Monday, May 18, 2015

Finally...The Beginning

 

 

The rocky road to our new life as depicted by The Poor Farms driveway

But after two weeks we got gravel. Glorious gravel.

If you were a fan of my previous blog, "The Midlife Farmwife," thanks so much for following me over here, to our new farm, new life and new blog. Please forgive the aesthetics of this new blog, I wanted to post a little info first and get this thing rolling; I'll work on it's general appearance later, right now it's all about the intrinsic values, the important things, like composting toilets.

But first for all you new followers, (I see BOTH of you out there, don't be shy. Come forward and introduce yourselves ) my husband Keith and I were for many years the owners of a certified organic dairy, beef and hog farm. Although it kept us well supplied in meat, milk, and wonderful customers who came directly to our farm and provided us with a big farmhouse in which to raise our four children, there came a day back in May 2011 when we announced to each other, ENOUGH. We put our farm business and the home we'd known for almost two decades up for sale. Our children were grown up and out and our farm had outgrown us as well. The opportunity for continued growth was huge but we decided we were not interested in hiring staff, expanding, making more money and increasing our stress. We had done the small farmer sells-to-restaurant thing the local-farmer-sells-to-grocery-store thing, the retail-farm-store-on-your-property-thing and we had tired of spinning our wheels to serve so many others leaving so little time for each other and our families. We wanted out and we wanted simple. It took four years, many interested parties, several close sales, a roller coaster ride of promises and dashed hopes when a few weeks ago we found the perfect couple for our farm. If you want to know more about them please check out their web page I Love Raw Milk. If you are interested in my old blog, lots of good info there on raw milk, pastured hogs, 100% grass fed beef, please go to The Midlife Farmwife.

Now onto to present day.

The Poor Farm as we call it was given its name when we literally cashed in all our savings to buy 7 undeveloped, uncared for acres just 15 miles northwest of our old farm. We bought the property 20 months ago when the first of several seemingly serious offers on our old place, fell through. So on weekends we've been coming up here and slowly cleaning up decades of debri left by previous owners: think old van filled to the ceiling with garbage and old diapers, tons of discarded metal like decayed refrigerators, rusted car doors, bent bed springs and piles of crumbling wood as in century old barn, decrepit sheds, horrible old house, aluminum lawn chairs embedded in the sod, the list goes on and on. Yet in the midst of our archeological digs we have found some jewels which I'll focus on in future posts.

For now we are living in a 200 square foot 1978 Shasta Camper (Rock On Pink Floyd!) without running water or heat.



We do have electricity but that came after a 16 day wait. Let's just say Commonwealth Edison really had no concern for the common wealth (heat, lights, coffee maker, well pump) at all. But they literally had all the power, and with no other electric company serving this area...we waited and waited. Well, we made a few testy phone calls too which might have had something to do with why we waited...and waited...



But we survived. A couple of nights it got down to 32 degrees but our comforters kept us cozy...until we sat up and saw our breath turn crystalline...oooooo...pretty. But man oh man whoever got out of bed first to make the coffee via hot water and the coffee press was hero of the day.

Which leads me to the compost toilet. No, I don't know why, it just does, that's how my mind works. Roll with it.



Some of you old blogtimers might recall our issues with the outhouse we installed here last year. Seems there are rules. Lots and lots of rules about where humans can "go" even though hogs and cows and chickens can go wherever they like. Talk about discrimination. We ended up filling in our outhouse hole in the ground and installing one fancy smancy high end NSI approved, Public Health allowed gleaming white, composting toilet.

I am in love with my new toilet and YOU cannot have it.

But that is enough for a first post about The Poor Farm. I'll give you details on the toilet and the grain bin house (construction to start very soon) and how we plan to live on less and less and less. Come back soon because you just will not believe the 15 hour days we are putting in here making our new simple life. Seriously we are having a blast.

50 comments:

  1. Congrats, congrats, congrats! So exciting to downsize and I'm excited to read all about your adventures!

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  2. Best! I was so happy to hear you are off on your newest adventure!

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    1. New adventure, new headaches, new joys...It's all good

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  3. Best! I was so happy to hear you are off on your newest adventure!

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  4. So happy for you! We need to talk .... and soon.

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  5. So glad you are going to keep us going on your adventures. There is no follow tab on this blog.

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    1. There is now Lynda. I might not be pretty but at least I'm dumb.

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    1. Grand indeed. time for me to check your blog out again

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  7. I can't see how to 'FOLLOW' your adventures.... Have you upset Mr Blogger?

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    1. Cro - Copy the url of this blog and paste it on your dashboard after clicking the "Add" button below your "Reading list" on your dashboard.

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    2. Finally Cro and Tom and all others I did get the follow button in place. Forgiveth me for my ineptitude.

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  8. I look forward to following your adventures on Poor Farm :)

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    1. Me too. What do you think will happen next?

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  9. Happy days! Looking forward to hearing of your adventures.

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    1. Happy Days Yes. Long and tiresome as well. But with huge contentment

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  10. So glad you are blogging again! I have been following your other blog even though I don't comment often, and have been wondering how you are doing since the move.

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    1. Thank you Mary. I thought that was you out there stalking me.

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  12. I can't find a way of following you over here. Make it easy for me!

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  13. wow what an adventure! Good luck!

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  15. Sounds like you two are settling in for the long haul, enjoy yourself! Very happy for the both of you. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.

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    1. Oh man is it a long haul. We've been hauling water to steers, to chickens, to pigs but that's OK one day the spigot god will arrive and we will worship him/her/them.

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  16. Yay, many congrats, sounds like a huge adventure xx

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  17. woohoo Congrats on the move :) I found our blog on your last post when you announced you were finally moving an blogging instead of packing and have been on tenterhooks ever since, pleased to see you made it with almost everything intact :)

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    1. So glad you could join up. looks like your blog is one I need to peek at too.

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  18. I am so looking forward to your new adventure! Keep posting each newly discovered treasures.

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  19. I have been DYING for this post - looking on the old blog daily, hoping for clues to your new adventure. I can finally exhale! *whew* Happy to learn you have a cool gravel highway leading to your new composting toilet -- talk about style. You got it in spades, lady. Glad you and Prince Farming are having fun (nice weather) flashing back to hippy days. Looking forward to lots more posts (and maybe a gadget to let up suscribe??). Cheers!

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    1. Yeah. Your are so right. Gravel Lane, might replace Penny Lane in popularity one day.

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  20. Congratulations!! Anxious to see the poor farm.!

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    1. Deb. I always feel just so bad when I see your name because we have not seen each other in so long. Miss you miss you miss you

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  21. Looking forward to following your new adventure!

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    1. Please do follow. Did you hear? I have a follow button now. Tom made me do it.

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  22. Congratulations! We´re starting from humble beginnings too. Can´t wait for more.

    Can I ask for more details about the gravel drive?

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  23. Donna, this is the very best news and I am so happy for you all. You deserve this! It will be exciting to see how you adapt to your new style of farming. Hopefully you'll have more time for writing!

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  24. I look forward to following your progress. I have just come from my brother's blog (Cro).

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  25. Delurking just to say I have jumped over from your old blog :-)
    Pat

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  26. Congrats on the (sort of) new place!

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  27. What a great looking compost toilet! I wanted one at our last house, but Himself would have none of it.

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  28. Did you know you can shorten your links with AdFly and get money from every click on your short links.

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