Just an Update this Week…

I’ve been a little disappointed these last few days, but am finally coming out of my funk.

My sister who lives close to DC shared with me her tax bill for 2018, and what’s more, she shared with me what they anticipate will be their tax bill for 2019, if they stay in Virginia. It is crazy. It’s the amount some people make annually around where I live. So they’re not too wild about living in Virginia right now.

The thing is, I was looking to move to Central Virginia, and thought I had the location all scoped out for my farmette. Had mapped the Farmers Markets, had done research on crime, and standard of living. My sister was glad it was not more than that. But stubborn me cannot just accept someone else’s word for it–so I started doing my own research. And my sister is right. Not only does the state have state taxes, but the property taxes are incredibly high. I found out that a person is taxed for each automobile they own as part of their property taxes (besides the taxes they pay in their registration fees at the DMV each year) and many micro-farmers are complaining of even being taxed on their tractors that never see a road.

 

So. Back to the drawing board.

 

I’m the type of person that likes not only substance but form. Up until I was 13, I always wanted a horse. Then at 13, I found “Nina”, a gorgeous bay Arabian, and then I no longer wanted a horse– I just wanted Nina. If it wasn’t Nina, it wasn’t going to be any other horse. Did I ever say I was stubborn? Yeah. But by being so, I most always reach my goals.

I got my Nina at 14.

So now, I just feel a little anchorless, without my beautiful manse in mind.

I think it’s a test. I’ve asked God, only for His Will. I believe He wants this dream for me, because I don’t believe I thought of having a farmette all on my own. I believe He planted the desire within me. But perhaps He also wants to know that above all else, even the dreams He puts in my heart, He comes first.

So now, I’m just going to focus on now, and what I can do now, about my farmette. I will start my aquaponics system, haunt farmers’ markets and ask gobs of questions, go to goat yoga once a month, and go to the Ranch regularly where I will learn how to milk a goat, and how to drive a horse. And continue studying. That’s good for now.

 

God will know the place for me, when it’s time.

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Giving Myself Permission …

to take it a bit easy these last few days of Mercury Retrograde. Feeling a little Soul-weary, and needing to recharge.

My bday is next week. On my next set of days off, I plan on spending the morning by a pool, then have lunch with furry farm friends at the Ranch, and then have a steak dinner to celebrate.

Happy Spring to all! I’ll be back soon. 🙂

Something Fun–to Add to My Vision Board

This is a departure from the more textual subjects I’m learning, but important still.

I thought this picture was just lovely, and worthy to put on a vision board. I believe in the Law of Attraction, and so am constantly on the look out for things I love, and things to put on a Vision Board for the things I want in my future. In all honesty, this blog is really my Vision Board. By engaging each week–either by writing about what I’m studying, brainstorming, or sharing something that will contribute to my vision of my future, it is my way of “imagining+doing=until it is real”.

This is a fun app to use to create your Vision Board artistically. Look at the difference between the original photo and what the artist created. Just lovely!

As for  me, it conveys a sense of peace, even on a cloudy day, that is what I want to experience on my farm. Thank you to the artist, Emily Carter Marshall!

Click here for how she does it.

What To Do With This Old Manse?


I’ve been brainstorming what can be done with an old exquisite-but-needing-much-work Victorian house….

 

These are some ideas I’ve come up with:

A boutique winery (Guenoc/Langtry Estates started this way, with the Old Lily Langtry House).

Of course, a Bed and Breakfast.

A working microfarm (which is what I will be doing) open to the public for special events such as Christmas, Easter Egg Hunts, and available for renting out for weddings, art galleries etc.


Ideas for an Old Manse:

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But what about this? A Museum!! I really like this idea, inspired by:

The Homestead Museum.png

The Homestead Museum

I grew up not too far from here (Long Beach, CA) and I think this is just a wonderful idea– it preserves the home, yet shares it with the local community.

