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 Are we too old?
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criley
Farmgirl in Training

10 Posts

Connie
Eldon MO
USA
10 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  06:58:12 AM  Show Profile
My hubby and I bought our farm almost 10 years ago. It was just a weekend retreat until the virus hit, 2020. At that same time, my son had graduated college and started his job in another city, my daughter had just graduated college, married and moved to another state, and Hubs and I were left to wander around our 4,000 sq ft house alone. Since Hubs was sent to "work from home" we decided now was the time -- sell the big house and move to the tiny 900 sq ft cottage on the farm 30 miles and 45 minutes away. Our official move was Nov 2020. We were both still working full-time 45 mins away so didn't do much to make the place "home". Fast forward to now -- my 25-yr-old son died 2 months ago, Dec 2021, my daughter is in Florida, and Hubs and I are trying to decide if we are TOO OLD to do this "farm stuff?" We are both early 60's. I have since gone part-time and taken a job with the local hometown newspaper, Hubs has gone back into the office daily to work in the city 45 mins away. Hubs plans to retire in 18 months, and I could retire at any time as soon as my project at the newspaper is finished. But now that our son is gone there is no one to really leave the farm to, as daughter has no interest in owning a farm later on. Daughter lives in FL and we in Missouri. Needless to say, here on 75 acres we just use the farm as a retreat from the world after the workday. We would like chickens, we would like a few cattle, we would like a garden, and a small vineyard, but we have no real help and we would like to be able to travel to see our daughter several times a year. It's hard enough finding someone to care for our two big dogs when we want to go away for a night. So, if we do with the farm, what we had originally hoped and dreamed to do 10 years ago, we will be tied to animals -- and a garden and fences and repairs and and and... all at mid-60's. We would really like the best of both worlds, keep our farm with our dreams AND have time to travel. HELP?

levisgrammy
True Blue Farmgirl

8403 Posts

Denise
Beavercreek Ohio
USA
8403 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  12:51:17 PM  Show Profile
So sorry for the loss of your son Connie.

We were on a small farmette before leaving that after 21 years and moved to be near our daughter and family. Gave up the business and are currently looking for work, which isn't easy at this age.

Would it be possible for you to downsize on your land, maybe sell to someone who is interested in farming? At least you could stay without losing the total dream. Still big enough for some animals and chickens. I'm sure you will get to know more farmers in your area once you retire and can be there more and that could lead to finding someone willing to help out when you aren't there. Just a thought or two.

~Denise
Sister #43~1/18/2007

"I am a bookaholic and I have no desire to be cured."

"Home is where we find comfort, security, memories, friendship, hospitality, and above all, family. It is the place that deserves our commitment and loyalty." William J. Bennett

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

http://www.ladybugsandlilacs.blogspot.com/
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nndairy
True Blue Farmgirl

2459 Posts

Heather
Wapakoneta Ohio
USA
2459 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  1:37:36 PM  Show Profile
Hi Connie - welcome to MJFarm! So sorry to hear about your son. It is hard to put forth the effort with no one to pass the farm on to but you're never to old to achieve a dream. Maybe just modify the dream a bit. Instead of having laying hens you could order some meat chickens and instead of having cows you could get a weaned steer. Once the chickens and steer are butchered you could travel before getting more. Also look into grazing programs in your area. I can't give you a specific one for Missouri, but there are some programs out there that connect farm owners with people who want to farm so they do an apprenticeship or in the future would be interested in buying the farm from you. Also - neighbor kids could be a great help if you're only gone for a couple days. Best of luck with what ever you decide to do. Keep us posted!

~Heather
Farmgirl Sister #4701
September 2014 Farmgirl of the Month


"The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment" - Yogi teabag
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Audra Rose
True Blue Farmgirl

1825 Posts

Vanessa
Brooksville KY
USA
1825 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  2:27:03 PM  Show Profile
Connie, you have my sympathy for the loss of your son.
I agree with the suggestion that you downsize your property. You could also see if any farmers would like to use some acres for cattle, crops, or hay. The local extension office might help you.
I also work at our local newspaper. It's a good place for me to meet people in the area. I don't know about where you live but everyone here is connected to each other one way or another. My sweetie and I have made ourselves part of the community.
If you enjoy living in Missouri, don't worry about who to leave your land to. You never know, your daughters family may decide to move away from Florida. At the least, you can discuss with her and put in your will your wishes about handling the land after you pass away.
I wanted to raise chickens but after reading how much work they are I changed my mind. We have bees though.


