My wonderful partner Lyle and I have decided to move north out of state and follow our dream of homesteading. You see, we have an idea. One of those ideas where you get insanely excited when it pops up but you let it fall to the wayside. The next day though, it still sounds like a good idea. And then the next day it builds and its an even better idea, continuing on until you can no longer ignore its beauty. This is an idea that will set our path in a completely different direction than we are currently on, which is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
However, making big changes is not something that comes easy to me. I could analyze my childhood for you, but I came to peace with it in my late-twenties so I won’t rehash the details. Suffice it to say, for as long as I can remember there has always had to be a MAJOR motivation for me to make big changes. I wouldn’t be surprised if over the course of this blog if I shared a story or two of those times from the past, but do not despair! You are currently reading about one of those times in the making. Although the changes I am preparing to make do have an element of need, most of it has to do with want instead, which is a much friendlier place to be coming from and greatly influenced my decision.
To make no changes allows me to stay the course… continue straight ahead at the job I am comfortable doing and am good at, in a nice company that does good things for this world. To make these changes however, means a complete unknown as this idea has only been a collection of various dreams up until this point. But there’s a problem. Actually there’s been a problem for quite some time. My soul is no longer satisfied and has not been satisfied for longer than I care to calculate. Now, the opportunity and vision to take this path may have only recently come about but I have half-consciously been waiting and preparing for this moment for a very long time. I am a woman ready to make drastic changes in her life as living in the status quo is no longer relevant or possible. A change to a simpler life with the man of my dreams, his son that I love, and the mother I was blessed to have.
Despite my gypsy lifestyle while in college, I always managed to grow things. At the least I had a house full of houseplants, but later when I was making a tad bit more money and able to afford renting a house (albeit as one of several people) I began having a vegetable garden in the backyard. What started as a small garden in pots that could be moved in case my home address needed to change morphed over time into various incarnations of larger and larger vegetable gardens firmly in the ground. Moving to the hills of Northern California I thought all of my bookmarked pages on larger gardens, food preservation and farm animals would finally come to life.
On my mother’s side of the family everyone is or was a gardener at the very least, with many being actual farmers and homesteaders of the traditional variety. My uncle to this day grows almonds and yams on his farm in central California. Much of Lyle’s family history is steeped in a religion that prides itself on self-sufficiency and sustainability, traits his parents continued and passed on to him. So it’s no wonder that a major part of what drew Lyle and I together at our beginning was the mutual desire to return to those homesteading roots.
Unfortunately, our current location no longer allows us to have a garden large enough to sustain our family in food for a year due to the drought. This has been challenging to say the least as it is a major part of who we both are. Through this challenge however, comes the creation of a plan for our future. Seven Points Farm.
Seven Points Farm is the start of our homesteading lifestyle that will eventually be a location where others can come and learn with us. In creating this plan for our future, Lyle and I have fully realized what an impact this will have on our family, which almost brings me to tears. This idea for a farm and lifestyle is one that will not only nurture and sustain us, but his son Lil’ A and my mom, Gramma T as well. Each one of us has a variety of skills and qualities that bring a unique gift and perspective to this crazy idea we have.
Even though it is somewhat terrifying for me to verge off this path of familiarity, the personal growth I have gained through relatively recent life experiences, coupled with the strength I feel from my relationship with Lyle, has given me the courage to follow through and take the different path. After much discussion we came to the conclusion we are ready to make the commitment to this common goal for our future by defining our version of homestead and committing to bringing it to life.
Homesteading is becoming a popular concept again as it appeals to those ready to shun the prepackaged consumerism that is the staple of modern grocery stores, whether for health reasons or ideals or both. With the internet now in play, it has become easier and easier for folks seeking a different way of life to do a search and begin collecting ideas on chicken coops and goat pens faster than it takes to create a new Pinterest account. I too would have started this way if it hadn’t been for my family.
As homesteads have been used to describe size lots from less than an acre, to up in the thousands of acres, the term can vary in meaning from an almost spiritual practice to an actual piece of property. The original concept of homesteading was about individuals eeking out a living and home for them and theirs, so I believe it is therefore up to the individual to define for themselves what homestead means to them. Even though I’m sure our definition will shift to some extent as time goes on, I believe our core values on homesteading will not change.
To us, homesteading means a lifestyle created on property that will allow us to sustain our family in a healthy way with work, food, community and joy. To us this means living in a way that is simple, mindful and thoughtful. To make foods and home products that are natural and organic. To create a home that contributes to a viable lifestyle connecting us with the earth and interconnecting us with communities. To us this means committing to a way of life that is incredibly challenging, but incredibly rewarding as well. What is a little more unique about our definition is the belief and incorporation of cannabis as an addition to our natural apothecary and health maintenance routine. If you are not familiar with this idea, you’ll be able to learn more about this plant and how it can be utilized for healing on this blog alongside other medicinal plants. Using cannabis medicinally will not always alter your head space and we are hoping to show people how beneficial it can be to our whole health.
Over the last few years we have committed to eating whole real foods, replacing chemical cleaners and products with natural alternatives, composting plant materials and waste, growing organically and more, so creating Seven Points Farm feels like natural growth for our family. This is a lifestyle that has already begun for us in principle, even if we don’t yet have the property that will support it in its entirety.
We are experiencing an incredible beauty having found a way to combine our different passions into one common dream. The start of this blog is the start of making that dream come to life. Welcome.