I'm in my mid-40's, have three kids (2 in college and 1 HS sophomore); and my husband and I are fast approaching an empty nest. I can't believe it, time has flown by, but I have been together with my husband for 29 years (married 24 years). High school sweethearts (aw isn't that sweet?). I love him dearly.
I grew up in a divorced family with 3 siblings. Visiting my Dad was not always easily arranged but when I did visit him - we would sometimes head to the farm. Had an absolute blast each and every time - just running around playing, fishing, feeding chickens, observing animals, shooting, playing in the hayloft and lots of other things. Needless to say, these visits made a very large impression on my life and I have fond memories from these experiences that have truly affected my life and will be with me forever.
Now this family farm that I visited in my youth is about 3 miles down the road and around the corner (literally) to the current family farm that we are purchasing. You see my grandfather's family lived down the street and around the bend from my grandmother's family...and thus we have two family farms in the same area. How cute is that. Because of this fact we have a lot of family history and family still remaining in this region. In fact, many of the neighbors are related and are cousins related from both side of my family.
I currently work as a legal assistant at a law firm in Chicago. I have been in the same field of law for 28 years and I have been at this firm for about 21 years (not including extended maternity leaves). Everyday I commute by train to and from the big city - just like thousands of other people in the suburbs. As you might expect, there is a lot of stress that goes along with that and working in Chicago has taken its toll on my health.
So as we are approaching an empty nest and process of downsizing, me and my husband have decided to take the plunge and leave the city for the country life. Our goal is to try and become as self-sufficient as possible. We believe living off the land - no matter what size property you have - is completely an attainable goal.
Just to put this in perspective, the city that we currently live in has a population of 27,317 based on the 2010 census. The town we are moving to in the country has a population of about 1675 (excluding cows - ha ha). I am a little surprised by those statistics I just found but I think it is perfect.
These are some photos of common views that you see in the country we are relocating to:
|Dutch Belted Cow|
My husband and I have decided that we are going to make this big change at a point in our life when our youngest kid will be leaving home for college. As I believe I have mentioned in earlier posts, next year we will buying out my Uncle and the family farm. The farm consists of a 110 year old farmhouse sitting on an acre and a half, 2 car garage, outbuilding (20 x 40), and a pole barn that will be added this year too. The farmhouse property is completely surrounded on all sides by a cousin's farm field. We currently have chickens, an orchard, and our garden which currently is about 40 x 40 (but plans for expansion is in the works).
Our newly planted orchard consists of multiple apple, pears, peach, and cherry trees...and we have grapes, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Our garden has garlic growing, as I write this, and we are expecting a large harvest of asparagus this Spring. We also have started a horseradish area and had one harvest already - see HORSERADISH POST.
The reason for making this change are too many to mention. We have always had this desire to live off the land in the country. We love gardening, beekeeping, nature, cooking, and enjoy learning new things.
So follow me as I get closer and closer to the dream...to living in the country.