Wednesday, December 2, 2009

land on all fours

I am fairly certain my days are numbered here at the cabin. Over the past few days I've been in touch with neighbors and trying to get in touch with my landlord. I took the whole day off from work yesterday to be available to meet her and she never showed until late at night, I tried to meet with her today and she was busy. I wrote an eight page letter explaining my love for the property, care for the animals, and even offered to buy it. It doesn't matter. I get the impression she never wanted this land to be used for agriculture but allowed me to do it and now regrets her decisions. I already have found a new home/foster for Finn, the rabbits, and the goslings. I think (but am not sure) that is all that has to leave right now.

The silver lining is how much this has motivated me to buy my own place. Over the past few days the emails, comments, phone calls, and help have been amazing. I actually read some of the emails from readers crying, both because I was so touched and because everything I thought was okay is being changed on me. I broke down in Wayside crying to the owners because everything has been falling apart. The up side is so many people are pulling for me, want to see me land on all fours. Thank you so much for your concern, emails, favors, offers, and so much more.

I am announcing right now that I am on track to get my own place. Probably won't have to leave my current location till spring (I hope), but in the meantime I will be scrimping, saving, repairing old debts and getting myself approved for a mortgage for my next home. The people who have been sending little donations my way, have been adding up and I am taking the lump sum from my readers, to the very last penny, and using that to open a special savings account just for a down payment. I'm going to walk into my bank, start up that new account, hand the bank the check and say. "I'm going to buy a farm." Done.

We're going to get through this.


Blogger From the Country Farm said...

way to go Jenna!

December 2, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Patsy from Illinois said...

I am sorry you have to leave but a door will open up. I just know you will get a tip of the perfect piece of property. Your friends and neighbors will be on the lookout and it will pop up when you least expect it and you will be AMAZED at how perfect it will be. The bank loan will go thru and we will all share in your delight!

December 2, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I just want to be clear that this will be a special savings account, but that anyone who has donated before this event should know theirs has gone to the farm fund too!!!

December 2, 2009 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Kerri said...

Yeah Jenna! Nothing like a closed door to open a great big picture window. We are all so excited to see what this new season of life will bring for you...New land in the New Year. Washington is rooting for you!

December 2, 2009 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

You deserve to be in control of your happiness, and it sounds like you've put your mind to it. I can't wait to see you get your farm and not have to worry about others pulling the rug out from under you. This looks like the big push to get you focused on changing your situation and living the way YOU want to live, not the way someone else thinks you should. You go, Girl! Let's get you that farm!

December 2, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger KateAnn said...

Jenna: You are just amazing. I'm pulling for you all the way and a donation for the downpayment for the future -- and completely yours -- CAF is on the way. It will be exciting to see how things develop. Take care of yourself. KateAnn

December 2, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Pat/Texas said...

Your attitude is right on. I have always told my two kids (even when they were younger) that YOU have to be in control - not someone else. You will make it! P~

December 2, 2009 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger thimblevee said...

You go girl - you will land on all fours - it's what you are made of! I am a Christian and I know that wherever God closes one door He opens another BETTER one if we are just patient and wait for His time!
We're all pulling for you in this effort. Vivian

December 2, 2009 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thank you all!

I don't care who or what you pray to, just pray! I could use it!

December 2, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I believe that when you are on the right path the way is smoothed for you. I also believe that sometimes there's a rock in the wrong path just to emphasize the point. Trying to explain to my son how I felt about being laid off from a job I loved and had had for 20 years I said, it's like someone gave me an awesome excellent present wrapped up in dirty chicken-poop covered paper. (we have chickens, in part inspired by made from scratch). It did take me most of a year to get past the poopy wrapping paper. I won't reiterate what's been said better; but here's another lurker pulling for you.

December 2, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I understand the frustration of waiting for someone who is expected but doesn't seem to value my time as much as their own. I must say you seem to be a very understanding and patient person and have been extremely positive in a situation that must feel bleak. It is your upbeat outlook in trying circumstances that has kept me sold on your blog (that and your writing and photography). Even though you are years younger, you are an example I look up to and strive to emulate.

You will get that farm. Your current landlord may regret her decision, but you both have learned in future to be clear in detailing how a place will be used. That is a valuable lesson for anyone.

I can't commit to much, but I will contribute a small sum for the next 4 months to the farm fund. An earlier post mentioned thinking of it as a subscription. So I am subscribing.

