Still reeling from the closing, and the immediately preceding drama, but it’s done: this little plot of 10 acres in North Florida is mortgaged to me. No more landlords, no more housemates, no more noise.

And now begins the long work of building out Nick’s and my dream of Tumble Farm.

The backstory is a long and winding one. Nick and I met only two years ago (almost to the day) in Colorado Springs, where I was living at the time. He pulled up to the coffee shop by my house in his beat-up Subaru, needing new jeans for our date.  We went to Goodwill, he remedied his pants situation, and then we got to talking.

In the following months, I incidentally moved onto his South Dakota ranch after stranding myself via plowing through a deer on my initial attempt to get home. Yes, that’s a real story. It only gets more eccentric from there.

We moved into a camper 8 miles from the homesite. Nick was on a mission to repair some stretches of fenceline recently destroyed by the neighboring Tribal buffalo herd. I was working remotely, for a staffing agency, mostly as a personal assistant. I was doing it from a 4G connection. We had a power pole and a cattle water trough as our infrastructure. Our neighborhood consisted of prairie dogs, burrowing owls, a herd of cows, a herd of buffalo, and a herd of wild horses. From the top of the buttes, we could hear powwow drums as the sun was setting. We harvested wild sage by fistful for weeks, binding and drying it to make smudge sticks. We moved cows from horseback. We explored some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen (Colorado and Northern California included.)

After two months of this, our relationship had been tested, albeit in the honeymoon period. One thing was certain: we both craved wide, open spaces and the presence of animals — wild and domestic — for our most ideal life. Plans started to form.

So we bought a truck and camper of our own, and started to figure out how to make that happen.

I never thought we’d be settling into a farm of our own in less than five years, much less just under two.  Things have unfolded in a curious way, for sure.

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