Welcome to Homestead Acres! I’m so glad that you’ve come to visit. Homestead Acres is a place to find help and encouragement on your path to a simple living lifestyle.
I’m a 30 something mother of 6 children, living in Ontario, Canada. I homeschool our children and have from the beginning, with our oldest starting high school this puts me in our 10th year of homeschooling. However I believe that learning starts from birth, so really I’ve been teaching and guiding little ones for 14 years. What a wonderful blessing to have!
Our teaching is very eclectic however I’m strongly influenced by the methods of Charlotte Mason and love unit studies. I love adapting these methods to our right brain learning styles and combining our children in subjects so they can truly benefit from the different levels of learning they are at and love watching the discussion and growth that spurs.
I’ve often wondered why living a homestead lifestyle is so ingrained in my blood. I think that it really started with my father. My early years were spent on his farm and dear dad had a real love for the land. I have very early memories of “helping” him pump water for the livestock. Our pump house had a large old fashioned hand pump and it took a while to fill up that water trough! The jingle of chains still brings my mind back to watching him logging in the bush. He always used his team of draft horses to pull the logs out, favouring his horses over using a tractor in the bush. After my parents separated and my father passed away I found myself living a very different life.
I lived on the edge of town, close enough to see the farm fields and hear the roosters crow. I fell in love with the zucchini relish and other canning my Aunt would often bring over for us. I started to have the desire to learn to can and of course if I wanted to can then I wanted a garden. You see where this is going right?
My first garden I hand dug a small 6 x 6 foot square in my grandmother’s backyard. I grew zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and peas. The garden bug bit me and I was doomed forever to want to get my hands in the dirt. (smile) The next year I expanded my little garden in Nana’s backyard to take up nearly half of her yard. It was a lot of work and very productive! I started learning how to can my own relish, pickles, applesauce and jams.
Of course, my garden needed fertilizer so my next step was to get some rabbits. I started with a mini rex and later added a variety of meat rabbits to my herd. It wasn’t long before with help from friends I was learning how to build rabbit cages, breeding rabbits and using that wonderful manure for my garden. Then I brought home some chickens… Ok, I’ll stop there because I think you see where this is going, right? Gardening is addictive and it can do crazy things like lead you to try 20+ tomato varieties in 1 year or dive deeper into homesteading and natural living.
About Homestead Acres
I’m often asked, why I named my blog Homestead Acres. Well, this really developed over many years. Simply, many years ago when my husband and I were living on our 100 acre off grid farm we wanted to come up with a name for it. We talked about many ideas before settling on Homestead Acres. Later after our journey had taken us away from that old homestead and to a small apartment in town in 2002 I started a website. I really wanted a little online place to share my recipes, homemade cleaners, and garden tips. Since our farm was still a large part of my heart I named my website Homestead Acres. Over time, my website changed into a blog.
The first 3 years hubby and I were together we lived on that old 100 acre homestead. It was in very rough shape but we were renting and hoping to buy it in time. We did not have electricity or running water, that is unless we rain to get it from the spring fed well! No indoor plumbing at all. Coming from living in town this was a big change, a challenge for sure but I also found a peace and joy that I hadn’t had before.
That first summer we did most of our cooking outside on a small woodstove, including all of my canning. We expanded our livestock to include calves, sheep and goats, a larger flock of chickens and goats. We grew large gardens and started clearing the old overgrown fields to bring them back to use.
We had many trials but also many joys. Near the end of our 3rd year, we knew that it was not the Lords plan for us to stay at this place and sadly moved on. Eventually, we were living in an apartment in town for a few years and yes that was a big change again! Thankfully I had access to a large porch and yard space to garden. See I just have to have a garden of some kind! I grew herbs in the flower beds and we hand dug a 6 x 8 garden in the back yard. This helps a lot with vegetables for fresh eating and a little canning. To help keep up with stocking our pantry we found local market gardeners and bought from them.
We spent the next few years working very hard to get out of debt, save a down payment and we bought our little urban homestead where we now live. Our urban homestead is just under an acre and we’ve been working hard to get it to produce as much of our own needs as possible. We raise chickens and rabbits, have a small orchard and hope to expand it this year. Our gardens are our main focus and take up much of our property. We are actively working on turning our gardens into successful market gardens.
Yes, our hearts still desire to live further out in the country again. I hope that someday the Lord will make that an option for us. In the meantime we are joyed to have a wonderful place to grow on!
Our family has lived in many places and always kept a homesteaders heart. I truly believe that homesteading is a state of mind, a desire to live simply and does not depend on where you live. There is so much that you can do right where you live now!
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