I’ve gotten used to disbelieving looks when I share my “how I got to live my farm dream” story – each time I tell it I am astounded by the grace and love God poured out on me. I like to end the story by saying that I knew where I wanted to be, but I never could have imagined the steps it would take to get there.
Leora, my roommate and owner of the property I’m privileged to farm, is my aunt’s best friend. I heard her name multiple times growing up, but I don’t recall meeting her before 2014. That was the year I joined my dog-loving, cruise-enjoying aunt Lorie for the trip of a lifetime to Alaska. Emails flew for more than a year with trip details and plans, and I was a bit anxious about a 10-day trip with a woman I’d never met.
Turns out Leora and I have many things in common – everything from a love of sci-fi movies and shows to audio books and dogs. We’d both endured serious medical challenges and were looking to make lifestyle changes that reduced stress.
Fast forward to June 2016 and my Gran’s 90th birthday party. I’d been unemployed nearly 6 months, praying and researching how I could live my farm dream. The modern trend is for interested farmers to live on someone’s land, learn the business, determine if it is really the sort of life that they enjoy, and help the landowner keep up with/improve their property at the same time. I’d been the proud owner of my first baby chicks for a couple weeks and was bubbling over to talk about my dream.
Leora was at the party, we had a chat, and within two weeks I visited her farm. We came up with a plan for me to make a go of “farmer” as my employment and things moved quickly from there. Downsizing was an easy process, as was moving. Selling my home has been more of a challenge, what with market changes and all, and I anxiously await a closing date.
Leora’s encouragement of my dream is a truly wonderful thing. She’s generously opened her home to me, my pup, and my hens; enjoys my cooking; puts up with my quirky habits (including zombie like behavior if she catches me before my first cup of coffee!); and more. Her positive comments, her steadfast support, and her willingness to share knowledge of farm life is invaluable. I’m blessed beyond words for the opportunity to live my dream job.