I know it will hurt to see your family go. My thoughts are with you.

December 2, 2009 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Way to go, Jenna. You'll do it. You will not be wanting for advice given the outpouring from your readership. What a joy to follow your journey to a dream come true, and even to be able to contribute a bit.

I predict another mother earth news article comes from all of this.

December 2, 2009 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger CorinneLouise said...

Jenna, I am so proud of yourself.
You are going to make it happen your way.
A big hug to you,

December 2, 2009 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

You go girl, indeed! It may be a bit early for fundraising ideas, but take a look at how this guy keeps his farm going:
He offers tours of the farm, sells veggies through a CSA, etc. You seem to have already found some ways to monetize your dream life (i.e. the book) so I thought this was right up your alley.

December 2, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Seafish said...

It will all work out, you’ll see. And the attachment you will have to
the land that you call your own, and making it the place you want it to
be, will be immeasurable. I consider my small donation stock in
someone’s future. All I ask in return is for you to keep up the
fight and let us be a part of it thru the blog. Oh, and A place to park
my old VW bus for the home warming bonfire that’s sure to come!

Seafish in Louisiana

December 2, 2009 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger kate said...


You are renting a cabin and land in rural Vermont. A landlord who was not clear with you about agriculture and small animals is totally at fault -- not you.

One piece of advice about finding your own property in Vermont: make sure you have good sun. It is a very heavily forested area. Don't assume you will just take down trees -- it can be expensive. Start with good sun.

Good luck!

December 2, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Chicky said...

Rooting for you from WY! If we were closer, we'd offer you our spare bedroom to camp out as long as you need. I've always believed everything happens for a reason. I had a pretty big door slam in my face last May when I was let go from my job; I'm still on the hunt for a new job & know that what works out will be what was meant to happen. Sometimes it's tough having faith (whether religious faith or faith in whatever gets you through the day), no two ways around it. The support from others - family, friends, fans - is always so encouraging & so necessary...and you have a lot of it coming your way! It's incredibly unfortunate it's happening this way, but in the end, you'll be better off. Soon enough, you'll have a place to call your own...your farm, your home. Best wishes.

December 2, 2009 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yea girl, good on you.
Go get it !

December 2, 2009 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I've been reading and lurking for the past few days - completely shocked by everything that has happened! At the same time, I know how you feel - being at the mercy of landlords, still getting on your feet after college (and all of its expenses), and wanting to break free and be yourself. I'm, heck - we're, all rooting for you. Keep your chin up and you'll make it through. Keep us posted on everything at CAF - you are truly an inspiration to all of us and a reminder of the beauty of the simple life!

December 2, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger HotFlashHomestead said...

Jenna, if you have not already done so, print out a copy of Kathy P., advice on the "and the rabbits, too" thread, read it again, and then keep it someplace you can see it. It's the gospel truth.

Having bought property as a single woman (I sold my own second car to help get that first down payment -- loved the car, but you gotta do what you gotta do) I can attest to the truth of everything she said. And the freedom to do what you want with your own property is beyond compare. Paint walls, plow down the lawn, build Finn a Goat-Mahal....whatever. It's all yours.

Honestly, I think your landlord's actions are just God's way of telling you it's time to buy property, Jenna. The time is now. I think 2010 is going to be your year to become a land and home owner....even if it's just a cabin on one acre. It'll be enough.

December 2, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger silverreed said...

Everything will work out Jenna... you will get your own place.... you have too people pulling for you for it not to happen... read your blog all the time and love your book..... you are a good person Jenna

December 2, 2009 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger ashley english said...

if you ever consider a move back down south, i'm happy to share my 12 acres and spare bedroom with you and your critters. seriously. wherever you end up, though, sometimes it's the hardest, most painful ruptures that bring the most happiness, eventually. i say that with complete confidence, having undergone an extremely painful break-up and relocation several years ago after a 7-year long relationship. from it came a home in the forest, an incredible husband, a book series deal, and, most importantly, happiness. i'm rooting for you. been thinking of you every day.

December 2, 2009 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Will said...

How can I make a donation to the
Jenna gets her own farm?

December 2, 2009 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger countrygirl said...

