Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Getting Past the Brick Wall

Land acquisition, like double digging, is damn hard work.

Many of you have been following our quest to find a piece of land here in Clastop County that we could move our farm to, one that we could own, not rent, and where we could do so many of the things that you have all been asking us for:  Grow organic fruits and vegetables, more cut flowers and lavender, host classes, workshops and school tours, expand our edible plant offerings, offer a Locally Grown CSA and so much more.

Well, we have Good News and Not So Good News.

The Good News is that we are very close to being able to purchase an appropriate piece of land that will allow us to eventually do all of the above, and more.  I won't say any more about that right now so as not to jinx things.  Just keep your fingers crossed.

The Not So Good News is that in order to secure a loan to help purchase the land, we have had to go down the route that involves Taking Real Full Time Jobs in order to make these nervous bankers happy about us.  Given the economic times we are living in, it is understandable that they are nervous, but still, it is a frustration that the only effective way we could find to get around the financial brick wall that stood between us and owning a farm was to take this path. Still, it is just a detour, and our eventual destination remains the same.

I have just accepted a position as Development Director with the wonderful North Coast Land Conservancy.  It's a bit daunting to take on, but I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with, and the opportunity to help further the cause of land conservation on the North Coast is one that I can gladly devote my time to for the foreseeable future.  In a roundabout way, their hiring me makes it possible for us to buy the land we need, so they are indirectly helping protect one more great piece of land in the county, because you know that we will devote our lives to being the best land stewards ever.   

Working to help protect such things as Old Growth Forest lands
on the North Coast will be a massive hardship, but somehow I will manage.

Packy will be expanding his baking hours at the fabulous Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe, even taking on some graveyard shifts so that they can get bread out of the ovens first thing in the morning, so you early bird bread fans won't have to wait until midday for your organic artisan bread fix.  Iris has also talked him into doing some cake decorating as well, and anyone who has received our anatomically correct Coho Salmon Gingerbread cookies at Christmas knows that That Boy wields a mean icing decorating bag.

Now covered in flour instead of compost, Packy's regular access to BSB cardamom rolls
fresh out of the oven will go a long way towards making non-farm time less painful.

All this makes us both happy and sad-  it will give us the opportunity to finally move forwards on our Farm Vision, but it also means that we will not be able to continue with the Farmers Markets for very much longer this season, and it is very likely that we will not be able to do them with any regularity for the next year or two.

Believe me, you cannot be any sadder about this than we are.  We have loved building up our farm business, and getting to know all of you.  It has been a great honor that so many of you have chosen to fill your gardens with our plants, brighten your homes with our flowers and thrill your cats with our catnip.

We will do everything we can to continue to grow and sell things on Some Level during this time of transition.  We will have a lot of work to do re-building our infrastructure on a new piece of land, but we actually know what we are doing now, and we know that we can do it even better this time around.  

 I know that I will not be able to stop myself from starting seeds and growing plants and flowers.  Farming feeds my soul in a way that nothing else ever has, and I will find a way to keep doing it on some level, and somehow get what we grow to you all, maybe by doing occasional farmers market drop in days, or by special order and delivery, or...?  I promise, we won't just cut you all off cold turkey.  I will grow our cool heirloom tomato plants for you all next year as well, and the great lettuce plants you love, and find a way to work some flowers into the mix somehow.

In the meantime, please keep in touch with us!  I will keep updating this blog to let you all know the latest news, and at some point we will shift to a New Blog for our New Farm, and we will link to that as well.  It is going to be a great adventure story, so stay tuned.

Thank you all for being so supportive of us over the years!  In our opinion, Oregon's North Coast is really the Best Community in the World, and we are so lucky to live here.  We are looking forward to bringing you great locally grown organic vegetables, fruit, flowers, plant starts and more in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

In her favourite spot among the work boots, Squeaky dreams of 
all the mice and voles she will be able to hunt on the New Farm.



  1. You two are dedicated and wonderful people. I know it will happen for you. Have you thought of taking donations? Your blog is very inspiring. Maybe the community would be willing to help.

  2. The both both of you have worked hard, with much sacrifice and will return stronger and better with the New Farm. You have much support from
    all those you have touched. I hope to continue being a small part of the wonderful, exciting future that is going to unfold.