Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Learning Experience -

I haven't talked about this at all on this blog, but a little known fact is that back in January I moved my family out of Pullman to Ebey Island right outside of Everett. We found a place with 35 acres, a house, barn and water rights. The plan: to start a small organic market garden and catering service. I even started a brand new blog to document this process and hopefully provide a resource for other wanna-be farmers/foodies. We paid a lot of money up front for the land, seed, and equipment. About 3 weeks before planting, the landlord shows his true colors. It would appear that giving him a large sum of money up front was a bad thing because he seemed to expect that on a regular basis.

Now, I'm not going to go into every detail, I think everyone I know has heard the story a dozen times. But basically he freaks out that we aren't paying him months in advance. His attitude and actions scared me into second guessing whether we wanted to establish this business here. I mean once you plant, you are vested unless you want to loose everything. It's not like I can dig up a 2 acre vegetable garden and move it!

Despite the anger and resentment over his behavior, I learned a valuable lesson in all this (maybe more than one). The first thing is:
  • Follow your gut! While the economics might point you in one direction, that should be tempered with an honest assessment of the person you are doing business with.
  • The second lesson is: Do not agree to a month-to-month situation! It might work for some, but legally the landlord can give you 20 days notice, without cause, to vacate the premises. Another reason I got scared...
  • The third lesson: I will have to be more persist-ant than ever in order to make this dream a reality.
And finally...
  • The fourth lesson: Never let anyone walk all over you, or think they can. To be more specific, don't be so trusting and don't be so accommodating, unless it is reciprocated.
I have a tendency to be too giving, almost to the point of it being a shortcoming. I think people who don't know me take this as a sign of weakness, when in fact it is in my nature and comes from a deep seeded belief that we have to be the change we want to see! But when values and reality collide, it is best to embrace reality!

So, with all that said, we are moving on to another community, probably to move into an apartment till we can start over. The dream isn't dead, and no asshole is going to kill it for me. Because what I lack in intelligence, I make up through perseverance!

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