Embracing Change

This once-suburban couple moved to the country and got their farm off the ground by connecting with generous farmers and like-minded families.

Photo by Tamara Johnson Photography

If you had told me even five years ago that my husband, Brett, and I would live in the country, raise hens and pigs, tend a 2,000-square-foot garden, build outdoor structures, get excited about worms, host a women’s homesteading group, can our own food, attend homesteading conferences, write about farming, design and sew vintage-inspired aprons, cook everything from scratch, forage in the yard, and nurture all kinds of ferments and tinctures in the depths of our kitchen cabinets , I wouldn’t have believed you. As a matter of fact, no one who knew us ever saw this coming. I was the least likely suspect to ever embrace this life, in part or whole. I grew up outside New York City, and not so long ago, I was a suburban soccer mom with a minivan in bumper-to-bumper traffic, with a dead cactus on my kitchen table and no dirt under my nails.

But after 16 years in the suburbs, and after our family walked through some traumatic circumstances, it was time for a fresh start: rolling mountains and fresh country air were calling our hearts. We landed in Dahlonega, Georgia, nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our family of five squeezed into a 700-square-foot cottage while we renovated our home and turned this once-neglected property into a unique homestead.



The author and her husband worked side by side to build brightly colored homestead structures, stock their shelves with home-canned food, and create valuable memories in their repurposed barn.
Photos by Mandy Kerns 



Fall 2021!

Put your DIY skills to the test throughout November. We’re mixing full meal recipes in jars, crafting with flowers, backyard composting, cultivating mushrooms, and more!


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