The first day we bought dairy goats, I was terrified of going to sleep. These two beautiful doelings had never been enclosed by electric wire before. They had just arrived, and night was coming quickly. I had never feared the dark like this before.
What if they tried to escape in the dark? Two scenarios played over and over in my mind. Electrocution and disappearance.
I am homesteading because I believe that to live a life in the suburbs is to live a lie. A very intricate, comforting lie, but a lie nonetheless. Since I just insulted 70% of you reading this, please give me a few moments to explain.
We were not meant to live in neighborhoods with little yards and fences separating us. We were not meant to drive our cars to big boxy buildings which serve as warehouses for farmers’ food that has been carried thousands of miles so that you can remove it from one big box building storage and relocate it to the box storage you call home. So that sometime later you can pull that food out of the smaller box called a fridge and sit in front of a well-lit high definition screen and feel what someone else felt when they were abducted by terrorists in Sri Lanka.
Food was not meant to be a commodity. It was meant to be a culture. An edible landscape. An environment you breathe in and smell and get under your finger nails. Food is our planet. And our planet is food. But we treat it like an objective science experiment to be pasteurized, boxed, and stored cold until it can be utilized for our snacking pleasure.
I fundamentally disagree that technology is inherently good. I will not say that it is inherently evil, but that instead it is being invented by morally depraved humanity, which then further isolates itself from warmth and community and biology for the sake of control and a guaranteed duplicatable outcome.
I wasn’t writing the book I wanted to write. I was writing the book I thought I should write. I was sitting down and trying to copy the writing of other authors. I was writing Donald Miller’s book or Tim Ferriss’ book. Why? Because I had discounted my dream. I was afraid to give credence to those often frightening
Acuff, Jon (2011-05-05). Quitter (Kindle Locations 464-467). Lampo Press. Kindle Edition.
I wasn’t going to write the blog post I should write. I was going to write the blog post I thought you’d like most. And let’s be honest: that would have sucked.
I have to continually ask myself: What do I believe? Not what do I think other people want to read, but what do I REALLY think and how do I REALLY think it?
I’ve been hiding from this topic for months. You might walk away thinking I’m insane. Or damaged in the head. What if no more than a handful of wackjob survivalists can get behind this vision?
In case you don’t really know what we’ve been up to for the past few years, here’s a brief recap…
April 2008 – I find myself increasingly concerned about the fact that Dallas / Fort Worth can’t sustain itself with its own water supply. Several factors affect how comfortable I feel living in my hometown:
- They are piping in water from hundreds of miles away
- Annual rainfall alone cannot sustain significant crop growth
- Summer temps and droughts create a hard, cracked dusty plain effect
This reality prevents me from feeling comfortable with pursuing long-term plans in the area.
August 2008 – After months of conversation, Heather and I take a vacation to Costa Rica to look at properties. Our goal is to recon the area and determine whether relocating could be feasible. We returned discouraged, feeling that this was not the right move for us at the time. Community is far too important to us and the language barrier would have kept us from building deep friendships in the areas we would consider living.
May 2010 – We decide to put our house on the market and begin looking to buy a couple acre property with a mother-in-law suite near our hometown. An existing well or spring was required for us to consider a property.
December 2010 – Two for sale by owner contracts have fallen through and we’re devastated. We’re not sure we’ll ever sell this house. Our pursuit of a local property hasn’t born much fruit either. We can’t seem to find what we want within our price range.
May 2011 – I’m woken up from a deep sleep and sense that God may be trying to tell me something. The words that come inform me that we will be relocating near Franklin, Tennessee within a year.
March 2012 – I help my employer hire my replacement and get a contract job working from home.
April 2012 – We move to Tennessee and rent a house near Franklin while we look for a property.
Maybe I just hate people. Maybe I’m hoping to start a cult.
I mean why else would we leave the suburbs and move to the backside of nowhere?
At the time of this writing, I am 37 years old. At my age, I should be getting fairly established in my goals and routines and becoming one of those old dogs who can’t learn new tricks. I’m not, but that’s the stigma that comes with nearing 40. I find the exact opposite is true, actually. If you’re like me, you have reached an age where you realize it’s time to reset your expectations.