I keep trying to write something beautiful and poetic today, something that translates the melted snow into the hope of spring, but the truth is that this week has been a hard one on the farm for me. Reality – namely financial reality – has smacked me low.
This week, we talked with the man we’d like to build our timber frame lodge. We walked to the space. We found a way to put in a driveway. We discussed how the floor plan we liked would orient south to gather sun and the view.
Then, we sat down at the dining room table in the farmhouse and talked dollar figures. After he left, I cried most of the night because we simply cannot afford to do what we would dream of doing.
So we are scaling back in square footage and brainstorming how much we can do ourselves. We’re finding ways to cut our budget now and bring in new revenue later.
And still, it’s been a hard week.
I am not someone who wants a lot of money or things. In fact, I get a lot of pleasure out of being thrifty and reusing materials. I want my presence on this earth to give plenty of space to everyone else, too.
But this dream – of a lodge where people can gather and a barn where music and words can flow, of spaces where people can rest and heal, of food eaten at a big farm table – this dream costs money, and I fear – when I’m really honest – that I’ve made choices – none I regret except for this – that have never valued money. . . choices that may make it very hard – impossible? – for us to build this dream.
Saying all of that feels true and real . . . at the same time it feels selfish because, after all, we have a place to live – a beautiful, rural place – and we have enough money to do much of what we want to do. We have so much; we are so blessed.
Yet still, my heart aches today . . . And I just need to let it.
We have had some great news this week. We talked with our business advisor and came up with some ideas for revenue to help with the farm plans:
- sale of eggs
- hosting weddings/business events
- a potential partnership with a local Mennonite market to sell our excess produce
- a potential partnership with a local winery on the nights of concerts and readings
- and children’s events here on the farm to learn and enjoy.
Plus, this week, we ordered our chicks – 16 “ornamental” mystery birds that will arrive by mail – I’m still awed by that – in early April. We’ll be naming them for flowers – on the suggestion of Philip’s mom, so start brainstorming, and if you’d like to have your name added to the coop wall, check out our chicken sponsorship opportunities.
Soon, we’ll be starting seeds and getting the garden ready, so if you want to visit the farm and learn about the process of beginning a garden with cold crop, come visit. We’d be happy to give you a few lessons.
And stay tuned for updates on the chicks and the visitations we hope to schedule for young and old alike. We’re eager to share our girls with you.
So we have the great mixed with the painful this week . . . and isn’t that just life, all the hard, fraught beauty of it.
We’re actively seeking ideas about what kind of activities you’d like to see on the farm. Are there any gardening workshops you’ve particularly appreciate? Or any childrens’ activities that seem particularly awesome? What would you and yours like to do here? Let us know, and we’ll consider those as we move forward. Thanks.