Three years ago today, in the wee hours of the morning, we finally made it. My older daughter and I, with our two cats, a couple of fish, and the van stuffed with plants and as much more as we could squeeze in, arrived here at the farm. We were finally reunited with my husband and younger daughter.

It would be several more weeks before we could get the house cleared up enough for our own stuff to be brought by the movers, with all the disaster they wrought in the process.

It was a brutal move.

Things have not gone to plan. Nothing ever does! However, we’ve managed to meet, or at least progress on, a number of goals. My husband ending up in the hospital with a heart condition last year threw quite a few things off, but he is still with us, and that’s the main thing. Of course, we never dreamed we’d have such a mess with our own personal vandal (the list of things he’s taken from from here over the years now tops $45,000 in estimated value, and it’s still just what my brother can be sure of!). The deal we had with our mother to take care of the farm is now with my brother, and it has been quite mutually beneficial.

Among our goals, we want to slowly get ourselves as self-sufficient as possible. Being able to garden this year was a major step forward in meeting that goal. It just happened to also be a year when absolutely everyone who could, decided to grow their own pandemic gardens! It did make it a bit harder to find some things, but overall, we did all right.

Little by little, we’re moving forward in our plans. Looking at the list of stuff that disappeared has had me thinking of just how much further forward we could be, if we had all those tools, equipment and supplies to use! Ah, well. It is what it is. We have had to get creative, and I’m looking forward to some of the projects we’ve got in mind for the next few years.

Looking ahead, we will be slowly expanding our gardening; I will probably continue to focus more on the vegetable gardening, while my daughters will focus more on flowers. We hope to be able to plant a nut orchard as soon as we can, since the trees will take so long to mature and produce. Berry bushes and fruit trees are also on the list. My goal of clearing out the spruce grove continues, though I will have to divide that with working on the outer yard more. There are things that need to be done there that really shouldn’t wait, some of which I’ve already started on. Hopefully, we will be able to expand our gardening to the outer yard, where there is more direct sunshine, and at some point set up some poly-tunnels or greenhouses.

There is still a lot to clean up, repair and replace. We still have to figure out how to come up with the money for a new roof. Though there is much more renovation that needs to be done, none of that matters very much if we don’t get the roof done!

We still plan to build a cordwood shed that will be an outdoor bathroom with composting toilet. As much as we need a second bathroom in the house, if we have another disaster with the septic like we had earlier this year, we need a back up, and the old outhouse we’ve got now isn’t really usable. I’d be worried someone would fall through the floor!

There have certainly been challenges, and of course there will be more. In the end, however, I still think moving out here was the right decision for us. Especially with all that’s been going on this year. I don’t even want to think about what things would have been like, if we were still living in the heart of the city right now! It was stressful enough, even before the world went crazy with Covid. Still living in the city through all this would have been disastrous for my husband’s health – and that’s without getting the virus! For all the unexpected difficulties, living here has still given us an oasis of relative peace from the world, and I am grateful for it.

Here’s to another year of moving forward!

The Re-Farmer

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