One of the aspects we love about homesteading here is that this life takes us out of the consumerist life of the city to a life of production and creation. We may not have enough lifetimes to realize our fantasy of full fledge farming (with mini goats and horses) but in our own small way with our garden, our blacksmith forge, the art studio and the restoring of this home and the outbuildings, we feel that we are making, giving, repurposing, and creating more than just buying our way through life.
And when a thing is truly needed there becomes first a reason to repurpose, reuse and to shop auctions, thrift store, flea markets and more. These items are meant to be used another generation (or two) and the end result is that our home looks like it has always been this way, even when it hasn’t.
I love sharing our life with my granddaughter who is growing up in the city. She has this opportunity to see nature close up and learn about how we care for it. She loves my chickens and egg collecting and it’s amazing to watch her learn, grow and question how things work.
We also love living with the seasons. There is a natural rhythm to homesteading or farming that is so different from life in the city. For us it is natural to wake with the light and sleep with the dark. It is natural for mankind to be our most productive spring through autumn and then rest, plan, regenerate and restore during the winter months.
We love the ability to search, forage, and gather plants, fruits, berries and to turn them into a productive edible feast or a healing tincture or syrup. This brings joyfulness along with a deeply felt sense of beauty and accomplishment as well.
We love having the ability to control the food we put into our bodies. We grow it ourselves or source it from trusted growers near us putting that money back into our own community.
We love the freedom this life gives us to go into the woods, marsh, fields and farmland once a day to hike, explore, walk our dog, bird watch, observe nature and be one with the natural world.
Living here and homesteading lets me practice my ethical belief of acting on behalf of the common good.
There is way of recapturing the spirit of the past found by people like us who have made the decision to slow their lives down to farm or homestead. This is a revival of the pastoral life of long ago while adapting and evolving it to our personal need and tastes.
In no sense was this house, the life the life of our dreams. But over our lifetime this has instead slowly turned into something better, the house and the life of our realities.
These images are the Grand Finale to our saying goodbye to fall on a foggy, fabulous fall morning.
Small House Homesteader, Donna
So happy to read this blog. I have read MEN since the 70s when I moved to 40 acres. Then on to 60+ acres with chickens, goats, a pig, a cow, ducks, guineas, maple trees for tapping, bees, making everything we needed, keeping 3 woodstoves going all winter in an old drafty farmhouse But.. now I’m 74 and live in Central OR (high desert) where I have 8 raised beds and alas, no chickens (not allowed here) so I get nostalgic for the farm and those hardworking rewarding days… I was about to cancel my subscription since MEN seems to be more geared to those who live in the country and are much younger than I. Last summer I fell on a hike and fractured 2 vertebra which was a real wake-up call and reminder that I am no longer young. One does not spring back so easily from an injury, even though I am raking leaves and (now) shoveling snow—and dreaming of my spring garden. I’d love to hear more from us old hippies! and how we can still do what we love, but it totally different circumstances. Life is about adjustments, right? thank you for sharing.