It was very difficult for me to write this post. I was actually planning on writing this a couple of Sundays ago and kept putting it off using a variety of minor excuses.
We moved out to the very corner of Lambton County 4 years ago, to a beautiful new house on an acre that appeared to be the home of our dreams.
It was not an ideal situation for our family. We were very isolated there, over an hour away from the main city where I worked and where two of our kids live, but we figured the drive would be something we would get used to. After all, don’t lots of people commute daily, sometimes for more than an hour, and in heavier traffic than what we had to contend with? It was so amazingly beautiful out there, and felt so peaceful and wonderful. Surely that would make up for the few negatives by being out there?
We were immediately up to our necks in debt. Financially it could not have been worse for us. You should try your damndest to NEVER go into debt when trying to farm on a small scale. Against our wills, we both had to continue working off-farm full time just to scrape by. Any small emergency became a huge deal. There were vet bills, part of our roof blowing off in a storm for which we had to cough up the deductible payment, cars conking out unexpectedly, and giant feed bills. Every negative event we experienced there chipped away a little more at our finances, our well-being as a family, and our sanity.
Our brand-new home was also more of a problem than we could have predicted. The roof was built shoddily, which of course caused the shingles to blow off half the roof during the first big country storm we had. Black mold plagued the windows due to the builder taking shortcuts that even the home inspection didn’t turn up.
All of this of course affected the happiness and contentment we had envisioned living out there. We were in the most beautiful spot on earth, but we were all unhappy, never mind being tired and overworked.
So two weeks ago we pulled the plug on the whole situation. We got rid of the house and moved to a rented farm closer to civilization. We are on a main road and our little farm house is set so far back from the road that we can’t hear the traffic.
We finally have real barns! This 1876 farm still has the three original outbuildings on it and we are allowed to use two of them-a nice 15 by 30 foot barn where the pigs and goats now happily reside, and another, slightly smaller building with a nice haymow and lots of room for next year’s turkeys.
The farm beside ours which is owned by our landlord used to have a gravel pit in the back of it. There is a lovely pond, and woods that are perfect for our beehives. We were allowed to put all of our bees back there, away from everything except lovely trees and birdsong, and they seem to be very happy there.
We do have a lot of work that needs to be done. There is no garden, so that all has to be dug out and cultivated. Pastures need to be fenced in for the pigs and next year’s turkeys. We have to build some kind of honeyhouse.
But for now, we are settling in. Our stress is pretty much gone. There is no more commute, and we have nice neighbours close by. We are only a 20 minute drive from the kids.
These are big changes, but we welcome them.