One June morning a few years ago, I woke up from a very vivid dream that laid out my plans for the day. In the dream, I’d gone back to the property where my childhood best friend lived, back on my hometown of Bainbridge Island. Like much of the Island in reality, in my dream the land had been completed developed and was almost unrecognizable. I woke up motivated.
We wanted land. We wanted to grow real food, and raise animals for real milk and real meat and real eggs. We wanted to sit at our dining room table without a goat jumping from chair to chair. I had enough of a background in historic agriculture (to say nothing of a full-time job doing historic agriculture) that I was willing to take the leap out of the suburbs and into hobby farming. My husband quickly jumped onboard. We are the ones who are actively resisting the industrial food systems of the twenty-first century. Are we radicals? Absolutely. Are we rabid? No. We’ve just simply assessed the way things are going locally, nationally, and globally, and chimed in with Bartleby the Scrivener: We would prefer not to. We are not alone.
Nowadays, homesteading is a cool new trend for city folks to “get back to nature.” I want to encourage those of you interested in homesteading to give it a go! I spent my whole life on a homestead, before it was something trendy. Here are the things I learned from growing up on a homestead farm…
I’ve noticed that many mailboxes in my area get destroyed by kids driving by and smashing them with baseball bats. How can I protect my mailbox?
The country and I have always had an on-again/off-again relationship. And this summer my family and I spent time at my parents’ beautiful six acre property in Nova Scotia. Watching my daughter pick wildflowers and hide under my parents’ willow trees, talk about pigs and horses and eat too many freshly picked apples makes me wonder if maybe I walked away from something good. Is she, am I, missing out on a wonderful life? Maybe the country and I need to make another go at it…
Since it’s gardening season, I was hoping for some advice on humane and eco-friendly pest control in the garden.
How on earth do I keep these insane squirrels away from my pumpkins? How do I save my blueberries from the birds? How do I do this without spraying toxins or harming the animals?
I’m freshly showered, wearing my bathrobe, sipping my coffee on the back steps, when the turkey tom decides it’s time for some lovin’ on an injured hen.
I grab a badminton racket and run barefoot across the yard to swat the 45-pound Kentucky Bourbon Red tom off her, bathrobe flapping to reveal all. This is what I call a “farm moment.”
Ever driven past a geodesic dome house and wondered what it’s like to live there? Becky can tell you: it’s hard to figure out where to put the furniture.