A morning view of part our the Honeyed Homestead from the roof, including blueberry bushes, two visible rows of 4 x 8 raised garden beds, and three groupings from our backyard orchard culture.
A morning view of part our the Honeyed Homestead from the roof, including blueberry bushes, two visible rows of 4 x 8 raised garden beds, and three groupings from our backyard orchard culture.

Origins and Goals of Honeyed Homestead

When my husband and I bought our house, we exchanged our homestead-in-the-country dreams for the reality of educator budgets. We purchased a small home with a large corner lot that we viewed as wonderful opportunity for the suburban homestead of our dreams. Now that once patchy lot of weeds is our honeyed homestead. I’m lucky that my happy place is right outside my front door.

A honeybee on a turnip at the suburban homestead

The main goal at our Honeyed Homestead, our Casula Mellita (Latin for Honey-Sweet Little House), is to live sustainably. We want to grow a significant portion of our own foods, which has involved some creative culinary endeavors. Sometimes this means eating food we’re not enthusiastic about because it grows well. (I’m looking at you, turnips). I have, however, had some successes too, like my beet greens recipe that even a fussy teenager liked.

Core Beliefs at Honeyed Homestead

Rachel holds up a frame of bees from her hive on her suburban homestead

  • Sustainable Living
  • Minimalism
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Ethical Treatment of Backyard Livestock
  • Habitat Restoration with Native Plants
  • Preserving Heirloom Vegetables, Heirloom Trees, and Heritage Livestock Breeds
  • Being Good Stewards, Neighbors, and Educators

The last of our core beliefs has been a critical one for the success of our homestead. Although we do live in a community with explicit pro-suburban homesteading laws on the books, a good relationship with your neighbors allows homesteaders to avoid the need to rely on those laws for protection. Because all of our garden (at this juncture) is located in the side yard of our corner lot, we have focused on designing a homestead that is visually appealing from the street even when it has cost us more money. We say hello when neighbors walk their dogs or children ask us what we’re growing. We happily swap produce with our delightful neighbor across the street, and we listen with kindness as the woman with dementia tells us the same story about her childhood on a farm each time she walks by our garden. When random people pull over their cars and get out to come talk to us, we pause whatever sweaty important garden task has consumed us and answer their questions and explain how we’ve developed our homestead.

In short, our homestead’s corner-lot location makes it very visible to the community at large, and our goal is to share knowledge and be advocates for our lifestyle and encourage others in their own endeavors, big or small.

I invite you to join us in our homesteading adventures by subscribing to Honeyed Homestead. In my blog, I’ll share the lessons we’ve learned the hard way. I’ll relish our successes, lament our trials, and curse all the garden pests. Of course, I also always love to hear from readers too, so please comment on posts or use the contact form to reach out to me.

Growing Honeyed Homestead

New England Aster with a native bee at its center on the suburban homesteadEach year we expand our garden, tinker with what we did before, and set new goals. Sometimes it’s saving a particular type of seed. Another time, my husband developed a low-pressure watering system for our backyard orchard using a giant rain barrel. Other times the goal is to add a new bed of native flowers for pollinators. Every year, we raise a new batch of baby chicks and process the hens whose egg-laying productivity has waned. This year, I may even set up a rabbitry, but I certainly plan to add more native plants.

A day's harvest of blueberries from our suburban homestead

By the time we have our homestead how we want it, we’ll likely never pull up roots should we ever be able to afford that dream rural acreage. Homesteading is an act of love, a deep commitment to where you that’s measured both in sweat and in money.

 

Honeyed Homestead Blog

My favorite person and I hiking at the Tallgrass Prairie one winter.
My favorite person and I hiking at the Tallgrass Prairie one winter.

Beyond all things related to our homestead, I write about my various crafts, the battle of being healthy with fibromyalgia, the gazillion books I read, backpacking and hiking, happiness, and nerdy Roman culture and Latin things. Although I do focus more on homesteading, these other facets of my life are worth writing about too, and I enjoy doing so. I hope you enjoy reading about those elements as well as my perennial war against squash bugs.

All written or photographic work, unless otherwise specified, is my own. Please practice intellectual honesty, give credit where credit is due, and share my work only with my permission.

 

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