Our New Homestead!

After at least 10 years of dreaming, 2 years looking at properties, and 7 months working on closing on this particular piece of land, we finally have our permaculture homestead.  These 23 acres are the land that will sustain us into the future, where we hope our dreams will blossom into fruition, and where we will grow together as a family and into our community.

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We are finally home!

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There are a number of things we need to do before moving in officially, but it feels so nice to roam this land and know we will spend the rest of our lives getting to know it.  I’ve been reflecting on something that the ecological farmer and poet Wendell Berry said after asked how one could become more rooted.  He suggested that one simply “Stop somewhere and begin the thousand-year-long process of knowing that place.”

And so we begin the thousand-year-long process this Spring.

In the woods here, the barn and fields here, and the home that we will come to know as our own.

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The dream that we have for this land is deep and rich with possibility.  At the core is an understanding that the health of humans and the health of the land are intimately intertwined.  When we disrespect the land through our agricultural processes, our greed, and constant growth, we see humans that are sick with disease, psychologically unwell, and physically weak.

We want to showcase a different way of living by making this land into a permaculture haven that attracts birds and bees while restoring soil and keeping the water clean.

Simultaneously, the land will feed us wholesome food, allow us to make and share medicines with the plants grown here, and enable us to teach people about holistic, healthy living that is life-affirming and sustainable.  (Read more about the Light Footsteps dream here.)

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Over time, we hope to serve as a model of sustainable living that people can come to for ideas, inspiration, and learning.  We plan to offer a variety of services to our community including workshops, skill shares, herbal products, retreat space, and a clinic so that people come here to learn, to heal, or just for fun.

Obviously, this is a life-long dream, but there are lots of things to work on already!  Here are some goals for this summer.  Please let us know if you’d like to help with any of them — we have plenty of room for camping on our land and we’d love for others to host workshops here, too.

  • Update the Light Footsteps logo.  If someone could help with this, I’d love to feature you on the blog and provide ways for others to access your services!
  • Sheet mulch to expand the kitchen garden area. Grow what we can in the current kitchen garden space.
  • Decide where and how we will keep our chickens.
  • Plant fruit and nut trees!
  • Establish an LLC and 501(c)3
  • Begin sketching more detailed permaculture design ideas.
  • Continue getting to know this land and understand what plants and guilds will work well here.
  • Focus on our most important task — supporting baby LF’s development into a healthy and happy young lady.

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13 thoughts on “Our New Homestead!

  1. Congratulations! What a beautiful place to spend 1,000 years. Two resources you might find of interest: The first is http://www.eggzy.net for info on raising a flock of chickens. One of the founders is involved in permaculture. The second is a book you may have read already, “Living the Good Life,” by Helen and Scott Nearing, who have been called the godparents of the back-to-nature movement.

    • Thank you! The Eggzy resource looks like it will be very useful! And although I have come across the “Living the Good Life Book” several times, I have not yet read it. I should move it up higher on my list of things to read. We’re so excited for this new adventure! 🙂

  2. Congratulations on everything Christine! I’m so happy for you for finding your perfect homestead, sounds like a wonderful piece of property. I commend you on your mission and wish you the very best on your journey! Your posts and passion have been, and continue to be, an inspiration!

    We are still in search for our perfect place, but are taking steps to hone our skills while we work towards finding our dream property and way if living. We are at the other side, with one child heading off to college next year (to a college that has excellent programs in sustainable agriculture) and another in middle school. It makes it a little difficult to make the move, but not impossible. The draw to make a living doing something outdoors, with a more satisfying purpose is stronger than ever!

    We have been leaning more towards holistic alternatives to medicine which has inspired me to start a medicinal herb garden, both at home and in the school garden. I grow only organic and mostly heirlooms and am working towards growing medicinal herbs for use and for seed. I am doing germination/growing trials on the seeds saved from last fall, but hope to be offering seed for sale next year and would love to send you some herb and vegetable seeds to plant at your homestead.

    Wishing you the very best on your journey!

    Rob

    • Hi Rob! Good to hear from you again. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and I am really excited about the possibility to plant some of your seeds on our land. I would really love that! Maybe I could turn some of the plants in to salves or tinctures and send them back to you in medicinal form!

      That’s great that one of your girls is going to a college with sustainable ag programs. Is she interested in pursuing that? It sounds like there is a lot going on that would make moving a little difficult at this time, but you’re already pursuing your dream in a lot of ways. It’s only a matter of time until you are on the next step of your journey and living the dream full time!!

      Thanks for your warm wishes!

  3. Pingback: The Flooded Forest and Unkempt Garden | These Light Footsteps

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