If you’ve been following my blog over the years, you know that we bought a farm in 2010 with big dreams and goals. I had been reading every homesteading book I could get my hands on before that. Our oldest son said emphatically that he wanted to be a pig farmer (of course, he was only 8!). We had planted as many fruit trees and as big of a garden as we could manage on our tiny neighborhood lot. We were ready for space and a real farming adventure!
We did end up having many farming adventures, and also many failures. Farming was a giant learning curve for us, as neither one of us grew up on a farm or had anyone remotely close to us who could guide us. We couldn’t predict the expenses, the time requirements, the things we just didn’t know, or the things we would need to give up.
Ultimately, I say lightly, we failed at farming. I say it lightly because really, we have so many good stories and we are thankful for the experience that we lived through. The farm wasn’t a total failure for us, even though we didn’t profit financially and we’re not farmers any longer. I say that we failed, because in 2014–almost 4 years after we purchased nearly 30 acres with such immense hope; we sold our farm and moved into a tiny apartment and then eventually a home in a neighborhood.
I can’t confidently write posts about how to succeed at farming, unless I am merely relaying what other farmers (who are indeed successful) share with me. (Which I will do from time to time on this blog). What I can share with you, what I know, and what I hope to share with you in the following series, is how to avoid some big mistakes in your own farming adventure.
Honestly, putting this out there feels a little vulnerable. I am going to walk you through, step-by-step, our mistakes….I already get negative comments on this blog, telling me that we did things incorrectly, or “obviously” everybody knows that the way we did things was stupid. I want to start off by making it very clear: we knew nothing about farming before we started. We were newbies, with oh-so-much to learn, and we were also raising kids and remodeling a house, all at once. I’m absolutely sure we did things the wrong way, and that is exactly what I’m going to tell you about. I hope you’ll giggle with me, learn some things as you read, and that you won’t shake your head at me or call me stupid–or leave rude comments. Please be nice.
For the next several Tuesdays (I have 35 post ideas so far, so it’ll be quite a few Tuesdays!), I will be pouring out my heart and sharing every bit of farming experience I can remember to share with you…and how you can avoid ultimately selling the farm that you always dreamed of owning. I am calling this series “How to Fail at Farming, or…Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Succeed at Farming…” I hope you enjoy these posts! 🙂