Growth is a double edged sword. Unchecked, growth can be cancerous and destructive. It is this type of ceaseless expansion that has put our society into the precarious environmental and financial positions in which we currently find ourselves. On the other hand, growth can be regenerative and life-giving. Following a forest fire or a bitter winter, the first green shoots to emerge from the earth bear witness to the earth's ability to restore life in the wake of disaster.

My goal for this blog is pretty simple and open-ended: I want to document and share with family and friends my efforts to incorporate an ever increasing degree of self sufficiency, voluntary simplicity, and environmentally-conscious design into my life as a would be urban homesteader.

Monday, March 29, 2010


One of the most frustrating things about being a part-time urban homesteader is that the part of my time that I have to devote to gardening, self-sufficiency, and the like never seems to be enough. Being a high school teacher, I am very fortunate to have a job that affords me a lot of time at home over the summer. I can spend time with my children and working on my goals for self reliance in a way that people with office jobs generally can't, and that's awesome. Spring and Fall, however, tend to be rather stressful, something anybody who's splitting time between a job and a homestead can relate to. Balancing the responsibilities of work, family, and home can be quite the juggling act.
To this effect, I have a growing list of partially finished (or yet-to-be-started) projects. Building the expanded fence is moving apace with a sprinting snail. There are seeds to plant, seedlings to pot on, and transplants to harden off. My 275 gallon rain catchment container has been awaiting installation for over a month. The compost bins need repairing, etc, etc, etc...
As the weather warms (we're in the upper 60's-low 70's this week in St.Louis), the kids are finally able to be outside most of the time. I love spending time with them riding bikes, drawing sidewalk chalk murals on the driveway, and playing ball. The boys are starting T-Ball this year-yikes! And yet half the time that I'm doing this, I keep noticing that the wood pile needs to be cleaned up, and the chicken coop oughta have new straw, I need to till manure into the garden beds I want to plant in a few days. That shit tugs at me, and yet I don't want to short change my family. Thanks to a commute that is muuuuch longer than I'd like, my time during the week is very limited. I wind up picking and choosing what will get done, and what will get set aside for now. It's frustrating, but it's where we are right now. Hopefully with more practice, I'll get better at juggling.

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