Hello, and thank you for visiting our blog!
We are Jess and Karl, a couple currently living in the town of Seaford on the south coast of England. We’ve been together for 14 years, and during this period have spent a significant amount of time daydreaming about having our own rural business. We both have deep love of nature, and are always happiest when we’re outside (we’d live in a tent if it was practical!) Life has a knack of getting in the way of such dreams, but in a strange twist of fate, we’ve found ourselves in a position where the dream suddenly seems slightly less distant than before. After 5 incredible years living and working in the USA, we’ve recently returned to Sussex with a little savings pot from the sale of our house in Michigan. While coronavirus hasn’t disrupted our lives as much as it has for many of our friends and family members, what it has done is given us time: to take long walks on the downs, brainstorm, and really think about what we want to do with our lives.
The result of all that pondering on the downs is the goal set up a farm, with crops of mushrooms, essential oils (namely lavender and rosemary), and fruit and nut trees. We’d also like a campsite and some chickens. In-time we’d build a house on the farm, but we’re looking at having a tiny-house solution the meantime. Our aspiration is for our farm to be open to the community, with space for people to come and experience the natural world. Having lived in the urban landscapes of Detroit for 5 years, we know first-hand how important nature and being outdoors is for mental health, and it’s our goal to create a beautiful space for everyone to enjoy.
So far, so good, right? The little bump in the road always appears when we talk about where our farm will be. We know there are plots of land in our budget in Wales and Scotland, France and Cornwall, but here’s where we get picky. We want to find a place in East Sussex, and not just in East Sussex, but in the Cuckmere Valley in East Sussex. Jess grew up here, and Karl fell in love with it as soon as he visited for the first time. It’s our happy place, it’s in our bones, and we don’t want to leave it! Aside from our own preferences, the Seaford and Newhaven areas are sorely lacking in community spaces for people to enjoy the natural world in the way we’re envisaging, and we’re passionate about creating a space for the place we call home.
So join us, as we embark on the seemingly Herculean task of finding an affordable piece of land in the Cuckmere Valley! We’re foreseeing lots of conversations with local farms, and lots of red tape navigation with the council, but we’re up for it.We’ve decided to document our journey in the hope that we can meet like-minded people, and, if we’re successful, help others who might want to do the same in the future. Wish us luck!