In August of 2015 we received a letter in our mailbox, stating that the letter was "sufficient as to termination of our tenancy". At no time did anyone ever come to us with any problems, issues, concerns, or to discuss any ideas. We had no idea the owner was unhappy with us. She gave us 60 days to move an entire farm, an entire household, and an entire construction business.
We did the only thing we could do, we found a place for us to live, and a place for our animals to live, as soon as we possibly could. We sold as many animals as we could in the limited time we had and we moved in with my mother in law. I was able to board my remaining animals at my friend's houses... But everything else, all the blood, sweat, tears (and money) of all our hard work we built on the farm had to be left there. Fencing, barns, sheds, newly built milking parlour, coops, everything- all had to be left behind.
We are picking up the pieces and trying to start anew from where we left off. We are currently in a holding pattern, still living at my mother-in-laws place and my animals are still all being boarded. It's tough not having our own place to live where we can keep the animals and all of our stuff at home with us. We have not been able to find a place to rent that will let us have the farm, thats within our budget. Between my boyfriends construction business closing because of the economy, and myself paying for all the board and care for all the animals we just can't afford living expenses down here in San Diego. While I am so happy and thankful to have been able to farm, and so grateful for the learning experiences, I am finding that it is VERY difficult to farm and be a farmer UNLESS YOU OWN YOUR OWN PROPERTY. So now I feel like I am stuck (because all my money goes to my animals and boarding and not MY living expenses) BUT, I already have the animals and am already attached, and I am not ready to give the rest of them up.
THAT BEING SAID- we have something BIG in the works! I met the owner of one of the only dairies left here in San Diego, and found out they are actually building and opening a creamery, and that they want to go into business WITH US to purchase our milk!! YAY! I am so excited! As soon as we got the contract together and signed it, I went ahead and bred all the goats (except the yearlings). We originally didn't breed them this year because we are in this holding pattern, but NOW we are expecting babies again this year! Two have already given birth, Woohoo! And another one in 9 days, and then the big majority are all going to be expecting in June! Wowzahs! I can't describe how happy I am. We are currently working on getting the fencing up over at the dairy and getting preparations made to move them. We also went ahead and got our intern program up and running and have scheduled interns to help us care for the animals, milk the goats, and feed the babies while I am at work during the mornings. Hopefully once we start earning income from the goats our lives will start turning around for the better!
So it's been a long, rocky, and crazy last two years, but White Mountains Ranch will persevere!