Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Farm House Blues

Hay today....Gone Tomorrow

So after the vacation we took last week, all 48 hours of it, is over and done with , the malaise or is it ennui , or better yet just plain old blues has set in.

Our farm remains on the wanted list. We are hopeful it will be wanted enough for some hard working, dream seeking, bank loving individuals or couple or large family unit, or church group or hippie commune to actually show us the money so we can move on to the next phase of our lives.

The phase of way less.

But, although we have had 4 serious lookers in the last year we have not had one serious offer.  Those who had all the ambition and excitement in the world...did not have the finacial backing. Those with great financial backing...realized the farm would be more work than they had planned. Those who had both, have yet to make themselves known!!

A couple of months ago we separated out the house and 10 acres from the rest of the business so instead of offering the whole kit and caboodle (house, land, buildings, animals, equipment, inventory etc...) for an asking price of $410,000, instead we are now offering just the house, the 10 acres and all the EMPTY buildings for $199,000. If someone stills want the livestock and equipment, any and all can be added to the base price.

We also continue to make improvements. A brand new back deck is going up next week. Several new windows have been installed, New doors on the milk house, A large and useful pantry will be built just off the kitchen in September. And still no offers. We have been told by many that our price is fair and even so we are willing to negotiate but without a starting place there can be no negotiating.Yes, it's true the economy is less than perfect but banks are again willing to make loans to those with good credit but the drought here has made things even worse as food and gas and utilities are beginning to escalate.

It will likely only get worse.

We are, some mornings fairly depressed over it all. The non-stop heat and ever dying landscape around us does not help. It's difficult to maintain a farm that looks good to prospective buyers when the grass is the shade of a paper bag and the pastures are turning into dirt lots.  Flower beds have been let go (with the exception of the secret garden, I need one place of color and joy) and the veggie garden has also been allowed to die off in spots, those spots that wouldn't  produce now no matter how much water they got.

This morning Accuweather called for a 75% of serious Thunderstorm to continue the next two days

We got about 8 drops of spit from the sky. So we continue to water animals who need it and we continue to feed up the hay that should've lasted us thru March but probably won't last us thru October at  zone. best. The water pressure is showing signs that the well may be getting to a danger zone. We are getting letters in the mail to encourage us to apply for government assistance available to farmers who are facing similar hardships as we are but we're well aware that any "assistance" will most likely lead to increased taxes and that is NOT what this country needs more of right now

Yeah, I'm playing the blues tonight, feeling low, down in the dumps, and spinning the Eagles "Desperado' over and over on the turntable in my head  etc etc....I am tired of the platitudes oi voice to myself such as "it could be worse" or " you have it better than a lot of folks" I understand that we are blessed to have all the meat we could possibly eat for the next 2 years and enough land to continue growing something...maybe soon only cactus, but at least that is something.

Yes, all of that is true. But tonight, as a card carrying totally free American and full grown adult, I choose to have my own pity party. You may come if you want but the first one who tells me 'chin up" is likely to get a poke in the eye...or lower.

Like the shoulder.


  1. I'm feeling a little blue myself Donna but for different reasons altogether. I live in a big city with offensive, self-absorbed, designer bag/shoe wearing people. All I want is a chicken but my city doesn't allow it and it's probably too hot anyway.
    I remember visiting my grandma who lived on a farm. It was SO exciting to visit and milk a cow or collect eggs. For now, I'll dream of life on the farm!

  2. "48 hours vacation" LOL, sounds like the kind my husband and I take. Chin up, Donna! Ow, that hurt!

  3. Just heard on the news that the average temp in the USA for the month of July was just over 25 C; the highest on record.

    As I look out from my studio (where I am now) the landscape remains ochre coloured. My vegetables receive the occasional watering, but I think it's banned. No rain on the horizon, and 37 C forecast for today! C'est la vie.

  4. Sounds like the time to make some soap!

  5. Pity parties are so important. I am a huge proponent of them, and thought that if my day gig ever crapped out I would become a professional pity party planner.

    So many times people feel like they have to do the bright and cheery thing - all.the.time. Not for me. I find that a good 'ol pity party does wonders for my soul.

    Enjoy it, you deserve it.

  6. There isn't a farmer in the midwest that hasn't had a pity party. It's not good.

    We have gotten some rain this week. An 1-6/10" on Sat. Spit yesterday .. spit last night. It helps the attitude. Or maybe it was the naked dancing in the lane!

    We need to talk soap. :)

  7. We are getting some much needed rain here and are promised a few more days of it.....I hope it visits you next.

  8. Well, we got a ten minute shower here in Leavenworth County, Kansas, so you are not alone... Donna. My vegetables were given up on, and so far, the well is holding out and keeping the flowerbeds alive as long as I hand water. I'll start praying you find a taker soon.

  9. We live in northwest Iowa, we have farmed for 50 years and it has never been this dry. We were to get some rain yesterday, they did 30 miles north, it won't help but would be nice. I allow myself 24 hrs. To wallow in depression and then just get on with it. We feel your pain. Donna

  10. Wallow in your pity; enjoy your party. Tomorrow; get up, brush yourself off and try to find the bright side. We are farmers; no one ever said it was an easy life. It is difficult, hard and many times unrewarding. But it is the choice we make to raise our families in a safe environment.

    I am right there with you in spirit.

  11. Pity party definitely allowed. Drought is a terrible thing...there is no way to sugar this. Here in CA, we seem to always be cycling in and out of drought and, just once in my life, I'd like to experience what it's like to moan about having too much rain. I can't fathom it. Here, when it rains, I'm outside dancing in it -- all twenty-eight raindrops.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather pattern gripping your farm breaks apart and the storms start rolling in.

  12. Oh wow you are going through a tough time. Didn't realize you were trying to sell your farm. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I hope you feel better soon and that a buyer comes along.

  13. Donna, wondering if you guys have considered letting a real estate agent help you sell your farm. You would have a much bigger audience of buyers. Yes, I realize that the agent takes a bit of the money made on the sale - make them work for it. You can be in the driver's seat and have a much bigger percentage of the buying market if you use a realtor. No, I am not a real estate agent - but I have sold 4 homes in the last 6 years. All of them sold for the asking price or slightly below. Not bad odds if you consider the economy. Make some soap you will feel better. hugs!

  14. Hugs to you and Keith from Mid B.C. I wont whine about the rain any more! The farmers here are letting the hay just lay in the field as they've had such a good year last year, and a better one this year they can't use it up!

  15. Oh Donna, I'm so sorry the farm hasn't sold as you wish it would. I think it's perfectly normal to have a good pity party. I suggest a long soak with some Fresh Bamboo! ;)
    Or Soap making...that always makes me feel better!

  16. Hi Donna! HAPPY FRIDAY!!! You're super awesome and I've nominated you for an award. Stop by and check it out!

  17. I don't blame you for your pity party! Can I send some sympathy?

    By the way, if I didn't have a farm I love in Georgia with grandkids nearby, I would love your farm! Maybe the right person just hasn't seen your ad. Have you thought of Farm Dreams? If you join you can post in the general section under For Sale/Trade. They should have a section on farms for sale!

    It took us a long time to sell our Victorian home after we moved here to our little farm. I know how very discouraging it is--without the cloudless sky, crunchy grass, disappearing hay, etc. So sorry!

  18. I wish my family could buy your farm, the whole kit and caboodle. <3

  19. We just sold our house in town last month, and it took over 19 months to sell. We took a huge loss on it, but there came a point where we just didn't care anymore, we needed it off our hands. We were renting it out to family after we moved to our farm, but the rent wasn't meeting the mortgage payment. At one point, we had it off the market and tried "For sale by owner".... that was probably the time when we saw the fewest showings, the least interest. The good thing about using a Realtor is that your property is listed in the MLS, so anyone from anywhere can find your property when searching on places like I followed your link, and you home is beautiful. Have you had it appraised? Because honestly I think it's worth more than your asking price (unless your area is even more depressed than our area). It took us over 5 years to find a farm of our own, we had to buy a foreclosure, but for years I looked at farms. Yours is worth more you're asking I would think. Perhaps you should talk to a Realtor, have him/her go through it, and tell you what they think you could sell it for. A good Realtor will do this at no charge, and you could even have several come out to go through it, see if you like any of them. How far of a drive are you from Chicago? We're about midway between Rockford & Galena at our farm, a couple hours from Chicago, and I know that in our area a lot of Chicago-people buy second homes or hobby farms out here (which drives many of us from this area NUTS because it drives the land prices up for everyone who has lived here for generations, lol). Perhaps you could talk to a Realtor about promoting your farm as a hobby farm / second home type of situation... or a Farmstay bed/breakfast... who knows? Hang in there, I understand completely... and thankfully our Realtor did finally find someone to buy our house in town. :-)