It’s been 13 years since we spread my husband’s ashes on the land and in his pottery urn in the “Sacred Grove.”  This Easter Sunday, we will honor our eldest daughter, who passed away and joined him after losing her battle with breast cancer. She left home after high school for life in NYC and other cities around the world. I am grateful to have been able to have her here with me during her battle as well as in hospice here in the end… instead of a hospital somewhere. 

That said…I am grateful at my age to be able to live on this homestead. I use wood heat, grow my own food, and preserve what I can. I make herbal tinctures, save seeds, and make my own compost with my animal’s manure, and love living this lifestyle. There is nothing I would rather be doing.

I have gardened here yearly for 46 years and planted most of the trees and plants that grow here. I am bartering for help and selling things that I no longer need. Last week, I took a pickup load of old clothes I had saved for all those years to be recycled and help homeless people. I create very little waste and have no trash pickup. I take my own trash to the landfill every year or two.

I am grateful for sales from the gardens or when people come for classes or tours, as it helps me support this way of life. I feed my one remaining horse, a few ducks, chickens I raise for eggs, and my Silver Fox rabbits for meat, furs, and manure. There’s my faithful dog, too, and three rescued cats. Lately, I have been blessed by the local homesteading community, which also embraces this way of life.

The fields and farms that were once all around me are now filled with big new houses and perfectly manicured lawns. My peace here at the homestead is being disrupted by more traffic and the sound of riding lawnmowers. My new neighbors have no gardens and do not buy anything from me. My 100-year-old house, surrounded by a wild paradise of foods and animals with weeds galore, has hundreds of medicinal wild herbs hidden throughout the landscape. Change is the only thing that is certain; it is all part of the brave new world being created.