I used to be an English Teacher, and I could really get into this idea. Maybe have some volunteers as docents for schoolchildren? Have it as a field trip excursion for local schools? What if we could get relatives of the local pioneers to tell some stories of what is was like to explore, establish, and homestead there? Some singers of the old songs from the Scottish and Irish settlers? There were Native-American-Indians living there when this area was just beginning to settle–what was that like? I like the idea of having an Old Manse as a cultural center, sharing with, and bringing the community together.

Happy Blooming,

Ms Rogers at the Farmette
Bees and Blooms Farms

Bees and Blooms Logo Blue

Solar Power!

Hi there! So good to see some people joining me on my journey to my dream. WELCOME! I’ve followed you back…and am looking forward to learning from you also. 🙂

Today I watched a few YT videos on DIY solar power. I wonder if the government still gives you tax credits if you make the cells yourself? Does anyone know?

 

The property I’m interested in has a 200 year-old with over 5K sf house. Crazy right? What will me and the goats do with so much space? But I can’t get it out of my head. This house seems to be calling me, either to restore her or to at least enlarge my goals. We shall see….One thing for sure is this Grand Dame (the house, sillies) is yearning for more life. She’s not done yet.

 

And yes, I can relate to that. From one Grand Dame to another. Perhaps that’s why this beautiful old house is calling me. She knows I understand. My first 50 years are over. My next 50 will be all about pursuing my dreams, and sharing them with others. I’m used to doing things on my own–or being the  leader of a terrific team and mission. This beautiful old house has big plans, just like me, but she wants company on the journey. And in exchange she will share her stories and history, as I share mine.

 

But one of the daunting aspects of taking on such a large structure to restore (it has beautiful pasture land around it too! perfect for what I want to grow) is energy costs. So I was looking into solar as an option. I might have to pay someone else for wholesale equipment, and install it myself, since doing the entire project myself would take too much time for such a large building. But I thought it would be good to know the principles for smaller projects such as barn lighting, automatic stock waterers, and the aquaponics system in the greenhouse.

Solar panel on barn roof
A DIYselfer installing solar panels on an old barn. Solar panels next to a greenhouse for an aquaponics system would also be a sterling idea.

 

The learning curve is steep for me, but it is interesting. I’ve used a welder before–that doesn’t scare me. But is a miter saw difficult or easy to use? They can be rented, right?

Perhaps I could get started with a smaller solar system for the house, wholesale, install it myself, and expand each year until the entire square footage is covered…. After all, the house needs a lot of work, and the entire house will not need to be heated/lighted right away. I will restore it in stages.

I think the most important thing I will need to decide as I actually put plans into practice, is what is the best use of my energy. What do I literally farm out, versus do myself? This is a bigger dream than what I had originally planned, so careful conservation of capital is essential. But my energy also needs to be focused on working the land  for a viable, profitable farm income. Hmmmmm…..I think buying wholesale and installing it myself is the answer.

Anybody have some suggestions on what they did for solar? Especially for a historical home?

 

Thanks!

Ms Rogers at Bees and Blooms Farms 

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! I’m learning how to become a micro-farmer, and this is my way of learning–sharing it as I go. I’m currently poring over aquaponics farming (I think it is the future for all of us!), herb crops, apiaries, and farm management. I’ve studied these topics for about 3 years now, and while it is overwhelming at times, I really do love it!

So, until I actually HAVE the farmette, I thought I’d write a little at a time of what I’m learning, and then when I’m actually apprenticing, post videos!

 

According to Ron Macher, author of Making Your Small Farm Profitable, sustainable small farming (under 180 acres) is becoming increasingly popular as people demand to know more about where their food comes from, and how it is grown. Macher expects this trend to continue into the foreseeable future as population continues to grow exponentially, while farming land is shrinking.

 

So if you have been thinking of going back to a simpler way of life, but not afraid of hard work, this could also be the way for you!

 

Join me in this agripreneurial revolution….for growing wholesome foods!

 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton