Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Farmer Chic buys a farm

It's the moment we've been waiting for since we placed an offer back in August, we are now officially land owners. The night before the closing, the reality of this huge commitment sunk in. I started to get a case of cold feet. Just as the wrong shade of napkins can set-off a bridezilla ( I said periwinkle not powder blue!) the site of mouse dropping in the camper trailer triggered an avalanche of emotions. And the conversation quickly went from I am not staying in this camper to I am not sure if I want to buy this farm.

We hadn't been up to the farm since mid-December so it is really no surprise mice found their way inside the camper. Mouse turds were in the sink, in the drawer, on our bedding, and on the bench. The idea of some rodent running all over my bedding and pooping on my blankets is not only unhygienic it just creeps me out. And to be honest, I have never been the trailers number one fan. So we booked a night at our favorite hotel, the Inn at Stone Mill. As it turns out the timing was perfect, we got two feet of snow over night.

To be sure my anxiety had less to do with mice and more to do with buying and renovating an unlivable house along with clearing the land dotted with rusted equipment, collapsing buildings, tires, weeds and dead trees. Everywhere I look another item is added to the to-do-list. And the list is getting very, very long.

As Darien and I drove to Lowes to pick-up mouse traps and other supplies we had a heart-to-heart. He had me list out all my concerns so we could address them one by one. A few of them were: How long we will have to stay in the camper? How much money is this going to cost us? and, Do I really want to live in this area?

Darien reassured me that we will make it our goal to have at least one room finished, that we can stay in by the end of the year. As for money, he reminded me again that at the end of the day whether we use the farm as weekend home or the site of our future home, it is an investment.
It's hard to imagine moving upstate because I am very comfortable where I am now. Of all the places we've lived, this is my favorite. Close to the city but still has lots of nature and a rural feel. I am also pretty involved in the local food movement here. It's hard starting all over again and in an area that may not be as open to sustainable agriculture. And quite frankly, the dining options are paltry. There is an abundance of chains, McDonalds, Denny's, Dunkin Donuts, and Pizza Huts, but few independent restaurants and no fine dining. But the reality is land is not affordable where we live. So, as Darien pointed out we will have to meet new people, and bring the sustainable food movement with us.

If you're someone who believes in omens, I do when it's convenient, we discovered a newly opened BBQ restaurant in a nearby town. The pulled pork, hand-cut thick french fries, pork ribs, and potato salad were served in large quantities and at a good price. This is one place where quantity and quality are actually on par. The owner told us he grinds the beef and makes everything from the sausage, soups to salad dressing. He is interested in serving local food but has to find a way to make it cost effective.

The pulled pork smothered in bbq sauce soothed my jitters. Darien, the farm, and I would make this relationship work.

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