My name is Tina Marie and some might say I have a background in the 'homesteading' lifestyle. Hear me out...
I grew up on an off-grid farm in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. As a child, I learned the self-sufficient lifestyle alongside my siblings. My parents built our family home from logs on our property and shaped the land into producing hay fields and gardens. Our livestock relied on this land as much as we did and this created a symbiotic relationship that has instilled a lasting respect within me. Hard work and routine ensured everything happened when it should so we had the crops planted to harvest and get our animals thru winter; the canning room, root cellar and pantry were full and the firewood required to heat our home and warm our water was stacked. Our water was a gravity fed well, and our lighting was candles or propane lanterns in later years. Each of us children had our chores and for the most part days had an untroubled routine. Life was simple.
By the time I was a teenager (aka "knower of all knowledge"), I hated it. I wanted nothing more then to be free of it all. I had grand dreams of moving to a city, having a career (that did not include shovelling sheep stalls!) and perhaps eventually having children when the time was right. Maybe. I wanted to enjoy the modern conveniences that my friends took forgranted, and not have to get up first thing every Saturday, rain or shine, to go feed animals or weed garden beds. I know, I know! Grow up already.
Well let me tell you that after living out most of my 'grand dreams', I have found myself steadily reverting to my roots. It started with moving my family out into the country on an acerage shortly after my son was born. Then it progressed to me downsizing my career and focusing on our little patch of heaven and consequently my new business (more on that later). It allowed me to at first purchase a 'few' chickens, then lambs, and a couple rabbits over the years. I was able to have a garden...and I didn't start small. I grew all the things I'd missed while being confined to town living. Which consequently meant I canned and prepped and yes...butchered to ensure our hard work provided for us. To this day, we grow our own veggies and herbs, maintain a fiesty group of 'HENriettas' for eggs and various other livestock. We endeavor to teach our son the value of conserving energy and water, the importance of self-sufficiency and several craft skills I'm sure he will use some day. We are by no means off-grid, but we do our part to minimize our footprint and have become masters at repurposing. It seems the call of the simple life was too much to resist and I couldn't be more thankful.
The business I alluded to earlier takes the knowledge of plants shared with me in my growing years, and incorporated it into a natural home and beauty product line. Everything for herbal healing salves to soap, and in between. It's still new, and it's exciting. I love every aspect of it. I've found a way to use skills taught to me from an early age and share them with the people around me. I've also noticed that with the changing conditions surrounding everyone now-a-days, there is a strong need for more people to "get back to basics". I have had numerous conversations at farmer's markets in the past regarding the self-sufficient lifestyle and most are genuinely eager to share stories and tips, advice on everything from growing seasons to the hardiest poultry varieties. If these conversations were happening when we could mingle in large public gatherings...I imagine they are needed now more then ever, when everyone is isolated, most with 'free' time on their hands. And so, I've created this space to share stories and to engage with others in our communities. To inspire and to learn. My deepest wish is that this space becomes as much yours as mine, thru use of the forums and groups. Contact me if you have any content you may want explored, ideas or even just to say hi! I love hearing stories about other's way of living and their special skills that set them apart in a modern world of convenience and computer screens.