…And I really mean that.
We’ve pared down our grocery bill, we’ve been skimping on heat, turning out lights and appliances as soon as they’re not needed, and watching our water use like hawks. We’re doing things the hard way, digging post holes by hand, rather than hiring a guy with a tractor, and wearing shoes with holes in them. This lifestyle is still costing us a small fortune.
It would probably be cheaper if we had opted to ease into this whole project, by maybe just putting in a garden this year and getting chickens next year, or planting a couple of fruit trees each year, rather than a hundred at once. Unfortunately, I am not patient that way. While we are not exactly throwing money around frivolously, the infrastructure is a big up-front cost, along with the up-front cost of obtaining the seeds, and tools, and livestock, and feed. Then there are the fruit and nut trees, and the shelterbelt. This is not to mention the truck we are going to need, nor the tractor, nor the lost wage from Hubby switching from a day job to doing the farm work. Once we’ve gotten all of these things in order, then it will be cheap to maintain, but for now, sticker shock is getting to me.
I guess it is the same as anything else, though – you get what you pay for. You can get a mid-price pair of solid boots that will last for a few years, or you can buy your footwear on the installment plan, paying $20 every few months, which always seems to cost me more in the long run. We do the same thing with groceries – buy in bulk, and pay more at a time, but less per pound. In that vein, we’ve chosen to go with papered livestock, because the offspring will be worth more when it comes time for us to sell, so in the long run, it will make us more money. In the meantime, I console myself with the thought that I bought four (!) goats for less money than we spent on a week in Cuba last fall. The goats will last longer, at least. It is just that now we need a barn, and hay, and straw, and buckets, and a pitchfork, and a fence, and and and…I can see why you need to inherit a farm in order to be profitable at it. And that’s just the goats!
Someday, I hope, we won’t be paying for groceries, and we’ll be getting better quality (free range, organic, etc) as well. Someday, I hope, we can sell eggs and milk and goats and produce, and get some (or all!) of the outlay back. For now, though, we spend and spend and spend…
I sure am glad we saved up for this, but I’ve got to say, much like everyone else I’ve ever spoken to who has purchased a house or an acreage, I underestimated what this was going to cost.
Which is not to complain. Every morning, seeing all of the ducks and geese and patchwork fields full of tractors and cows, I remember how unspeakably lucky I am just to be here in this place. Hubby and I are very happy here, and although it is only supposed to be a temporary stop, we’ve fallen quite in love with this acreage. I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be right now, nor anything else I would rather be doing…I just wish we could do it all a little cheaper, somehow…