A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

About

Of course my story doesn’t start with falling in love, but it’s as good a starting point as any. That chapter started on a late summer day in 2006 in my college town in Oregon, and it unfolded as the leaves changed and the cooling rain commenced. Five years later, we married in a lighthearted celebration on a grassy hill, surrounded by family and friends and handmade bunting.

Shortly after our wedding, we decided rather abruptly to move to the Central Valley of California where I would work for my family business and make our home on a 3-acre property where my dad was raised. We planted a large garden and kept a menagerie of animals, some for food. We began making our own soap and country wines, condiments, cheese and pickles.

Cooking is a daily pleasure for both of us, so virtually every meal is homemade. Sunday Dinner, an elaborate weekly meal prepared all day long and shared with my dad and whoever cares to join us, has grown into a beloved tradition: braised rabbit, coq au vin, ajiaco, fresh pastas, smoked meats.

In 2013, in the coziness of our home, we welcomed our daughter into the world. It is her tender existence that brought the negatives of our Valley life to the forefront.

As much good as we’ve made of our life here, as much comfort as we’ve found in our family and home, and I in my job, we’ve felt like fish out of water. The weather is extraordinarily, ceaselessly hot, whereas we adore the rain and cool of the Pacific Northwest. We seem to stand out in the community as eccentric hippies. And the air, heavy and brown with smog and the pesticides and dirt tilled into clouds, is known to sicken people, particularly children.

We want our daughter to grow up in the lush grass and chilly fresh air that we know and love. So our long-held dream of returning to the place we left became imminent, and over the last year it’s come slowly to fruition.

In early 2015 we will move back to Oregon, to the rain and grass and warm community, to build a homestead. The most gorgeous property awaits us, a little house between creek and pasture and forest.

The coming chapter will be filled with discovery and excitement, challenges and hardship. I’m confident it will also be filled with abundant love and creativity, delicious food, a full garden, and as much life as we can glean from the land.

Here’s to what’s to come…

_____________________________________

I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to reach me, please email at littlefallcreekfam@gmail.com and I will happily be in touch. Thank you!

27 Comments

  1. November 12, 2014    

    Very stirring. The heartbreak of moving will subside as you build new lives and memories. I made a similar decision for my family when it was much smaller and younger. So, I say this from experience.

    • November 12, 2014    

      Thank you– it’s great to hear from someone who’s made such great and successful transitions. I couldn’t be more excited at this point, but also recognize that there will be heartbreak and hardship to experience along the way.

      • December 5, 2014    

        All the heartbreak and hardship will be worth it! I remind myself that every day or so!

  2. November 18, 2014    

    I am doing a project for my own blog about people making the world a better place through various projects and lifestyles. I am emailing you because I think you fit in with my project. If you wouldn’t mind answering 4 questions for me, please email me at nepermhome@gmail.com and I’ll send you the interview. My blog is nepermhome.wordpress.com if you would like to check it out before you respond. Thanks for your time! Sarah

    • November 18, 2014    

      I’ll email you– thanks Sarah. I’ll also add a contact page shortly. 🙂

  3. November 29, 2014    

    Looks as though you made it back to Oregon. Good for you. From some of your wordpress posts, it was clear Central California did not fully agree with you. But winters can be dark in the Little Fall Creek area, so be prepared for that! In your tree post you mused about fruit trees. Here in Eugene, we’ve always found plums prospered. But don’t forget nuts! Hazelnuts in particular. Enjoy yourselves!

    • November 29, 2014    

      Thanks Dave! We aren’t officially there yet– the move will be in pieces, but it makes for an interesting transition and the opportunity for lots of planning, which is nice. We much preferred the relative darkness in our Eugene years to the glare of incessant sunlight in CA. Any major change like this will be an adjustment though! We’ll have to reacquaint ourselves with the cold. I like the suggestion of hazelnuts– great thought! Plums are a definite. The best country wine thus far has been plum, though apple was a strong second. Counting down– can’t wait!

  4. December 5, 2014    

    I can really relate to your story. Mine is similar. My husband and I made a big move several years ago, fulfilling a dream as well. We have now moved on to long-held dream number two. “The coming chapter will be filled with discovery and excitement, challenges and hardship.” Yup, that about sums it up! Best of luck to you and your young family. I will be following your journey. Xx

  5. December 8, 2014    

    I have nominated your blog for a Liebster Award! I find a lot of value in what you are doing, thank you for sharing your work!
    If you are interested in participating, here is the link to my post: https://familyyields.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/liebster-award/

    • December 8, 2014    

      Wow– thank you so much! I’m honored!

  6. December 12, 2014    

    Lovely blog – I look forward to hearing more of your stories. My husband and I are also in a period of transition, and aiming for a more self sufficient life 🙂 It’s so good to be able to see what others are up to, all over the world!

    • December 12, 2014    

      I feel the same way– it’s wonderful to see the paths others are taking in the same general direction! Best of luck to you on your transition!

  7. December 13, 2014    

    I just moved with my family to Oregon, too, although in my case it’s a brand-new experience, as I’ve always been a Northern girl. I’m looking forward to following your journey and hopefully learning from you!

    • December 13, 2014    

      Fantastic! It sounds like we have a lot in common! Portland was fantastic but I missed the country and small-town feel so much when I was there. It sounds like you will have both. I look forward to following your story as well!

  8. December 17, 2014    

    Oh, Oregon… home sweet home! Good luck in the move back!

    • December 17, 2014    

      Thank you! Finally making a big haul next week!

  9. December 17, 2014    

    Congratulations!

    • December 17, 2014    

      Thank you! So happy and excited!!

  10. January 5, 2015    

    Congratulations on living your dreams Kelly! Thanks for visiting our little homestead at standupongrace.com! Swing on over any time!!! 🙂 I look forward to sharing in your adventures as you create your beautiful new homestead!
    Wishing you blessings as you go!
    ~Wendy

    • January 5, 2015    

      Thank you, Wendy! I wish you a wonderful year as well!

      • January 5, 2015    

        Thank you Kelly!

  11. Murtagh's Meadow Murtagh's Meadow
    January 31, 2015    

    Hi. Just wanted to email you to say I have nominated your blog for a Liebster Award! The nomination comes as a way to foster connections and bring new readers to sites like yours. There are a few ‘things to do’ which I have outlined on my post:
    https://murtaghsmeadow.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/to-liebster-or-to-not/
    It is totally up to you if you want to take this on – I will admit that I have thought about it for a while. But if you do, I hope you have some fun with it.
    I really enjoy your blog and this is my way of saying well done to you.
    Murtagh’s Meadow

    • February 3, 2015    

      Thank you so much!

  12. January 31, 2015    

    Hi! I’m new to the whole homesteading thing and have never had much of a green thumb so I appreciate the information and heartwarming posts you write! Also, I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
    https://morethanmommyblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    • February 3, 2015    

      Thank you so much, Katie! Good luck on your adventure!

  13. February 2, 2015    

    There’s something about what you’re doing that makes my heart sigh. My husband and I (along with our daughter, born in late 2013) live in Los Angeles while he does his PhD. We’re midwesterners and, while we’ve loved LA, we also feel a pull to something more like home. Corn fields, thunderstorms, the smell of hay, fireflies. I want that for my daughter. Maybe not in the midwest, but somewhere.

    I look forward to reading more.

    • February 3, 2015    

      That’s how I felt in Portland, as wonderful as that city is. Having kids sure changes the perspective of our ambitions! I hope you find yourself out in the fresh air and open horizons soon. Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome!

I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

Follow Along

Never miss a post! Receive updates by email.

Popular Posts