Now the hard part: planning the homestead. While we are new to farming we are not new to the deliberate planning process.
In 1994 we found property in Florida we wanted to purchase. We took the property off the market and purchased it in 1996. From 1996 to 1998 we identified a house plan, adjusted the plans to fit our lot, and made a few design changes to suit our needs and tastes.
Our friends told us to buy, not build. They said building a house was an effective way to ruin a good marriage. Well…we had a wonderful experience. We told our general contractor: “We’ll be the best clients you ever had–we know exactly what we want and won’t keep changing our minds; we’ll also be the hardest clients you ever had–we know exactly what we want and won’t let you change our minds.” As it turns out we made two very minor changes before construction commenced and we accepted one change the builder suggested. The point is that the deliberate planning paid off in two big ways: We knew what we wanted as the result of 2 years of discussion and good old give-and-take; and in the end we did get exactly what we wanted.
Now it’s time to capitalize on that experience and apply the same deliberate process to planning the homestead. In designing the house we functionally decomposed the structure into major elements and planned each separately–then integrated them into the whole. We hope to apply the same process to the homestead, recognizing the much greater scope and higher degree of complexity in this project.