February 24, 2015


Posted by Anais Dervaes

Over 3 decades of homesteading in the city, I find that each year our goals and resolutions evolve with the years.   For a mature city homestead like ours, goals are definitely different than a newbie and little more challenging, I think.  Chickens - check, Bees - check, Solar - check, Garden - check and so on and so forth.  30 years of checking off the check list there's little to check off the "master to do list."

Over the years, we've seen aspiring homesteaders succeed & some have sadly failed in their efforts.  Many commit for the long haul, whilst others have ridden the self sufficiency wave for awhile and neither have the time or energy to continue.   Commitment to such a lifestyle is one of the challenges that we all face, especially when a new year brings about setting goals for personal or physical growth.   Our mantra is: "Living a simple, self-sufficiency/sustaining life is not always simple!"   It takes sacrifice, hard work and the willpower to see it thru the hard & challenging times.  Having said that, I also believe it  acquires one to adapt to changing times, sometimes it's just not possible to DO everything and you have to be willing to admit that.  It takes a family and community.

This year, for me, one of the challenges is keeping the growing homestead organized.  A well organized homestead is a happy one.  Especially with a busy schedule, one can't afford to spend time looking for this or that.   Our homestead is not only a home but a business and community space so sometimes the lines get blurry.  And that's where the other challenge comes in, setting up boundaries so we don't burn out.   Keeping a healthy balance is critical and you have to believe in your own self worth.

So with a new year just starting, what challenges are you facing?

Weigh in city and rural homesteaders!

In closing, like to share something that our friends and fellow city homesteaders wrote

The point is, we are all in process.  None of us are perfect. No one has a corner on the crunchy market.  We try to do everything we can and to always be doing better.  But, we will never “arrive” because as soon as we do, we’ll learn something new and amazing and perhaps even terrifying and we’ll re-evaluate and adjust.  It’s called life.

--- Courtesy The Provision Room


I also want to thank those who took time to "welcome" us back to the blog world.   We truly appreciate your readership and support.

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February 20, 2015


Posted by Anais Dervaes

Oh dear, seems I am failing to get back into the blogging groove.

I know that old saying about getting back on the horse, but seems I can't quite swing my legs over.   It's not for lack of trying, believe me!  I think there is just so much going on or much that has happened that I just sit and stare at the screen with fingers on the keyboard - paralyzed.   In a dazed overload, I wonder, "Where the heck do I start?"

Now if you have been following us on Facebook, you can see all the homestead happenings; however, I am quite discouraged when I see all the great and informative postings from fellow homesteaders writing about this or that.  Don't know if it's because after blogging for 15 years, I feel slightly blogged out.  Diagnosis, a case of blogging fatigue, as some call it.    Cure?  Can I pop some vitamin or down some herbal tea?

Alas, I have plenty material from everyday life and therein lies part of the malady!   There's the new community "Annex, " the after school farm to table program, pop up shops,  farm box program, our amazing volunteers... and so on and so on and so on.  I think it's a case of too many subjects to write about.    So perhaps it's best to start back on the horse ... nice and easy.

So everyday life, huh?  I'll start with the weather.  Can't get any simpler than that!

As many of you know, California is dealing with one of the worst droughts in years in over a century.

Winter started off like winter with  a few sizable storms which brought much needed rain to this thirsty place.  But the cold weather and rain started fizzling late in late January.   Unfortunately, it's been a warm February, so warm in fact (and I know I am going to make many a reader jealous... so I am going to apologize in advance... and you have fair warning!), we have our doors and windows open and we are sporting bare feet.  Yes, bare feet.  See, I told ya, you'd be jealous!   In fact it's been over 80 degrees and just about touching 90's these past couple weeks.  Yes, yes, I know.  We do know  that  ya'll  are FROZEN  back East and can't but think "boy, we are a spoiled lot!" ... and scared.

Of course, these warm temps might be great for freeing footsies from the confines of heavy socks. But it's all very unnerving, especially to gardeners/farmers, who are watching with trepidation  the little buds emerging from fruit trees.  We are worried, wondering, "this warm weather can't last any longer, it's bound to break.  Are we going to have a late cold snap?"   

Bu,t as we do each every growing season, we figure we can't do anything about it and will just have to ride out another year in faith and hope.

As Longfellow says in his poem... "learn to labor.. and to wait"  And so we are.. and praying for rain.


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