Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blogging May Take a Backseat for a Bit

In the last 24+ hours of farm ownership I (with the help of my family) managed to:
1. Repair the roof on the barn and the large sliding doors
2. Remove all of the carpeting and tack from the house
3. Plant a dozen christmas trees
4. Seed a bed of carrots and a bed of beets
5. Remove tile and a few pieces of drywall from the house
6. Bleach and scrub half of the rooms in the house
7. Trim overgrown ivy and briars off the house
8. Meet with the tenants and put together a lease agreement
9. Set up appointments with a million different contractors
10. Move several truck loads of supplies out of my parent's house and into my garage

And yet the list keeps growing!  Thank goodness for darkness, otherwise I'd run myself ragged.  And more importantly, thank goodness for my family (K included!) for all of their help because I could never ever do this without them.

I'm busy (very busy), but doing my best to stay organized, relaxed, and appreciative for this opportunity.  I will still be blogging regularly, but most likely it will be on our farm blog (www.fullheartfarm.com) or through the National Young Farmers Coalition (I'm a featured bootstraps blogger for the season!).  Two Blue Boots was started to document my journey to farm ownership, and here we are!  It feels odd to stop writing here all of a sudden, but expect posts to be much less frequent in the coming months.

Thank you all for following a long!  Best of luck on YOUR next adventure!  :-)

Monday, April 30, 2012


I did it.  I'm still in shock that everything seems to have worked out so perfectly.

I couldn't feel more lucky and thankful and happy than I do right now.

Dreams really do come true.

It's Today

image via pinterest

Saturday, April 28, 2012


The pigs are all settled into their new home on the farm!

(And, yes, I forgot to take pictures...)

It was a LONG 2.5 hour drive for them, especially considering they already moved once this week.  They were fairly easy to catch (good to know I still have my pig grabbing skills!) and super cooperative while we drove across the state.  I picked up my parents on the way and we unloaded them into the former chicken run for the night.  The fence is sturdy and the ground was covered in a thick layer of straw and weeds (it hasn't been used for years), so I feel pretty good about leaving them there for the night.  They all look healthy and were eating/drinking/rooting around when I left just before dark!  I'm eager to go check on them first thing in the morning.

And, just like that, the first enterprise of Full Heart Farm is set up!  The pigs have food, water, shelter, and a simple rotational grazing plan that should get us through until fall.  I'm sure there will be bumps along the way, but it feels good to finally have a small part of the farm project underway!

I stayed and chatted for a bit with the owners (who are planning to move out tomorrow) and the tenants, who had a bunch of friends over.  Even though I'm a little nervous (scratch that, a LOT nervous) about being a landlord, it was sort of nice to see the farm with a big group of people hanging out.  I'm eager for my tiny farm community to grow.

I feel energized.  EXCITED.  I have a long list of things to do tomorrow, but my day will begin on the farm, feeding the pigs.  Morning chores, no matter how tired and sore I am, always center me.  Even when things don't go well, it's the best way to start the day.

38 hours until I own my own farm!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Freak Out

image from crushculdesac.tumblr.com
I lost it today.

I had been worried all week about how much the closing costs would be for the farm, and getting frustrated at the lack of communication between me and my lawyer.  She promised to send the statement by Friday (which was the absolute last possible day, because I needed to go to the bank and the closing is Monday morning).  A little after noon I finally got an email.

Please bring a check for $28,000.00 made payable to ________ on Monday.

And then I started to freak out.

But I figured it had to have been a typo, so I pulled open the attached statement and read through it - trying to sort through the three pages of numbers to find some sort of response.  I called the lawyer with no response, and then my real estate agent, and then my loan officer (who was off today).

A near-heart attack and a few grey hairs later, the lawyer FINALLY called back and admitted there was an error.  She had accidentally calculated in the entire loan amount ($250,000 to purchase the property, plus $30,000 for home repairs) and after factoring in the lawyers fees, taxes, and money that I already paid towards closing costs, I would have RECEIVED a check for $28,000.  Not OWED a check.

I was able to get everything straightened out and now I owe $2,352.10 for closing costs, in addition to the $1,000 I put down with the contract (the loan money for repairs stays at the state office until the work on the house has been done and inspected).  It's a lot of money, but nowhere NEAR as much as $28,000.00.  Insert sigh of relief here.

I'm now totally exhausted.  In the end, this wasn't even a setback, but the stress and anxiety was totally overwhelming.

The truck is already loaded for a big day tomorrow - everything I need for my farm planning class, as well as crates and tarps for picking up my piglets and moving them to the farm tomorrow.  I sure hope they cooperate for the two hour drive!

Here we go!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Countdown Continues

image via tumblr.com

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Closing Day.  I can't believe how real this is.

Today I finally finished the chick brooder (one week until the chicks arrive!), the laying hen's roosts, put a tarp over the pig's hut, and learned how to use ratchet tie straps for the truck (which was somehow MUCH more difficult than I anticipated).  I made a million more phone calls, finally hooked up phone/internet/cable, worked on a press release, and organized a bunch of paperwork.  I keep getting things done, but it seems like the list continues to grow.  Ahhhhhhh...the life of a farmer.

Tomorrow I will find out how much the closing costs will be, which is totally stressing me out.  The loan office never factored in those costs when we ran through the 8 million versions of the budget (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration) and I guess I just assumed they would be covering a lot of them.  Now I'm learning that closing costs are typically 4% of the purchase price, which would be $10,000.  Plus I owe taxes and still have to write a check for the lawnmower.  I have the money in my savings account to pay, so I guess I shouldn't be concerned, but that makes my budget SUPER tight.  Let's hope for an ideal growing season.  And a winning lottery ticket.

I just have to keep reminding myself to breathe and allowing myself to be excited.  This is such a wonderful blessing - to be able to achieve my dream - and I can't let a silly thing like worrying get in the way of celebrating.  :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Closing is Set

The final walk-through is Monday at noon, and the closing is right after.

I signed a big stack of papers today at the loan agency and should receive the final papers (and details on how much the closing will cost) on Friday.

4 days.  HOLY CRAP.