ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Simple Living: The Self-Sustaining Educational Eco Farm

Updated on October 20, 2013
An outdoor learning classroom
An outdoor learning classroom
Bev's diorama
Bev's diorama
Our dream farm
Our dream farm
Our dream barn
Our dream barn

I wrote an article awhile back called “Chasing A Dream” in which I talked about my dream (and Bev’s) of buying a farm in four years and making it an educational learning center. When I had finished the article I put it out there on different sites including Reddit and the next day I received a charming reply from one of my readers. He wished me luck and then said I would need it if I thought I could do such a thing at the age of sixty-three.

It reminded me of a friend I talked to maybe a year ago; I told her I had a plan and it was time to go for it. Instead of looking for a typical 9-5 job I was going to begin a new career as a freelance writer, that I was going to self-publish my novel and I was going to work towards buying the aforementioned farm with Bev. My friend actually became indignant and said she would love to support me but as my friend she considered it her duty to tell me that I was crazy and that dreams were only valid if they had a chance of becoming reality.

As much as I would like people to think I am immune to criticism, her words stung me that day but they also had the effect of solidifying my resolve to move forward. Since that chat I have self-published my first novel and my freelance writing business is going strong and growing steadily. All that remains of my original plan is to buy that farm and I tell you this with all sincerity and conviction: I WILL buy that farm and it will happen within the next three years. Period!

SO WHY A FARM? YOU AIN’T NO FARMER!

Truer words were never spoken; I am definitely not a farmer but I have been around farms much of my life and it has always been a dream of mine to have my own. My grandparents were corn farmers in Iowa while I was tripping and stumbling through my early years and I still remember playing on that farm and helping my grandfather with the chores and milking cows and collecting eggs and just soaking in the sights and smells and sounds of the farm.

Later on in life I owned several properties that had land from five to ten acres and I just loved the feeling of rising early and taking my morning coffee out to the pasture and talking to the horses. So it’s not like I don’t know the difference between a Morgan and a mule.

However, the real reason for my future farm is educational in nature. For a number of years I have grown more and more disenchanted with the education system. Having been a part of it for eighteen years I watched its slow decline from something I admired to something I did not recognize. I watched the Arts slowly eliminated from our schools and eventually even my subject of history lost funding because it lacked the importance of core subjects that would be covered on the state standardized tests.

Since I was obviously not going to win the battle within the system I decided that my only choice was to start my own outdoor school. I was fortunate enough to be dating a wonderful woman who shares my dream and that was about all the support I needed.

WHAT’S IT GOING TO LOOK LIKE?

Glad you asked! The love of my life, Bev, was kind enough to make a diorama of the farm which you can see in the photo section on the right. I also included a drawing of an outdoor classroom that I designed a couple years back for a school I taught at in Oregon. Our farm with be a little of both and a great deal more that is not included in either of those renderings.

I envision learning stations throughout the ten acres. There will be a stream flowing through and a waterwheel working on that stream; there will be a replica of an Oregon Trail wagon. Of course we will have a solar-powered greenhouse and wind turbines and a petting zoo and so much more. Hand-crafted planets will be in the outdoor solarium and bee hives and cider presses and an aviary.

The barn will be the indoor classroom and on weekends we will have barn dances for the neighbors, and lest I forget we will have a shop that sells our lavender products which we already produce but will obviously be produced on a much larger scale. We will also have artist and writer workshops in the barn. I can see this farm so vividly in my mind that at times I swear I can smell the fresh soil and hear the chickens in the morning and my heart and soul ache when I realize I am still three years away from it happening.

HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FRIGGIN’ MIND BILLYBUC?

I published an article a couple days back about childhood dreams and do we remember them; obviously this is not a childhood dream of mine but it is a dream that rests within the mind of a sixty-three year old. A little old to be starting over, don’t you think? I can hear those remarks from some of you as they sail through the internet to my computer in Olympia.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Childhood-Dreams-Where-Have-They-Gone

Well, the fast answer is no, I do not think I’m too old to start over. Age is simply a state of mind in my opinion and I feel like I am thirty years old. In fact, I am re-energized by the challenge and am totally focused on the goal.

Listen, I readily admit that I am wired differently than most people. I was just having this conversation with Bev the other day. I am missing that little button in the brain that says, “slow the hell up and think about the consequences.” It was there at one time in my life as I weighed decisions carefully, going over every possible scenario until I felt I had covered all the bases. Inevitably what would happen would be something I hadn’t planned on OR I would do nothing because I suffered paralysis by analysis.

Those days are gone. I no longer allow myself to think like that because, well, life is too damn short. What is the worst case scenario as I go forward? It won’t happen….for whatever reason we won’t be able to do it. What is the best case scenario? We have our farm in a little more than three years. I am prepared for the worst and I am prepared for the best and for the life of me I don’t see why I shouldn’t go for it with gusto!

SOME OF MY PERSONAL PHILOSOPHIES

Tell me that something is a fantasy and I start trying to make it a reality. Tell me I’m silly for dreaming and I’ll tell you that you are halfway to your own grave because you have lost the ability to dream. Tell me that it is too difficult and I’ll tell you that a person who fails to act because of difficulty is a person who needs to follow my dad’s advice and strap on some balls. Tell me that I can’t and I’ll prove to you that I can.

How many years do you think I still have on this Earth? If I’m lucky twenty; if my luck has run out I could die right after posting this article. I wasted far too many of my years in a self-induced alcoholic fog; I have no intention of cheating myself of my remaining time because something appears to be too difficult or unrealistic. I owe it to myself to live life to the fullest the rest of the way.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Leaving-The-Rat-Race-Behind

So there you have it! The dream has been verbalized and described and declared. For those detractors out there I wish you well; for those who will support me, three and a half years from now Bev and I will have an open house celebration and you are all invited…..and please, don’t bring a bottle of wine as a housewarming gift. Not a good idea at all! :)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 5 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      There's no sooner time to start making your dreams come true than today. Go for it, and remember to keep enjoying yourself along the way. Sandra Busby

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, I will indeed enjoy the journey. Every single day is a gift wrapped in lovely paper with a huge bow and I am the lucky man who gets to experience it. Thank you for your encouragement and have a fantastic day!

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Perhaps you won't have to wait three years, Billy! It is a joyful dream. You always encourage your readers to think and consider what is important to them. I look forward to hearing how it happens.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I haven't the slightest doubt that you and Bev will surely realize your dream.

      You have written of it and described it so incredibly well, it is REAL to me at this moment!

      You know, I think that often, people do not take the time to consider that their flippant comments may hurt. It speaks well of your character that you can rise above this and create even more enthusiasm. That's how it's done, my friend.

      Here's some quasi-wise advice to all: "It is sad enough that you, yourself have no dream....please keep your dark clouds on your side of the sky."

      I applaud you and Bev and support your GOAL. Go for it!!

    • profile image

      Judy 5 years ago

      I fully support your goals and dreams. If anyone can do it, you and Bev can.

      Love to you both

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya, thank you my dear. I have the feeling three years is the max I will have to wait. Thank you for your kind words and you are right...it is a joyful dream.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I love your advice...keep your dark clouds on your side of the sky...how perfect is that? I love your outlook and your support and your friendship. Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Judy, thank you my oldest and dearest friend. You will be one of the first to be invited when we open the doors to our farm. Love to you!

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      I love, love, love that you still dream! And at your age! That was a joke!

      I know that you will have your farm and I really like the idea of creating a space where others can learn. You'll do it and so many will benefit from the fruits of your labor!

      Voted awesome, beautiful, and up!

      P.S. Tell Bev I just LOVE her diorama!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eclectic, I will indeed tell Bev that you loved her diorama. That was my Valentine's gift this year and it is right above my computer desk so I can keep focused on the goal. Thank you my dear; plan on receiving an invitation in the mail when the farm opens.

    • Askme profile image

      Pritchard 5 years ago

      If you dream it, you can live it. There are many successful people who did not start to live their dreams until later in life. In fact only when some retired, were they able to clearly see their dreams and then make them a reality.

      Colonel Sanders did not start his KFC empire until he was in his late 40s. Actor Danny Aiello did not start acting until his late 40s and went on to have a very successful career. Ditto with Rodney Dangerfield, he did not start his stand up comedy act until he was 42.

      Harriett Doerr wrote her first novel at 72 years old. Laura Ingalls Wilder did not start writing her "Little House on the Prairie" books series until she was in her late 60's. Her books lead to the successful TV series. Frank McCourt who wrote "Angela's Ashes" did not write it until he was 66 years old.

      If you are not dreaming and growing, you are dead! Best of luck. I am sure you will succeed in your dreams.

    • pjpitts profile image

      pjpitts 5 years ago from United States

      Some people always ask why? Other people exclaim why not? What a wonderful place your going to have!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Askme, thank you for taking the time to write such a great comment. I love your examples and I am more than ready to take on the challenges to make this happen. Thank you!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 5 years ago from Isle of Man

      This is article is the best example of "The Law of Attraction" in action. Talk about synchronicity. I have only just today posted an article to my website blog explaining the dynamic of how to harness the power of the subconscious to create the reality you desire. Thank you Bill for yet another hub of light for those seeking enlightenment!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pjpitts, I agree completely. Love that quote and I try to live by it. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That is so great! I will be dropping by to read your blog and gaining more insight. Thank you and bless you!

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      I look forward to that invitation!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Someone mentioned how cool it would be if there was a Hubber convention so we could all meet face to face. Of course I wouldn't be able to afford the trip but it's a nice thought. I'll put you down on the invite list so keep checking your mail.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Go with your dream, billybuc! I am 100% for your educational adventure in schooling for the new generation to come. I think you should update us with posts on this dream and defintely write a book on this so that others will catch the vision. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, what an uplifting person you are. Thank you and I will gladly keep all of you updated. I have no doubt there is a book just waiting to be written. Thank you for your comments and support.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 5 years ago from Isle of Man

      How can you entertain the thought "Of course I wouldn't be able to afford the trip but it's a nice thought." after writing such an amazing hub about the power of positive thought?????

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xavier, a fair question for sure and I will relinquish that negative thought immediately. Thank you for the reminder my friend.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Definitely a worthwhile dream. I'm often in Washington, so if you ever get this set up, let me know so I can visit. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aurelio, I hope some day that you will let me know when you are coming up; we'll have lunch and get to know each other. Thank you Sir!

    • Brittany Daniel profile image

      Brittany Daniel 5 years ago from Cary, NC

      Hi Billy, this is a great dream. The education system is deeply flawed and I applaud you for doing something productive about it! I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope you see your dream through. It is not abstract in the least, and if you have the means, it can and should be accomplished.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Brittany thank you and it will be accomplished. I just haven't figured out how yet. :) I deeply appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I'll bring tea if You let me know the date. I always have great tea, I'm lucky like that - thank the Gods. : )

      Loved your article. I ask the Universe to hear your wish and allow it to manifest.

      May Wakan Tanka guide your path Amigo. Cheers!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy I have the feeling I am being guided and I am more than happy to have a tour guide. Your tea offer is accepted and we shall toast each other and speak of better times to come. Thank you for the great comment.

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      You have to nail this one Billy...it's never too late to make a dream into 'm glad reality...and i'm glad you did...go for it...Bravo...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Raciniwa, I will and thank you so much for the encouragement. You are appreciated!

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      I could envision your dream, billy, so I know you will achieve it. Who could not, with that attitude? I know exactly how it is, though, to have people step on your dreams and tell you it cannot be accomplished. That is a big roadblock and I am glad you have decided to drive right over it. Can't wait to read about your farm! It is happening.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Connie, thank you! It is nice to receive genuine words of encouragement when others are telling me I have bitten off more than I can chew. I appreciate your words.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh Billy I will be with the first to your house warming armed with my tea bags .

      Don't you ever give up on your dreams as I have no intention on giving up my own either.

      As for the'age'bit I feel younger now than I did in my mid twenties;now my life trluy begins and I have quite a list of dreams but the farm dream is the most important.!!!

      Now then my very dear friend an Up up and away just for you.

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I feel the same about age; having someone I love has made all the difference in the world. Having someone to dream with and work towards a common goal with has brightened my life considerably. You have an open invitation to our farm and you will receive a formal invitation the day we move in. Thank you my friend.

    • sweethearts2 profile image

      sweethearts2 5 years ago from Northwest Indiana

      You are the picture of William Arthur Ward's timeless words of inspiration "Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully; Prepare prayerfully; Proceed positively; Pursue persistently."

      I look forward to seeing the wonderful announcement of the "The Self-Sustaining Educational Eco Farm" grand opening.

      We are new everyday and dreams do come true. Your hubs inspire me to look forward to the newness of everyday. Thank you for sharing your dreams, it inspires others to dream as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sweethearts2, I truly appreciate those words. I understand your loss as well as anyone can understand the sense of pain and emptiness that accompanies such a thing, and if I have inspired you in some way to see the glory in the newness of everyday then I am grateful. Thank you so much for your words.

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      I suspect we will see actual pictures of this farm sooner rather than later. You dream big and you take action billybuc. I hope you share every step in a hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh trust me, Thunder, when the farm is purchased everyone in my little world will know it and see it and invitations will be sent out to come enjoy a day of celebration with Bev and I. Thank you once again for supporting me!

    • nakmeister profile image

      nakmeister 4 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      I think it's wonderful that you have a dream and a plan and you are determined to make it happen - and I'm sure you will. I also think it is a brilliant idea, it is a place I'd love to visit and learn from!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nak, you'll have an open invitation to visit us in three years. :) Thank you!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I'm sure you and Bev will have your farm and it will be a success. It's never too late to do what you really want in life. For years Magnus and me have been talking about having some sheep. Now we live in a place where we could. When our house is finished, I'm sure we'll have more animals than just our cats. Good luck! :)

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Go for it :) I love the idea of an educational farm. I for one am really, really looking forward to reading the Hubs you'll publish after you buy your land. What state are you looking to buy in?

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi BILL,

      How did I miss this . . .I did not realise that this was in the pipeline! Good for you and Bev I say!!

      I see similarities in that I am moving abroad, some will say Why? Are you crazy?

      I'm with you my friend, you are never too old to follow your heart's dream. Your plan and vision will become a reality for you both, I have no qualms about it! You have the strength of character and determination to see it, live it and enjoy it! Great article, sharing it for more to enjoy! Just a Quick Irish bit of humour / saying for you - "I-rish you a very nice place to live, I-rish God's greatest gifts he'll give. I-rish you health, and wealth, and more, I-rish your smilin' face were at my door!"

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, that would be wonderful.....I love goats and will definitely have them....and miniature pigs and chickens.....would love to have a horse but they cost so much for upkeep.....we will see my friend. It is still three years away. Thank you dear one; have a wonderful weekend in Finland.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachel, I'm certain it will be in Washington so we are close to our kids. I should have told you about this hub; I knew you would find it interesting. Hey, you can always work on our farm if you want to see the Pacific Northwest for awhile. We'll leave the light on for you. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, as soon as I get through laughing at the Irish humour I'll ask my question......okay, I'm ready.....if you live in Ireland already, what do you consider abroad???? Is mainland Europe "abroad" for those on the British Isles? I didn't know that, but I am so excited about your move. When will it be? Fill me in on the details....which city do you want to live in?

      Bless you my dear, and I love the toast! I wish my smilin' face was at your door too!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I'm not sure I'd want to have pigs, but a couple of goats and some chickens would be nice. When my 13 year old niece gets a little older, we could have all the animals together. She loves horses and all kinds of animals - and she lives next door to us... :)

      Thank you! I really love the thought of you and Bev planning and having a farm. Enjoy your weekend! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, thank you again and yes, we will enjoy the weekend. What, no pigs???? Haha....they definitely are not for everyone.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Glad you enjoyed the humour in the saying!

      Abroad for me is everywhere outside of Ireland as it is an island. It is a term used for any other country not just Europe. We bought a place 3 years ago in the Puglia region of Italy in a small place called San Michele Salentino (love the name!!), about 3km out of town. I will do a hub or two based on the experience. We hope to move ,all going well, next year. We had planned on it being before now but it has just not been possible. 20 min from the coast, 25 min from Brindisi airport and beautiful Italian villages dotted around . . .I could go on and on ...Later!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, I don't know that I would want to live in Europe but God I'd love to see it just once. I am so excited for you and obviously I admire anyone who is willing to just "go for it." Life is too short to debate moves of this sort....just do it! Love your attitude girl! :) Thank you for the info!

    Click to Rate This Article