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. 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.
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 mowing and shovel snowing of our half a kilometer driveway, there is always a lot to do every day. My partner is the outdoor guy who loves ‘doing’ things, I’m more the planner person, with the big ideas, 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.
Are we crazy to live like this in our 60’s? Well, I do admit, it would have been so much better to have had this idea when we were in our 20’s! But this is a 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 us grew up on a farm or as gardeners, so there is a high learning curve for both of us.
Now, over the winter, we will take advantage of that time and do some solid planning for this year. We always make mistakes that we hope to learn from, grow and improve each year! From better soil management to learning how to be better stewards of the land, we often learn a lot from YouTube video’s to explore what we can in advance – rather than just winging it as we often do each year! We have already built a cold cellar, a large greenhouse, installed outdoor irrigation watering lines, added a pond entry structure, tripled the vegetable gardens, gutted and installed three new bathrooms, painted and re-painted most of the house and did a lot of property management! We have also created a number of camping/glamping spots to open up for rental accomodations this year, 2022.
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, we just do it – with presence and 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 the 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!