This is not our new farm but isn't it beautiful? Our old ranch.
We bought the farm.
Not the way you think but you've probably figured that out already. We bought a small farm. Just north of Fresno near the little town of Madera. Madera is in the middle of California and the raisin growing capital of the world. But the road to get to Madera was anything but fun. What got us through is that we are stubborn when we really want something. We don't give up easily.
I'm going to miss this ranch a lot. What I'm going to miss most is the utter peace. No freeway noise. No neighbors mowing lawns. No nothing. The only thing breaking the silence is the honking of geese flying in to the lake or the random motorcycle way out on the road. Our new place will be peaceful but not like this. The neighbors will be within a stone's throw and there isn't a lake for the geese to fly in to.
But this will be a place where every little dirt clod kicked over has a purpose and makes a contribution. A place where we can build things that make sense to us. According to our plan. That we come up with.
We almost didn't get it though. It's a seller's market for fixer upper property in California. Buyers from all over the world and mostly the Orient are coming in to California and buying up property cheaply with cash, fixing it up and re-selling it for a profit.
We started looking in July of last year. We made offers on 3 places only to be skunked by cash buyers every time so when we saw this place on the internet we called up the listing agent and, sight unseen, we made an offer. We knew from painful experience that we needed to get our foot in the door immediately or the place would have an offer on it and we would be left out in the cold. This way we might have a chance. We could always back out if we saw and it wasn't right.
So we made an offer for more than the asking price that was still in our comfort zone and not out of line with the comparables. Then we took a chance and agreed that the owner could stay on a bit after closing to move herself out. Lo and behold, we got it! Just so you know, we did see the place and we did decide it was perfect.
Honestly, it feels like a bit of a miracle.
Four acres, flat and arable, with plenty of water, trees, outbuildings (in need of repair but, so what, we can do it!) and a modest house. You're going to be hearing a lot about our homestead in the next few months. We're starting from scratch on just about everything including the kitchen garden, livestock, chickens, pigs, geese, and ducks.
Now we just have to get a mule!