As we mark our 1st birthday as a blog, I just want to say a big thanks to all the people that follow us. Last year, with many reservations, we launched this site into the great internet not really knowing what we were doing. You inspired us to keep going through your comments, interactions on Facebook, questions or alternative ideas that made us rethink a post or a plan.
While my journey began some 30 years ago, Jo’s was somewhat forced upon her when I bought the land before we even married. The first year we were together, I asked her to help get a garden in. She was reluctant, had never grew anything before but shrubs and flowers. She hem-hawed a bit, but eventually came around. When she saw the tomatoes, peppers, and beans we grew and tasted how wonderful they were, she was hooked. She started doing intense research on climate, which plants do best, when to plant, crop rotation, anything she thought would help for next year’s garden. She was determined to get her head around “How to grow a better garden.”
While the first few years of owning the property were spent planning potential “wheres and whats,” we really never planned anything in concrete. For the last two years, my job has not allowed us to get down as often as we would like, yet we still plan. With six and a half years to go until retirement, we sometimes feel the crunch that we have not done enough. However, Jo’s skills at planting, managing the harvest, dehydrating, and canning have improved. This allows us to grow more of our own food, cut costs, and get focused on the relocation.
While Jo didn’t initially know the term homesteader, she has come to embrace it with every fiber of her being. She works hard to go natural with pesticides & soil amendments, and has learned to reuse anything and everything, even if it looks like we are hoarders. She is embracing this new life style. This is interesting considering that when we met online over 7 years ago, her tag line then was “No mint on my pillow.” Her idea of roughing it was not getting a mint on her pillow. She had really never camped until she met me.
For her first camping trip, I took her to a regional race at MidOhio Raceway. We stayed in my friend’s popup trailer complete with shared showers and port-a-potties (and yes, there is a story there but she won’t tell it — yet). Our next camping trip (down on our property) entailed a tent, airbed, fire pit, coolers, and a bucket to, ah — well, you figure it out. And she is arachnophobic on top of all that. She has come a long way in just a few short years. We have made many improvements the trailer, a better potty, a shower and better cooking arrangements, through it all, Jo has been a trooper. To give a peek at how our “set up” has evolved over the last few years:
As we grow through the next few years, I will encourage all that follow us to interact, comment, post questions, offer alternatives, but most of all, learn from our mistakes and grow. Enjoy the next year of posts. We have much planned for the blog and for getting the land ready to build our homestead. Thanks again to all that follow us, we hope you have enjoyed the ride so far, but the best is yet to come.