We had an idea we said yes to
My son, Simon Ross Shannon, is due three weeks and I am encouraging my partner, his father, to leave his stable, comfortable job as a wholesale fish monger. I am encouraging him to leave so that Sean and I can be equally clueless, and possibly broke, while we attempt to start our own farm. Everything I read about starting a farm said to volunteer on farms to make sure you were cut out for the hard work before making any capital commitment. Of course, I read that after we purchased a farm house with three acres of land. We are going in, balls out.
I consider myself very lucky that I met Sean when I did and that he was just as crazy about me as I was him about him. We hit the ground running and within two years together we bought our farm house, got pregnant with Simon and will be getting married this coming September. If there was ever a 'right' way to do things you could say we did it a bit backwards; First came house, then came baby and then came marriage with a marriage carriage. I believe our relationship moved quickly, if not somewhat 'out of order', because we started out always saying "yes". While saying yes has previously landed us in some trouble like when our week trip to Costa Rica quickly got derailed by the worst case of food poisoning I've seen, ultimately saying yes hurled us toward this farm house.
It is not just our relationship that is a tad backwards. I understand that purchasing a house with a three-acre lawn with the hope of converting it into workable land that will generate enough income so both Sean and I can stay home with our growing family, all with zero agricultural experience, is a touch backwards. But when I suggested in passing to Sean that I'd like to have a farm, he said yes.
When I was a young girl, the first thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a crowd of people, which explains a lot, but then the very NEXT thing I wanted to be was a farmer. I wanted to have horses, chickens, pigs and basically set up shop in Riverdale Farm in Toronto. So within a couple months of looking, we found our three bedroom, two bath, three acre farm house in Millgrove Ontario, just north of Hamilton.
A couple months ago, we agreed we wanted to work towards both Sean and I home to run our farm business and take care of our family. With Simon's arrival in mid-march 2017, the plan was I would have a small garden that was manageable for me to work with a small dependant and we would convert the rest of the three-acres into workable land when Simon was older. I would not have to worry about the farm making money and would just experiment with growing food for our friends and family. This alleviated the pressure to succeed when my gardening inexperience would inevitably raise it's ugly head. That would give us enough of a buffer to bring Sean home next year. That was the plan. That was the safe and comfortable plan we decided on before the long commute to Toronto started to grind Sean down. He wasn't happy. So we said yes. We said yes to each other and decided to dive in. We'll have nine months of parental leave to build the infrastructure for our farm and we've got nine months to start making money.
So here I will account our successes and failures of trying to start a farm.