Sunday, March 7, 2010

like tailgates

I was driving around Washington county today, my possible future home. I was on an errand to Nelson's farm to buy hay. Annie and I were in the truck, a Bobby Hicks CD was in the stereo, and I was having a one-sided conversation with my dog about why Whiskey Before Breakfast may be one of the greatest fiddle tunes ever written. The sun was out, the windows were down, and whenever Ann wasn't hanging her front arms out the window, my arm was around her as she sat shotgun. Dogs, like tailgates, are a necessary truck accessory.

I drove through Cambridge, Salem, and then Hebron. Three towns with thriving farm communities all connected by route 22. It's just a few miles from the Vermont State line, but the sense of the place is totally different. Vermont, god bless her, is a woodland wonderland of ski resorts, bed and breakfasts, mountains, rivers, and the occasional small farm tucked away. But upstate New York is 100% farm country. You cross the state line and you are out of vacationland and into productionworld. Rolling fields of corn and silos, dairy cows and giant barns—the place is a postcard for the American small farm before it got turned into multinational corporations. As I drove up 22 I passed tractor dealers and Agways. The signs for each town have RIGHT TO FARM pasted right under the welcome signs. I love Vermont, but Washington county loves agriculture. I think I'll fit in just fine. Maybe even find a fella to buy me coffee. We'll see how it all plays out.

Someone asked me in the last post what my plan B was. That answer is easy: I don't have one. Sorry folks, I just plain don't have enough cash or wits about me to try and buy more than one place at a time. And the Jackson farm really is the last best hope for making a place on the earth my own, right now. Listen, this is going to work out. It has too. If it doesn't then I need to just take a deep breath and scramble to find a farm to rent. If that happens then, well frankly, that sucks. But the bright side is I have the entire home-buying process under my belt, self taught and understood. If the bottom falls out there will be other farms and future plans. But for the sake of keeping it all together: let's just humor me and hope for the best?

P.S. I have CDs, watercolors, and prints getting printed. If you ordered something from the etsy drive a few weeks ago you are not forgotten. I'm just the busiest I've ever been in my life. My boss quit at work, so his work has been handed off to me and a coworker. The move, the house, my job and quivering social life all have me stretched a little thin. (Okay.... I'm exhausted.) I just want it to be May so I know how this chapter ends. Anyway, you'll get the goods soon as I can ship them. A few go out this week. Thanks for the patience, it's worth more than you know.


Blogger Crystal said...

Hey Jenna, guess what? Renting a farm *is* a Plan B. So you've already got one. Wishing you luck always.

March 7, 2010 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger The Milk Maid said...

I will hope for the best for you. Keep those positive thoughts and it will all work out. Best Of luck!!!

March 7, 2010 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Jeff_in_Pawlet said...

Whiskey before breakfast IS the greatest. The song, not literally (shudder). Leather britches a close second! Check out Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. It'll all work out for ya, you got that verizon crew (as someone put it) pullin' for you.

March 7, 2010 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Georgia said...

I think you and I live in different Vermonts. My Vermont (the eastern side) is still very much about functional farms and becoming more so every day as families find new and innovative ways to bring farming back into our landscape via CSAs and agritourism.

I wish you the very best, regardless of which side of the border you are on :) Very happy for you that your dream grows closer every day.

March 7, 2010 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Humor you? I'm humoring me! I want this to work out for you very much, as I'm sure we all do.....

March 8, 2010 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger KathyB. said...

I am reading your adventure as it unfolds, and waiting for you to discover how it unfolds so you can relay it to us!"Inquiring minds want to know"!

March 8, 2010 at 4:14 AM  
Blogger Sense of Home said...

And I thought I was busy! Take a breath and know you have done all you can. You are an amazingly hard worker.

Here's hoping for good news soon,

March 8, 2010 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger CallieK said...

Okay, you're forgiven for having too much life right now! I understand completely - I was really hoping to obtain a cd of your music in time for our Sugaring Off party next weekend but since I still haven't figured out where to order one from I guess it isn't to be this year! Wish us luck at our first attempt at syrup making in downtown Toronto- hope my grandmother will forgive me for making 'fencepost' syrup!

March 8, 2010 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Interesting - I just had a conversation about Whiskey Before Breakfast with my uncle, who's learning to play it on guitar. I've never tackled it on the harp (nor have I ever tackled whiskey before breakfast) but it sounds like a great challenge.

March 8, 2010 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, a boss once told me that if you have a Plan B, then it means you don't yourself believe that Plan A will work - so good for you! Keep believing that it will work out and it will.

Rootin' for you and feeling confident that everything will work out for you.

:) Jenn at GEG

March 8, 2010 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

My gut says you're going to get the farm...but you may need a plan B anyway. What will you do if the closing can't take place until after May 1? IIRC, closings generally take 6 - 8 weeks after you're approved for the mortgage. (It takes forever to get all the lawyers in the same room.) Even if you're approved tomorrow, you may not be handed the keys until mid-to late May.

Sorry to put something else on your plate, but thought you might need some time to think about it.

March 8, 2010 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

Having a plan B always seems like expecting to fail to me :o) I love the idea of living somewhere that embraces farming. I live in a fairly rural county in the grand scheme of things and folk still look at you oddly when you say you want to farm. I'll stick to my dream of my duck.

if it all goes not right at least you can think of this as a dry run.

March 8, 2010 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Hi Jenna...Gee, I bought myself a farm for my 50th birthday...still don't know what I'm doing! I'm one of those people in Hebron, off Route 22. Nelson does my hay..he's the best! Hope to meet you sometime. And that guy to buy you coffee??? Haven't found one yet..not one with teeth anyway. (sorry guys...i do love this area!) Hope to meet you sometime. I have sheep, llamas, wayward chickens,AND I have a dog named Annie!
Best of luck...Jackson is gorgeous...Cindy

March 8, 2010 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Your just living in the wrong part of Vermont (Mass north). In the Champlain valley the farms still stretch from mountain to lake. Don't knock the state too much. I grew up on a farm here eh.

March 9, 2010 at 6:04 AM  

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