In the Barnyard: Who are Bohemian Farmgirls?

Bohemian Farmgirl is something that has evolved over years of trying to figure out how to weave all of the meaningful parts of my life together. This is what it means to me, and if it touches part of your soul then my guess is that you are a Bohemian Farmgirl too.

1. Growing a Family--First and foremost, comes family. This may be your biological or chosen family, but whomever your family includes, it's roots dig deep and provide grounding for growth above the surface of the soil.

2. Planting a Farm--Modern homesteading is a way of life for a Bohemian Farmgirl. This may include anything from a windowsill garden to acres of land, buying local and supporting small farms to growing and raising all of your food yourself, and cultivating dreams of homesteading no matter if you live in the city or country.

3. Nurturing a Creative Life--This is the heart of a Bohemian Farmgirl and what brings us all together creating a community of ideas and inspiration. Living a creative life is the wellspring of joy that provides energy to make our dreams reality, no matter what the circumstances. And we all help each other along the way.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Custom Homestead: Step 13

Field trip time!  Jill Winger ( invites you to take a country (or city) drive in search of inspiration.  "I'm willing to bet that once you become more tuned in to the homesteading mindset, you will start to discover kindred spirits in the most unlikely of places," Jill says.  I agree!  Living in a big city has left me starved for some sweet grass scented breezes, the sound of crickets and peepers at night, and some cool soil to wiggle my toes in on an early morning walk.  Nevertheless, since I have started reading "Your Custom Homestead", I have found many places that support my homesteading goals.  And guess what?  The places I have found are run by
kindred spirits:  urban gardens and farms, farmers' markets, pottery studios, wood shops, craft fairs,
yarn and fabric stores.  Once I started turning over rocks, I discovered that the city does indeed have little pockets where a bohemian farmgirl can get cozy.  I have also found a daily dose of inspiration on Pinterest.  Each night before I go to sleep, I peruse beautiful photos of homes, farms, gardens, art projects, DIY projects, and spectacular places.  These images serve to plant seeds in my sleepy mind for nighttime journeys to not so far off dreams.  Check out my boards by clicking on the Pinterest link to the left of this post.
image from Country Living June 2013

 I already know that I want to plant my minifarm in the Hudson Vallley area of New York.  I can take a drive once again on my computer via Craigslist.  The possibilities of affordable land and a fixer-upper home (ie. blank canvas) are at my fingertips.   I also love to look at the listings for farm stuff for sale and things being given away.  This is enough to fertilize my goals and motivate me to create my homestead.

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Custom Homestead: Steps 10, 11 & 12

Jill Winger ( continues her custom homestead advice with these next three fun steps:  Do some research, Watch and learn, and Expand your skill set.  I have chosen my own research wisely.  I have not read books that are overly technical and kept to books with inspiring images. This has served to prevent feeling overwhelmed and kept thoughts of never achieving my goal away.  It has helped me too to read memoirs of ordinary folks who started their own homesteads on a small scale like I plan to do (like any of Jenna Woganrich's books,  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and The Good Life,  to name just a few.)
Here are a couple of books that I consider to be beautiful homesteading textbooks:                            

There is also a fantastic, beginner-friendly video on how to create a biointensive garden.  It will inspire you to get your hands dirty and garden boots muddy.

After you study up on some textbook info, you will want to gain some hands on experience.  Volunteer at a nearby farm or community garden.  Once we move back to the Hudson Valley, I plan to volunteer at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary to put some book learning to work and become comfortable working with farm animals in the flesh (much different than in my imagination).  Until then, I can expand my skill set here in the city by becoming part of various groups such as the rooftop garden at my husband's school and the woodworking club in my building complex.  Even though these organizations are set against the backdrop of skyscrapers, I will be able to utilize my new skills on my farm when the time comes.