For many years my husband and I have talked about what it means to be a homesteader in these modern times. He and I met in the Peace Corps in 2002 on a small banana plantation a few miles from the Pan American highway in Ecuador, South America. During our time in Ecuador we lived very differently than we do here, we ate tiny bananas called guineos that we cut from a tree outside and the chicken we had for dinner was bled out in the backyard not too far from the pig pens sitting adjacent to the large wash basin where we washed clothes by hand. More than a decade later we live in a tiny coastal town in the Northwest and tend a small garden and two well loved chickens and buy most of our food from a small local grocery store. We drink green juice and buy organic and try to live within our means, but we long for more. When I say more, I really mean less, because I think we both love the idea of stripping down our possessions and living off the grid with the ability to grow all, or almost all, of our own food. We want to be homesteaders in the traditional sense of the word, and every little step we take in that direction feels like the road home.
And speaking of self sufficiency, we finally decided this year to stop buying any spices from the store, and harvest our epic herb garden not only for ourselves but for friends and family. This is just a small portion of what we are drying and planning to store in glass containers and use as gifts this holiday season (Rosemary, Sage, Thyme). I cant tell you how good the laundry room smells!
However, every homesteading project has its ups and downs. As it happens every fall, our juicing garden of kale and chard has been hit with aphids. We dusted today with diatomaceous earth in hopes of killing off the little buggers safely and organically. We've used our 80lb bag of organic food-grade "d.earth" in so many ways since we got it, I highly recommend it for controlling fleas and slugs as well. The only bummer is that after Im done I look like someone has beat me with a sack of flour.
Well I had planned to write more but its time to go watch my first grader play soccer, and that's something I wouldnt miss for the world. Be happy, and please feel free to share any homesteading adventures of your own! Oh, and p.s. we found a huge cache of eggs in the compost pile today, apparently one of our chickens (Princess, or Falcon) was laying on the sly. It felt like Easter finding them all!