Thursday, June 6, 2013

Talking Out Loud About Prairies Yet to Be

Time to explore the old-fashioned meaning of blogging, which way back when certainly meant an online diary.

I'm feeling restless and patient at the same time. My wife and I are planning to purchase an acreage in the next few years, perhaps as early as next year. Of course, then we need a place to live, and we are comfortable now, but there's something missing -- an element of fulfillment that is lacking, and perhaps a dash of mid life crisis burning through pants (I should get that looked at....).

If we move on to a 50-100 acre spread, where will it be? Will there be opportunities to sell plants, host weddings, have a destination half or full acre garden people will come to and pay for? Will anyone pay for artists residences in small studios we will build on the far edge of the acreage?

Can we get CRP money as part income while we start out? Are there other state incentives or tax breaks for restoring prairie? Tax breaks / low interest loans for solar and wind so we can go as much off the grid as possible (and if on grid, maybe we'll make an income)? Where does water come from, and can we treat it on site (I wouldn't trust any well in ag country, but at least there's rain water).

We'd likely need some sort of small tractor. And all this equipment would require knowledge on how to maintain it. Sames goes for a greenhouse -- of which I know nothing about. I'm an English PhD.

There has to be multiple ways to make money and live a dream, to do something meaningful:

Monetize a neo-settler blog (reverse prairie settler?).
Sell native plants on site and at area farmer's markets.
A secret mobile project I won't tell you about.
Have some sort of event or festival.
Artist residencies.
As soon as I'm done writing the prairie Oklahoma memoir, have it do so well I get paid speaking gigs, workshops, conferences.
Teach part time.
Have part of acreage in hay or something.

There's so much to research, so much risk, so much hard work. And if we fall flat on our faces and go broke, does it matter? Of course it does, but we die and take nothing with us, yet we might be able to give something, create some sort of legacy, something I can't even fathom at this point.

Everything tells me to be patient, learn, and plan so that when the opportunity arises we can jump. Everything also tells me I'm nUtZ. What big risk have you taken? Did it pay off? Anything similar to the above?


Diana Studer said...

if you have a dream, you have to try - or spend the rest of your life regretting that you didn't. We've been thru 2 big risks, clunked back down to earth, and survived.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Good to know! :)