Oh dear, I've been a bad blogger. I've been a little busy for the past few days. I've made some new friends that I like more than the internet, if that's possible, so the posting has been a bit slow. I started to write something about the cold the other day, but never posted it, because really I'll have all winter to discuss that.
So here's what's been happening recently:
Oliver and Bonnie have been looking to move to a new farm. Where they are now is four acres, spread out on four different properties, none of which they own. Oliver's father owns them all. He's not a tyrant of a landlord, or anything close to it, but farming this way is not efficient and it also doesn't offer them the chance to feel independent or very self-sufficient.
The farm they have been looking at is in Pawlet, about 15 or 20 minutes from here. It's so much bigger than where they are now. Just one of the fields is over twice the size of what they have now. A river goes through part of the property and much of the land is also an entire hillside. There are several barns, a sugar house, and an old farmhouse. All of the buildings would need work and all of the fields used to be used for nothing but corn, so they need quite a bit of work as well. Oliver thinks he can do it. What he's not sure about is raising the money. It's not a cheap farm by any means, but it is a wonderful one, and it's the kind of place they've been looking for.
I went to see the property twice with Oliver. I understand why he's so in love with it. For someone as dedicated to farming and CSAs, it's a perfect farm for him. It's still close to this location, so they can keep their current CSA members, and be close to family. The hillsides are beautiful and Oliver says the soil is amazing. However, it's a lot of work. It would take up all of Oliver's time, which is worrisome because of the baby Bonnie is about to have. This is more than just risking money, it's a risk to his family as well.
In the end, the risks have been assessed. Bonnie is aware that if they get the farm Oliver will not be so available, but she is just as eager to move as he is. Oliver knows that if he doesn't get together enough CSA support he won't be able to afford the mortgage payments. I think they also know that no matter what happens, the people around them will do their best to support and help them, even if they think buying this farm is a bad idea. As for my own opinions, I am undecided. I love this farm. If it were me, I think I would be going just as crazy as Oliver is right now. What a perfect opportunity, at a less than perfect time. Who knows if something like this would come up again? Who knows what this particular farm could do for the lives of everyone involved? The biggest problem with these things is that you can not spend a year thinking about it. You can't try it out and then take it all back if it doesn't work. You have to dive in head first, and that's the scariest part of all. What happens if the farm fails? And is the possible success of the farm, worth risking failure?