Homesteading in the Burbs is the story of a 32-year old wife, a 39-year old husband, a 12-year old boy child, 4 cats and a lizard all trying to live the most eco-friendly and sustainable life that they possibly can on 1/2 acre of land in a small Delaware neighborhood.  There is a loooong way to go before any claims of self-sustainability can be made but we’re walking the road together one step at a time.

Growing up, I lived on my grandparent’s small hobby farm in Maryland.  At one time or another they raised beef cattle, chickens, rabbits and goats and had a large garden and pond on about 20 acres.  For years I was actively involved in the day-to-day running of things and developed a passion for the outdoors, animals and gardening.  To this day, I am a bit wistful that we chose not to buy the farm when they moved to a smaller home.

My husband grew up downstate, closer to the beach but very much surrounded on all sides by agricultural farm land.  In fact, one of the areas biggest employers was Purdue Chicken.  His mother is an avid gardener and he worked on a farm for a short while during his teen years.

When we married 13 yrs. ago, it was my husband’s desire to stay in the Northern third of the state where there are more available jobs.  Unfortunately, the downside is that there is very little land to be had.  We opted instead for a small and quiet neighborhood tucked away off of a main road.  While we are minutes away from nearly any major store, restaurant and a state college our little oasis is quiet and unassuming.  To this day people frequently tell us they had no idea this neighborhood was back here.  Contrary to most newer builds, our little neighborhood boasts established trees on every lot, backs to a wooded area and is surrounded on two sides by a creek.  We really couldn’t get much closer to living in the country right here in college town.

While my husband and I both grew up in farm country, we lived here more than five years before contemplating putting in a garden.  It had been a long time since either of us had worked the earth and we were hesitant that we might “do it wrong.”  After a year of cumbersome container gardening on our driveway, an 8′ X 24′ raised bed was born at the backside of our property.  It was built in a slightly low-lying area that, we hoped would act as a natural watering system.  From then on we have steadily increased the “garden proper” to somewhere around 19′ X 24′ while, at the same time, also increasing the amount of edible landscaping throughout the rest of the yard using a good dose of trial-and-error but with aspects of permaculture in mind .

Because I have a passion for animals and nature, I have a strong desire to preserve, maintain and enrich the natural environment.  These days it has been branded as “Going Green” or “The Green Movement,” but I just call it good common sense.  For the sake of the food we eat and the animals that we share our property with, the garden is grown without pesticides, insecticides, weed killers or commercial fertilizers.  Inside the house we use as few unnatural and potentially harmful substances as possible.

I love animals, I love nature and I love the feeling of dirt under my fingernails.  I am a little bit crazy and a LOT passionate.

This is me!

Welcome to our Homestead in the Burbs.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 2

    Sandy said,

    I just love this. Especially where you write what you harvested for the week. Awesome.

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