Jenna, the same thing happened to us just recently. We had just moved here in June, and already have to move again. I have to find a home for my goats and a couple of cats. I am distraught.I thought my dream was finally coming true.For the time being we are going to move into town and work and save up to buy something of our very own.
Good luck with your future farm. You will do great, I just know it!

December 2, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Jenna, We are all rooting for you. You will have your own place soon, I can feel it. And it will be more than you were hoping for.

Looking forward to new and exciting posts in the future regarding your farm search!

Just know that we are all here for you and you have our prayers.

December 2, 2009 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Go, Jenna. Sometimes the boot in the butt that gets us going really, really, really hurts (from one who has had a sore butt herself many times). But bless the boot if it gets you fiery-set on the path to your dream reality.

My clan of pampered housecats and I will be rooting for you from our very urban living room!

December 2, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Jenna, I'm old enough to be your mom. I know how proud I am when my own grown kids conquer something so huge in a way that has integrity and shows responsibility. I bet your mom is really proud too!!

December 2, 2009 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Omg fight Jenna! Get your farm!!! I'm so excited for you!

December 2, 2009 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Jenna, I am so happy for you! Scared for you too, and mad at your landlord, but still happy and excited for you.
As a loyal reader, I can't wait to turn on the computer and see a new post entitled "I Got My Farm."
My little donation has been sent, I wish it could be more.
I know how important it is to own your own land. It is the best feeling in the world.
Just remember, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger and smarter.

December 2, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Betty Homer, Fairfield, CA said...

I have been praying for you Jenna and your meeting with your landlord. I am so proud of you that although things may appear grim right now, you are already bouncing back (because you are unsinkable). Something similar to your situation happened to me not too long ago, so I can relate in my limited way. I know you have the strength to turn this around. May this present situation strengthen you and give you the iron will that I know you have, to fulfill your dream of owning your own farm (which is my dream as well). Do not be discouraged--this situation will propel you to achieve your dream probably at a faster clip than you had originally contemplated. Blessings to you and your animals!

December 2, 2009 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Amanda Stanoszek said...

Jenna, you are such an inspiration. Myself, my mom and my whole family are praying and pulling for you!!! I wish I was closer, I would offer to care for your goslings. But all I can do is pray here, and I will be sending any spare pennies I can scrounge up. I want to see you get that farm and I want to see you reunited with Finn and your other family members!

Jenna, you have a whole world pulling for you right now. You can do it. You've been an inspiration to so many. I got out of the city and on to my own 3 acres (with chickens, gardens, and a four-dog sled team) all because of you. You are an amazing woman.

December 2, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, I am so sorry that you are facing having to part with members of your farm family. I am medically retired and do not have much, but what I was able to afford I have just donated to you to use towards buying a place of your own. God bless.

December 2, 2009 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

A very good friend of mine from work is losing her job at the end of this month. I told her that this could lead to something even better for her. This could be a blessing in disquise for you and the motivation you need to get your own farm.

December 2, 2009 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Jenna, check your lease to see what is it says about animals. Your landlord can't change the terms of the lease without your agreement. If your lease allows you to keep the animals, then they can't make you get rid of them. If they believe you aren't caring for the animals properly they can report you to animal control for them to investigate.

I think you are on the right track with getting your own place. I agree with the folks who suggested you check out the USDA, but know ahead they can be agressive debt collectors if you get into trouble. You should also check the Small Business Administration, and see if they can help, if you want to make this a business.

December 2, 2009 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger walter and me said...

And you can do it, Jenna! Way to go girl. Sending you the very best wishes and all the hope and luck in the world.

December 2, 2009 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Bonniejean said...

Another lurker! You have positive energy coming from Madison, Wisconsin. I admire your work ethic so much and wish you and all of your critters the best!

December 2, 2009 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger RayMan said...

Open letter

This is being written to all of you who read this blog and follow the antics of CAF.
I am "old" at 63, retired and now living in Central Florida. I am angered by what Jennas' landlords are doing and by what the apparent motive is. Actually I am very pi@#ed off about the whole thing.

