July 8, 2014

the search

It's been awhile since I've written any kind of update on the farm search. You know, the 'forever' farm that we've been searching for for the last 6 years. The short version is that we're still looking. We had one in our sights several months ago that we really liked, but if there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's not to make a decision like this lightly.

This farm had everything we've been looking for, especially location, but there was a major flooding issue in the pastures. We spent a lot of time thinking about it and wondering if it was something we could repair over time. We went to visit it in all kinds of weather. We had several experts look at it and give us their opinion and they all confirmed that it was an issue that couldn't be fixed. This meant that although the farm was perfect for building the bakery business, there wasn't much promise of having animals there and that's just not an option for us, as that's part of our whole vision.

There have been a few other interesting opportunities and other possible farm properties, but nothing has been quite right. After all we've been through, we know to allow ourselves enough time to feel things out and make sure it's a good fit for us. The marcellus shale gas issue around these parts continues to interfere. It's crazy how many farm properties listed on Craigslist tout "FREE GAS!" There are so many beautiful farms for sale that have either already had wells drilled for gas, have current leases to drill in the future, or that do not come with the mineral rights. There's no way we would buy a farm without owning what's underneath and having control of what happens there.

We want to find a small place where we can finally put down some roots and start a family business that can continue on after us. The last thing we want is for Zander to be left to deal with a potential environmental disaster and to be faced with the decision of abandoning his family farm because it's no longer farmable, livable or even sellable.

We realize that this severely limits our chances of finding the right place in Western Pennsylvania, but this is where our family is and we're determined to try. At some point we're going to have to take a chance and hope for the best.

We're happy where we are right now, so there's no immediate rush. This place is not our own but it's comfortable. We live on a farm, in a rental situation, where we help to take care of the animals. We're able to grow our own food, Zander is able to run free, and we can enjoy the wildlife, trees and stars. That's what's important to us. We love this small town and feel it's the best place for us to be. We're starting an exciting new project that will keep us plenty busy until the right place comes along. Stay tuned for more on that later....      

1 comment:

  1. While we lived on this farm (Organic beef pork and dairy) we knew we needed our last farm away from constant customers, where we could produce food just for the two of us. It took 5 years but one day the property showed up and we cashed in our last 401 K to pay for it. Because we are now totally broke...we call it The Poor Farm. One day we will get this monster farm sold and move to The Poor Farm. In the meantime we keep dreaming and so should you!