Monday, March 23, 2009

I Bought the Farm

The title for this first post sounds a little apocalyptic, perhaps -- a little too final and morbid. One could get the impression that this will be the first post-mortem blog. But I mean no metaphor: I'm being literal. Last December, I bought a farm. One hundred acres in northern Missouri. About sixty acres enrolled in the CRP program until 2017. About twenty acres of oak and hickory woods on steep hills. Along a blacktop county road.

In fact, I didn't do this alone, but I was more or less the ringleader for a bunch of relatives who have tackled this project together. And that's part of the story I want to tell. Buying the farm has been a fascinating combination of economic analysis, long-term financial planning, balancing tangibles and intangibles, navigating family dynamics, and philosophical (or even theological) reflection leading to action. Each of these dimensions involves choices and decisions, and any human decision is fraught with ambiguity (at least mine always are!). Even relatively easy choices are seldom as simple or obvious as they appear at first glance. And therein lies the charm. Nothing is as easy as it looks.

This blog will explore The Farm as an investment, as ecology, as agriculture, as lifestyle, as family history, as hobby, as politics, as philosophical engagement. Maybe I should kick this off by explaining what I mean by each of those. So that's what my next posts will be about.

If you own a farm, I would love to hear from you!

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