Final papers are signed and we officially own our land. You may notice that I say we own the land and not the house. That is on purpose. We got a great deal on this property because there was some funny stuff going on. There is an old manufactured home on the property that does not have a title. It has been there for at least 20 years and it has not had a clean title for any of that time.
We took a risk. We figured that if nobody has come to claim the house in the last 20 years, the odds of someone doing it now are low enough that we decided that it was worth the risk. We live with a risk of someone showing up on the doorstep with a clear title saying that they are going to take our house away, but we are also confident that nobody is going to want to pay the thousands of dollars to move our 1967 manufactured home. Despite the fact that it is fairly well maintained, the house still isn’t worth much.
So we ended up getting a great deal on 5 acres in Clark County just outside of Battle Ground. And a huge thanks goes out to my in-laws for financing the property for us so we can live our dream and to Cary Minden, our real estate agent who was an amazing help in the search through distressed houses. I would recommend Cary without reservation. I’m actually sort of curious if he ever looks at the stats for his website. Could you click on the link above for me so I can see if he checks his stats? I’d appreciate it.
Now that we own the property, we also went and got a business license. Actually we did it online, but whatever. Some time ago I announced some ideas of what we were going to name the farm and asked for insight. We went ahead and named it something that had not even crossed the radar at that point. We are calling our farm ‘Five Sprouts Farm’ My wife is working on a logo and she has a cute tagline that I have forgotten about raising kids and produce sustainably. My wife has a better way with words than I do.
Now the reality is beginning to set in. I own 5 acres of land that I want to grow things from. I need to get my greenhouse up and start planting things. While I may be fairly new to this whole farming thing, I do know that you have to plant a crop in order to be able to harvest something later in the season. I just need to get settled enough to get things into the ground.
I find myself in a funny place. I have worked in Corporate America in the fitness industry among a lot of people trying to get ahead in their career. I have ideas that I think are good, but working through the bureaucracy is too much for me and it simply wears me out. I am a bit self conscious about that and feel like I quit before I achieved my potential. I don’t want to be seen as a quitter, but boy, those working conditions (with several different companies) simply wore me out.
Now I am looking back at my path to owning a farm. I’ve wanted to grow things and produce food for quite a while. We have had gardens everywhere I have lived for many years and it is always my happy place. It was just over a year ago that I took the first big step toward owning a farm, and it didn’t really have anything to do with farming.
My first step was to sell everything I owned and move my family into a thirty foot travel trailer in order to move back home. Honestly, I didn’t see a farm at the other end of that adventure, but I did see opportunity. It was a sacrifice that had to be made in order to move in the direction I wanted to go. Since taking that step, things have just fallen into line. Not as quickly as we would have liked, but everything has worked out perfectly. Just a few weeks ago I was ashamed to share that I moved my family into a travel trailer, but now it’s one of the most exciting parts of the story.
I now have a job that I love, working at a community college. I get to teach wonderful students about all of the things that I am passionate about, but I still have enough flexibility in my schedule to farm on the side. Sometimes that means I don’t sleep a lot, but I am so excited about all aspects of my life and excited about the things that occupy my time when I’m awake that it is worth it.
I have never felt like this in my life. I am sometimes ashamed to share it because I know that not everyone is excited to do whatever it is that they do. I know that I spent many years of my life not excited about what I had to do once I got out of bed and I don’t wish that on anyone. My mental health is better than it has ever been and I am excited about what I’m doing.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to be a farmer. So far I have figured out that it will be time consuming and a lot of long hours and physical labor.