I grew up in the biggest city of New Hampshire. I knew absolutely nothing about living in the country, let alone anything about farming. I did have one year of experience working at an outdoor camp while in high school, but I was still a city girl at heart.
I eventually made it out to Missouri for college where I met my soon to be husband on the first day of classes. He grew up on a 230-acre dairy farm, raised a little of everything and anything. We fell in love and about a year later we were married. He actually proposed and we eloped the next day! It’s a very romantic story, but that’s for another time. We ended up finishing school and moving out to little old Rhode Island where my husband started grad school. We bought the cutest little colonial that was all in all maybe 1,200 sq ft. We lived there about 8 years. We brought all three of our babies home from the hospital in that little house, and we renovated that house little by little to meet all of our needs. As each new season came and went our needs changed, and we made sure to make the little house fit them all. But as you can imagine, 5 people living in 1,200 sq ft in the city can get pretty cramped.
We knew it was time to move and try spreading our wings. As we allowed ourselves to daydream, we realized it was pulling us out of the city and towards a quieter life on some acreage. We knew eventually we’d leave the city, but we’re just waiting on the timing. We always admired simpler times where people would grow and raise their own food. Also, we wanted our children to develop a good work ethic. I’ll tell you, you can’t find better work ethic than that in a good o’l farm boy. My husband is the hardest working person on the planet and still comes home from work and is an active part of our farm and family. Another factor influencing our move is that we’re both kind of homebodies and we loved the idea of our home being what we did every day.
So we did it! We did our research and soon realized that this meant leaving the life we started for ourselves in Rhode Island. We bought a beautiful historic 4,000 sq ft colonial on 25 acres in New Hampshire. The house was built in the 1700s and had SO much potential! Leaving our friends and family was hard, but we were ecstatic about our future! Plus, I would be a quick hour away from my mom and sisters who still lived in New Hampshire.
Now It’s been about a year since we’ve moved in. Click HERE
to see what we’ve done with the place! Even though there is much more to renovate and lots to do to expand the farm, we are still looking forward to endless possibilities. As we look back we can see how each season of our lives taught us something. Even though some of those lessons were hard, we can now see the why behind some of them and are thankful that it brought us here.
There are thousands of reason we left the city and moved to the farm, but I’m going to share with you my top 5!
1. I touched on it earlier, but we wanted our children to grow up with a good work ethic. I truly believe that we all bring something to the table and can contribute to this world. We didn’t want our children to shy away from rising to a task at hand even if it seemed daunting. We certainly want our children to be children and to be able to play, grow and learn, but at each new age comes new responsibilities. It’s important to realize that we’re all a part of something bigger than just our day to day lives and that there is something bigger and more important in motion than how we’re feeling in that moment. I have to remind myself that I’m not doing them any favors by letting them off the hook; because we are all trying to raise self-sufficient adults. So we all have chores! They may be small and insignificant, but in the big scheme of things we are taking care of our property and feeding and caring for our animals. They may complain about having to shovel out the chicken coop or having to bring the water feeder in to unfreeze by the wood stove (ugh. farming in NH), but soon they’ll realize that it’s more than just chores. This is how we eat and make money (although, we do have jobs outside of farming). It’s important to make the connection between work, food, and money. Because without one you really can’t have the other. So whatever season of life they’re in, whether working hard on a term paper or finding the cure for cancer…whatever it may be, they’ll know that hard work is just apart of life, and that it does pay off.
2. Another reason we left the city and moved to the farm was that we wanted to be self-reliant. It’s also important to know where your food comes from and appreciate someones hard work. We’d always had a good sized garden in Rhode Island. Although it took up the majority of our yard, it was important to us. So now that we aren’t limited to space, we wanted to expand. Now our garden is MUCH bigger and we’re working on the plans for a greenhouse which will expand our growing season. We also raised 50 chickens last fall and sent them to the butcher, so now our freezer is stocked. There’s a sort of confidence that comes with knowing that you have food stored up to last you a year. We feel that sustainability is an important part of farming and we hope to incorporate it into the way we farm. So far we’ve started composting, move animal pens to different areas of our land to help fertilize, use chickens for bug control, and burn wood on our property for heat. And although this is a new learning experience for me (not for my husband the pro), It has brought me such joy to be able to provide good healthy food for my family right from our farm.
3. As I’ve said before, we are sort of homebodies. Don’t get me wrong, we like to hike, swim, snowmobile, etc. but I’d much rather do them all at home. We wanted a forever home where we could do all the things we loved right out our front door. We also needed a place that would meet our family’s needs as it continued to grow. A place with a pool, hot tub, a permanent fire pit where we were free to have campfires without our neighbors calling the fire department on us. (Yes, that happened to us frequently in Rhode Island, but campfires were just too important to us). As our children grow, we know they will want four-wheelers and snowmobiles, and maybe even dirt bikes (we’ll see). There’s also the practical side of having a large home…for instance being able to host Christmas dinner for 60 people with room to spare. One day, when the time is right we could even take our parents in when they become snowbirds. We even talked about building an apartment above our barn and doing Air B&B. Really, the possibilities are endless if you have the room.
4. Another reason we left the city and moved to the farm was that we always dreamed of small-town community. A place where hospitality was still a thing. Maybe I wouldn’t get flipped off at the stop light for not accelerating quickly enough?! We wanted a community that looked to help one another. Don’t get me wrong, we had wonderful neighbors in Rhode Island and In a way, it was like a small town community. People in Rhode Island can seem cold and distant at first, but when they finally let their guard down they’re like family. I also wanted to be able to tell my kids… “Let’s go to town today” Because it was special and we didn’t do it every day. There’s something that a small town can offer that you just can’t get in the big city. Our small town has little festivals, traditions, and celebrations. It may not have a big budget like some places do, but what it lacks in dollars it makes up for in heart. Another reason small town living is beneficial is the lack of fast food joints or any place that delivers! So It has definitely saved us some cash and the temptation to eat out (our waistline also thanks us). There’s something so simplistic about having one grocery store to shop at instead of 5 to choose from. For me, simplicity brings about less stress. I’m not one for wanting 30 choices. Things seem to be a little slower here. No one seems to be in a huge rush to get places. There is just something to say about a small-town community that I haven’t seen anywhere else. People generally want to help out, and you do seem to get to know EVERYONE. I mean, your kids are in the same class at school, and in dance, and soccer, and then you bump into them at the only grocery store in town. The bottom line is that to us it feels like home, and now that we’ve experienced it – we’ll never go back.
5. Lastly, and the fifth reason we left the city and moved to the farm was that we wanted an investment that would pay off into our retirement years. There are a million ways we could make money here on the farm, and believe me we are dreaming of them, but the most promising is that we hope to run a bed and breakfast in our home when we retire. Each renovation we do now is thought out and purposeful with our future in mind. For now, my family will be able to enjoy this home and maybe even our parents one day. Hopefully, our grandchildren will be able to experience a childhood like their parents’: digging in the dirt and chasing chickens. And then when the time is right we can open up our home to people looking to retreat to a comfortable and quieter place and experience the farm and small-town life.
Thanks so much for reading all about our newest journey in moving to the farm! I hope it encouraged you wherever you are in your journey.
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