Sending Down Our Mountain Roots
In June we made our final move for the year of 2018. We are finally beginning to feel settled for the first time all year!
Appalachian Mountains. North Carolina.
As many of you know, Kyle and I have been on a journey of growing a dream for our family; mountains, a space to be wilder & closer to the land (and each other) & for community are at top of our list of goals.
On Thanksgiving of this last year our little family took a last minute trip out here to Western North Carolina with Kyle’s parents to look at a possible piece of property to buy. Kyle had also landed a rare job interview with a structural engineering firm in downtown Asheville at the same time. He interviewed on the Monday after Thanksgiving Day (which we spent eating veggie burgers at a local pub) & got a job offer during the interview! After a lot of thoughtfulness we decided to accept Kyle’s job offer and make the big move from Kansas City (our sweet 750 sq ft home, our irreplaceable friends, our family and years and years of familiarity and memories) to the wild and unfamiliar Mountains of North Carolina.
January 1st, 2018 marked our first day in our new homeland as a family! It was the coldest day of the year and we were outsiders as we pulled up with our U-Haul but the day was sunny & bright and our hearts were brimmed with peace and joy.
Our first home here was a room-for-rent in an urban intentional community in West Asheville. It was a safe and affordable place to rent and it kept us together (the alternative was Kyle renting on his own and me and Adaline staying with his parents near the coast). It wasn’t an easy living situation because of some strained roommate relations but we were endlessly thankful to be together and wouldn’t change that decision even in hindsight. We learned a lot in that community and grew a lot as a family. When it came to moving into our current home (and our own space to regain our familiar family rhythms) we were ready and deeply thankful for new perspectives we had gained in that first chapter of this year.
In June we moved into a beautiful semi-rural home in Candler (about 20 minutes from downtown Asheville) in a small wonderfully wooded neighborhood with amazing neighbors. We had searched weekend after weekend after weekend (after weekend...after weekend….) with Kyle’s parents to find this home. This will be their retirement home (unless we can convince them to build on our future land! ;p )
It was wonderful to finally have our own space AND to get ALL our doggies back together (we were only allowed 1 out of our 5 while in our first rental). The others had stayed with some incredible & loving friends and family those first 7 months.
Since our move (and real settling in has begun) we have enrolled Adaline in a great Forest School twice a week and we continue to attend a parent/toddler class once a week. We visited the Biltmore this past Spring and spent a wonderful week at the beach with Rick, Patty, Charlotte, John and Carter. It was such a joy to be together, play at the beach and see the cousins play! We have been on more hikes this year than the three previous years combined.
We carved a medium-sized terraced garden into our front yard which will continue to thrive this coming Spring with our continually growing compost pile. We plan on expanding the garden as we grow our skill as food growers. Our goal is to grow 90% of our own food. We also plan on learning more and more this year about preserving and other forms of “putting up” our food.
We lost my Mazda in the summer due to failed breaks (thankful we were all okay!). We bought another car and then both our cars got crunched by a huge pine-tree branch. We finally have both cars almost 100% fixed. We liked our rentals but they aren’t AWD and in the snow that wasn’t fun!
We made it through our first major mountain snow storm. Power was out for about 16 hours and suddenly a wood stove and a 4x4 truck made a whole lot more sense!!
We also became a refuge center to Rick and Patty during Hurricane Michael. That was an intense time for people on the East Coast in this area. Many lives were lost, both human and animal. We were grateful for the minimal impact here in the mountains and Rick and Patty’s home by the coast faired well.
I (Athena) took a nursing job at the local hospital this winter. It is a great job on a wonderful, dedicated, kind-hearted unit that serves only women’s surgical patients (no male patients).
Kyle has been super busy with a BIG job this year which has meant many LONG hours but he is content and happier than I have ever seen him with his job. For that I am willing to give up some hours at home together. He is learning SO much and growing by leap and bounds as an engineer and each hour is an investment in our future!
We deeply (and daily) miss our Kansas City friends. Building community is high our list this next year now that we are more settled in and have a place to send down our roots. We continue to work toward learning necessary homesteading skills (growing food, building, preserving food, etc) and continue to post updates on Instagram and our blog (less frequently at the moment with mama working!). We are always casually looking for land while aggressively saving toward our big-dream land fund. This coming year we are looking forward to more bear-sightings, farmer’s market and CSA connections and, of course, TONS of hiking, camping and outdoor adventures this year! We are always have an open-door for friends and family who’d like to come visit! All seasons are beautiful here but Summer, Fall and deep Winter are the most beautiful of all!
With love ALWAYS!
From Our Homestead to Yours,
<Kyle & Athena>
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!