Thursday, April 23, 2009

Suburban Homesteading

I can't say that life at the Charlotte Farmhouse can be considered "suburban," however, since The Mitch and I rent the farmhouse we call home to MitchaRachia and Rachel Carter PR, we could sort of fall into that category, because all of this glorious land we are surrounded by isn't ours. Not that any land really "belongs" to anyone but the Earth, but that is another discussion for another day. I am not feeling politically and environmentally charged today, just want to share a great experience The Mitch and I had back in March at the Honey Dew Homestead in Williston.

The Honey Dew Homestead is the home of entrepreneurs, Markey Read (of Career Networks) and Tim King (of Tupelo Group). To some they would be considered part time farmers, but they have coined the term (as far as I am concerned) of suburban homesteaders. They have a glorious property in Williston that you wouldn't guess would be a convenient drive to Boxwood Drive. On this property (which we toured extensively in March for the Vernal Equinox) are extensive veggie gardens, a chicken tractor, bee hives, a small orchard, solace areas, a water garden, a greenhouse, and even a snakepit (it attracts the owls). The Honey Dew Homestead produces eggs, honey, veggies, and excellent expertise. A few weeks before The Mitch and I headed over to the Honey Dew Homestead, I bought some eggs from the basket Markey carried into a WBON networking event while dressed in her business best. I love this stuff!

Markey and Tim created a series of Suburban Homestead Gatherings during traditional seasonal celebrations throughout the year. The first was held in February to celebrate Imbolc - the return of light. Unable to attend this gathering, I eagerly awaited the March event to celebrate the Vernal Equinox, connect with other "part-time" farmer types who live more sustainably off their plots of land, and plan for the arrival of spring and what The Mitch and I have in store for our second year being "suburban" Charlotte homesteaders.

We had the most delightful day with about a dozen other folks dining on the last preserved food of the season, exploring the Honey Dew Homestead, planting a few tomato seeds Markey cultivated last year, swapping stories of success and woe with others (The Mitch was hysterical with his descriptions of his first gardening experience last summer - weeds, and rototillers, and making salsa oh my!), and enjoying Markey and Tim's fantastic collection of gardening books to help plan our own next steps. We were so fired up after the day, we raced over to Gardener's Supply for some seeds and a lovely amaryllis bulb that a month later is almost ready to pop!

For those interested in future Suburban Homestead Gatherings, the schedule is as follows:
Beltane: May 3
Summer Solstice: June 21
Lammas: August 2
Autumnal Retreat: October 2 & 3
Samhain: October 31
Winter Solstice: December 19

For more information or to register, please contact:
Markey Read, 802-373-7789,
Tim King, 802-598-7333,

I am glad we have found this great outlet to share and learn from others. Even though we live on a farm, we aren't really farmers, but considering we yielded an average of 600 tomatoes last year and grew over 20 crops, we are most definitely homesteaders and a definite portion of our food comes from living sustainably off the land. As for suburban - well, we can see our neighbors and for some Vermonters that is suburban!

1 comment:

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