So, I am setting up electronic payments to CAF on an automatic monthly basis of an amount that I can share and will continue doing it until I can't share anymore. I am asking all of you who derive any pleasure and sustenance of any kind from Jenna, her attitudes, her aspirations ... well her everything ... to do the same thing right away. SHE is one of US. And, SHE needs OUR help. Not forever. Just NOW!
Please join me in sending $5, $10,$50, or whatever you can. One less latte each week. One less sandwich in your brown-bag each day. One less beer with your next pizza - or how 'bout a can of tuna INSTEAD of the pizza. Just a little less for you and a little more for her. For just a little while.
Any one whishing to comment, having ideas about how to reach the readers of the blog or how to make this happen can send E-Mail to me at my posted E-Mail address. Anyone wishing to participate can just do it. You don't need to tell me about the wonderful thing you have done. But she will know that you did.


December 2, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger anotherkindofdrew said...

Jenna, we have never met and may never meet. But I feel a kinship to you (and other readers) and my wife and I share your dream of our own farm one day. For the past three days I have been thinking about you and wondering what is going on. Now we know and I can say with all honesty that we prayed for you since we first thought something was wrong. We will continue to and hope that you will have all opportunities to regale us all with your lovely stories! Be blessed....

December 2, 2009 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Good luck in getting your own farm. However, you might want to check with county government. The landlord might be restricted by deed, covenants, snd town versus county rules. Keep all in mind in case in the future you want to be a landlord and offer incubators or rentals to future farmers.

December 2, 2009 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Carrie in Wisconsin said...

This is awesome! I'm so excited for you to have your own little hunk of Vermont. Now, I realize that nothings set in stone, hell we don't even have the frame built, but by golly were gonna help Jenna get her farm. I know it makes you cry, but Jenna this outpouring from this "community" that you have built is all in thanksgiving. You have inspired so many of us to make a change and we are so thankful for it. Indebted to you, you might say. I'm shocked at how fast just reading this blog helped me see that I want a different life, free of Wonderbread and Walmart. :) I'm so thankful for that, because just the small steps I've taken towards that goal, have made my life have more meaning, more everything! I can't wait to see that MEN article: How to build your own cabin and farm by Jenna Woginrich. I think I would frame it for more inspiration.

PS. My small donation will be coming shortly in your Christmas card!

December 2, 2009 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Lil said...

Best of luck to you, Jenna. I've only got a couple bucks to send right now but maybe in the next few months I can offer more in the way of "subscription fees". :-) It's the least I can do for all the enjoyment I've gotten out of powering through your archives over the last week.

December 2, 2009 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Amy McPherson Sirk said...

Go Jenna! I bought my place 3 years ago so I'm still too broke to help you out. I ended up with a home in a town a few miles down the road from where I really wanted to live. But the place is mine (well, technically it belongs to the bank) and I can do as I please here. I know this has been hard on you but if it gets you into your own home it'll all be worth it.
We'll keep you in our prayers.

December 2, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

I am still praying for you and your situation. Wise choice to choose your battles. Sometimes it's not worth the energy you could be putting into moving forward, even if you're right.

I, too, have been overwhelmed by the outpouring for you and in tears sometimes as well. This situation has been an opportunity for all of us in different ways.

I'm back to work after being off for a while but I'm sending what I can for your hope fund. It is our hope fund as well. I'll just look at it as a subscription to your blog. I read a lot of stuff that doesn't entertain or inspire me half as much as this blog.

Totally worth the price of admission!!

December 2, 2009 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Stephanie O' said...

I am pulling for you! Everything happens for a reason and I can only hope that when all is said and done, you will own your own piece of land and looking back on this situation, be grateful because without the events occurring now, you won't be where you will soon be!

Sending good vibes your way!

December 2, 2009 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Conny said...

After the last few days, I keep thinking about how awful it would be to be on your own in a smallish town and have this happen - having to give up your animals and possibly being asked to move. You have a whole army of readers to back you up for moral support. No one I know has 100+ supporters when times are tough.

I'm with RayMan: donate what you can, if anything. For the price of a weekly latte, I could offer my help. I'd feel better about helping a friend in need than any "comfort" a hot coffee drink could temporarily provide.

Routing for you in the Silicon Valley. Cheers.

December 2, 2009 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Shannan said...


There is not much that I can say that has not already been said by your other wonderful readers. My whole family has been rooting for you. It might sound sappy but you have helped so many of us make some great changes in our lives, now when I think I can not do something I think back to your blog and say Jenna did it so I can to. Just know that we are thinking of you and are planning on sending a donation as soon as we can. Keep your head up, I know we will be reading about the new improved permanent CAF before we know it.

December 2, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Monty said...

