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Finding our dream farm!

Rester Farm logo

In the previous blog we talked about our dream of having a mini farm of our own. Dreaming is easy! We had to find the perfect farm to start farming. We started searching for our own farm property about a year ago. I would sit and watch HGTV’s We Bought The Farm and lust over the beautiful properties they were finding. Meanwhile, we religiously searched Realtor.com and Zillow for our future home with no luck.

We might have been dreaming big but the budget wasn’t as big as the dream. You could say we had Champagne taste on a beer budget. So we looked at all the options. We had settled that if we could find some land we could put a mobile home on the property. Then down the road, we could build our dream house. It seemed like an easy plan and a quicker way to get onto the property. We had the perfect mobile home picked out, even had one of those massive fridge/freezers. So that was simple. The hard part, the land!

We live in a county where all the new land going on the market was Deed Restricted, in other words, you couldn’t have a mobile or modular home. If we did find land that wasn’t restricted it was either extremely low and in a flood zone or it was way overpriced.

Eventually, we started to expand our search to a property with an existing house, mobile or modular home. It seemed like that wouldn’t be hard either. Well, we were wrong. There are so many buyers and low inventory in our area that we found multiple offers were made on properties the same day they were put on the market. It started to feel like our dream would never happen.

As we have learned time and time again, when you place something in God’s hands and trust Him, everything works out in the end. This stage of our life is no different.

We were on a deadline as the lease was up on the property we were renting and with the time frame to go through the whole closing process we knew we had to have a contract on a property by a set date and it was fast approaching. We were now on our millionth realtor, well I exaggerate but it sure did feel like that. Natasha was truly a blessing from God. One day as we were on the phone talking about a listing on realtor.com she had an idea. She knew someone that had mentioned wanting to sell sometime in the future and when she thought of their property she knew it was perfect. She sent me a picture and I was instantly in love.

farmhouse

It was a pretty white farmhouse just like the ones in the HGTV show, which is rare for Florida. It was sitting on a nice piece of land and had the prettiest Oak trees in the front yard. All the little details I hadn’t even told Natasha were there too, it was one of the moments when God was whispering “See I know you and the things that matter to you.”

It was a long 6 weeks going through the closing process and waiting, praying that nothing would fall through. Then finally on May 19th, we got the key! Rester Farms had found it’s home at last.

child holding a key

So finally, after much anticipation, the next chapter in our adventure has its opening paragraph.

signature The Resters

If you live in North East Florida and are looking for a realtor, we highly recommend Natasha Tillman with Lisa Duke Realty.

Dreaming big!

Hello! And welcome to the Rester Farms blog and website.

Like any good story, our journey began when a Louisiana boy met a Northern Irish girl and fell in love. That was 15 years ago! Since then we have been blessed with 3 wonderful sons, that from day one loved dirt and tractors. We both come from a long line of farmers so I guess it’s in our blood. We are a home educating family too so everything is a learning opportunity.

When we started dreaming we lived in a subdivision, in a city, hardly the stuff of farming dreams. Our desire to reclaim our food supply and eat whole foods lit the spark. We built our first chicken coop and made some raised grow beds. It wasn’t long before Ken talked our neighbors into letting us use the parts of their yards that they didn’t use to plant a bigger garden. Did I mention we had awesome neighbors? Soon the eggs were being collected daily and rows of corn and okra and squash and other vegetables were growing.

Then we made a move to Florida but this put us in a subdivision that wasn’t as chicken friendly, so one of the sad goodbyes was to our sweet hens. We didn’t give up the garden and for our home education project, we had to figure out how to do a container garden. We had bell peppers, tomatoes, lettuces, and carrots growing in every kind of container we could think of. We had a successful crop that year.

Man and kid in bee suits working on hive

For years Ken had been researching beekeeping. Finally, we moved to a different rental property on an acre of land and had the best landlords that said it was ok to get bees and chickens. So we order our first bee nooks and build another chicken coop.  The boys expanded their experimenting to more raised beds and I started to grow herbs and peppers. We finally added a second coop and now have 17 hens and 1 very feisty rooster, King. That’s him in our logo. We’ve expanded the hives and had a small honey harvest last year.

picture of kid with growbed

We are currently looking to find our own land to really let the dream flourish.

So please join us on our adventure as we reclaim our roots and run a family farm.

signature The Resters