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!