|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.