We’re nobody special – just a family of five six seven living in a semi-rural area of central Pennsylvania (or “Pennsyltucky” as we like to call it).
Like many others, we became increasingly aware of how the life we’d been living was, at times, very complicated and conditional on lots of time and resources and complicated and often, fragile systems
Could this be sustained indefinitely? Did we want to continue to rely upon everyone else to ensure our sense of health, well being, and happiness?
Our life was complicated in the wrong ways. It was not simple enough to allow us to live a healthy, peaceful, and plentiful life despite political, social, environmental changes that cause disruption to our community.
We realized that we’d taken much for granted, assuming that life would always be at least as good as it is was at that moment and that everything we had available to us right now would always be available.
We assumed that our fundamentals in life were constant – jobs, vehicles, homes, food, peace, water, etc.
This was before world events like COVID-19 taught us that this is not the case.
While we lived with a much milder level of day-to-day unrest here in North America than other parts of the world, that isn’t something we felt we should rely upn. We’re not saying “the sky is falling”, we’re not survivalists, we’re not expecting the apocalypse to start tomorrow.
Ultimately, ours has been a journey of becoming responsible for ourselves and self-reliant.
So since 2005, we’ve been on a journey of deeply examining our own life.
- How do we live?
- Is it sustainable – Are we replacing what we’re consuming?
- How do our daily decisions impact the ecosystem in which we live? This “ecosystem” is not just the environment, but our neighborhood, community, etc.
- Who do we depend on for our basic needs like food, shelter, water, heat, etc.?
- Is it really natural to eat food that on average travels 1500 miles from field to fork?
- Is it healthiest to eat food that is prepared in factories rather than kitchens?
- Is it wise to rely on a few large monolithic corporations for the bulk of our food supply?
- Is it good to eat food that has been modified by scientists?
- Are we prepared for “the long emergency” – any natural, civil, political, or other event that disrupts the normal flow of life as we know it.
- Can the government really be depended on to meet our basic needs?
- Is it the government’s job to meet our needs?
- Is individualism always a healthy characteristic?
- What does it mean to be a neighbor?
- What does it mean to love our neighbors as we love ourselves?
- What does it mean to live in a community?
As we thought through these things, we realized that we had taken the source of many of our basic necessities for granted and that they could disappear at a moment’s notice.
Now, we’re not survivalists and we swear, there’s no bomb shelter being built in the back yard! However, we merely saw the wisdom in learning some new ways to take more ownership and responsibility in managing some of our basic needs and with those around us.
We don’t believe that it’s the responsibility of “someone else” to meet our needs. These needs should be met by ourselves in cooperation with our community – people living in such a way that they look out for the needs and interests of one another. This is what drew us to homesteading and this is what, Lord willing, we trust will keep us homesteading.
All of this has lead us to this. We want to live a non-complicated, sustainable life – preferably one of interdependence on others rather than independence.
To be honest, we’re not entirely sure what that looks like yet, but we’re journeying toward it!
We hope that as we do, the information we consider and stumble upon will help others on similar journeys.
~ Sven, Zelda & the kids