So, what would be the perfect homestead size? 5 acres? 20 acres? 100 acres? A river running through it? Near a library? I am starting to wonder if instead of always thinking, ‘THAT would be the perfect homestead’ and then being frustrated because it is out of my reach, that perhaps I should look around where I am at. I may very well have the closest-to-perfect-possibly-at-this-time-in-my-life homestead.
(Steve and Doug with baby goats)
We spend a fair amount of time at my friend, Nancy’s homestead because for our new business and lifestyle venture, Farmgirls-From the Homestead. (http://facebook/5farmgirls.com) The goat’s milk is at her house (cause her goats are there!) so we make soap over there…and cheese….and go over there to view baby barn kitties and baby goats. Very sweet. She has a lovely forty acres, a red barn, horses milling in the fields. Idyllic.
(picture idea I took from the internet)
We started discussing our seemingly endless design of ideas for this year’s business venture ranging from multiple farmers markets, incorporating the idea and products into my current shop, The Garden Fairy Apothecary, teaching canning classes, bread baking classes, homestead tours, and Farm to Table dinners, all of which we will do this summer and fall. We discussed the Farm to Table dinners for her property and found a level area that overlooks the hills and would be quaint and ethereal for a Farmgirl fancy dinner. She mentioned that we could do one at my house too. I was thinking….but I live in town. Who wants to go to a Farm to Table dinner on the driveway? But then it hit me…I live in town. How many people live in town but are still interested in homesteading and making their way more self sufficiently but, like me, cannot and may never be able to afford acreage? I live a mere three miles from Nancy, I am not in the city of Denver, but I do live in a neighborhood, on a busy street, with neighbors. And a large garden, and a small orchard, with chickens, soon to be goats, and checking the zoning, alpacas. I can turn the garage into a barn. I could turn the yard in front of the porch, who’s grass has long since left us, into a magical apothecary garden and bee garden. Swirly paths of bricks and oregano, sweet scents of rosemary and thyme, carpets of chives. I could host the Farm to Table dinner in the driveway, next to the raised beds, in view of all of the farm animals. I could place a long table in the back yard and eat with the chickens (not eat the chickens, I said, eat with the chickens!) and have a nice view of the fairgrounds. Perhaps a rodeo will be going on.
I mean, I may not be able to get the alpacas, and in some areas folks can’t even have chickens, but there are so many options we can do. Bee hive? Chickens? Goats? Garden? Balcony garden? Community garden? Use less electricity? Preserve food? Use less water? Walk more places instead of driving? Crochet your own scarf? Bake your own bread? Smoke your own fish? Grow your own herbs? Plant an apple tree? The sky is the limit. And even in smaller quarters, there is always something we can do to be more self sufficient and homestead.
Here on this homestead, I can have all the things I want, not have too much to keep up, and walk to the library. The best of both worlds.
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http://urbanhomestead.org/ Just like these guys in CA, they have a small yard in a neighborhood and it’s absolutely amazing what they grow (OK it’s California but still!) and they have a few chickens and goats too. I think it’s a great idea. 🙂
Thanks Barb! (I often wish we could grow things like they can in California, but at least we are constantly challenged!)
Its always nice to have a dream farm, but I came to the realization this year too, that you have to use what you have or you are just wasting space and time waiting for a dream. If you can do it on a small scale, then you can do it on a large scale. How will you know how much you can do with your dream farm if you dont try at your small one? 🙂 LIve big, dream big!
I thought of you, Eileen, when I was writing this. We are both in the same boat and you do inspire me with your cute little sheep (are you really going to eat them?!) and your CSA program. We are farmers at heart and have to work wherever God puts us!
I envy you and your farmers market buddies. Yes we are really going to eat those cute lambs..see when they get towards the end of the summer, the cuteness wears off enough that you are ok with killing them lol. Dont worry we plan on breeding our own lambs next year so you will get to see cute baby pictures again. Our move doesnt look good for this year 😦
Perhaps you are supposed to move to Colorado!
You get too much cold and snow..now maybe we are both destined to move to arizona!
Very often the space you have is actually perfect enough, it’s just about looking at it through different (maybe new) eyes. Most people think the bigger the size of land the more crops and animals they can farm, only it doesn’t always work like this. Smaller spaces can be just as productive. Good luck with all your ventures.
Thank you, Sophie! You are absolutely correct!
I love the idea of the Farm to Table dinners! I hope you make it happen. 🙂
Sounds like something you two could pull off too!
Farm to Table……NICE!!!!! very good idea. As far as land goes, my wife and I been dreaming of land since we were married. Making long short I chased money for over ten years, wasnt half bad at obtaining it either (holding on to it is another story) the dream seemingly went to the wast side, tell I woke up one day, my girls were 9, my wife and I going threw a divorce. ENOUGH!!!! I thought called my soon to be ex, sold the business, and resolved to break the chains of consumerism, stop running a worthless wordly race, and reunited with the family. That was three years ago, I work odds and ends jobs here and there, she now works 180 days a year. I now know my wife and children, and we bought a CHEAP 40acres in wyoming. Our hopes is like you say “farm to table” we don’t want a bunch of money just our lives, family, and to be healthy. Is our land prime nope not even close, but we will work with what we have. It is our sincere hope that we meet people and be able help them become more self sufficient. My point is……..even what your doing in the city is of great service. if any one person you show shows 3 others and those 3, 3 more at the end of 10 years how many people have atleast eaten a little healthier, saved some money, and bettered there lives. and hopefully a few become full blowin fenatics. 🙂 Also don’t forget just because you cant buy a piece of land that a stick becomes a tree over night dont mean its not workable.
I love Wyoming! What a wonderful story and testimony. We did something pretty close 3 1/2 years ago, left everything behind and started over living a much simpler life. I so agree with you that if we can inspire people, particularly children, to grow food, and live sustainably and self sufficiently, what a better place this would be and our work would even more worthwhile!
We love Colorado and are from Colorado, but land prices, taxes, tap fees, etc, etc makes it just out of reach for us. So goodbye to NorCo soon hello WY 🙂 we thought of starting a blog to document things. Keep up the good work