When we moved to Vermont four years ago, we did so deliberately
~to live in a rural area where the cost of housing is affordable
~where we wouldn't be alone in choosing to work toward a more self-sufficient, local economy
~where we would be reminded constantly about the need to rely on God (living close to nature and not relying on a 9 to 5 job)
When our family made these decision, we also decided that earning money, while a reality, wouldn't be our family's life. In doing so, we chose to leave a lifestyle of consumerism and chose to conserve, re-use, and make-do.
Our first year in Vermont was not so radical as we rented a house in a small northern village.
Our next two and a half years were spent in our off grid mobile home three miles down a gravel road. Now we are just one mile further down that gravel road. We have been blessed with a rustic cottage that is large enough to fit our family, friends, hens and soon - goats, sheep and gardens.
Now, more than ever, we are deliberate and thoughtful about how we spend. We don't spend unless it is absolutely necessary and has been well thought out.
What this is leading to is the projects that we to attend to around our homestead. There are many, many areas where one does not see beauty. However, I have a vision of what it will become. We don't have money, though, to hire backhoes, buy landscaping plants, buy materials for walkways, fences or even to fix up our barn right now. I am not sure if we did have extra money if that is how we would choose to spend it either. (with six children, someone always truly needs something).
We make-do. We also wait and pray and it is amazing that the very thing I had been praying for will either be offered to us from a family member or friend or we will find in a free pile or at a yard sale or thrift shop.
After we bought our home this summer and had a foundation put under it, we have been left with lots of ugliness. There are piles of soil, some with the large concrete foundation blocks that the house used to rest on. Here is an example:(That wheelbarrow was one that was thrown away. My husband built a new handle and it is an often used tool on our homestead!)
While digging around this area, I discovered a neglected garden with excellent soil. (A wonderful find when much of the ground is full of clay.) This will become our herb and early greens garden. I didn't want to look at those big ugly concrete blocks, however, so I am in the process of building a branch fence to put right in front of them. I will plant sweet peas in front of the fence and I can envision the beautiful flowers and green vines climbing over the fence this summer. I piled up rocks around the well head as a worked in the garden. There was trash to remove. I found some flat rocks to add to our entryway walkway. (The chickens enjoyed finding insects and worms while we were cleaning up!)
While I don't have a lot of beauty to share today, I can imagine the beauty that will result from the work of our hands.
Warm wishes. Tonya