Farming Across the Pond

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

homefarmerI found this magazine breezing through Tractor Supply this past weekend and bought it because it looked interesting, something I hadn’t seen before. It’s called Home Farmer , and is about small scale farming and homesteading, with a heavy emphasis on backyard livestock. I snatched it up and thumbed through it over the weekend (while Brianne and I were at a sheep auction). When we got home, lambs in tow, it kind of got lost in the shuffle and tasks of settling in a new batch of lambs. But, last night, after designing my new quilt project (and an excellent DVD on Queen Elizabeth) I finally had a chance to dig into it. It is wonderful!

Turns out the reason I wasn’t familiar with it is because it’s a British publication. But I was so excited reading through it because it was like walking around a backyard in England talking about gardens and chickens and farming in small spaces. I’ve spent many weeks in England on vacation and can tell you the British have perfected raising backyard birds. Not to mention the array of gorgeous and fanciful coops. (Check out and Framebow.)

Anyway, my favorite take away from the magazine is how universal homesteading is. This was an English publication, but could easily apply to suburban homesteaders from the beltway of Washington, D.C. to the tract houses of Los Angeles; same birds, same dreams, same understanding; that freedom isn’t in our bank accounts or the cars we drive—it’s right in our own backyards, just past the garden gate.

This is one of my favorite things about suburban homesteading – everyone needs to eat, and we all want to eat a little better, a little fresher, a little more local. To some “better” may mean a better restaurant, but to others it means a hen house and a veggie garden. I’ll always be on the back side of those options, and I’m excited that the later is so well undertaken “across the pond”.

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