forest dweller · homesteading

And so it begins. . .

Comes a time when we get older and working for *the man* ends and working for yourself begins. That is where I am at now. We did the 9 to 5 thing and drove 30 miles one way everyday to a job all the while putting this homestead together. So you could say, we have been walking the walk for over 20 years. I could never have imagined or even realized there was such an interest in living in the woods.
People would come to our little shanty in da woods for a nosy visit or to buy veggies and fall in love with our lifestyle. Usually these folks were tourists or seasonal campers just enjoying the great outdoors for a week or two.

“I wish I could do what you are doing” they proclaimed with great enthusiasm.        Camp 1995 009

That was, of course, before I explained my day to them. It’s hard work, period!!

“Oh, I don’t think, no, I know I could never get used to using an outhouse or composting toilet or whatever it is that you people use. No, I just couldn’t give up my stuff.”

Yeah well, in the beginning we used the outhouse but we have nice stuff now. It is just the thought of giving up stuff that these nice folks seemed to have trouble with. You see, living out here in the boonies ain’t so bad. It is that you have got to plan ahead. You could say I have one foot in the old ways and one foot in a limited tech world. Balance, it’s all about balance.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has some of the worst climate for gardening. We can get cloud cover for 3 full months at a time. November, December and January, by the time February rolls around we will begin to see some blue skies and sun sporadically. This winter was slightly better with some sunshine, but the cold seems relentlessly hanging on. Gardening and wild food gathering has been a massive learning experience due to the climate up here. The old timers would tell you not to plant anything before the first full moon in June. Well, I tried that once. The first full moon fell on June 18th and it frosted September 22 that year. Didn’t get much of a crop.

I guess my point to all this is, if you want helpful, tested and researched advice you have come to the right place. I am really interested in others homesteading methods and information also. I believe that many hands make light the work and we are all in this together.


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