In 5 weeks we will be hitting the road to our new home in Gouldsboro, Maine. Although our house hasn’t sold yet, we made the decision to move forward with our farming plans and relocate.
Our decision process on where to move was stressful at best. There were so many decisions to be made, as well as having no idea of which area would suit us best. How do you decide on a location when you’ve never even visited the state?
We had lists upon lists (okay I had all the lists) of criteria for the perfect location, the kind of people we wanted to share community with, the history of our future property and its uses over the year, farming needs, housing, and all while desiring to hold to the standard that we didn’t want a mortgage or to be in debt.
My original question posed to Dom last year was, “If we could go anywhere, where would you want to be?” Both of us answered that wanted to be near the ocean. Being in the high desert for six years became a constant reminder of how much we desperately loved and missed the ocean. Dom grew up on Long Island and spent most summers surfing, and I have always been in love with the ocean spending summers along the Jersey Shore.
Something deep was calling to us. We answered that call. We honed in on Maine and New Hampshire, searching for homes and land that were very inexpensive. The more I looked, however, the more discouraged I became. Were there homes and land in our price range? Yes, but most of them were infested with mold. Mold infestations can kill me.
As we continued to look for land, we decided that the only way to keep me safe and alive was going to be if we built our own little cottage. Up in Maine, many people will buy an Amish built large shed and convert it to a little hunting cottage or summer cabin. Armed with new a new plan, we set out looking for only land. We found many properties, but then we looked at each other and realized that if we go this route, we will be doing it all alone. We had no interest in being hermits living deep in the woods where it takes 1/2 hour to get to the nearest neighbor. We also wanted to be in community, and a strong one at that.
So we added strong community to our list of priorities, and kept looking. My next question to myself (I drive myself nuts with my constant questions) was how long would it take before we would get all our infrastructure in place so that we could actually farm again? That question nearly broke me emotionally. An agrarian life is our calling, and I couldn’t imagine going a year or more without having animals, a garden, and all the things that bring me to life each day, filling me with a sense of completeness and peace.
Feeling the weight of my questions bearing down on my soul as if I were about to give birth, I snapped inside. In utter frustration and feeling the despair of a life without a farm (even for a few years) I began looking for alternative ways to farm.
I started looking for partnerships in both New Hampshire and Maine. New Hampshire didn’t have any opportunities available, but Maine had about four partnerships open. I talked with Dom about it, we went over all our lists of wants and needs, and decided that a farming partnership would cover almost every single item on our lists.
After making the decision to seek a partnership, we sent out emails to the four farm prospects in Maine. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were hopeful. We looked up where each farm was located and immediately had our favorite farm of all four farms. I don’t think I breathed much that day. I would find myself constantly holding my breath, and forget to breathe, anxiously glued to computer as I waited for someone to reply.
Then it happened. I couldn’t believe it! Not only did they email back, they called as well. After the email, I quickly looked at my list to see which farm it was. Was it the one we really liked? Yes! The three other farms never contacted us. So we started talking via email and Facetime. It took all of one week for us to make the decision to relocate.
The name of the farm is Darthia Farm in Gouldsboro, Maine. They have been certified organic for 37 years, and are most beloved in their community. Last year one of my deepest desires was to be in a place where the forest kisses the ocean because I love both the forest and the ocean, and that’s where we are going. Darthia Farm is located on West Bay and is a part of the Schoodic Peninsula in Downeast Maine. Click the photo to be taken to their website.
June 22 is our moving day so we can be to the farm by July 1 and start our training. We’ll learn how to run the farm and CSA, care for the animals, making products for the farm store, tending farmers markets, and everything else that goes into making Darthia Farm shine.
Luna Hill, LLC will be dissolved this month before our move. Our farm website will continue, but most likely in the future as Darthia Farm, with an archived section for Luna Hill. My blog posts will be not updated much until we are done making the transition, and once we do settle in I will start blogging regularly about daily life at Darthia Farm.
Here are some photos of the farm: