Updated: Mar 31, 2020
If anyone would have asked me 6 months ago if I would have fallen in love with the man of my dreams and been counting down the days to move into our dream farm, I would have fell over laughing.
I want to laugh...but it's my reality, and a damn good one.
My name is Jen. I have spent the last 2 years of my life searching for what I truly want in life and constantly wondering where I will end up. Like most 28-year old girls, many of us are in an awkward place in our lives and either starting to raise families, or climbing the ranks in our careers...or both. I chose to dive into my career and build a good life for myself. As of 6 months ago, I was living alone in a way-too-big 5 bedroom farmhouse with my dog, Ellyeska (Elly-es-kah); 3 cats, Leonard, Penny, and Talkeetna; and 6 chickens (down to 5 now, RIP sweet chickie).
My career is in Corporate Agriculture as the Training Manager for our North America market. It would take hours (literally) to explain everything that my job entails, so the 30,000-foot view is that I help farmers and ranchers implement "fit-bits" on their cows. These "fit-bits" reduce, or completely eliminate the need for antibiotics and hormone injections.
When I am not working (rare), I spend my summers doing projects around my house or working in my garden. My garden keeps expanding each year and I grow way more vegetables, herbs, and fruits than I need...but, it's my passion.
My dream has always been to be a homesteader and be sustainable. Sustainability....that's for a future blog post. It makes me really sad to see how disconnected people are from agriculture today, and how we have very wrong misconceptions about many things related to gardening, growing livestock, and even simple things like changing the oil in your car, or building a shelf.
My goal is to help educate young adults on how to live a healthy, sustainable life and teach them how they can engage in their local agriculture communities!
Now that we've established the first part, let's talk about the second part of my story...the boy.
His name is Austin. I met Austin 6 months ago on our very first date. Yes, we met on a dating app, and yes it's hard to believe those things actually work, but they do. We are living proof of that. I have never been the type to jump head first into a relationship, and actually I usually do the opposite and run away as fast as I can. Relationships usually scare me and I would rather be alone, to be honest. Well, that's what I always thought anyways...until I met Austin.
People can be super cliche when they say "you just know", when talking about the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. That was an almost instant feeling I had when Austin walked into my life. He is literally my other half. It amazes me sometimes at how in-tune we are with one another, our thoughts and actions usually mirror each other. The level of respect we both have for each other makes me 100% certain that I want to build my life with this man.
His dream and goal has been to eventually move out of his city apartment and into a nice cozy home in the country and raise a family with a woman he loves. He loves to putz around building things or work on his car (if only he had more hours in the day). If Austin had it his way, he would spend every waking minute in the woods hunting. He is definitely a hunter, and I am the gatherer.
This brings me to the last part of this beautiful inception.
As we are both adults and have been through the "long-term relationship" thing and have had our period of "soul-searching", we are both at that point in our lives where we just flat out know what we want. We know exactly the kind of person we want to be with, and the type of life we want to live. We decided that it was time to start building our future together.
We had both been looking for our dream homes and knew we wanted to be someplace with a lot of nature, quiet, and not many people. We both have a deep appreciation for the hill country of Western Wisconsin, as I spent my time in college in that part of the state, and Austin has hunting land in that part of the state. We realized that Western Wisconsin was where we wanted to be, and so the hunt began.
I had stumbled upon a farm for sale one day and was hit with this feeling that I can't quite describe. I brushed it off, thinking I was crazy for even thinking I could own something so perfect. Two months went by, and I found myself looking at the for-sale listing almost daily. Then one day I was out in that part of the state visiting one of my customers, when I realized I was just down the road from the farm that was for sale, so my curiosity got the best of me and I took a little drive. I remember pulling up to the farm and thinking it was a little slice of Heaven, butting up against a ridge and settled in a sprawling valley filled with streams and cattle pastures.. I had to know more about this place.
I hired a Realtor and went and looked at the farm a few weeks later. Austin came with me because I was insisting that he just look at it. I had zero expectations going into the farm showing, and mainly went for 'shits and giggles'.
After we both hopped in the truck and started pulling out of the driveway after the showing, we both looked at each other and Austin said "I think this is getting serious now". Because at that moment, we both knew that this was our dream.
In just a few weeks, this little slice of Heaven will be ours. Our Weber Hollow Homestead.
The Weber Hollow Homestead marks the next chapter of my life, and the beautiful inception to our story.
Our goal is to share this journey with all of you, and we hope to inspire, educate, and engage along the way.