I just wanted to catch you up on some of my mind life. There are a couple of dreams that I’ve been nurturing in the back of my head for quite some time, and this year they are actually happening. The first is to own a small-scale family farm where we raise some animals and grow some of the best food that money can’t buy. The second is to have a piece of digital real estate where I can share my experiences and obsessions with others.
My homestead aspirations began as a child. I grew up in a very ordinary suburban neighborhood, but we had this extraordinary book on our shelves called The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency, by John Seymour. I remember being captivated by his illustrations and descriptions of how one could be self-sufficient on a 1-acre, 5-acre, or 10-acre piece of land. I stored this dream of living off the land somewhere in the back of my mind, even as I moved from Minnesota to NYC to pursue my career in graphic design, then later moved to Boston for my dream job in innovation consulting, and married my digital designer husband who never dreamed he’d live on a farm. (More on that to come.)
In the meantime, I’ve found further inspiration for what an agrarian paradise might look like from newfound heroes like Joel Salatin, Greg Judy, Paul Gautschi, Eliot Coleman. Healing the land with mob grazing, growing strong plants in mineral-rich soil using wood chips, choosing plant varieties for health and flavor rather than storage and transport. I read about these things; I just want to do them. I’m just so excited to take a patch of dirt and see what I can do with it. To build beautiful, loamy topsoil that is teeming with the good bugs. To grow nutrient-dense food like our ancestors ate. To witness the symbiotic relationships of diverse livestock peacefully coexisting with each other. To nourish my family with the fruits of my labor. And to live a lifestyle connected to the foundational realities of life and death, abundance and scarcity, and ultimately to gain a new appreciation for God’s creation and provision.
Or not, as it may go!
My husband is quick to point out the absurdity and challenge of this path for us current urbanites. He reminds me that I’m the kind of person who sees the world through rosy glasses, who sees opportunities and not problems, loves the big picture more than the details, and is more into the conceptual thinking than the execution. (Did I mention I was a consultant?) He has a valid point. We are certainly facing a lot of hard work in areas where we have no track record or reason to believe that we will succeed. Nevertheless, we might be crazy, but we’ve pulled the trigger and bought a farm.
I’m a creator at heart. (Yes, given my career background you might guess that a lot of this has been more intangible — ideas, connections, designs, future visions, proposals.) As with the patch of dirt, I just like the idea of having a digital platform. I’m not exactly sure where it will go, but I want to see what I can do with it.
These days I get excited about homesteading, raising kids, healthy living, designing a home, and the idea of homeschooling some day. I imagine my blog might be like some sort of blend of Pioneer Woman and Wellness Mama with a little HGTV thrown in there. In other words, from a marketing perspective, it’s doomed from lack of focus. I can accept that prognosis, as I can still see many personal benefits:
- Creative Outlet — Since I no longer have my professional outlets, a blog seems an ideal and flexible outlet.
- Opportunity to have adult discussions — I’ve been spending most waking hours with my kids lately, which is mostly delightful, but… it would be nice to have more adult conversations too!
- Stay connected to friends — We’ve gotten to know many wonderful people where we’ve lived and I dread the thought of leaving them behind as we move across country. Maybe this will help us stay connected.
- Personal documentation — I’ve read it’s good to document what worked and didn’t work on your homestead… well, what better way to do this than a blog?
- Potential for income — Who knows, maybe I’ll really find my voice and a profit model to generate some funds to help support this not-for-profit farming adventure. (Don’t worry, I’m not counting on it!)
Frankly, the digital platform is probably more up my alley than the soil platform, given my career background. My success in life so far has been based on generating ideas, making connections others might not see, researching possibilities, envisioning future possibilities, and communicating them clearly and persuasively. Of course… running a blog requires consistency, timeliness, follow-through on all the details… things I’ve always preferred to leave to others.
Yes indeed, it is quite possible that 2019 is the year to go bust. We just might find out we’re really more city folk than we are country folk. That dreaming about utopian homesteads is more satisfying than actually trying to do it, much less write about it. But hey! Better to do it with company. You’re welcome to come along for the ride.
The Inspired Wife