Here is a little background to get started with. In the spring of 2015 my husband and I started pricing the construction of a new milk barn on our current 18 acre property. We knew it would not be cheap, but we did not want to completely relocate and knew that eventually we would be able to acquire a little more land. We also started the USDA paper work process as well. Any farmer who has worked through USDA knows the paper work is intense! As we were browsing local real estate listings as we always did, we stumbled upon a farm that had a dairy barn on it. It was only 15 miles away and would actually be a great location for my commute to work. So we went and looked at it and started a whole new conversation with USDA. In order to apply for their loans you must have a contract on the property. After much deliberation we decided to put an offer in. A couple of weeks later we were under contract on our "dream" farm. It wasn't perfect, but it fit our needs very well. We also put our house on the market at this time. It was very nerve-racking to have our house on the market without the promise of USDA going through as planned. To say it took a lot of faith would be an understatement.
After a few weeks of waiting and finally getting a little further with USDA, we decided to lower the price on our house. We had lots of immediate interest and multiple offers. We went with the best offer and were under contract on our house. Things started to align very well! Other than the fact that it was looking like we were going to be homeless for a week or so due to the time difference with buying and selling. So we moved into a camper and stored our belongings for what should have been just over a week.
The day before closing came, and the buyers of our place started to cause trouble. They started making demands that were unrealistic and wanted repairs "re-done" before proceeding. I won't go into details, but there were lots of tense moments, tears, lost hope, severe anger, heated arguments, and lots of mixed emotions. After all we were already living on a friend's property in a camper...with a 2 year old and no hot water! Long story (full of BS and drama) short, the buyers backed out because they wanted a several $1000 unnecessary foundation fix. They broke contract. It was absolutely heart-breaking. We were going to have to move back in to our house and say good-bye to all of the work we had went through on the new farm. Our relator stepped in and bought our house as an investment. It was a blessing and a stress as we lost a lot of money this way.
Finally, we were set to close on BOTH places and be ready to move on with our life. The day of move in was crazy busy as it was hay season and there was LOTS of hay to be baled all while my husband was working full time and trying to get us moved in. Our belongings were being stored in our new shop, but had become soaked in the process. I had to wash everything and spray everything for mold. On top of that, the air went out the day before we moved it. It took 3 days to get the part, so our first weekend was spent sleeping in the mud room on air mattresses with a window until air conditioner.
Cole sleeping in the mud room
The house needed some love, so we went to work getting rid of the worst PEE smell I have ever experienced. If you could only see what those little pet pee pads did to this carpet, you would second guess your use of those nasty things! Needless to say it took a 21 year old with no sense of smell to get the carpet removed.
Brother ripping up beautiful blue carpet
A work in progress
Within about a week we were done tearing out and had our new carpet in most rooms. Painting was under way and we had started on some floor repair due to termite damage. In the midst of flooring repairs, we discovered there were termites and had to treat for that. We all know how cheap that was....NOT! I guess that is just part of buying an older house, but it still wasn't fun. I will save anymore house details for a later day. I am proud to say our house is in wonderful living, but not perfect condition in less than 6 months time.
New carpet and furniture in (no paint yet)
On to the farm- We now had to focus our time on our milking facility. It took us until the beginning of September to get everything up and running. We bought our cows and they started calving in September as well. Our other cows that were at a friends house for the time being were also brought home. While one would like to think this would be a joyous and happy time, it was a very stressful time on the farm. We were having to get used to the way our barn ran (which was different than we were used to) and get cows and even a few heifers broke to the new facility. It was a tense time for several weeks. We were both working full time and trying to start a dairy farm. I think exhausting doesn't even begin to cover it.
The only farm picture I can find. The view from the road. Behind those trees is the house and you can see the red milk barn in the far left.
Bringing the ladies home - A wonderful and HOT day!
Welcome home girls!
I think I need to frame this one! The start of something beautiful!
Milking in progress!
I am happy to report that now that we have approached the new year the farm is going very well. We are up and running and have most of the kinks worked out. Things still continue to go wrong, but that is to be expected on any farm. I look forward to posting the happenings on our farm, with our family, and in my career as a teacher. I will be sharing my favorite recipes and other household secrets along the way. In addition, I will share life's greatest moments with Cole, my favorite blonde headed 2 year old!
Stay posted for some (much shorter) posts about my life as a dairy wife!