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The harsh reality

Graft bud break(If you haven't already, you'll want to start with part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 from the very beginning of Growing Into a Farm.)

In early 2004, I attended a grafting class and came home with a dozen baby apple trees to begin my long-dreamed-of orchard.  With the help of my family, I ripped back honeysuckle and brambles and put the trees in the ground...where they were soon eaten by deer and overcome by weeds.

Meanwhile, the farm slowly began to feel less like a retreat.  During a weekend over-night in April, I left my car parked along the secluded country road and woke to found it had rolled down the hill into my neighbor's field, just a few feet shy of being dunked in the creek.  Later, I learned that high-school kids enjoy spending Friday nights partying down the road from my farm, and I can just imagine their drunken enthusiasm at giving my little clown-car a heave and watching it drift away.  But at the time I felt like the car episode was a malicious attempt by the local community to push me out, and I began jumping at every sound when camping at the farm.  I had no phone and knew no one in the area well—what would I do if my car ended up in the creek and I was stranded there with no way out?

FestivaBy the end of April, my journals had gone strangely silent.  I was still living an hour-and-a-half's drive away from my property, and the chances of moving in anytime soon seemed increasingly slim.  My own idealism, reinforced by that of my father and by my slim wallet, made it unthinkable to consider buying materials or labor to build my house, and I knew deep down that I couldn't finish it by myself.

Over the next year, I dropped by the farm from time to time to take pictures of the wildlife, but my first relationship seemed to be at a standstill.  All that dreaming, planning, and saving, and one winter had worn me down to a nubbin.

Want to know what happens next?  Growing into a Farm is free on Amazon today!  Even though the ebook can be read on any device, I'll also email you a free pdf copy today if you'd rather --- just email with your request.

This post is part of our Growing into a Farm lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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Thanks for the free download. I really enjoy checking out this blog. I think you are located around where my mom and some other family lives. The Wise/Norton/Pound area. I adore it up there, so beautiful.
Comment by Crystal Fri Nov 1 13:29:17 2013

this book of yours... it is an excellent narrative. I do not want to spoil it to bystanders, but part 2 made me cry ("mopey", like you say) a tiny bit. It had me rooting for the heroine all the way, and made me remember my own trepidations with romance all those years ago. You described all those feelings with uncanny accuracy. I guess we shy people all behave the same!

You made me remember how it all felt like back then. Thank you for opening up and sharing a piece of you all with us. Reading where you were with Mark back then I realize that in reality there are two heros in this story, you and Mark. Had Mark not had the patience he learned from past experiences, you both would have missed the wonderful family you have created.

I guess the only needy one left now is the farm itself. Had you used a pseudonym, and expanded a bit on that wonderful love story, you would have created an awesome long-form book, perfect for the long winter ahead.

And not trying to offend but, somehow, you and Mark look happier, more filled with life on recent pictures when compared to those from the past. You think its because those Apples you at long last harvested? It is a life-dream come true indeed!

Comment by Pedro Fri Nov 1 21:10:27 2013
Pedro --- I'm glad I struck a nerve! I considered hitting the next phase --- how we worked the kinks out of our relationship (you're right that we are happier now) and began to partner more with the farm, but I figure if that part moves me, it'll eventually be its own ebook. :-)
Comment by anna Sat Nov 2 08:52:56 2013

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime