Friday, September 11, 2009

Starting our homestead life

After years of hounding by friends and family to write about our homesteading lifestyle I finally realized that we would either have to move and leave no forwarding address or start a blog. The blog idea seemed easier.

We started our homesteading odyssey more than 30 years ago with the desire to live more simply and sustainably and in harmony with natural world around us. Over the years we have changed our location four times finally coming to rest at this special place.

Our first homestead location was a tiny rural property of two acres and a very run down home. We planted our first garden, started our first poultry flock and worked on the house learning new skills with each project. It wasn't long (actually four years) before we realized that we needed more land.

The next homestead location was forty fenced acres - no house, no barn. We got to work on building a barn and had the 1200 square foot, passive solar house built. Starting from scratch on the barn was a new task for us but somehow we muddled through. I think the barn is still standing 26 years later.

During these early homesteading years we still worked at conventional jobs. But in 1993 those jobs disappeared and we were forced to make a decision - leave Colorado in search of new jobs or follow our hearts and move to the Colorado mountains. In the end the decision was simple and we found our next property at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in southcentral Colorado.

This time it was just forty acres - no fence, no home, no barn. And we had just two weeks to packup all our possessions (which included 6 horses) and move. Over the summer we put up fence and built a 36' by 48' barn, all this while living in a tipi. By September we were tired and still without a home. And winter, real winter was coming. In six weeks we built a 24 foot by 24 foot cabin and moved in just before the first snowfall of the season. Over the next seven years we learned how to garden, cut firewood, heat and cook with wood and survive in a much more hostile environment. But we also learned just how special this wild setting was. But we still had one more relocation in us.

Our current home, Fleur Creek Farm, started with forty-five acres and a 120 year old log cabin. Though only 15 feet by 18 feet, the old homestead cabin, without running water or electricity, became our home for two and a half years while we hand built our new small home.


  1. You guys are amazing and officially my role models! You are living the life I hope to live one day (hopefully soon)!

  2. I hope you are closer to your dream now (two years after you wrote). Best of luck!