Joe and Liz (that’s us) got married in 2010 and in all our blissful ignorance, set out to start a family and buy a home. After baby #1, we realized we cared deeply about things that hadn’t been top of mind. The choices we made about our home and health could have long-reaching effects on this sparkly new human for years (and generations) to come. We’ve had since added three more children, a dog, a cat, various numbers of chickens, bees, a house of our own, and more that we’re likely forgetting in our exhaustion fueled haze.
With all this added responsibility and chaos, we continued to look more closely at the way our lives impact the world around us and how our decisions about nutrition are so intimately tied into our environment. As children grow older (and more demanding), we searched for ways to ensure we could make better decisions on behalf of our family and struggled to find resources and information that really fit our vision of our future.
In life outside the homestead, Joe is a teacher and Liz works an office job, 3/4 kids go to public school and we are slowly getting into team sports. Send help!
Our goals are to find joy in the simple things, simplify as much as possible, nourish the love of learning, and emphatically strive to be aware of how our choices affect the world around us (big and small!).
We have about 3/4 of an acre in zone 7 (used to be 6B but…you know). When we bought the house, there was a large back yard taken up by a tumble-down garage, a decrepid pool and a forrest of invasive bamboo. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us. The house itself was formerly a B&B (albeit a small one) and also needed quite a bit of work to make it back into a home comfortable (and safe) for a growing family.
For the first year or two, we attempted to “live with” the bamboo but it was quickly overtaking everything. We had to remove it and then backfill almost the entire back yard with fill and topsoil and gradually build things back up to functional soil. This is a work in progress, as is almost everything around here. Every time we manage to get one project somewhat under control, about five more start vying for our attention. Such is the case with an old house, growing family, and endless things we want to learn.
These days, we have finally managed to reclaim most of our back yard, and we’re starting to look at the front and side yards. We still have that tumble-down garage and areas of bamboo to tackle. We’re attempting to limit the amount of grass out front and hoping to help the kids plan and build their own little areas of the garden. We managed to eek out a few inside projects too but are still finding ways to modify our home to better suite our family and our interests. Does this part ever end? Most of the time, I hope not…but some days, I just wish we could feel like something was “finished”.
There are times we get frustrated by the VERY long list of things we still hope to accomplish, though that list varies as time passes and changes as we learn more and evolve our ideas. These before and after type images are a great help in giving us a reality check so we know how far we’ve come and can feel a sense of accomplishment. Just walking outside these days is its own reward, the birds are effusive, the insects abound and in such huge varieties, and we have been so lucky to have our plants thriving even in the face of dubious soil content and lack of water most summers. It’s all a process, but the most fun is in the tweaking and unexpected projects that make it our own.