When I posted about possibly writing a book, and asked what sort of book I should write, a number of people requested a book telling how I did it. How I came to live on this farm. Some suggested an “instructables” sort of thing. If I do ever write a book including that sort of thing, I would write more than I’m going to write in this post (maybe), but, for now, I want to at least write this:
If you’re looking for an “instructables” on how to take your life to a farm, I don’t have one.
If you want to know how to save money and make financial plans to move to the country and buy a farm, I can’t help you. There are all sorts of expert financial resources available–financial planners and materials, books and websites, and so on. Do a search on Google and you’ll find professional advice about saving money and making financial plans.
If you want to know how to plan a farm, I can’t help you. There are all sorts of books and magazines and websites devoted to professional information and material and advice on all sorts of subjects related to setting up a farm, how to prepare and plan for various animals, and how to develop and improve land for agricultural use. You can also find a breed association for every animal on the planet with information on how much space different types of animals need and various housing requirements. There are more books and forums than you can shake a stick at.
If you want to know where and how to buy property for a farm, I can’t help you. I’d suggest you buy a farm in West Virginia. It’s the most beautiful place in the world. You probably have your own favorite place in mind. Research the real estate market in the area you’re interested in and get a good grip on values in that area. Talk to your bank. Find out how much money you can borrow. Figure out how much money you can earn. Work like dog.
Unless I think I might blind myself doing something (such as making soap), I don’t usually plan, prepare, or study up on it a whole bunch first. Why scare yourself with all the information? Ever notice how many situations I find myself in that I know nothing about? JUST GO GET YOURSELF A PREGNANT COW. (Where’s your sense of adventure?)
Disclaimer: This is not for everyone. I am not telling anyone to do what I did. You will have to believe, or not believe, all by yourself. I can’t help you. You should probably do all that planning and preparing stuff.
I did not make financial plans. I did not prepare to have a farm. I did not study the real estate market.
I had no money. I didn’t know anything about having a farm. I wanted this piece of property because it was across the river and adjacent to my great-grandfather’s old farm.
I still don’t have any money. I still don’t know much about farming. I love this piece of property.
Like anyone, I have all sorts of messy personal details in my life. There are blogs where they tell all their messy personal details. This isn’t one of them. I found myself one day in the position where I was free to go where I pleased. I wasn’t free because anyone let me go, but because one day I let myself go. I had no plans. Or money. I just went. And I figured it out one day at a time from that point on, and I am still figuring it out. I dreamed of a different life for myself. I went after it with nothing but passion in my pocket, chore boots on my feet, and belief in my heart.
Believe–and make no mistake, believing means working. Dreaming AND doing. (Doing doesn’t mean you have to buy a farm tomorrow. But if it’s what you want, you should be doing something toward the goal. Every day.) There is no greater obstacle to your dreams than fear. And common sense. Common sense is a huge obstacle. If I had been making my decisions based on common sense, I would still be living in a 4000-square foot house in a posh suburb in North Carolina buying Viking cookware while I fed my kids mashed potatoes out of a box.
Every day, no matter what, I wake up and tell myself I believe. And I do whatever it takes, all day. And I keep believing. I never stop believing. I am a believer. I operate on passion. My passion for my farm, for my kids, for my life, for my writing. My belief drives me like a battering ram through every single day, no matter the obstacles–physical, emotional, or financial. I love what I do and where I am. I believe I am meant to do this and I am meant to be here and I will succeed. I am an unstoppable force. (Just because I say so.)
Some people would call that crazy. I call it standard operating procedure.
And the cookies will come.