On any given morning in the spring, summer, and fall, if you’re driving behind me on the way in to work, you probably think I’m crazy.  You see, while many people roll up their windows while driving past a farm wreaking of nature’s purest element (poop, of course), I stick my nose [and sometimes head if I’m a passenger] out the window and inhale.  I love the smell of farms.

There’s something deep in my bones that makes me want to have a sustainable home.  To grow and preserve our own food.  To raise chickens.  To milk a cow daily and feed a pig all the scraps he endure.  To nurture fruit trees.  To make cheese.  I want to farm.  And gosh, I realize it’s some of the most difficult work imaginable but it’s deep inside me.  I believe my friend Kacie knows what I mean.  So does Kyle, who to my great surprise, recently admitted this to me as well (which might have something to do with the John Deere we just invested in).  It’s not something you often hear about from this generation, but my next step in planning our new yard is figuring out where to put the chicken coop and where the fruit trees will go.

All of this dreaming may very well be disillusionment and my over-developed sense of romanticism, of which I blame on falling madly in love with the Anne of Green Gables series as a young girl, but even after reading about a city-girl turned farmer in The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball last summer, I’m still inspired to want to do this.  And the funny thing is, after having lived in Connecticut for over 10 years now, I’m just now starting to discover what these farms have to offer, aside from just veggies and u-pick fruits in the summer.  I’m starting to find blogs that exemplify this way of life, like Poor Girl Gourmet and Backyard Farming the Natural Way, and that make me so excited about the possibility of doing this for real.

In the midst of researching the heck out of the prospect of home farming (because well, research is what I do), I need get familiar with my town zoning regulations.  I know that with at least an acre of land, according to our town regulations, we’re able to have chickens but since taking this idea further than just chickens is on my mind, there is a considerable amount of information I still need to pull together.  It might be a great late-fall/early winter project and I’m really excited about getting this all started!

Do any of you have thoughts on creating a sustainable home farm life like this for your families?  Or are you already putting these types of ideas into action?  I want to hear your thoughts on this!


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  • mellieiniowa
    June 28, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I have been dreaming about living on a self-sustaining farm for a couple years. My family and I live in a small town in Iowa. My husband works in the ag industry, so I think our next house will be on an acreage. My husband raised cattle for 4h, so I think that we will probably have a couple of cows. I would love to have some chickens.

  • Lesley
    June 28, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I haven’t been following your blog too long. But I have pinned a bunch of recipes to try. Where abouts in CT? I live there too 🙂 I also dream of having chickens but we don;t have enough land. Like you I follow the rules and research to see if wecan have them. BUT I am seeing more and more chickens pop up in our town on lots that clearly are not big enough so maybe I will be a rebel and break the rules. If we get caught at least I know a few people with farms that would probably take them.

  • June 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    I think it’s such a neat idea, and a rare one to hear from our generation! My mom grew up on my grandparent’s complete pasture/field-to-mouth farm, my aunt and uncle used to own a dairy, and Jason’s family raises cattle. I scratched the “family farm” itch a long time ago and, thanks to an accident building a calf pen, still have the scar on my leg to prove it 🙂

    I wish we had more room for fruit trees, raspberry bushes, grapevines and tomatoes. I can never have too many tomatoes. Having chickens is the one idea that I think I could warm up to, if it weren’t for our location.

  • June 28, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    When my kids were younger, I had a small garden in the backyard. It’s a great way for kids to learn about growing things, getting their hands dirty.

    Now, that’s I’m a bit older, I want to try my hand at growing plants inside, mostly herbs.

    I look forward to reading about your efforts and seeing photos of your project.

  • Peggie
    June 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    You should watch the British comedy “The Good Neighbors” (from the 80’s and at Netflix). They do exactly this – becoming self sustaining in a suburb of London. Funny but also revealing and interesting.

  • Kelly
    June 28, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I am a complete country girl. I always thought I’d flit off from my small-town to a “big city”, but the urge to live out in the middle of nowhere gets stronger everyday so I can relate.

    I was lucky enough to grow up in the country. We had an orchard of apple, cherry and plum trees with a fence lined with wild grapes. We had raspberry and blueberry bushes and, of course, a strawberry patch next to a melon patch. I couldn’t even begin to name all of the vegetables we grow!!

    We had two gardens which were fairly large, and we harvested enough for ourselves, neighbors, and our extended family. We were always able to can and freeze enough produce to get us through to the next year.

    I have helped with chickens that were raised both for eggs and for butchering. They are a pain to clean up after, and I’m not sure if I’m that ambitious to have them again in the future. I would, however, love a cow. Unfortunately, the prices are so extraordinarily high right now that I’d never afford one.

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with home farming fantasies!

  • Donna
    June 28, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    I can really appreciate everything you’re writing! My husband and I bought our home 18 years ago and immediately planned our first garden. I had a vegetable garden for 7 years, until we put an in ground pool in, and had to move the garden. Then, I gave up, because of babies, pools, graduate school, etc.

    Then, last summer, I mourned the loss of 10 years of not gardening…the regrets! My husband and I went out and bought 7 fruit and nut trees… good thing, too, because we lost every adult tree we had afterwards in tornadoes and an October snowstorm. The fruit trees are OK!
    Now, I have 4 new beds containing tons and tons of zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers, but also herbs and squash. I lost my peppers and tomatoes to pests. And today, I had to put a sort of fence all around my 1 blueberry bush to protect it from birds. But I’m learning!!! And I have so many dreams….

  • Megan
    June 29, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    I also have this itch and have started putting plans in motion. We have quite a large garden that I am able to preserve a lot of our bounty for the winter months. We have a very small, young fruit orchard but it hasn’t produced much yet…hopefully in the coming years. We recently just got 11 baby chicks that should be laying fresh eggs in a couple weeks. Chickens are more fun then I thought they would be. I think you should look into it, you might really like it.
    In the next few years we hope to add some goats, sheep and maybe a cow.
    I can’t wait to read about your adventures.

  • TJ
    June 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Good for you! My husband and I strive for the same thing. We live on 7 acres. We raised and butchered 2 cattle, and have not had to buy beef for some time now. We have around 20 free range chickens for butchering and egg laying. I keep a very large garden and make all food from scratch. I guess the main goal for me is to buy as little as possible from the store. :). But, don’t get me wrong, it is sooooo much work, I spend hours everyday in my garden, and lots of time canning, freezing, cooking, etc. Chickens are pretty easy, but lately we have had bad luck with coons getting them. :(. Good luck! Thanks for sharing all the great recipes!

  • June 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    I love coming here and reading. Anne of Green Gables is my favorite book and movie of all time. I always remember her landing in the mud trying to “shoo” the cow..Cracks me up thinkging about it. I love the idea of a farm, but know that just my garden keeps me busy. I don’t have enough time to do all that it would entail. I visit Maggie’s Farm blog on Blogher almost daily and wish I would be there. Her goat Stella looks adorable. I can’t wait to hear what you decide to do….

  • June 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    We have started growing some fruit and vegetables and herbs in our yard. I’m a teacher so I’m off during the summer. I spend time on the garden everyday and spend time meal planning around what we have. My husband has learned to make his own BBQ and Hot Sauce. We roast veggies and freeze them for later. I pickled last year for the first time. It’s fun! Last summer my husband saved seeds from a lot of our plants and made his own green house in our basement to seed start this winter. You can see it in my blog. It’s just some metal shelving, mirrors, heat and UV lamps from the pet store. We had over 200 seeds sprout and ended up giving away plants. We give a lot of extra food we harvest to our neighbors. I don’t think you’d be disappointed in trying it out.