Homesteads of the Past and Present
We’ve had a long-standing joke in our family that there’s gypsy blood in there somewhere.
But seriously, the land has called to us, and we’ve answered that call, many times.
My parents, as a freshly married couple from Oregon, traveled back East in search of land.
It was only on their return back that they found what they were looking for, in Northern Idaho.
Beautiful land, trees, and mountains. And Idaho became their home.
As a family, we’ve lived many places and I like to think that we’ve left our mark on them,
but perhaps it’s the other way around.
This post is in honor of those little homesteads and properties where we had room to grow and learn.
Sometimes people have to grow apart in order to grow together.
It was here that we grew together and learned together as a family.
This homestead is where it started, for you as readers and for us.
Five unexplored acres feel like a lot when you’re a kid. We had a blast playing outdoors, building forts, cooking over fires,
reading aloud in the rain, trying to dig a pool (it turned into a muddy slip a sliding affair).
Dad and Mom started a business, worked very hard, learned a lot, and fell in love with growing food.
After nearly six years it was time to move on. A house in town was quite a change.
But the yard became a permaculture jungle, the back patio a cozy space filled with color, a fire pit, and horse trough for soaking in, and we lived.
In the winter we walked to the library, summer we played soccer at the skate park and we all bought cruisers to ride around town.
It was odd to live on a street, odd that anyone could drive by and see a glimpse of your life.
After two years of it, we moved into a fifth wheel and onto my grandparent’s property. That summer I slept every night in a canvas tent,
brushed my teeth out at a rustic outdoor vanity that dad built, and I fell in love with the sound of rain on canvas.
We made a garden in the woods, washed our dishes outdoors, I discovered that English muffins are astonishingly easy to make on a griddle outdoors, and learned that the smaller space you live in, the more time you spend outdoors.
After seven months and a week we heard of a property. Twenty beautiful acres and we moved in before Christmas.
And now, this is our new homestead, our new beginning.
We recently joined again with the lovely couple behind A Happy Home Media and had a wonderful time catching up with them during a podcast interview.
They wanted to learn of our most recent adventures, which included camping, outdoor living, buying a new homestead and our dreams for it in the years to come. Learn what will be happening next, over here at A Happy Home Media!
D.W. Stratton says
Do you guys have a step-by-step guide for making fence gates like the one in the pictures at this URL: forgottenwayfarms.com/forgotten-way-farms-blog/homesteads-past-present ?
I assume you got limbs that straight from either coppicing or pollarding a tree. Can you recommend a good tree to use that is:
1. native to North America (preferably to New England, though most stuff east of the Rockies is native to all of North America east of the rockies)
2. a nice color
3. quick growing
4. will re-sprout well when coppiced
We are thinking of doing willow and redosier dogwood, but we wondered if maybe for fencing something denser like oak would be better. Wattle fence for sure we want willow or redosier or maybe hazel for the pliability of the green shoots. But for the kind of fence you have in the photos on this site, I’m thinking a denser would would tend to be more rot resistant, though maybe that isn’t the case.
Unrelated additional question: Do you folks grow your own grains at all? If so, how do you thresh and winnow them? There aren’t any commercially available threshing flails out there and I’m not yet a tried hand at woodworking (though I’m slowly chipping away at it) such that I don’t feel I could make a decent flail.
Abby Jo says
We don’t have a tutorial for the gate but we do have a step by step tutorial for wattle fencing! And notes on the material we use.
You can find that here https://www.forgottenwayfarms.com/forgotten-way-farms-blog/make-wattle-fencing-step-by-step
We don’t grow our own grains, but it’s a fascinating process! I would research it via books and the internet. Best of luck!