Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Eye on the Future

When we started talking about a farm we were mosting thinking of a place to live and the type of life we would have in that place.  We weren't thinking about a mission statement or profitability.  Or at least I wasn't.  I didn't realize until after we moved here and went to our first Small Farm College class that R and I had two very different goals for this farm.

I was looking at the farm as a place to stretch and grow.  We could try new things, keep what suited us and let the other go.  We could learn about the world around us and learn about each other.  I envisioned us growing stronger and more loving as a family because of our mutual efforts toward a common goal.  R's eye was on retirement.  His dream was to quit his day job and farm full time.  Unfortunately, we both assumed that we were working with a common goal in mind. 

Finding out that our goals were so different was a real shock.  I felt that R moved me here under false pretenses.  If he wanted to retire right away, in my opinion, we should have been looking at much more modest places.  He felt that I didn't care about anything but his income.  If I really loved him, I'd be supporting him in the dream to farm.

Thankfully, we've worked through most of that.  We have a shared vision for our farm as a place to learn and grow with an eye on the future.  Our desire is to retire in 15 years.  R would add OR LESS right here.  When we retire, we will have the farm running in such a manner that we are self-sufficient and are able to earn what we can't grow or make by selling what we do grow and make. 

When I look back over the last 22 years I know that 15 years is going to pass way too quickly.  Our plans for this spring are to put in a vegetable and herb garden, start working with chickens and establish two bee  hives.  We'll also be working on fencing and preparing barn space for our next phase of farming.  Over the next five years we plan to experiment and see what works so by year six we are ready to begin getting serious about our farm income.  Years six through ten will be our growth and development years and years ten through fifteen are going to be our work to save years.  Hopefully, our plans with go well and our dream of a life on the farm will become a daily truth.

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