If this is your very first visit to Homestead Chronicles … first of all, WELCOME! We are tickled you have found us. Homestead Chronicles is a blog about urban, suburban & rural homesteading and all the fun and exciting things that go with it. But let’s not kid ourselves here. Homesteading is hard work. The simple life is not so simple after all, is it? It takes a certain mindset to do what we do 24/7/365 and enjoy it.
Our Homesteading Philosophy
We have learned that homesteading is in the heart. It is not about where you live or how much land you own — it is about HOW you live and whether you yearn to be self-sufficient. If you strive to be as self-reliant as possible, serve well your role as nature’s custodian, and enjoy sharing with like-minded folks with similar dreams and aspirations, then you have a homesteader’s heart. So even if all you have is a 6 foot concrete balcony, you can still learn a thing or two about self-sufficiency and then put it into action in your world. Granted, Eddie & I are incredibly fortunate to be landowners, and one day we will live on that land. But for now, we homestead right here in the city and there is nothing wrong with that. We have the “homesteading heart” and that is all that matters. So whether you are a seasoned rural, suburban, or urban homesteader or you are dreaming of homesteading but wouldn’t know where to start, this blog is for you.
One thing we understand is that lifelong city dwellers are at a serious disadvantage when they decide to leave it all behind and “head for the hills.” The transition is overwhelming, and we all need support, information, wisdom, and insights from others who have been through it. Lucky for us and thanks to modern technologies, all that information & support is right at our finger tips here on the internet where we have these incredible exchanges. If it can take the edge off that overwhelming disadvantage, why not let it?
Our mission here at Homestead Chronicles is to give you a soft place to land at the end of hard day — or with your morning cuppa java. We talk openly and honestly about the effort required to transition from an urban homestead to a country homestead — but hopefully, we do it in a way that is encouraging and spreads hope. With a little planning, a little time, and some hard work, being a modern day homesteader IS within your reach. If we can do it, so can you.
We hope to build an audience with a wide range of homesteading, gardening, and real food experience, knowledge, and skills. So regardless of your experience level, join in and share what you know! The support of this wonderful homesteading community where folks all reach out to each other to share information and experience, it is like having a family of cheerleaders on our side. Everybody wins! I am warmly overwhelmed by the sense of community that just pours out from others and we hope Homestead Chronicles comes to be seen as “one of those houses in the neighborhood” where the lights are always on, the coffee is always brewing, and the entire community always feels welcome.
I am Jo … a photographer and retired technical writer with a passion for homesteading and self-sufficiency as a philosophy and lifestyle. Eddie and I have a house in the city, three elderly dogs, a small square foot garden, and neighbors who think us a bit eccentric (okay, weird). I do all of my gardening, canning, research, and writing at the house. Eddie & I make the 80 minute drive to our 100+ acres every (possible) weekend to get it ready for the transition to live there. We spend our weekends working side by side planting trees, fixing the road, taking care of the “campsite” (potential future cabin site, maybe?), checking on the fish in the pond, and generally trying to figure it out this whole “homestead thing.”
Eddie is currently a computer programmer by trade and a homesteader at heart. He has known all his life that someday he would own land and settle there. He has always wanted to be self-sufficient and had a proactive interest in sustainable energy, growing his own food, and gaining his freedom from the rat race. He is frugal by nature and has worked incredibly hard to put us in a position where we can eventually afford to leave the city behind and depend only upon ourselves to meet our food needs. Yes, he started all this. He digs his own drainage ditches, cuts his own firewood, tills his own soil, and still manages to make ends meet (and much, much more).
We were both born & raised in central Ohio — same city, same neighborhood. Even went to the same elementary school but never knew each other until many years later. We’re still in that same city, in fact — not far at all from the streets on which we both grew up. Stuck here. Lord help us, we hate it.
We met in early 2008, married later that year (whirlwind, yes) and while holding down full time “citified” office jobs (in information technology), we have worked as a team for the last six plus years to realize our homesteading dreams. No, we are not “there” yet – not even close, really. It takes time. But we know that if we don’t start somewhere, we will never get there at all.
Welcome to Homestead Chronicles. It is going to be a LONG story!