Homestead 2.0 by Carol
March 16, 2013, 6:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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Photo credit: Cecily Deex

Photo credit: Cecily Deex

Greetings to any readers still subscribed to this old blog! Many moons (15 to be exact) have passed since I’ve been able to share some of our pursuits. And a few things have changed…

What’s new

Location – While we firmly believed we’d find our dream land (were we living in a dreamland?) :), in the vicinity of Asheville NC, the Universe had other plans for us. We searched and searched and even made a few offers but, alas, it was not to be. While snowbirding in Sarasota, FL we checked out some radically affordable real estate for a possible vacation rental. We found a 1/4 acre suburban plot with little in the way of landscape and much in the way of sun exposure and possibility. At the same time, we crossed paths with others here who were also interested in sustainable living and even permaculture as means to that end. We realized that we might actually be a larger part of a burgeoning community here rather than a tiny part of a better-established community in Asheville so we decided to make Sarasota our primary residence once again.

Scope – A 1/4 acre might not sound like much but it is vastly bigger than a small, west-facing condo balcony. In fact, there are any number of books on the self-sufficiency possibilities of 1/4 acre well thought out and planted. It is a surprising amount of land.

Ambition – We’ve been here a year now and the physical work on the homestead, indoors and out, has taught us much about our limitations. In fact I’d say that our greatest limitation is physical strength and endurance. Our ideas are limitless and we’ve improved our project management skills through our efforts thus far but we have had to scale back our expectations. Thankfully we have a few financial resources and have recently connected with the right combination of youth and knowledge to help us implement some of our plans.

Herbalism – What was a small part of our homesteading has blossomed into a passion which is, thankfully, a natural companion to our other pursuits and will allow me to eventually serve others in a very personal way.

Photo credit: Cecily Deex

Photo credit: Cecily Deex

What’s the same

Goal – Not much has changed here. Our overarching goal is still to live as sustainably as possible and to achieve some measure of self-sufficiency on our own land by our own hand. We have less space than we thought we would but in return we have a community that has farmer’s markets in bicycle range and other like minded people with whom to share, grow and learn.

Indoor Gardening – Can’t imagine ever giving this up. Sprouts and greens continue to be our most productive crop here on the new homestead. They  grow faster here in warm and humid FL. Bonus! We have a bit more space for them now and continue to experiment with new mediums like pea gravel which can be reused.

Vermicomposting – Our master bathroom dwelling worms made the trip south with us and seem to be thriving in our carport. Here we have to take care that they do not suffer overmuch in the heat. Our remodeling was not limited to just our needs. We added an addition to their house too giving them some more space to spread out.

Radical Homemaking – I’m still a radical homemaker. Perhaps even more radical and more ambitious than ever. My tolerance for the cost and chemicals in commercial products has decreased and I’m making nearly 100% of our medicine and personal care products now as well as a much larger percentage of our food. I’ll admit that it does at times feel overwhelming and I find balance where I can.

So there you have it. Thanks for reading this far. Future posts will be considerably shorter, more informative and even entertaining on occasion!


10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Busy gal! Great yard photo. What’s your favorite home grown plant at the moment?

Comment by Michele Gill

Besides sprouts? I’d have to say Swiss Chard. So beautiful and prolific. Just got a pesto recipe from a friend in order to put some up for the Summer when nothing grows here.

Comment by Carol


Comment by Michele Gill

I am so happy you are bringing your ideas to life, literally! Thank you for sharing all the goings on with us!

Comment by Kathy

I’m so happy you are reading and want to hear about them! Xo

Comment by Carol

Hi Carol,

So great to get the new post and hear a little about all you’ve been up to! Fabulous pictures too :). It sounds like you guys are exactly where you belong right now, immersed in pursuits you are passionate about. I’ve gotta believe your time in Asheville contributed towards igniting and fanning those flames. You go girl!!!

Spring is here, and I couldn’t be happier. I take a walk around the property almost every day, looking for new sprouts, buds and blooms. Kiko’s been outside in the beautiful weather this weekend for the first time, and she is beside herself with all the new smells, sights, sounds and space. So fun to watch her! Work is challenging and pretty much the same. These days I answer to “Cappy”, “Buppy”, and even “Popeye”.

Any plans to come north for a visit or workshop?

Hugs to you, Cathy

Comment by Cathy Pidek

Thanks Cousin! Our time in Asheville was crucial to our learning process. So much so that we keep having to come back! We’ll be there on and around July 4th this year. Certainly hope to see you. Spring is pretty incredible there. So glad you and Kiko both are enjoying it. And Gracie? xo

Comment by Carol

Thanks for the update, Carol, and all your work and efforts! Sure love to hear more about what you are doing in terms of personal care products and composting.

Great being neighbors!


Comment by Donna Marie

Sounds like a purposeful gathering Donna. Perhaps at your place this time.

Comment by Carol

What a wonderful post. Yard looks great. I so enjoy your blog. At the end you said you might make them shorter. Don’t do that. The longer the better. Very informative.

Comment by Judy

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