Kyle and I began a conversation the other evening while driving home from a date at a local farm event. We had been reflecting on our recent big move from Kansas City to Western North Carolina to begin a new life closer to nature and the "wild" things of life. We shared some emerging thoughts and feelings about the paths we have ahead of us and the large quantity of new and necessary skills and important first steps in building our home-based economy (homestead) before we purchase our own land in 5-6 years.Curiously we found our conversation entering the subject of our "ancestors" who had been farmers and homesteaders. What might they think of our family's pursuit of homesteading, self-reliance and especially of us exploring the possibility of becoming some kind of farmers ourselves someday? We tried to guess what they might say to us in these beginning stages of our journey. After all, they knew what homesteading and farming actually meant--how hard it can truly be--certainly better than we do yet!
Would they be happy for us? Or would they quietly shake their heads at us? Would they feel like they had failed somehow because their descendants are veering dangerously close to choosing the life of farmers-- a life many of them had moved away from intentionally? Would they be concerned that we don't fully understand what a hard life we are asking for (and we heartily acknowledge that they are probably right!)? Or would they be proud? Would they see the value we see in these pursuits and our attempt to honor all they knew as simple common knowledge? Would they see something in us they could believe in?
Could it also be equally true that their incredible hard work to move away from farming might have been exactly what was needed at the time!? That maybe it was right for them to not want their children and grandchildren to be shackled to farming as they may have been. Maybe there needed to be a "break" and that we "children" needed to take our "office jobs" for a time to better appreciate what might be missing in the air-conditioned halls of urbanized American culture. To get out of the cycle of farming that had (and, in truth, still very much remains so for many farmers in parts of our world today) become a prison of depressing lack of control and mere survival.
In survival-mode a person is too bound to the mercy of their livelihood to have the energetic capacity to move restoratively or creatively beyond the next moment of survival--which is needed when implementing concepts such as farmscape research, trade and community or home-based economies, permaculture design or other similar creative whole-system "designs" and important permanent agricultural research.
Kyle and Athena
Welcome to our Farmstead Journal. We warmly invite you to read along as we share the day-to-day successes and road-bumps we encounter as we learn organic farming, pursue our search for our own land and our passion for homesteading, plant-based/"veganic" eating and growing, simplicity and our continual journey of learning and growing as a family!