A Tale of Two Homesteads


| 4/16/2018 10:20:00 AM


Tags: modern homesteading, buying land, Ohio, Virginia, Ann Hess and Mark Hamilton,

Garden with barn 

I left college with one real goal --- to find a piece of land with a creek and room for a garden, to move in, and to live as simply as possible so I could focus on my art. As you might expect, the reality turned out both better and worse than my expectations.

The land I settled on was much larger than anticipated --- 58 acres, funded by a no-interest loan from an amazing friend who never even set foot on its soil. A quiet creek made the core homestead walk-in-only, which was no trouble for my nature-loving self...until I started thinking about the reality of building a home there. Oh, and did I mention that the creek overflowed its banks and cut off the central area from all outside access for up to a week at a time once or twice a year? I reveled in the adventure (and in the rich soil laid down by the receding floods).

Flooded ford

The husband who wandered into my life halfway between the day I purchased the land and the day we actually moved there was ten years older and more of a realist than my starry-eyed self. He helped me realize that an old mobile home today was far better than an owner-built home that might never materialize. He talked me out of hauling water by hand from the well for all of our garden and household needs. And he came up with wheeled conveyances that made transporting large supplies more feasible during the dry seasons that inevitably materialized a few times a year.



Goat family






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