Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Praying for a farm ~ for us!

An opportunity has come to us regarding a 5 acre farm property in Olympia. We were on the verge of a 3 year farm lease when the owner called today and told us he's gotten "cold feet". He is now giving us the option to buy it. We have until June 20th to give him an answer.

As most of you know, God has removed our "human ability" to make our farm dream happen. Last year, we discovered that the park just north of our home is actually a wetland that was filled in years ago. The outlet for the wetland is an underground stream that flows under our backyard (and through many back yards) and drains out of the front yard of a home a block away. The moving water significantly compromised the foundation of our house and garage with a $50,000 repair price. Already being underwater in our house for nearly $100,000 - after alot of prayer, we determined our home wasn't a good financial investment and we are allowing our house to be returned to the bank. One of the most difficult decisions ever, but we have had peace that this is our path to follow. Don't feel bad for us. We believe it's all part of our faith journey. Our prayer is that the next owner doesn't find out about the problems after buying the house when we leave. (House goes up for auction, August 30th.)

No. We're not asking anyone for money. We are asking for PRAYER! This is God's story. If Joy Bell Farm is to become an actual farm, we believe God will provide the necessary resources. We are seeking family, friends and others to pray from today through June 20th.

What we desire to create on this 5 acre property, established in 1917 (the homestead to a larger ranch originally) ~ build a polyculture, biodynamic, organic farm system utilizing permaculture principles. And, this property is special because it's just south of Woodard Bay Conservation Area (home to herons, eagles, bats and more) and is surrounded by 95 additional acres of a wildlife refuge. WSU own 95 acres across the street. A wetland area is adjacent to a portion of the property and a wetland buffer sits over nearly the entire 5 acres of the property. We've had a representative from Thurston Conservation District out to the property. Everything we desire to do on the property - fruits, veggies, nuts, eggs, meat birds, honey, sheep (meat/fiber) and on-farm market stand are all permitted as "usual and customary practices". NO additional buildings will ever be allowed, so existing buildings must be rehabilitated for all needs. There is a private well for all water needs for this property. There is plenty of roof space on the barn for a large rainwater catchment system in addition to establishing a solar energy system for electrical needs (although the Conservation District agent thinks we're crazy). We do welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Conservation District in working out a farm plan (land management stewardship) for the property, as this isn't about us achieving our farm dream, but about establishing a permanent agriculture farm working in harmony with the ecological systems it is part of and for future generations to come after us. We are believing God will give us this land and enable us to share His countless wonders with others.

Our eyes are very open to the realities on this farm property - a ton of work to do. Not only do we have to rehab the land and build proper soil fertility (only organically), but the house, barn and outbuildings all need major work. The land owner has done NOTHING to this property since purchasing it a number of years ago. It's been a rental and 2 horses that are boarded on one pasture have caused compaction of the soil in that area. This farm would be years of investment. We know that, but believe this is the piece of land God has for us to steward in our years ahead, but also for the future.

Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Please consider joining with us. We'd love to have you PRAY with us. We are excited to see how God will unfold this part of His story in our lives. Yes, No or maybe (keep praying) are all possible answers ~ we praise Him for this opportunity to walk by faith and not by sight.

And, PLEASE feel free to share this with others and invite them to join in and PRAY with us! This is about creating community - not just Blaine and Joan.

Abundant blessings on your day!


  1. What an amazing vision the two of you have. Though it wears me out (physically) to even THINK about the work involved, I CAN pray :) I shall follow the developing story with interest and excitement.

  2. Thank you, Rebecca, for praying. Our dream, His story! He must be in it or it's not worth doing.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie