I now know the name of what it is I am doing, anyway. This whole "moving from the suburbs and into the mountains to build our own house" thing. It started six and a half years ago, when I was pregnant with Will. That's when we began to look at property all over Kern County. ALL OVER the county, while pregnant and peeing all the time. Why? Because, among other things like having no neighbors and raising kids in the country, Ryan and I wanted to have a bee business, and in order to have 500 hives we thought it best to have some ag-zoned land. On ag land, you can have an apiary (apiary being the real term for lots o' bees). Will was born, and shortly after (seriously, I think he was a month old), we ventured into the part of the county we currently live in. By the time he was six months old, we had purchased our property.
A few months later, we started the process of selling our house in the 'burbs and planning for the future in earnest. We gussied up our house (decorate to sell? Too much HGTV), we bought a truck and RV (to live in), put in a transfer for Ryan's work, and let it all unfold. Ryan was transferred, our house sold in three days, and the day after Will's first birthday we had a birthday party and then moved!
Five years, two more kids, an almost finished house, countless country life experiences, and only now do I have a name for what we are doing. A name for our goals and ideals and vision for our future. Ryan and I talk about it all the time: what we want to do in the future, and if what we are doing now is both enjoyable and conducive for getting us where we want to be.
We want to farmstead. It's not homesteading, as that seems to involve are more "living off the land" while building your house. Like, go chop down your own trees and mill your own lumber... with very few trips to the hardware store. We aren't doing that. (But you know? We're *this close* sometimes.) Our ultimate goal is to be self sufficient. Financially, housing, food, energy... and fun! We still have our eye on an apiary. I want to get some dairy goats for milking and making cheese. I'd like a lamb or two in rotation for meat. A sow. Chickens. We are getting horses and mules for packing. (We get to get a real, live donkey! So cute.) We are going to have a greenhouse so I can grow stuff without the critters eating everything. We want a few fruit trees. A pond stocked with some fish. (Okay, so fish are nice, but the real reason for the pond is for the kids and a canoe, swimming, and a ZIP LINE that you can jump into the water with! And, as a source of fire water for the helicopters.) We want to use wind and solar energy for various things around the property, and want to be completely off the grid.
We have so many plans, most of which are chuckled at when shared with others. Like we are C-R-A-Z-Y. Probably because right now we still have to finish THE HOUSE. That do-it-yourself project that is slowly starting to bring us both down. The time has come for it to be finished soon, for many reasons. It's "Phase One" of our possibly ten phase plan. After phase one, everything else will be easy and fun! (Even the twice daily milkings of the goats I'm thinking about getting... and all the daily chores!)
The house will be finished soon. On some days, it's not soon enough, but it will be finished soon. How soon? I'm not sure. Ryan doesn't know. Every time we set a goal date, something comes up. Court cases, wildfires, daily life. It will be finished though. Then, we can begin our farmsteading in earnest! We'll have the mules, the honey, and so much more.
And I already have my cheese tasting party all planned out.