I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying that when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason. SuburbanHomesteading.com is my new window. Although the site might be new, the concept for this site is not. In fact, I think I’ve been working towards this new adventure my whole life.
As a child growing up in the 70’s I can remember working with my parents in their garden, going to buy organic fruit from orchards on the other side of the county and volunteering after school in a local food co-op with my mom. As I got older, I raised and showed sheep at local fairs throughout the area.
Life was free and easy back then. Days were spent playing with chickens and rabbits; watching the garden get bigger and bigger, waiting impatiently for the first vegetables to harvest; pouring over every new issue of Organic Gardening (back when it was published on newsprint and was half the size it is now), and tending my growing flock.
I was a child of the earth – literally. Raising animals, growing fruits and vegetables, canning, sewing, stocking firewood and building projects intrigued me and I wanted it all. My mom used to say there was never a day that I wasn’t running around with dirt under my nails and holes in the knees of every pair of jeans I owned.
Sounds like an idyllic life, doesn’t it? But, when you’re the only kid on the block who would rather plant another row of beans or muck out the chicken coop than hang out at the mall or go to the movies, life can be anything but idyllic. You heard me right. I said “block.”
My version of the perfect farm life was actually a cookie-cutter tract home in the middle of a suburban sub-division. So I know how most of you feel and the reactions and challenges you face – because I’ve been there.
I understand how difficult it can be to fit everything you want to do within the confines of a city lot…all the while dreaming of a bigger place where you can try every new seed, tree, vine or plant you’ve heard or read about.
Even with a degree in Agriculture, jobs with some of the largest agricultural companies in the country and having been married to a farmer, I still don’t have my place in the country. What I do have is the desire to do what I can…where I am. “Bloom Where You’re Planted” sounds so cliché, but it is the reality of my life. More than likely, it’s the reality of your life, too.
Today, I live on a 1/3-acre at the edge of town where I raise chickens, rabbits, and lambs. I also have a small orchard, a berry patch, grape vines, and a vegetable garden that provides us with enough produce for eating fresh and storing.
I think everyone, regardless of where they live, has the ability to move closer to a more self-reliant life; depending less on others, wanting less intrusion from the cities and suburbs where we live and relying more on themselves.