I have some sad news, friends. On August 4, we will be leaving the farm and moving to the Charlottesville area.
We are so disappointed that things didn’t work out here. The main reason we are leaving is that we can’t get a reliable Internet connection at the farm. Before we moved, we called Comcast to make sure we could get a high speed connection here. They said yes, and so we packed and headed up. I make my living online and need a high speed connection to do my thing.
After fighting with them for 2 months, we finally were told no. The best we could do was satellite internet (our connection got an F- on the speed test). The connection isn’t fast enough for me to do what I need to do, and especially not to use Skype, which I use with every client.
I’ve driven an hour and a half round trip to Winchester (nearly every day) to sit in a coffeeshop or library and use WiFi. Which of course costs gas, time, and money. I can’t justify the expense of renting office space and paying for a high speed connection in town just to be able to make money. We’re losing money being here, and so we’ve decided to cut our losses and move on.
We were most sad to have to give up the chickens (did you know that landlords laugh in your face when you ask if you can keep chickens at their property?). Besides really loving the little guys, we spent hundreds of dollars on chicken stuff in the weeks before we finally made the decision that we’d have to move. But you know what? Things have worked out. The chickens went to our favorite local farm, a multigenerational family farm on 550 acres in West Virginia. We buy all our beef from them, and they are just wonderful people. The chicken coop went to an ex-Navy guy who’s trying his hand at growing his own food. And the electric poultry netting and solar energizer were picked up today by an older lesbian couple who raise “illegal chickens” as well as alpacas in the mountains outside Winchester. I love the farming diversity we’ve discovered up here.
So now, dear friends, we have the daunting task of repacking all our things and moving during the hottest month of the year. To top it off, on Saturday, I fell in a ditch and badly sprained my ankle. I can’t walk on it, and am learning how horrible crutches are. Did I mention the house here has a ladder instead of stairs? Goodness, it’s been a trying few months. We’re a little tired, more than a little hot (went through that heatwave without air conditioning), and really disappointed.
Here’s the but…
But, we’re also very excited about relocating to Charlottesville. We love that area – it has country charm while still being a happening city. There’s a vibrant local food scene, an awesome yoga community, and hiking and outdoorsy stuff galore. I know we’ll fit right in. We are going to be renting a house in Lake Monticello (the lake is awesome, and we’re only 15 minutes from Cville). The yard is too shaded for a garden (with the exception of a few pots on the deck), and no chickens are allowed, but I’m thinking that just because things aren’t going to look the way I thought they’d look at the beginning of this year, that doesn’t mean anyone’s failed or that anything is wrong.
I may try to start a community garden in the (very suburbish) neighborhood. Bring a little local food flavor right to our own front door, and maybe a little education to some folks in the meantime. I’ll definitely get to start teaching yoga again, and taking classes, which I’m extremely excited about. I’ll have access to a pool and a gym again so I can start working out around other people (which, I’ve found out, is something I really need). And we’ll be closer to both our families, and in a place a little more convenient for friends to visit. Isolation is fun, but then it isn’t after a while.
Big changes are ahead. Better things are around the corner. Stay tuned, folks.