wanted : one forever farm

wanted forever farm

My hubby and I have spent our Saturday mornings for quite some time driving out to Langley to pick up chicken feed, go to the livestock auction, have breaky at Otter Co-op and drive around drooling over farms.

Chatting with Joel Salatin about our farming aspirations and the challenges we face in finding our forever farm, he made a point that stuck with me. We must not forget that there are lots of old-timer farmers out there with the opposite worry: how am I going to get OUT of farming?

More than half of current principle farm operators are over the age of 55. In the next 20 years, 70 percent of farmland will change hands.

Many of these folks don’t want to see their beloved farms turned into golf-courses, or worse yet, a suburban sub-division. But if you don’t have (willing) family to pass the farm to, what do you do?

So. Believing that the world is a serendipitous place, rather than just pouring over the MLS listings, we are sending this message out into the universe.

We are on the search for our forever farm. Maybe it is your farm. Maybe it is the farm of someone you know.

We would love to be the answer to that question for a family who needs to leave the farm, but wants to see it continued to be cared for by stewards who will love it as much as they do.

A bit about us:

We are a young married couple in our early 30’s. We have an 11 month old boy and plans for more. We are Master Organic Gardeners, urban farmers, backyard-chicken wranglers. My hubby is a farm boy from Ontario, I’m a city girl from BC. We build houses. We dream of a life for our children that involves hard work, fresh air and good food. Our goal is to leave city life behind within two years.

A bit about our dream farm:

We need to keep our day jobs for a while. That means our farm needs to be somewhere within commuting distance to Vancouver, BC. Our dream location? The Otter District in Langley, BC. We are looking for 5 to 10 acres. We want to farm organically – the quality of the soil is a key concern. We want to raise pastured poultry, goats for milk and the odd hog. We’d like access to water and / or the opportunity for a pond. The dream house? A traditional farmhouse we can lovingly restore. Pastures, pond, some mature trees, space for a small orchard and a large vegetable garden. That is our dream.

Of course, this is about our dream.

We don’t expect to find our perfect dream farm right out the gate. But we hope we will find something that has the potential to become our dream farm. We aren’t millionaires. We have boundaries and limitations on our dreams like everyone else. But that won’t stop us from trying to get as close as we can.

This blog post is part one of our message in a bottle.

We have other ideas as well, which we’ll share as we go. Hopefully our message will somehow find it’s way.

Please help us find our forever farm. Let’s play a giant game of telephone and see what we get at the end.

Pass it on. Tell a friend.

Help us find our way home.

9 thoughts on “wanted : one forever farm

  1. Lila

    Hey Stacey,

    Not sure if you’ve seen this site before, but my cousin and wife help run it. http://farmon.com/ It’s supposed to be an online community for farmers…maybe you could make some connections there? Good luck in your search!

    1. The Slow Foods Mama Post author

      Lila that is AMAZING! Thank you so much! BTW – My Mum loved the holiday letter from your Mum. She can’t believe how much Emelyn looks like you! Thx again!

  2. arealfoodlover

    I am looking for the perfect homestead too! I’ve been shopping for about 7 months here in Michigan. I want 10 acres with fruit trees and a big red barn. Oooohh I can’t wait!
    Good luck in your search, I really hope you find it.

  3. Shaun Mavronicolas

    Hey Stacey, have to agree with Mary and Jim above. Best wishes in finding your forever farm.

    I came across this uplifting story/journey sometime back of Janet and Harry below. I am sure there are many more, and I am sure many that were where you are now…

    We’re city folk who moved to the country and started a small garlic, herb and veggie farm. We’re passionate about nature, food and sustainability. The post on her blog – http://garlicinthesoul.blogspot.com/2011/02/from-city-to-farm.html

    BTW, have you ever considered joining a coop to get you going… something like Chris Bodnar has with Glen Valley Organic Farm?

    1. The Slow Foods Mama Post author

      Small world, isn’t it! I’ve spoken to Janet on twitter.

      It’s easy to get discouraged when so many farms in the ALR are priced as though they’re development properties. I’m confident we’ll find something we can afford, though. I didn’t realize Glen Valley was a co-op. That’s a great idea. We’re open to non-traditional arrangements. We spoke to one old-timer on the island at a round table with Joel Salatin and he talked about renting-to-own his farm. We just have to be creative.

      Stories like Janet and Harry’s are encouraging. I have faith we’ll find our way. Our fabulous little urban farm started with just a traditional veggie garden and a few front-yard blueberries. Its evolved naturally into exactly what its supposed to be. I’m sure it will be the same with our forever farm.

      Thanks for the encouragement and we look forward to your urban farmers series. I loved the trailer. Their enthusiasm is infectious. 🙂

  4. Pingback: taking the leap : our forever farm? | eat your lawn { Tortoise & Hare Slow Foods Blog }

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