Our retirement plan is to create a homestead that is low impact, low carbon footprint and self-sufficient in terms of food, electrical and heating energies and that has a low to zero mortgage within the next 5 years when we are in our early 60’s. Our need for income will be less in terms of paying our monthly expenses and our enjoyment and value of our property will increase each year as it becomes more efficient in how we plan and actualize it.
My partner Brad has been working hard last year, preparing for his hip surgery that he finally had yesterday. One day later, he is recovering beautifully and very quickly, due to the great physical shape he has been taking care of himself! We are so happy about this. He has been struggling over the past year with managing a significant amount of pain and how it’s shifting and he will be so much better.
One of our lifestyle choices to choose to homestead on our 16 acre farm, is how it keeps us more active physically. From caring and feeding our lay and meat chickens, to preparing the vegetable and flower gardens each year, to managing our ponds and forests, to lawn moving and shovel snowing of our half a kilometer driveway, there is always a lot to do every day. Brad is the outdoor guy who loves ‘doing’ things, I’m more the planner person, with the big ideas and creating spreadsheets and organizing to do lists. I like doing things too, but I also like thinking a lot about it in advance and writing it down. Brad also does all the renovation work, plumbing, electrical, sump pump, tractor machine repair – area’s of expertise that are very handy when you have your own farm!
Are we crazy to begin this big project in our mid-fifties? Well, I do admit, it would have been so much better to have had this idea when we where in our 20’s! But this is our big dream and I’d rather do it and see how it goes, than not do it at all! You only live once and I would be so disappointing to not give it a shot. Besides, it also keeps us young in how much we keep learning about how to farm. Neither of grew up on a farm or as gardeners, so there is a high learning curve for both of us.
Now, with Brad indoors a bit more, recovering this winter, we will take advantage of that time and do some solid planning for this year. We made lots of mistakes last year that we hope to improve this year! From better soil management, to learning how to be better stewards of our land, we will take advantage of a lot of YouTube video’s to learn what we can in advance this year – rather than just winging it as we did a lot this past year! We have plans to build a cold cellar, a green big house, expand the outdoor watering lines, add a pond sun shade and entry structure, double the vegetable garden, maybe expand the chicken coop to accommodate triple the meat chickens that we had last year (from 60 to 200), renovate a bathroom or two, paint some more areas of the house, maybe add a bedroom in the garage area, relocate the existing temporary garage and shed and more.
For both Brad and I, whenever we do anything project on the property, from gardening to cleaning out the chicken coop to property maintenance, we find ourselves ALWAYS enjoying it! That’s remarkable to me. That tells us that when our soul is in alignment with our dream, it doesn’t matter how much work there is to do, you just do it – with complete joy! Even when we are tired or not feeling well, there is something about when we connect with the land in some form, it gives us energy back. It is a form of soul love that the earth gives that we so deeply appreciate and venerate. Daily, we look at our land and feel such awe and gratitude that we are here, in love with our homestead and each other.
If you’d like to learn more about how to homestead, what lessons we have learned, or see how you might like to get involved in some of our future projects, check out our events page here; https://ingridcryns.ca/events/
Or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-888-7662. I’d love to hear from you!