Many of you have asked in the past few days since our big announcement that we signed a lease - when are you moving? The answer is a bit complicated.
The lease starts March 1st, which is when all leases in the Midwest typically begin. That's when the planting of corn and soybeans - the two crops that cover much of Iowa - usually starts. But because we are beginning the three year road to organic certification (it takes three years to transition out of using chemical pesticides and fertilizers to get the certification), John will also be there in February to seed the land with oats and alfalfa. Our plan is to grow hay and to pasture cows on the old conventional corn and soybean fields, thus generating some income (not much!) instead of letting everything sit fallow for three years.
Then in late March, the calves are born (there are 30 cows in the permanent herd) and John will be there to oversee their arrival.
Me? I will finish my school year in May, and then plan to spend the summer in Iowa as we have done for many years now. But after that? I really don't know. If I have a new contract at my job (I teach at the University of San Francisco) - I will likely spend another year in California so that we can afford this move and keep our health care a tad longer.
But maybe I won't have a contract, or maybe my desire to get moving with this next stage of life will override the practical side of keeping my job as long as I can. Maybe a great job in Des Moines will appear out of thin air.
In other words, while a lot has now been decided, a lot is still up in the air.