Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where it all began...

I was just up in Oregon for the memorial service in honor of my uncle, a wonderful artist and creative soul.  I stayed with my aunt and uncle who live on the family farm which was where my grandparents lived for years and where I would spend many of my summers as a child.  I loved the five acre farm and would spend hours playing in the fields, spying on the chickens and grabbing their eggs, running in the bog and listening to the sounds of nature.  Grandma taught me how to cook, bake, sew, embroider, crochet, and she even taught me how to behead a chicken though I never used that skill.   Much has changed on the farm over the years, but the landscape remains mostly the same, and the spirit of country living remains.

Being back on the farm this past week reminded me of how the country never left my soul and now that I'm an urban homesteader that country spirit lives on in all I do.  In a way I feel like I have my own mini farm where I use the same skills I did then, only differently.  It's as close to country as I can get and I love that.

How about you - where are your beginnings, your roots?  Where did your desire to urban homestead begin?  

The apple orchard.  I used to water these trees when they were mere babes. 

Sheep on the farm.

Llama and "Buster" the alpaca.

 My daughter swinging on the same rope swing I used as a kid.

Justin loved running along the creek near the bog which used to be a working cranberry bog. 


  1. What wonderful memories..I too was lucky as a child to spend summers with my Grandparents..Even my Great Grandmother, who always kept Canaries because my Great Grandfather had worked in the mines and the Canaries were used to find out if the air was breathable. They reminded her of him..She didn't speak much English, but that is where I first learned about herbs, flowers, chickens & chicks in her Urban Homestead of East Los Angeles..I wanted to pet the chicks so bad, That I opened up the coop and reached in..and the chicks jumped out..I had to catch those critters before anyone found out and spanked my bottom...ha..And my Grandfather who married her daughter, was 30 years older then my Grandmother also, did not speak much English. He had huge worn hands and fingers the size of sausages and lived to be 93. I have fond memories of being out with him, in his Urban Garden of East Los Angeles. They had a huge Craftsman home with a huge back yard where he grew figs, squash, corn, garlic, sugarcane & flowers. He also was an amazing grafter and had prize fruit trees. His most prized tree was an avocado that bore fruit almost a foot long. He was 92 years old still climbing up in those trees. My Papa always kept a sharp pocket knife in his pocket. He would cut a ripe sugarcane stock and peel it for me to chew and suck on. He also taught me to braid the garlic into long braids and hang them to dry. I could go on and on with the memories..I was so blessed to have had the time with my Grandparents..They started me on the knowledge that I continued to learn in school and now that I share with my four year old son. Someday I hope that he shares this with his children..

  2. I just can't think of a better legacy for your family... or for the human family as a whole. Grandma sure did things right... and you with yours!

  3. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Thanks Ladies! Love your story Joanna, thanks for sharing.