We suffer from identity confusion.
We aren’t really a farm-that would imply that we sell our products, which we seldom do, or that we had herds of 4 legged beasts and acres of corn or wheat. We aren’t really a homestead by the old fashioned definition-the government didn’t “give” us a piece of land to improve upon. But thanks to a new and burgeoning movement presented by industrious bloggers-we have been redefined and liberated . We are Modern Homesteaders. We strive to simplify our lives, resurrect and improve upon the old ways, live cleanly and sooth our souls with fresh air, music and art.
Our homestead consists of a medium sized contemporary home situated on 5 acres of beautiful rolling, Ohio hardwood forest. Now that sounds downright inviting-doesn’t it? The woods are great for providing firewood, our major source of heat in winter and most of spring and fall too. The forest provides us with privacy and and cool shade in the summer. It is often 10-15 degrees cooler at our place than in the town. The rolling acreage protects us from some of the harshest winds and from road noises.
This idyllic setting has some set backs.
Everything is downhill-or uphill-at a 45 degree angle.The soil is clay. Yeah, just clay. This is the part of Ohio that once provided clay for some of the great potteries of the last 2 centuries- including Homer Laughlin of Fiestaware fame. We share these deposits with West Virginia, which is just a bit down the road. If you compute rolling acres + clay soil + a generous yearly rainfall you get moss and some interesting gymnastic feats. Step on a patch of moss as you approach the woodpile and you could end up on your bum 500 feet down the ravine in a quaint little brook-or “crick” as we call such things around here. Put your Croced (beloved footwear of mud season) foot on a lump of clay coming from the hen coop, and you could enjoy an egg facial. And have you ever tried to raise a vegetable garden in heavy clay soil-in the shade?
But homesteading is about using what you have-where you have it.
Homestead in place.
[whohit]Homestead Identity Crisis[/whohit]