From city streets to rural lanes: The story of starting Leaping Lamb Farm from scratch
ALSEA, Ore. - If you ask anyone that's tried, running a farm is no easy task. But starting from scratch, later in life, in a new state with no experience? That's a whole other challenge.
For nearly a decade, Green Acres was one of America's favorite TV shows. A big-city couple forgoes the life they know to experience life on the farm.
People are drawn to it for different reasons, but there's just something about the animals, the peace and quiet, and the wide-open space.
Fifteen years ago, Greg and Scottie Jones said "so long" to the city life, and hello to green acres.
"If you're from a big city and you've always had successful careers, and so how hard can farming be?" said Scottie Jones, owner of Leaping Lamb Farm. "How hard can it be? It can be very, very hard."
Where the land's a plenty and the animals are hungry, the chores are endless.
Long story short, the big move from Phoenix to Alsea was not exactly what they expected.
"We went from five day a week jobs to seven day a week jobs," said Scottie. "I remember thinking all my degrees and all the things I've learned how to do don't even apply."
They didn't know how to raise sheep, protect the chickens from predators, or make enough money off all the land. But over time, with classes and help from neighbors, they got the hang of it.
Now, they're the ones teaching the tricks of the trade. They teach hundreds of people every year through their farm stay.
People pay to stay on the farm in exchange for the experience. After all, that's what they initially came for.
"It takes having guests here to remind me that it's gorgeous," said Scottie. "If I look out, I'm going to see that fence needs to be fixed - the sheep look sick, and look at all this mud. What are we going to do about this?"
It's not just a reminder of the beauty in all the work, but it's also been a huge success financially.
"If you knew everything that there was involved in farming, you probably wouldn't do it," said Scottie. "So you need to have some of that deluded romanticism to get here, and then you figure it out."
They say the farm will never be perfect or easy, but for now, they're glad to enjoy these green acres.
During the first five years on the farm, Scottie blogged about their failures and successes. After a while, she turned those stories into a book that was published just a few months ago.
To find more information on the book or the farm stay, you can visit www.leapinglambfarm.com/.
12/9/17 - Spindrift Cellars
12/10/17 - University Book Store
12/14/17 - Powells Books