Our names are Nick and Charlotte and today we did something a little crazy.
We bought a farm.
We’re a couple in our twenties currently residing in the bustling city of Auckland, New Zealand… but not for long. Near the end of the year we’ll be migrating to the boonies, to a tiny old cottage on rolling pastureland in the middle of nowhere, forty minutes’ drive from the nearest… anything.
We expect our lives will be changing drastically; we’ll be prying our fingers from the handles of shopping trollies and plunging them into veggie patches; we’ll be doffing our urban attire and donning gumboots and stubbies; we’ll be ditching milk cartons and grasping for teats. A homesteading life in the country! This has been our dream and the shit just got real.
[Before you read on and since this is our first post, you might find it helpful to head over to the About page. There you can read a description of the farm and get a feel for who we are and what the hell we think we’re doing.]
What an emotional rollercoaster the past few months have been. Not only did we visit dozens of blocks for sale, driving for hundreds of kilometres and weeks across the country, when we did find “the one” we were overwhelmed with indecision and worry and boggled by a complicated financial situation. After all, this wasn’t any ordinary property purchase. This was going to be the place that we intended to live for the rest of our lives – a permanent canvas on which we could paint our Eden and whose framing had to hold up to the scrutiny of our ridiculous “requirements”. We had to be sure, and that hesitation almost cost us.
“Is it right for us? Is it too much? It’s a bit big… Does it have this and that and everything that a farm should have?! What should a farm have anyway? Double check our innumerable list again – how many boxes are ticked? Okay, we’re pretty sure this is it. It’s as close to perfect that we can find and afford… in fact, it’s the only one. (We do want it, right?) All right, let’s do this. Wait, what… there’s already another offer on it?! Christ! Go, now! Waiting… Waiting… Is it ours? Maybe? Yes…? Yes! It’s ours! Our dream has come true! We have a farm! Oh… crap… what have we done?”
So, suddenly we have a farm. Does that make us farmers? Not in the slightest. It does, however, make us ex-city-dwellers come November when we make the big move, and for that, at least, we’re ecstatic. We sure are going to miss the convenience of the city, rife with its supermarkets and megastores at every turn. But there’s more we won’t miss (including the reliance on that convenience in a weird sort of way). It goes without saying that what we’ll miss most of all is having friends and family so close by. But it’s indeed the country life for us, no question. We’ve had tastes of it in our pasts, and that nostalgic longing combined with our values for a simpler way of life closer to nature reaffirms that there really is no other option for the kind of people we are. Some people don’t really get it, and that’s okay. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
We’ve got a lot to learn and it’s going to be tough, especially at the start, but we’re excited. It’s probably going to be some time before we can emblazon the title of “farmer” on our plaid shirts… if ever. Actually, it’s important that we confess outright that farming itself isn’t the primary focus of our ambition. It’s a part of our plan for sure (and needs to be for extra income), but it’s a mere footnote in our homesteading manifesto; what all this is really about for us is the joy and challenge of the on-going pursuit of self-reliance/sufficiency in a rural setting. Frankly, we find the lifestyle too charming to resist.
Are we ready for this? Hmm. Well, one step at a time. We’re sure there are plenty of surprises waiting to jump out at us, and we’re expecting the unexpected. Yes, there will be tears; yes, there will be blood. All we can claim to have under our belts in terms of experience is theoretical – what we have read and heard. At a pinch that might be just enough to see us through. We’ve researched a little about lots, so we have a well-rounded idea of what’s in store. True or not, we like to think of ourselves as resourceful do-it-your-self-ers who learn quickly from our mistakes. That smidgen of self-confidence will hopefully be enough to spur us through the times when we start second guessing our abilities and ambitions. Come what may!
So ends the first post of a digital journal that will hopefully still be in use for years to come, sanity pending. It’s so surreal for us now that we’ve made the first step towards actualising our dream – we keep shouting aloud to each other “we have a farm!”, reminding ourselves that, yes, this crazy awesome idea is really happening. Holy crap.