First things firstIn November 2013 our wonderful tenants in Colorado signed the paperwork and official bought BluBelle Farm. You could probably hear the shouts of joy and relief from us all over the plant. It was such a nice feeling to no longer be the owner of the Colorado property...and leave the world of 'landlord' behind. Yes - we learned a few lessons:
1. Don't be a landlord
2. If you are going to be a landlord, live right near the property so you can deal with things quickly and by yourself.
3. And finally, don't ever be a landlord
Still, it all worked out in the end - but it took almost five years to sell the farm and cost us more than it should to take it through to the sale. We really did not take a financial step forward with the ownership considering the blood sweat and tears we put into the improvements. We would have liked to walk away $50,000 better off and not break even. But, them's the breaks! It's gone. It's over. And that, my friends, is a bloody nice feeling!
Back to MurramarangOur farm in Maine has been developing very slowly. Two things have been hampering our movement forward. The first was not knowing when the Colorado farm would finally sell and be off our hands. The second was money. Added to this has been a long and bitter winter forcing any improvements being done inside.
With the arrival of our eldest daughter to stay a few months we decided that we really needed more bathrooms. When we bought this farm we had the plumber add a second toilet in what was a strange 'cupboard' off the master bedroom. That little room ended up being a storage room with a loo - than a real functioning bathroom. With a lack of funds but a load of time, we scrounged the local dump each week and finally found a nice bathroom sink etc for just $1. With a coat of paint and a new set of fittings it looked great. We finished the walls and painted the 'cupboard' (now the "ensuite"), laid some new vinyl tiles onto the floor and then installed the renovated sink. A few lights a fan etc and our little brown duck became a wonderful swan.
We then started on a whole new bathroom/laundry area in the basement. This tested our plumbing skills as we needed an upflow toilet that would pump the waste up and into our septic outflow. Once we worked out the new toilet process we added a sink, shower and even a hookup for a laundry tub! We build walls, sheet rocked, added power, light, fan and more. Quite a project indeed. As I write we still have to paint, add the flooring and test it all :)
Outside we still have so much snow. Its almost the end of March and last year I had started seedlings. This year we will not see our vegetable plots for another few weeks...and then probably will not be able to plant for a month or so after that. So vegetables will be a late process.
Our chickens continue to produce. The five girls give us around four eggs a day and Harry Potter the Rooster does a good job keeping them safe. Our little hen house worked well through winter with the chickens being given run of the barn during the day. They are now escaping to the small patches of grass and mud around the farm to forage and scratch. They can't wait for warmer weather.
Our plans this summer involve fences. We will not be able to get the whole place done, but I hope we can fence the top few acres with something better than the temporary electric fence so Maggie the horse is more confined.
Life is godd - and we can't wait for spring to really arrive!