally come! Perhaps the power of positive thinking has prevailed after all…
Our Future Farm
I’m happy to tell you that we just purchased 80 acres of agricultural land in Willsboro, NY. We were lucky to meet with the sweetest seller you could ever find and we closed this month. The land is about 50 acres of open, rolling pasture and the rest is wooded around the edges. It borders the Boquet River, which flows into Lake Champlain, and the land has a sweet southerly view of the Boquet Mountains. There’s a good-sized garage, a pump house and a great old barn on the property.
Our short-term plans:[list icon=”check”]
- Sit, look, listen & admire this piece of heaven we get to nurture
- Build shelter, consider making the garage a home?
- Build a wood-fired masonry oven
Long term ideas & theories
Aside from a masonry oven as a priority, we have no shortages when it comes to food and farming ideas. As a homesteader, I’d like to do a bit of everything, even see if I can grow most our own food.
There are quite a few farms in the area in relation to the population size that are doing great things. So as a farmer and future business, I need to uncover what niche is going to work for us and compliment the regional food system.
In the long-term, here is what interests us and what we’d like to explore:[list icon=”check”]
- Icelandic sheep (wool, meat, milk)
- Pasturing pigs & poultry
- Homestead milking and cheese-making
- Hops for beer
- Grapes for wine
- Fruit trees and berry bushes
- Small-scale grains
It’s also important to create this farm as a living system where each part works together for the health & benefit of all other organisms. The soil, the sun and pasture offer up lots of possibilities to grow and enrich our lives. It’s only natural then that we strive to keep learning how best to share the harvest with others.
Peaks and valleys
I was for a time feeling that we might not get the chance to pursue this homesteading dream. But after a year-long land search, we persevered and got lucky. My main “saving grace” though has been to slow down and lessen the pace; put things in motion and then give them the time they need to happen organically. I originally had high expectations that things would move quickly when I returned from overseas. I had good momentum built up and maybe got a bit caught up in that go-go East Coast mentality. This was the wrong frame of mind to be in. I’m pretty much a laid-back dude at heart.
We are basically going to let the farm happen over time and try not to get in the way.
But happily now that mindset has faded. In Norwegian the phrase that sums this up is “ting tar tid.” The translation: things take time. And on our farmstead, it will take time before the fruits of our labor go to the root cellar, the freezer and eventually to market. We are basically going to let the farm happen over time and try not to get in the way.
In the Journey…
We are rejoicing now because a huge hurdle has been overcome. The celebrations will be somewhat short-lived though as now the real work begins. It’s all so very exciting that we have this blank canvas to create on. I am so grateful to still be on this journey and I am humbled that I have you to share it with. Thanks for joining me in starting a small farm from scratch. I will keep everyone updated on our progress as often as I can. If you’re in the neighborhood and you see us, feel free to stop by.
Here’s to new beginnings!
Check out more photos on Flickr.