In my mind, I heard trumpets blaring and audiences roaring. In reality, all I heard was the scribbling of the pen as my wife and I signed the paperwork. It was done. We just bought a farm. THE farm. OUR farm!
Excitement. Fear. Overwhelmed. Underwhelmed. Surreal. These are all words I would use to describe the experience of finally purchasing our farm.
It was over a decade previous that I was in the local library and stumbled across Joel Salatin’s book, You Can Farm. That was my first glimpse of the alternative agriculture revolution, and I was hooked. Then came books by Gene Logsdon, Wendell Berry, Louis Bromfield, Ferenc Máté, J. Russell Smith, Masanobu Fukuoka, P.A. Yeoman, Robert Hart, Allan Savory, Paul Stamets, David Holmgren, Bill Mollison, and many others. I was a kid who grew up in the suburbs of South Florida, and yet I suddenly found myself yearning to live a rural life, a self-sufficient life, a sustainable life. And now, after years of winding paths and literally tens of thousands of pages read, I find myself finally able to put these dreams and visions into practice.
While my wife and I were signing papers, my 5 and 6 year old sons were lying just behind me on the carpet in the corner of the small conference room, working hard on their coloring books. My parents were sitting outside in the parking lot while my 1 and 3 year old daughters were asleep in the car on that cool Autumn afternoon. It was just another day coloring and just another nap for my children, but they were there. My heart is full with the knowledge that I will be able to tell them that they were there that day we bought this farm. For while I am doing this for myself and my passions, my strongest motivation to succeed is my children. I have the opportunity to lay a foundation which they will be able to build upon in the future.
And my work has just begun.streaming Seventh Son
Our farm is almost 100 acres (40 hectares) in the rolling hills of Eastern Tennessee. Geologically, it is part of the Appalachian Ridge-and-Valley Province of the Appalachian Mountains. We have a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Cherokee National Forest and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park). The property is approximately half pasture and half forest with a mix of young and fairly mature trees including oak, walnut, and cedar. I need to spend a lot more time in these woods to get a better grasp of who all is living there. We have three ponds on the property, the largest of which is about 0.75 acres (0.30 hectares) and the smallest is about 0.06 acres (0.02 hectares) and most likely needs to be rebuilt. The pasture is pretty degraded and has a very low organic matter percentage, but I can work with that! As I said, my work has just begun.
For those of you who are regular readers of this site, you may have noticed a significant drop in the number of articles I have been writing. That is not for lack of desire! I have been very busy with many things in preparation for buying our farm. Chiefly, I have been working close to twice fulltime to finish saving the money we needed for the down payment on our farm. The few days a month I have had free, I have chosen to spend with my beautiful, strong, talented, understanding, and supportive wife and my children who don’t quite understand why I have been gone so much. My peace is restored knowing that this is just a season, less than a year, of my working too much away from the family, so that I do not have to in the future. Therefore, and appropriately, writing articles for my website falls lower on my priority scale. Rest assured that writing about Permaculture is still a passion of mine. I will continue to share the knowledge that I gain and the experiences that I have. Please be patient as my family and I work on making a huge and wonderful transition to our farm.