You hang in there young lady, get your own place on this earth that you can call YOURS. You won't regret it.

December 2, 2009 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Sharyl Suzanne Morris said...

Jenna, there are so many folks pulling for you that I just KNOW you're going to come out on top. I'll be making a donation as well--a smaller one than I'd like to give, unfortunately--but I want to help where I can!

December 2, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jenna look at my blog
we are like minded people.
If you learn you can not stay till spring, consider this:
I am looking for a farm apprentice/help
defined as :we (my husband and I) give room and board in exchange for 44hrs farm help. If you want to descuss details contact me. You could bring featherd friends (chickens ducks)Wish you well and blessings on your 4 leg family

December 2, 2009 at 5:53 PM  
Blogger erislaughs said...

everyone is being really positive which is nice and everything. but EFF that landlord hoseattack! EFF!

meantime ill pray for your new farm to be in your name soon. PRAY!

December 2, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

You WILL land on all fours, we know it! Find an honest realtor to help you. I bought my home with no downpayment on a special loan for first time home buyers so ask if there is something like that available in Vermont for you. The sellers also paid my closing costs and I bought my home for only $100 - the cost of the inspection, so there is always hope for you - ASK ASK ASK. We're all sending our hope, love and prayers for you and your two- and four-footed family members.

December 2, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Congrats on making the decision. All will fall into place as it has thus far. Once you create the vision and believe, the universe will respond. You have a huge group of followers believing with you and groupthink is a powerful tool. Can't wait to hear the process. Sorry about how hard it is along the way. We'll keep the enthusiasm even on days when you may be down.

December 2, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Gray Skies said...

Oh, Jenna, I'm so sorry you're going through this rough time. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

December 2, 2009 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

Hi Jenna. When you first alluded to a problem that required you to give up some of your beloved animals I wondered why. Since you have been home for Thanksgiving, I wondered if someone was ill and you needed to move closer to family. Or as is happening to so many of us, perhaps a unexpected job loss was forcing you to make some changes. So--while dealing with unreasonable neighbor/ landlord is bad, things could always be worse. It is a matter of keeping things in perspective. Finn and the bunnies are healthy, you have found them new accommodations and you have learned that you have an amazing number of people holding you in their thoughts and prayers. You are to be admired for moving ahead and looking to the future. Sometimes we become too comfortable to take the next step we need to in order to achieve our dreams. Now you are on your way to taking that next step. And we will be right there with you for as long as you allow us to.

December 2, 2009 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger jackieh said...

Hope things look up from here on out. I will try to make a donation every month as was suggested. Take care and take a deep breath. It WILL work out.

December 2, 2009 at 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fingers & toes crossed for you girl. Full speed ahead!

December 2, 2009 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I am so proud of you for keeping your cool and rising above the blatant nonsense your landlord pulled this week. He/she seems to be flying blind as far as your character and how much you care for your home and animals. Good for you for taking matters into your own hands and setting a 'date' so to speak for your move to the new and better CAF (since it will be owned by you).

What I cannot wrap my head around is the thoughtless actions of your landlord. I mean, come on...does she/he not know who you are and more importantly, what you represent? You have very loyal readers on your blog, books and MEN articles. I would think that he/she would be feeling very foolish at this point, knowing that people around the world and many (probably) right in your town are thinking to themselves "What an ass that landlord is making of themselves!" God help me if I ever act that way...I'd be mortified!
Good for you Jenna...Tami E.

December 2, 2009 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Kate's comment in the "Rabbits" post - recommending a real estate agent - has some good information. A good real estate agent can save you tons of time and effort.

Back when I was 23 or 24, I wanted to buy a house in the worse way. I was still living at home, and although I love my folks dearly, it was time. I had two dogs, wanted more, etc. etc. So one day I went to a local bank and told one of the loan officers I'd like some information on buying a house. Like your experience, this one was not positive. She actually told me I should wait until I have a husband before thinking about buying a house! And this wasn't the dark ages either - it was 1984!

