If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.Cicero
We didn’t start out with a farm.
In fact, when we first bought our land there wasn’t even a garden on site. Lake Township’s zoning classifies our property residential. There is no separate zoning classification for agriculture. In a historically rural township known for farming, there are technically no farms. Just residential properties.
More, and more, residential properties. Residential properties with 2,700 sqft McMansions on 5-acre manicured, non-native, monocultures of turf grass. Residential properties more likely to have a chlorinated swimming pool than a natural pond or wetland. Residential properties that spread more fertilizers and pesticides per square foot than most properties in commercial agricultural use. We’ve beaten our plowshares into charging stations for Teslas on the asphalt driveways of suburban sprawl.
We’re bucking that trend though.
Fortunately, restorative agricultural use is still something available for those who wish to practice careful stewardship of their lands. So we’re taking every opportunity to shape our land into a more sustainable, resilient landscape. A landscape full of diversity and ecological function. A landscape that gives to the community around it; not one that isolates itself from the rest of the world.
But we didn’t start out with a farm. We started out with suburban fringe.
And that’s important. Because you can too.
We didn’t start out with this:
We started with this:
And began by building just this:
The Chick-Inn, our coop, didn’t start out as this:
We salvaged and repurposed this:
And eventually this:
Our pastures didn’t start out like this:
We had to first start with this:
And build our way up to this:
To get to this:
We had to get these:
And shepherd them along to this:
And even a bounty like this:
Started out with the simplicity of this:
We could go on-and-on…
If we can do this (and succeed), then you can too!
We didn’t start out as farmers and we didn’t start out with a farm. But the homesteading movement swept us up in its momentum. We have loved every aspect of the journey. We started with what we had and gradually built up upon it over time. Within the homesteading community we found all the knowledge and support needed to start towards a more purposeful, peaceful, and resilient way of living in harmony with nature (not in opposition to it).
If you’re interested in homesteading, or just thinking about starting, there’s no time like now. Take inventory of what you have and build towards what you want. Build up both your garden and your library. For as Cicero said, they are truly all you will ever need.
Take it from us. It can be done.
Now is your time. Spring has literally sprung!