I am a teacher, a grower, a maker, and an outdoors woman, I am definitely not a blogger.
Starting a homestead and holding down a full time job so you can pay the bills doesn’t afford you much time to write about what you are doing. Add starting a business and having a kid to the equation and we were lucky if we had time to sleep.
As it seems that we are emerging from the other side of this tunnel, I am finding that sharing what we do and know is becoming more important. In these times were uncertainty is the only certain thing, learning how to do things yourself is becoming more and more valuable.
The Story of Sustainabillies
Our journey started because of our love of the earth. Wanting to live in a way where we did no harm to others or the future of the planet, we decided to grow and make most of our own food. We wanted to control how our food was grown and what was in it.
Living Off the Land
The property we bought was not a farm. It was a steep property with a small valley bottom that had been mismanaged and poorly maintained for almost a generation.
To grow our own food we would have to create a network of terraces and build soil that would support healthy plant growth. Later we realized the need to cut down a lot of trees to let in more sunlight.
Crafting Quality and Functional Art
Our hobby of blacksmithing turned into a business with the addition of welding. Necessitating a shop, which then had to transform into a bigger shop, and eventually get remodeled so it would be efficient and safe.
We are producing hand tools and knives as well as other homesteading tools.
I am making my art again in new ways, functional ways that incorporated recycled metals. I actually recently set up the first display of my artwork in nearly 15 years.
Growing Food for Others
Our hobby greenhouse has turned into a permaculture installation. It has given birth to an addition for bonsai trees and a greenhouse for our ever growing organic garden starts operation.
We have gone from starting a few extra plants for some friends and family, to starting thousands of plants and selling at the farmer’s market, local festivals, and a local brewery.
Our gardens have gone from providing some of our food into a full-fledged farm. We now grow 60-70% of our own fruits and veggies and sell extra produce. We are growing and selling garlic bulbs by the hundreds now. We planted 1,600 cloves this fall.
Teaching Others to Live Lightly
Now we have decided to enter a new realm. Teaching others what we know about living on an evolving, modern homestead.
Balancing living lightly, having fun, having a kid, and one of us working a full time job to pay the mortgage and insurances, trying to do as much for ourselves as we can.
I will try to share how we do what we do and let people see a how our lives can lend some insight to their own journeys. We hope the discussion of our mission, trials, failures, and successes will aid others and make their transition to a more sustainable life easier.