Vanessa
Farmgirl Sister #6754
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Dreamer42
True Blue Farmgirl

2129 Posts

April
Central Oregon
USA
2129 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2022 :  6:40:01 PM  Show Profile
Hi Connie, Welcome to the forum!

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your son, my love and prayers to you and your family. No parent ever expects to lose a child.
It sounds like you have a little piece of paradise there. What about leasing a portion of your land out to a farmer to farm? We have friends of the family that are leasing land to farm and they live near by the property. Just a thought... xo

Dreamer42
Farmgirl Sister #7038
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Red Tractor Girl
True Blue Farmgirl

5724 Posts

Winnie
Gainesville Fl
USA
5724 Posts

Posted - Feb 27 2022 :  4:34:19 PM  Show Profile
Hi Connie from way over here in Florida! I have never owned or lived on a farm and I really do not know what living on one wold mean in terms of work effort. All of the suggestions listed here today do seem reasonable to try before just giving up a dream. I agree with you that it would be a huge effort by yourselves. However a plan on leasing/selling parts of the land might be a good compromise. the one thought that keeps running through my brain is that they are not making any farmland anymore. In the decades ahead, it will be harder and harder to farm because land keeps being sold for development housing and shipping areas.

As I said, I don't have a farm, but I subscribe to the organization American Farmland Trust. They help to secure lands that can be used for farming and protection from development. With grants and loans, they often can get a new farmer started with owning a piece of these lands in an affordable manner. Check out their site and see all of the good work they are doing and maybe that will give you new ideas and help with the decision for what to do by giving you new ideas to consider.

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
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ceridwen
True Blue Farmgirl

844 Posts

Carole
New York
USA
844 Posts

Posted - Mar 22 2022 :  08:02:29 AM  Show Profile
You are never to old to pursuit a dream ... You can always tailor your dream to your lifestyle, a bit of both worlds.

Carole
Farmgirl Sister 3610 - Nov 7/2011
http:www.carolesquiltingetc.com
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IndoorsyGal
Farmgirl in Training

14 Posts

Allison
Fort Scott Kansas
USA
14 Posts

Posted - Mar 25 2022 :  6:37:02 PM  Show Profile
I'm so sorry to hear about your son. I can see how that would change everything for you.

We're in our 60s and just on a small parcel but are just getting into homesteading for self-sufficiency, and with prices going up, we are glad we did. We also started designing permaculture into our systems and had a plan for this year - to turn a fenced area next to the house into a mini-farm with the gardens and chickens and berries and water catchment off the shed and it was all so lovely in my head.

Then late January, my lumbar decided it was older than I think I am and that changed everything. We are very wooded and have very little sunny area but we had to design a new area that's closer to the house if not as perfect. But as things get harder, we'll still be able to manage it. My husband already has chronic fatigue so we never know when he can get out to do work in the yard.

You sound very torn and you really should go with what YOU want now. If you want the farm, then getting older just means making sure you plan around your abilities and possibly future less-abilities. If you want to travel, then you should probably do that.

But you're not too old to do either. And I guess that was the point I was trying to get to.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/sweaterdoll

https://sweaterdoll.blogspot.com
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Red Tractor Girl
True Blue Farmgirl

5724 Posts

Winnie
Gainesville Fl
USA
5724 Posts

Posted - Mar 28 2022 :  11:21:02 AM  Show Profile
Connie, I hope you have found some clarity about what the best option would be for you to move forward with your little farm. Everyone here has great suggestions but I know it is hard and there are no clear decisions. As we move into Spring and Summer, perhaps you will get a feel for what options would be the best for you. Good luck and feel free to vent and give us updates as you made decisions about which path to take!

Winnie #3109
Red Tractor Girl
Farm Sister of the Year 2014-2015
FGOTM- October 2018
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