If you read our previous Meet & Green post about Fine Point Staff Accountant Bailey Green (of tiny house fame), you might not be surprised to learn that our resident adventurer has left for greener pastures (literally!). But don’t worry, she’s still working for Fine Point Consulting. Read all about it our Q&A with Bailey.
Tell us about where you’re living now and what made you decide to make the move?
My husband and I moved with our tiny house and our dog to Curlew, Washington, in late July of this year. We started Green Journey Farm on 40 acres here with the goal of becoming a completely sustainable farm.
When I was in college, I took a summer course on environmental leadership and sustainability. I met some activists who were big names in the sustainability field—they were very knowledgeable and inspiring! It made a big impression on me, and that was the start of me realizing I wanted to take the next steps in the journey to sustainable living.
We settled on Curlew because it met everything on our list of criteria: It’s close to a national forest, close to a town of less than 10,000 residents, there’s acreage, and a nearby forest service. The town of Curlew is well under 10,000 residents, and we’re less than 20 miles away from the Canadian border.
What does it mean to be a sustainable farm, and how is it going so far?
Well, our goal is to be totally self-sufficient on our 40 acres so that we never need to go to the grocery store again. We want to be a zero-waste operation. There’s no one right way to live, but we also want to share, via our website and blog, what the sustainable farm possibility can look like, and provide tips and lessons from our experience to possibly inspire others.
Right now, our farm consists of our tiny house, an all-purpose shed, a sheep shed (made from rocks and fallen timbers), a chicken coop, and our solar-power set-up. There’s a large ravine with a creek that runs through the middle of our property, and we have many hiking trails and just a stunning view. In addition to our dog, we have cats, rabbits, chickens, and sheep, and we’re working on getting fish set up both indoors and out.
You’re still working full-time for Fine Point. What has that transition been like and do you use any special tools to make it work?
Yep, when I told Luella about my plan to move to this farm in Washington, I think she thought I was a little nuts, but she was also completely supportive. She has always encouraged her staff to follow their dreams. Likewise, the team at Fine Point was also supportive. My work with clients isn’t really that different. I was working mostly from home when I was in Madison, but would go into the office a couple days a week. I do think it was important that I worked in the office in Madison for a couple of years before we moved. That helped me really get in the groove of the culture and communication, and just the way we worked with clients.
Fine Point uses several online tools to connect both internally and with clients, which is great as I obviously can’t just pop by a coworker’s desk or a client’s office. We use Slack internally and with some clients, Asana for project/task management, and Office 365 to create and share documents. And we use Skype for screen sharing and training.
Any surprises on the farm?
Well, I ordered day-old chicks to arrive soon after we arrived here. We didn’t have a coop or anything yet, so we warmed them with heat packs and kept them in our tiny house for awhile. I would hear them cheeping while I was on calls for work, which was pretty cute.
What do you love most about your new life? Is there anything you miss?
I love being able to look up when I’m in the middle of a difficult project and see the valley and realize how small we are. It helps put everything in perspective. And it’s so tranquil here. Things I miss? Seeing my coworkers in the office—[laughs] and going to Noodles & Company.