I’d be lying if I said that we had planned to become farmers. When Jonathan quit lawyering everyone asked what he was going to do next. Frankly, we didn’t know how long he was going to be on hiatus from work and we didn’t know if he’d go back to the legal profession. It’s funny where life takes you when you finally have the time to pursue your interests. After dabbling in all sorts of interests, we started semi-seriously talking about acquiring some land.
For years we had talked about having more space to do all the crazy things that living in the city would never allow: build our dream home, grow a big garden and perhaps have some animals, maybe build some dirt bike trails and shoot off some fireworks. You know, create our little playground. Then, as the “what if” conversations turned into “maybe we should” conversations, plans started to evolve. Jonathan got serious about learning everything about purchasing rural property. Along the way a desire to do something productive with the land, perhaps earn some income while being outside and doing something tangible and meaningful, began to grow. We visited local farms, drove back roads with our two kids napping in their car seats, started taking classes, and read tons of books. (Well, Jonathan read a ton of books – I was too busy being pregnant and then sleep deprived with our new baby.)
Week after week some new property would be THE place and then for some reason we’d cross it off the list. Then we discovered Alderhurst Farm, 25 miles northeast of Seattle in an idyllic valley on the banks of the Snohomish River. Though it’s not without its challenges (more on that later), the beautiful 20-acre parcel and its historic barn won our hearts. The former owner is a spunky lady with a national reputation for her prize-winning Angus cattle; her husband was a brilliant Boeing engineer who liked to build and fly small aircraft, designed and fabricated inventions in his shop, and operated a small wood mill for fun. Just thinking about the previous owners makes us smile. Plus, how many farms come with an airplane hangar, complete with a disassembled vintage airplane?
But I digress.
So this farming thing is now a reality. All of a sudden we’re both working again and someday soon it won’t feel strange to call ourselves farmers. What does it take to be a farmer? I guess we’ll find out.