Re-thinking Our Homesteading Strategies



From the time when we began planning our marriage and future family, we knew that we're going to raise our children in communion with nature. We wanted plants, trees, animals, and great open spaces. We had a great desire for simplicity, self-sufficiency and growing a significant part of our own food. Crowded city life just wasn't something we were ready to put up with.

What followed was a fascinating decade-long adventure of rural living, tending to a plot of land, raising chickens and goats, building a cabin, and meeting many wonderful people who shared the same vision.

Our eyes were always turned toward possibilities of more land, more space, more privacy, and more remoteness - all not so easy to obtain in a small, densely populated country like Israel! That's not to say independent farms don't exist, but people usually band in communities, which is not really our thing, as we're very pronounced individualists. Either way, we had hoped for the opportunity to build and tend our own private nook, with space as far as the eye can see - we've even looked at permaculture in the desert for that purpose.

However, recently, due to a combination of various circumstances, we found ourselves facing the prospect of a move to a (small) town in a few months. We're going to have a house with its private lot, which is lucky, but it's a lot less space than we have been used to. There won't be much room for a garden. I don't know how keeping chickens is going to work out, though we are certainly going to give it our best shot - extensive free-ranging, however, will be out of the question, as will keeping noisier fowl like guineas or geese (which we have been wanting to try). We had hoped to get back to goat-keeping, but now this will be put on hold indefinitely.

Life happens, and wherever we are, we can always practice simple living, DIY projects, experimenting with natural cooking and holistic health products, reusing and recycling, and growing food at least on a small scale. Also, our journey is far from over, and who knows? In a couple of years we may find ourselves moving forward in the direction which we have been dreaming of for so long. Still, this present bend in the road finds me in a little bereavement, as I have to let go, for the time being, of a great and long-time dream.

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