As many of you know, Lily was evicted from her farm and dream in October 2021. Here is a rundown and timeline of events. I hope Tracy Drummond experiences shame for what he did to our family. We moved into the farm in May 2020. We signed a 5 year lease that specifically said we were moving there to create a "working farm" that included produce, medicinal herbs, chickens, pets, and other ivestock as we grew. It was all codified in the lease. We immediately created a small family garden, got a dog, and started planning for a bigger season in 2021. We got chickens in 2021, and built a $3500 coop in the barn where the landlord indicated he wanted it. He changed his mind several times where we could place it- starting first over the septic tank, then in the fenced pasture, and finally deciding to have it inside the barn, which was not outlined in the original lease. At first, Tracy said this would not cost additional funds. Then he changed his mind and said an additional $100 would be necessary to build in the barn and use the pasture. Lily immediately created an addendum to the lease outlining these things. We expanded the garden a lot in 2021, growing food for our family, grains for the chickens, and extra to sell at market. We also started selling eggs in the summer as the chickens got old enough to lay consistently. We had several meetings with Tracy about things that needed fixed inside the house- some of which were dangerous and required to be fixed within 30 days. He kept telling us "It's on the list!" and never doing the work. Finally, we wrote a letter, asking for a timeline. We should have immediately filed with the county and put rent into escrow, but we prefer to talk issues out like decent folk and thought we were being kind. It was then that Tracy started doing underhanded things. We paid our August rent like we always did, but he did not cash the checks. He stopped texting or talking to us. We feared something was up, so we paid September and October rent by certified mail. In late September, our fears were confirmed. He was trying to evict us.
It was pretty shameful and the judge was likely a landlord himself. While my landlord admitted he had all rent in his possession, the judge found for him anyway. The reason we were evicted was "nonpayment of rent". Rather than appeal to a system that does not value justice or fairness, we focused on getting safe and staying together as a family. With LOTS of help from our community, we found a place, put half of our items in storage, and moved the other half to our new temporary home. We lost thousands of dollars on the move and lost valuable things (like the chicken coop, which we did not have time to dismantle and take with us). We are now working on getting ready to apply for a USDA loan to get 10ish acres somewhere (and recovering from trauma). That's our sad story. We are working on restoring our 5 year plan, as Tracy derailed it quite handily.