How We Became Blueberry Farmers
For years we had been looking for a few acres out in the country with an old farmhouse to renovate. We lived in a small 2 bedroom house east of Lafayette with a postage stamp sized yard. Our boys had more energy than we knew what to do with and we thought living in the country would help them constructively burn off some of that excess energy. My hubby has this latent farming gene that generally appears at planting time and he wanted more space to plant a bigger garden. I just wanted our garden in our backyard rather than out at the interstate so I had more control over how many bushels of green beans or tomatoes were picked to be canned each evening.
A friend who was a realtor told us about this blueberry farm that was for sale. There was no house on the property but if we bought it the blueberries could help pay for the property, she said. We had been blueberry picking there in previous summers. The bushes were small and I had a hard time getting the boys to put any berries in their buckets. We had also picked blueberries once up in Demotte. It was late in the season so the berries were small, it was hot and the mosquitos were bad (sound familiar?) The man with the latent farming gene said, “You don’t ever have to pick another blueberry if you don’t want.” So I wasn’t terribly concerned when the farmer said, “Let’s look at it. What do we have to lose?” For the fun of it, we looked at it. And for the farmer and both of his sons, it was love at first sight. All I could see was an awful lot of work.
We made a list of pros and cons about whether to “buy the farm”. There are a lot of really good, more elaborate ways to make decisions but we keep coming back to the old pro/con list as a reliable way to sort through information when we’re making decisions.
We made a deal with each other that we would try it out for 3 years. We kept living in the small home with the postage stamp yard but we worked the farm. We would drive out after work and school or on weekends, work at the farm and come home dirty, tired but also very happy (for at least 3 of us.) After 2 years of that, we decided to build our home there and live their permanently.
Later we learned that if we hadn’t made an offer on the farm that week, the previous owners were going to subdivide the farm the following week and try to sell it as building lots. One more week and there would not have been a blueberry patch on the east side of town!