I grew up on a small family homestead in Northern California and the farm life is familiar to me. We raised our own beef, pork, rabbits, and chickens. There were fig, cherry, pear, peach, and walnut trees on our property which provided our family with seasonal nutritious food. My mom canned and stored it in our root cellar. She accidentally made peach wine once when the peaches fermented into a delicious alcohol brew! We had three different types of grapes and I spent many hours gathering, eating and selling them from my front yard fruit stand.
As an adult living a typical modern life without farming, I grew dissatisfied with the quality of commercially raised food in the lack of nutrition or added hormones/GMO’s and the way the animals were treated in commercial farming. I firmly believe that I have a responsibility as a meat eater to know the background of the animal sourced for my family’s meals. This is not an expectation that I inflict upon others, people should make their own choices. It makes me feel good to feed my family fresh, local meat, dairy and produce.
So when my husband and I had the opportunity to purchase a modest home on five acres, we jumped at the chance and began making plans for our own homestead. The climate is completely different and gardening is especially challenging but we are learning what works and what doesn’t.
Homesteading may not be not for everyone and there are many variations on homesteading. People who grow vegetables in containers on their balcony or in a window and have experienced the satisfaction of eating the freshest, most delicious tomato possible know what I mean. It’s the connection with nature that we craved and the yearning to get back to our roots (pun intended) that started us on this journey.
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