Everyone shares a kinship with the land. No matter where we are in time or distance, the desire for an ideal country spot is very real. Whether the image comes from books, childhood experiences, or the depths of our souls, it has an indelible quality. The dream farm has fields here, an orchard there, a brook, and large trees near the perfect house, with the barns and outbuildings set off just so. The dream is effortless. The difficulty comes in trying to find such a place when you decide to buy one.
I suggest not trying to find that perfect place. Rather than the finished painting, look for the bare canvas. Every ideal farm at one time began as a field and woodland. Its transformation was the result of some predecessor’s planning, organization, building, and management. This is a satisfying process in itself, and the end result may be far more successful if it springs from the changes the farmer makes himself. – Eliot Coleman, The New Organic Grower
Yes, this. We all are prone to land lust, aren’t we? “If only my homestead was____… then I could be the homesteader I want to be.” The land-holder of 1/2 an acre wants 2, those of us who had 2 imagine the prospects we could have with 10, but what could we really do with 20 acres?!
If it’s not the desire for more than then it’s one for land that is more manageable. Better soil, topography, more sun or southern exposure, better pastures.
I know these feeling oh so well. Privacy, maple trees for sugaring, more room for some beef cattle, better soil, a pond or stream, I could go on.
Perhaps the most satisfying and successful homestead is the one that is built from contentment.
I know it’s not easy to admit, but do you find yourself struggling with being content with the challenges and limitations on your farm?