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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Birthing Pains: Making Dreams a Reality

Exactly three years ago from this moment I was in labor.  I had been having contractions every 7 minutes for 19 hours and had already been to the birthing center once, only to be sent home.  "Call us back when the contractions are 5 minutes apart."  Feeling somewhat foolish (this was my first experience with labor and all its glory), I waited until I had been having contractions every 5 minutes for a good 2 hours before calling the midwife again.  When we got back to the birthing center, I was only 1 centimeter dilated.  The midwife was going to send me back home again, but I begged her not to.  We lived 2 hours away for goodness sake! After another 12 hours and 2 shift changes, the midwife broke my water.  My daughter was born another 7 hours later.

Photo by winterriot via Pinterest
That's kind of how this homesteading dream has been going too.  I've been pregnant with it for a long time and I'm finally in labor.  I'm having contractions, I'm nervous and excited and scared all at once.  And it's time to break my water. In June when our student housing lease is up and we move out of New York City, I plan to be moving into our farmhouse.   Do you hear that universe??? Boil some water! Start tearing sheets! (Although I never understood why they tore sheets when someone was having a baby on TV in the 70s....). Anyway, just get to work manifesting!

One of the wisest things I learned from Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way) is about making things happen in partnership with God.  She said something to the effect of: if you are running late for work, say a prayer that you will make it there on time, and then run to catch the bus.  Well, I see the bus coming and I've got my running shoes on (okay, farm boots). I've been warming up with my little urban homestead and now I'm ready for the last sprint.

The biggest obstacle to getting there (sticking with the bus metaphor) is that I don't have enough quarters for the bus.  But I have lots of ways of getting some.  I'll share them all with you in future posts so that you can get on the bus too.  Got your running shoes on?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Custom Homestead: Steps 19 & 21

chickens in m'kitchen Image found on Pinterest
I'm down to the last steps in Jill Winger's Your Custom Homestead ( 19. Take the animal plunge and 21. Set aside a day of rest. (See previous posts for step 20. and all other steps.)  Even if you do not plan to use animals for meat, animals are a natural part of the ecosystem of a homestead.  They can be put to work preparing the land for growing food, provide a source of natural fibers, and even contribute milk for drinking, making cheese, and producing soap. A couple of great books on these topics are Homegrown &  Handmade and Plowing with Pigs.  

Yarn Image found on Pinterest
Personally, I plan to start with a farm table garden, our silly dog, and add a barn cat or two (once we have a garden and barn of course...).  If I can find a local beekeeper, I will gladly offer a spot in the garden to host a hive in exchange for a small portion of the honey and wax harvest.  The next season I will add chickens for eggs and insect control.  I can't make up my mind whether I want to raise chickens for meat or not.  If we do decide to put our chickens on the dinner table, I will need to barter with someone else for their "processing".  But I think I won't be able to make that decision until they are scampering around our garden.  The following year, it will be sheep and goat time!  I will never be able to eat their meat, but I am soooo looking forward to making clothing from their wool.  I can't wait to have a hat and a scarf made from the fiber of animals we call by name.  :)  And lastly, I will consider keeping animals for milk.  I can't yet imagine myself as a midwife (mainly because of the thought that I might have to put on elbow length gloves for any reason other than a formal party), so milk might be another resource that I barter for with neighboring homesteaders.

And lastly, Jill offers more sage advice: "If you are waiting for all of your projects to be finished before you allow yourself to take a break, then you are going to be waiting for a very long time" (p. 68).  I think she is speaking directly to me here, because I am definitely the kind of person who likes to get her work done before the pleasure of resting or playing.
Image found on Pinterest 

Thank you Jill, for your guidance that help me put my vision a little more into focus with this eBook!  I encourage all my readers to purchase her book for more details, advice, and tips to getting your homesteading dreams up and running, and to keep them running smoothly.  I follow The Prairie Homestead on Pinterest for TONS of great info and recipes.