I was pretty bummed out, as I know you can imagine. Sometime after this my mom struck up a discussion with a woman she knew from church who had recently gotten her realtor's license. At that point, things began happening. I can't recall exactly how she knew I could qualify for a mortgage, but she seemed to know my price range and took me to see a number of appropriate houses. All of them were small, semi-rural, priced in the mid-30's (this was in the '80s, remember). In the end, the house I bought was one I saw in a newspaper ad - I found drove by to take a look first and knew I'd found it. Because of the realtor's guidance I knew it was in my range, I called her about it, she arranged a walk through, we had a friend who was a builder do an inspection and I made an offer. It had 1.8 acres, about half wooded, small house, good open land for a garden. It was my house.

My point with this is that a realtor can be a good resource in many ways. Kate mentioned this in her comments on your previous post. They know about zoning, which banks are more likely to work with you...all that stuff. I think if you're up front with a realtor and explain you're in the early stages, you're not even sure what you'd qualify for, and so on, she can get you on the right track pretty quickly.

December 2, 2009 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Corn and Wine said...

I just made a small donation to the cause, Jenna. You're an inspiration to this Texas gal who also has her heart set on living off the land one day. Here's to making your dreams come true!

December 2, 2009 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm so sorry for all the upheaval in your life. Know that you've got a fan in CT who is rooting for you hard.

December 2, 2009 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Hunington said...

If you can't qualify for a mortgage, you can always look for a seller willing to carry a contract on the place you purchase -- basically it's Seller financing rather than Bank financing. People are sometimes willing to do this because they want an income stream rather than a lump sum payment. In addition, sellers may be motivated to do this today because lenders will not appraise the property at what it was worth 1 or 2 years ago -- you can offer a premium over what the property might actually appraise at today. The Seller may also ask that you place a term in the deal requiring you to obtain bank financing and pay off the Seller at the end of a fixed period (e.g. 2 yrs., 5 yrs.), or if you can't refinance at the end of that period, require you to sell the property and pay off the Note. So, in this way, the Seller can get the price they want but that a bank wouldn't finance (because the appraised value has dropped), and you can buy yourself time to improve your credit score to get conventional financing. Nothing funky here -- Land Contracts are done all the time -- you will need a lawyer to draft and close the deal. You will get a Deed just like a conventional bank-financed purchase: the difference is that the Seller will hold the Note and have a Lien on the property, rather than a bank. No risk for the Seller, because if you default they get the property back again. Same tax advantages for you as conventional bank financing. Of course, you will have to run the numbers to see if you can afford what the monthly payment would be.

December 2, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger ThiftedBliss said...

Jenna, Looking forward to the next chapter of CAF. You will get there, all will be well. With all the positive energy from this wonderful community how could it not be well? Full speed ahead and don't forget to enjoy today!
Peace, Karen in CT

December 2, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger pjo2179 said...

Jenna- a crazy thought here... How about buying a nice chunk of land and building a barn with an apartment above? If you could get a local builder to do the shell, I'm sure you've got the friends and ambition to finish the inside. Then in a few years, while you're living the dream, you could also sock some coin away and build your dreamhouse without financing.

Keep your options open. I'm just sayin'

Pam in WNY

December 2, 2009 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You go girl! I'm glad your going to pull thru this I am sorry you had to foster out everyone but maybe it will only be temporary.

December 2, 2009 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Floridagirl said...

Hang in there Jenna! We're all pulling for you! A friend called me last night depressed because you were having to get rid of your animals. We're having a party when you get your farm!

December 2, 2009 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger kadfoto said...

Jenna, stay positive and know something better IS on the horizon. Often, from the biggest hardships come the greatest rewards.

Five years ago I was on the hunt for the perfect land/home. As a single woman in my 20's I got a lot of questions as to why I wanted privacy, acreage, and to be so far from town. But I knew what I wanted and I didn't want to give up on that. I didn't have to, and neither do you. For me the perfect property came by way of acreage that had been on the market for over a year. Littered with garbage and a burnt down trailer, I saw past this (and because of this also got a really good deal). Search high. Search low. Seek out people in your area with connections and information. You've got such an awesome network of support, everyone is rooting for you.

You will get your land, it's out there, waiting for you. And, it will be your farm. For, as you've proven at your current place YOU make your farm BE the farm. You're such an inspiration Jenna!

December 2, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I think you are aiming to live the dream of a lot of other people here, and we all want to see you succeed. I'm sorry that the last few days have been so unfair for both you and the animals, but I'm glad that it's been the kick in the bum you've needed to get up, up and away to your own Cold Antler Farm!

December 2, 2009 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger bellananda said...

