Welcome to the Red Tree Homestead – Why homesteading?
Over the last few years, my wife, Kaleigh, and I have been trying to figure out what the future holds for us and our family. We both feel a strong connection to nature and have already begun to pass that on to our son, Liam. But the question consistently came back, how are we as a family, going to ensure that our kids are raised in a way that respects and cares for the world around us? How will we teach them the value of hard work and its rewards? How will we, as parents, connect with our children, each other, and the world we live in?
Although our answer to this question remains vague and is continually developing, we feel a strong pull towards returning to our roots and living a more simple life. Our Christian beliefs also played a part in our interest. Genesis 1 tells of the story of the creation of the Earth, animals, plants and humankind. It continues to say “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15 NIV). Adam and Eve were to care for the garden they were residing in. Pairing this knowledge with our growing passion, gardening and homesteading made perfect sense for our family. The idea of returning to the original purpose holds both fear and excitement for us. However, already, throughout our small journey into exploring that purpose, we have already begun to find the connection that we craved.
We also wondered how we could be beneficially involved in our community. We wanted to be able to build relationships and to be able to help provide people with essential needs. And so far, this journey has done exactly that. Every day that we are outside, we have conversations with neighbours walking by. Everybody is curious about the strange tunnels on our gardens or about the active beehive. Once again, our pursuit of a more self-sufficient lifestyle allows us to have conversations and build a relationship with those around us.
So where are we heading? We don’t really know! As I mentioned, our plan is pretty vague. What we have figured out so far is that someday we want a small farm. Large enough to provide for our family, have a few animals for companions, and be able to take the provisions of the land to a market (or share with a small community of families). We aren’t oblivious to the fact that this will be one of the hardest things we will do, but we welcome the challenge. The failures will make successes sweeter, and the enormous commitment to such a life will teach us and our children about the reward of responsibilities.
So where does that leave us currently? Well, there’s no time like the present to jump into your goals. Here’s how are we achieving these goals (or, at least, attempting to) now on our 0.14 acre property.
We are not meeting the large goal of self-sufficiency, but instead, we are using this time to build up our skills and learn what parts of this life we are passionate about.
Currently, we are managing six garden beds, managing one beehive (which hopefully will become two this spring), learning how to bake bread, learning how to preserve our harvests, learning how to make soaps and salves, and learning woodworking skills.
This is not an exhaustive list but these skills are teaching us that there is always more to learn. And we are thoroughly enjoying learning about each topic and will continue to expand as time goes on.
Our hope is that by writing about our journey, you will join us on our adventure. We want to hear about what adventures and experiments you are trying. And we plan to share some of the things we learn along the way. As this blog continues, you can expect to encounter a backstage pass to the challenges and successes that we experience. You can expect to find some recipes from our kitchen. And you can expect to see some “how-to” posts about projects or tasks that we have figured out (or quite possibly some “how-not-to” posts).
I hope that this has sparked your interest to join us on this journey. If you have certain topics you would like more information on, let me know so I can focus in on them!