Sunday, September 6, 2009

I'm a newbie at blogging, but here goes . . .

How to go from the corporate world (Sales Manager, Aerospace) to farmer in six easy steps:
  1. Got an opportunity for early retirement and a chance to spend more time on my 82 acre lot.
  2. A spreadsheet says I can get by on $800 a month in addition to retirement benefits.
  3. A booth at a farmers market will provide that $800 a month.
  4. Wouldn't a greenhouse be fun?  And I could sell the plants at the farmers market.
  5. The raw milk people needed a new place for their cows (organic).  I can do that!
  6. Chickens.  Gotta have chickens.
At that point, my accountant told me that I would have to start filing income tax as a farmer - it is no longer a hobby.  Okay, so I'm a farmer.  I could have told you that about three years ago - or maybe 60 years ago.
I was born and raised on a farm, married a farmer.  My husband Ed and I had one of the top ten dairy herds in Illinois, beautiful Guernseys. It was a hard life, but I loved it.  Unfortunately, for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with farming, the marriage didn't survive.  
Fast forward to 2003 - early retirement, dawdling around on this 82 acre piece of land.  I had let it go fallow, had a small garden and was mostly raising weeds and ticks.  Boredom set in.  First the greenhouse, then expanding the booth at the farmers market, then bringing two cows here when we lost our lease at the neighbor's farm.  I had to get organic certification to have them here, so I certified the whole farm, even the woods.  And the greenhouse.  And built a certified organic barn - yes, the building materials must be different!  No treated lumber anywhere the cows can get their tongues.
That's enough history.  From now on, this blog will tell a daily story about what goes on here on this 82 acre piece of paradise.

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