*high five*

goooooo, jenna! we're all rooting for you, and please let us know if there's any way at all we can help (besides sending all positive spiritual energies your way, of course).

to help inspire you, as they have me me, here are two of my favorite quotes:

"until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
all sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
a whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,
which no one could have dreamed would come their way.
whatever you can do or dream you can,
boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
begin it now."

"most people, the vast majority in fact, lead the lives that circumstances have thrust upon them, and though some repine, looking upon themselves as round pegs in square holes, and think that if things had been different they might have made a much better showing, the greater part accept their lot, if not with serenity, at all events with resignation. they are like tram-cars travelling forever on the selfsame rails. they go backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, inevitably, till they can go no longer and then are sold as scrap iron. it is not often that you find a [woman] who has boldly taken the course of [her] own life into [her] own hands." -- william somerset maugham

much love and blessings,

December 2, 2009 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Amanda Stanoszek said...

I absolutely LOVE the idea of buying land, building a barn with a loft apartment!!! Wow what a terrific idea! You'd have room for all your livestock, your dogs and yourself, and it would be sooo cost-effective...

December 2, 2009 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

I'm sorry. And good luck!

December 2, 2009 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

So I'm sitting in a BIG time meeting with a potential new client today in San Jose and all I can think about is, "I wonder if Jenna had a chance to talk to her land lord?" :) Three hour drive home back to the country and find a sort of sad night tonight reading the outcome of the non-meeting, but it's obvious it's time for change. She's invested more love, sweat and a few tears into that homestead than anyone could imagine. Good thoughts and prayers for direction and guidence.

December 3, 2009 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Pulling for you Jenna. ALWAYS.

December 3, 2009 at 2:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit - wisdom is knowing not to put it into a fruit salad.

Maybe a little trite - but Jenna, your wisdom is immense and after this episode in your life - it will have increased twofold (as painful as this may be right now).

The fact that your blog is widely read accounts for the wisdom we gain from you.

Thanks for everything you share and best wishes from a dreich northern Scotland (dreich : rainy)

December 3, 2009 at 5:07 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Jenna - I'm going over my finances to see how we can help. But in the meantime I wanted to point you in a cuppla directions. we bought virgin land in Feb w/o bank financing, through a real estate person here in North Florida. Fits into our budget and we got 5.3 acres. We're planning to build debt free. We've looked into container housing (using shipping containers for the frame) and has lots of info on building yourself w/plans. These you can contract out of course.
We're going to be living in an RV (yes, all SEVEN of us in a converted school bus) during the year of construction. Look into building codes before you choose that route to make sure they don't have any crazy demands (like we have no pigs allowed and house has to be 1k sq ft or more. Also, has some great info on off grid cabin living debt free

Wishing you luck and will be sending that money through your paypal donation link soon


December 3, 2009 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jenna, I was faced with almost the same thing last june. having to leave my wonderful 7 acres that i had lived on for 5 years. It was so hard but now as fate or whatever would have it i live on 400 beautiful acres and my dreams of continuing my farm can far out reach anything i could have done at the old place. You've got the right attitude!Now things can really get started for you.

December 3, 2009 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger BlueGate said...

Well there's just not much to say that hasn't been well said already. You've got an amazing system of supporters behind you and one way or another things will work themselves out.
However, as a small-holding farmer who has weathered some really unpleasant situations in the past few years (tornadoes, floods, herbicide over-sprays ect) I have discovered that the best response when you just don't know what else to do is to stand up and sing the song "I'm a Little Teapot" complete with actions. Seriously, it works!

December 3, 2009 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Hey Jenna
just want to be sure that you know that there are some loan programs out there where you don't need to do a down payment...VHFA is one place to look. My husband and I bought our farmhouse through them almost a year ago and we walked away from the closing with money in OUR hands, we didn't even have to write a check for the first couple of months...
VHFA is kind a pain in the ass- they make you jump through alot of hoops- but personally I think it is worth it to save that 20%.
So, keep that in mind!! :)
Oh, and if you're looking to buy in Northern Vermont talk to Jill Richardson with Lang Mclaughry and Spera real estate- she's a sweet girl who doesn't dick around.


