Thursday, August 20, 2009

meetings and lambs

Today features quite the goings-on at Cold Antler. I'm meeting with the bank around noon to talk about the possibility of owning a piece of Vermont. I don't expect much. Maybe a polite handshake and a list of tasks, savings, and ritual sacrifices to accomplish by date X. But even if it is a humiliating experience—it's most certainly the next step. 'What's next' is my new motto around here. No more poetry and prose about owning my own farm. Time to sign some paperwork and get very uncomfortable about big changes. Trying to figure out how to move 25 animals on to a new farm would be a wonderful problem to have.

After my flagellation I'll drive up to Rutland with some friends. The reason: a 70-pound black lamb named Desperado. Des will be coming home to take Marvin's empty place among the flock. He's also a Border Leicester/Romney cross just like everyone else. We'll be driving him home in the back of the Subaru and hopefully the gang will invite him in. If not he spends the night in the goat hotel with Finn. Regardless, I'll figure out.

What's next?


Blogger Tara said...

Wow, I read that wrong. I thought you said you were bringing home a "70 pound black lab". Whole different thing. :)

Good luck at the bank meeting and congrats on the new lamb!

August 20, 2009 at 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Good luck with the bank. Hopefully soon you'll be a landowner - nothing better than that!

August 20, 2009 at 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

Good luck with the bank. And congrats on your new sheep. A Border Leicester/Romney will produce a beautiful fleece.

August 20, 2009 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said... have a lot of exciting things on your plate today. Good luck with the bank meeting and in wrangling the lamb into your vehicle. You have experience with the latter so that should go fine. May the former do as well.

August 20, 2009 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Kara said...

Hope is a beautiful thing! Have faith knowing many are pulling for you :) What you are doing is a dream of mine as well & I can't wait to hear how it goes! Thanks for sharing CAF with the world, it makes it a better place to be.

August 20, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger T said...

Lots of luck with the bank and congrats on the new lamb!

August 20, 2009 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Conversations With God's thought for the day seems pertinent to you.

On this day of your life, I believe God wants you to know...

....that progress is not measured in miles, it is measured
in inches.

Do not wonder why things are "taking so long." In fact,
everything is rolling out exactly as it needs to, using

not a minute more than Perfection requires.

Rest easy and be at peace. Life is working its magic even as you take your very next breath.

There. See? You could almost feel the Perfection, couldn't you...

Neale Donald Walsch - 2009

August 20, 2009 at 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Patsy said...


Good luck at the bank. Just go in with a positive attitude and the rest will take care of itself.

August 20, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous kandy said...

good luck! with both the ram and the bank.


August 20, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck today and please update us when ya can!

August 20, 2009 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Shannan said...

Best of luck to you today with the bank. It is one step toward acheaving your dream. Can't wait to see pic's of your newest addition. I am sure it will turn out to be a wonderful day for you. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us.

August 20, 2009 at 10:39 AM  
Anonymous tammi said...

good luck at the bank Jenna!
can't wait to see what adventures the new guy brings to CAF!!

August 20, 2009 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good luck at your meeting!

August 20, 2009 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Sharyl Suzanne Morris said...

You're so danged cool, Jenna. Best of luck!

August 20, 2009 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

ram or wether?

Inquiring minds, and all that...

August 20, 2009 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

So the bank didn't show. I was stood up. We have another meeting on Monday instead...

And Des is a wether. Or going to be, he's banded right now.

August 20, 2009 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

You might want to talk with the FSA about loans, too. Their rates are as good or better than the banks' and they're a lot more comfortable with farm loans than many banks are.

Good luck from another "alright (and holy crap) we're going to buy land already" beginning farmer.

August 20, 2009 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger John Taylor said...

Hope all goes well with the bank and your new sheep.


August 20, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Tony in Asheville said...


Two thoughts. Have you approached your landlord and asked if they might be interested in selling?

In many cases this works out where you can do a lease/option (rent to own) or owner finance which helps the landlord by lowering their tax hit.

Another suggestion is to ask the loan officer about FDA loans. I know this sounds odd that the FDA has a loan program but they do and they were designed to help farmers get affordable loans and in fact are one of the few left that have no down payment requirements. These loans are among the few left that are flexible and may well be designed just for what you need.

Not all lenders are familiar with these loans so you may have to ask around a bit to find someone who has done these loans.

Either option may greatly speed things up for you.

Tony in Asheville

August 20, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Annie said...

Woo hoo! Congratulations on the next big things. You are a mover and a shaker, lady. :)

August 20, 2009 at 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Erica in San Jose said...

Aww... bummer about the bank. Just make sure you shop around- CU's and all may be better about not standing folks up.

I can't wait to see pics of the new guy! I know, I already said that. I totally credit you with really turning me on to Sheep an their possibilities for Homesteaders.... choosing one breed will be the hardest part for me!

And thanks, so much Jenna! You have seriously inspired me to stop being "embarrassed" by my farming dreams (which none of my family understands) and really open up to my bf about the kind of life I want to live.... he is mostly on board and our next step will be saving the money to purchase land! Holy Crap here too!

August 20, 2009 at 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a credit union in your area? I've purchased two homes using a credit union rather than a conventional bank. The credit union loan can offer both conventional and "in-house" loans. An in-house loan is approved by the board which tends to be more flexible in qualifying credit. Another avenue is someone like Churchill mortgage that does their own underwriting.

Unless, the bank had a really good reason for standing you up (someone died, life and death situation)I'd take it as a sign to take my business elsewhere.

August 20, 2009 at 7:09 PM  
Anonymous OOOOOOPS! said...


As I was sitting down to dinner with my family at the chinese restaurant (the kind where they cook right in front of you), I realized I had written FDA for the loan program. This is incorrect.

The program I was referring to is USDA. Just like the stamp of approval on the steak the was being cooked in front of me! See where the epiphany came from?

There are a number of people marketing their homes here using the USDA program to make the homes affordable.

Sorry for the confusion but please look into the USDA program as I think it may truly help you in your farm quest.

Tony in Asheville

August 20, 2009 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You have a funny looking dog in your backseat! How adorable! Did you get many funny looks as you drove down the road with a lamb in your back seat?

August 20, 2009 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Hi Jenna-

some more unsolicited advise: absolutely do not get a mortgage for as much as the bank will qualify you for- they always underestimate how much of your take home pay you need to live on.

Figure out how much you can pay every month and stay with that. Also- don't go for anything other than a 30 year fixed mortage- you are not interested in an Adjustable Rate Mortgage. See if you can pay extra points (a point is 1% of the loan value) to get your rate lower, which winds up saving you lots of money in the long run. And make sure there is no prepayment penalty- you don't want to have to pay a penalty if some day you're able to pay off your mortgage early (like from your next book sale!). Good luck!!!

August 21, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thank you for all the advice! I did show up with USDA loan paperwork, printouts and research. I really just expect to talk about it, not get an actual mortgage. But I am looking for land and a small house under 150 (possible here) and nothing above what I can afford monthly in rent.

Also, books aren't doing it just yet. I did find out I'm getting my first royalty check for the book, but it's 275.00 after the advance was paid off...A car payment. It'll be a while before I get a farm...

August 21, 2009 at 7:14 AM  

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