Homestead Hopes

Resisting the Flattening

I read a long, and somewhat depressing article in Tablet not long ago. I encourage you to go read it, too. It’s worth it, I promise.

Back now? Good. Resist the flattening. With all your heart and strength. One way to resist it is to preserve and celebrate those things that make us NOT like everybody else. Maybe your hometown was settled by Dutch immigrants and celebrates that history. Maybe it was a stop on an old coach road, with coaching inns that still stand. If you live in, or are from, rural America then one of those things that makes you and your place part of the texture of life is the culture unique to you and your place. Which brings us to my motivation for launching into an effort to hang on to it that I talked about in my last post.

Homestead Hopes

Toward an Independent Farmstead

As we move closer to actually breaking ground – probably in the spring, now that subzero temperatures have settled quite thoroughly into the area – I got an E-mail from my builder asking if the architect had provided a site plan. Well, not so much. But I did send him a little plan I had draw up myself.

I’m sure there is a piece of software or handy app somewhere that would have made this a much easier task. But, lacking those, I did a screen capture of the satellite image of our place from the GIS system, and carefully marked the scale. Then I moved it into Photoshop and used an approximation of pixels against that scale to draw little outlines of the buildings we’d like to eventually have on the property. Here it is:

Homestead Hopes

A Bit of Earth

Almost two years ago, now, my husband and I came to a point where we decided that we’d like a bit more space to live our lives.  I’m not sure if it was the neighbor ratting us out for our illicit chickens, the waking up repeatedly to flashing lights in the windows as local police visited the house around the corner.  Again.  Or the feeling of constriction of not being able to use our little yard the way we’d like.  My two daughters are on the Autism spectrum, and not aware enough of danger to be allowed to play outside without really close supervision – very nearly hands on.  We had a few notices stuck to the door by the city regarding various “infractions” of ordinances.  Even when all we really have are two small raised beds for herbs and veggies.