December 3, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

oh and BTW- building is a great idea but in reality a septic system and a well is amazingly expensive...we looked into this route before as well. :)

Just know (and I know I don't have to tell you this) that buying is a painstaking process, it will have you in tears more than likely. You fall in love with one place but it doesn't work out- but it is always for a reason- you'll find the perfect spot that is even better. Its all blood sweat and tears, but in the end you've got a spot where you can do whatever the heck you want and you almost forget the tough times.

sorry for the extensive posts- but I'm just so excited for you and if I can help with my recent home-buying experience in Vermont then that would be cool.

:) hang in there, lady!


December 3, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Not sure what VHFA is...

Very Happy Farmers' Association? ;-)

December 3, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

haha! :) It is the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. :) But I like yours better :)

December 3, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger jackyardbackoff said...

Good attitude! You should really consider Texas for your homestead. They cant be messin with ya down here. Just a thought

December 3, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had a feeling the rehoming of your animals came from landlord mandate. Been there. One landlord wanted me to rehome my children! But, it turned out to be a good thing we moved, because the six of us in a 900 square foot apartment didn't work nearly as well as the 2000 square foot house we moved into.

It's hard now, but you will land on all fours, and your life will be better for it. Prayers for ya, J!

December 3, 2009 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger jackyardbackoff said...

Good attitude! You should really consider Texas for your homestead. They cant be messin with ya down here. Just a thought

December 3, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


December 3, 2009 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I, too, can't wait to see the post titled "I Have A Farm"! There are kazillions of us supporting you.

Keep to the high road (don't stoop to the slimy depths of your landlord) and you'll be out soon.

We're pulling for you in CA!

December 3, 2009 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Cagney said...

Oh Jenna!
We are DEFINITELY praying for you here in Kansas! You are an AMAZING woman and your dreams have spread to people all over the world. With all these people cheering for you, I know you'll find the perfect little farm for you and all your animals!!

December 3, 2009 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger jen said...

Hi Jenna,
We are pulling for you all the way over in Washington State, too! I wish I could help financially, but that's just not possible with our own situation right now. Maybe come Spring that will change. In the meantime, I will send all my thoughts and prayers to you and a good outcome from all of this. You are a very strong woman, and just like everyone else is saying, THIS WILL HAPPEN!

December 3, 2009 at 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6 prayers in our family for you, one from each of us! We know it will happen for you, Jenna. :)

December 3, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger angela.winburn said...

Thank you so much for all your inspiration and hours of absorbing reading. You can get that farm, I'm rootin' for you in Iowa!

December 3, 2009 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

I sent a lil...will send a lil more when my Christmas bonus comes in. And whoever said something about you building a "Finn Mahal"..that was great!

You know, if 1/4 of us readers showed up at your new property we could do you an Amish-style barn-raising in a day. And you could temporarily have living quarters framed in in the loft like someone else mentioned.

You are loved by many. Keep the chin up.

December 3, 2009 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Pilgrim Soul said...

Jenna, you absolutely will land on your feet. I wish you weren't facing this challenge right now, but I also believe that everything happens for a reason (forgive the cliche). I've sent a donation, and will continue to send what I can so that someday you have your farm. So many of us are stuck in our day to day lives, simply dreaming of having a homestead, but you're actively pursuing that dream -- living the dream! That's amazing. Take one breath at a time, and have faith. All will be well.

December 3, 2009 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Morgen said...

Jenna, I just wanted you to know we have a 46 acre farm in North Central Pa and would be happy to foster anyone you can't keep now and return them when you get your place in the spring. Our neighbor has given us a plethora of food and we have the space available if you need it. Then you can still have anyone in your family back as soon as you have the place if you run into any more trouble. Praying for you, Honey

December 3, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Brianne said...

Take heart, Jenna, you were meant to be a farmer, and a farmer you shall remain. You will own land, and when you do, it will have been worth every scraped penny and so much more. I've been reading your blog for a while now (thanks to my mom for turning me onto it) and rejoice in your simple adventures. Your writing ignites my own pen's spark, and I live vicariously through your every trial and turn. Keep writing, and I'll be rooting for you the whole way!

December 3, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You *will* succeed. I know it. I can feel it. You've done so much to fulfill your dreams already - this is just the next logical step. And when you get your little farm, I hope the geese, Finn and the rabbits will be right back with you to continue on with the agricultural dream. Maybe prayers and positive vibes heading your way!

December 3, 2009 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger KimT said...

very excited for you!

December 8, 2009 at 5:18 PM  

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