Updated: May 8, 2022
There is a saying "Doe Ye the Next Thynge" -- and that's my motto for April 2022. I can't control all the big moving pieces, so I'm just taking care of the things I can, moving forward in the things I can, and trusting God for the rest.
April 1st 2022 has been our deadline to know if we are to stay or go from the 6 acre farm we call Peacebunny Cottage.
The purchase agreement has been signed and the farm has a "sold" sign in the yard along the white picket fence. Now a closing date is set during Easter weekend on Good Friday. And no, I am not the person buying it.
Many of you know the story of how we came to be at this farm in Savage Minnesota in the southwest edge of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area. The woman I called "Farm Lady Yeah" was instrumental in allowing us to move in and to be able to use the property that her dad bought from his snow-bird brother who lived there for decades. We've been the site managers since May 2017 -- and we are so very grateful.
However, all the while there has also been a heavy uncertainty hovering overhead about the long term plan for the farm, even if we were good at ignoring it at times. Potential development plans have included tearing everything down and starting over, a thought that makes me so very sad. I always hate to see farms sold and flattened for "progress." The other historic farm in Savage, owned by the Loftus family was recently sold and is now being developed into senior home facilities. Regardless of the great things coming in, I hate to see land go. The farm we use now is located in Savage along McColl drive, with the three story white dairy barn, farmhouse and outbuildings, plus our rabbits and goats and periodically our friends' horses.
Since we moved in, there has been a stream of potential commercial buyers. Some got really close and then something somehow didn't work out. We've been on a long roller coaster ride with extreme highs and lows as we learned about their plans. There were a few that were open to letting us stay...at least 3-4 months to make transition plans.
But we've said from the beginning we just want someone to save the farm -- and secondly, we hope to stay. To be clear: regardless of outcome of any farm sale, the bunnies would never be in emergency mode or homeless. But it would take a lot of work to implement any of our backup plans.
It's always been a precarious arrangement, staying here only by the owners' good will and hospitality. We've seen bids come and go, giving the personal tour to potential buyers for years. Explaining our model. Tons of tours. It's gotten close to closing over and over, but then something has always happened in the final hours and it's back to the drawing board.
We have been stretched and maybe the best lesson is that over time I've learned not to get my hopes up and not to freak out either. Becoming more balanced. I've been learning and re-learning and re-learning how to ride the emotional rollercoaster. I know we can't control the outcome because I don't have that much cash in the bank. (The asking price was $1.2 M this summer). So I just come back to the idea that God cares for the Peacebunnies even more than I do and he loves the people we go serve too. Our business has survived COVID and RHDV2, no paid events for 2 years, huge feed cost increases and limited volunteers. (Whatever doesn't kill ya, makes a great poetry??)
Basically we've been in limbo since moving in. It's been for sale almost since the first day we moved in and we've needed a back up plan if we needed to move quickly, but we also didn't want to waste a lot of effort working on our plan B, C and D through plan R, S and T. So we've just been planning out several potential reactions to other people's decisions in this crazy adventure. We didn't want to invest money into fixing things, especially not knowing if the farm was to be sold for development and torn down. But we needed to make some improvements for safety and biosecurity, especially with RHDV2's first confirmed case in Minnesota.
So all this to say, this farm purchase is the closest we have ever felt to seeing a deal finalized. But we won't be sharing details until the ink is dried, then we'll put one of these plans in place. My family knows that regardless of this sale, change is coming, and we're all glad that God is in charge because we clearly aren't.
So please join us in praying for our peace in the situation regardless of outcome, for our wisdom to navigate next steps, and also that we have a permanent home. In my mind it's right where we are. Pray for the new potential owners of this farm. This is a lot to bite off. Please pray that they are right where they need to be too. It must be a good fit for them too of course. My gut is that this deal will happen, but I'm just learning more patience too.
No matter what, change is coming soon and this is just ONE of the BIG moving pieces in my life. It's a beautiful metaphor for all the uncertainty all around me. Exciting. Exhilarating. Edgy. A test to my faith and optimism for sure.
I'm holding onto hope that things will transition smoothly into the next phase for the business and my family and this farm. I really hope that this farm will truly be saved and fixed up. AND boy it would be amazing if we get to stay long term here too. to put down roots and be able to make plans. Feeling stretched but hopeful.
Back to the saying "Doe Ye the Next Thynge" -- my motto for April 2022. I can't control all the big moving pieces, so I'm just taking care of the things I can and trusting God for the rest. And that means I'm doing all sorts of glamorous things like shoveling manure, trimming bunny nails, responding to email, doing my laundry, and finishing up 3rd quarter in school and dealing with some big things behind the scenes. Thanks for sharing this journey with us and supporting our big vision to share more hope and hoppiness. -- Caleb