After five seasons, we are losing our lease on the farm.
We knew we weren’t going to live here forever, but we thought that we would move when we bought a farm of our own. In January, our landlord told us that he wasn’t renewing our contract at the end of the season. We have spent the last six months trying to make arrangements, but it just didn’t work. Omaha has swallowed up its surrounding farming communities, and development has inflated the price of land. For all the farmland surrounding the city, very little is appropriate for a small farm.
This has been an incredibly difficult experience. Farming is an integral part of our lives, and it hurts to have a change forced on us. Our financial standing just doesn’t allow us to buy a property now.
After this growing season, our family will return to our former home in Omaha.
We’re not quitting. Black Sheep Farms will continue to exist in a much different form. We’re not sure what that looks like yet, but we are determined to farm, no matter how much land we have. Our little lot of 0.17 acres will feed us, provide us with beauty, and make us be more resourceful with our space. It will still be our farm.
We are grateful to everyone who had a hand in our success. Thank you to all of our customers. Thank you to all of our friends and family. Thank you to everyone who helped give a little bit of reality to our dreams. It takes many people to support a farm, and we feel honored that you support us.
America’s small farms face many challenges. Our story is part of that. We were inspired to start by our friend, Victor, who told us, “Farming is a great life.” He gave us the push that we needed to realize that we could make this happen. No experience. No land. Just a desire to produce something for our community and ourselves.
Since we started, we have truly learned to work. We have learned how to figure things out for ourselves, how to cope with adversity, and how to admire Nature for all that it is. We are a part of this system, and it gives more than it takes. Every time our youngest son reminds us that he is a Nature Scientist, I know that we made the right move. Growing up on the farm has given him the opportunity to pursue his passions firsthand. He may not clean up after himself very well, but he knows how to plant flowers, how to catch toads, and where the chickens hide their eggs.
So our move is a boomerang. We are returning to the place we started our life as a family. As soon as we can afford a farm, we will move again. And grow.