2018 Home & Garden Tour Part 1: The OG


This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteadingI love to create things. Like food. You may have noticed that by now. But I love to create other things as well.

I’ve always loved to write; To craft stories with my words. And to take photos of beautiful things. Things that I create. Things that grow wild. Everyday things that are made beautiful through a camera lens when composed in just such a way under the right lighting. 

After all, the combination of my love for creating all of the above was how this blog first came to be!

Yes, I love to create things that make the world just a little more comforting and beautiful and nourishing, for the mind, body and soul. And that includes creating a comfy, cozy, beautiful home.

In fact, when I first started writing this blog, I thought I would write more about creating a sanctuary at home. Because I’m sure I’m not the only homesteader who, uh, spends most of her time at home, amiright??? So, in my opinion, it should be a beautiful space where we feel good and where family and friends are welcome to kick off their shoes and join us at our table.

And also because, for me, that’s part of the appeal of homesteading: That unbeatable down-home comfort you get from a place that’s warm and welcoming while also serving up good, wholesome, nourishing food that’s grown, prepared or preserved right there on the property. There’s something safe and secure about a cozy, warm home that also produces enough to be at least somewhat self-sufficient. It gives me the warm fuzzies. Am I the only one?

But I haven’t written much about that since I started this blog over a year ago. Ya know why? Because I struggled to create this type of space in our old house. And quite honestly, I was a bit ashamed of it!

In theory, it was a charming house that was perfect for us when we first moved from the city 3 years ago. A 100+ year-old farmhouse on an acre of land (plus more shared with the neighbours across the yard). It was the perfect house for us to learn many of the skills and lessons we needed to learn over the past few years, both homesteading-related and otherwise.

But it came with many challenges too.

 

This Old House

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

The view from the front: Drywall makes its seemingly permanent home on the front porch. Plants brown where the sun beats down all day without reprieve and a bucket (originally intended for weeding the front garden bed) sits on the front walkway where it was left midway through weeding two months ago. A noisy, busy highway runs by the front of the house which makes this mama shy away from much activity in the front of the house.

After laying vacant for years, the property had succumbed to many weeds and pests that we always struggled to manage. And the house itself, while full of character and incredibly charming in its own right, was still old. And drafty. And full of decades-old carpets and curtains and wallpaper and furniture that was all due for a good cleaning (or a complete renovation).

To be fair, that’s what we were doing there: renovating. Ryan and I were blessed by friends who own the house by being allowed to live there in exchange for doing work on the place and keeping it from being taken over by rats (which we almost achieved). 

And while we both kept the house running, Ryan worked on remodelling the upstairs while we were there. So we were also living in a construction zone. All. The. Time.

There have literally been baseboards sitting on our stairs there for the past, oh, probably 2 years. And drywall and tools on the front porch which we never used. Oh, and we haven’t had a shower there since February (it’s now September) because the beautiful old cast iron tub got pulled out to be refinished and we still haven’t finished the upstairs shower for various reasons. (If you’re wondering, yes, we still found ways to bathe while living there!)

Another thing we really battled with was the lack of storage. Being a 100-year-old house, there was only actually one closet in the whole house when we moved in. Because, ya know, people didn’t have as much crap 100 years ago. 

But it turns out that we do have a lot of crap (that we are now trying to purge as we transition to our new house). And we had nowhere to store it. So we improvised and put shelves in the hallway and turned the sunroom into the storage locker/recycling depot/fridge and freezer area, since the old kitchen also wasn’t built to accommodate a fridge since they didn’t exist yet.

And so we faced the ongoing battle of trying to organize, shuffle and live amongst the clutter. And yes, it gave me major anxiety at times.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

Looking into our old kitchen: Exposed pipes run up the back wall to the upstairs bathroom. The wall has been unfinished since we removed cabinets and countertops to accommodate the new plumbing. On the left, the hose from the dishwasher we rigged up runs into the sink to discard the water and a makeshift countertop sits atop the dishwasher we added to the kitchen. The cabinets are all open and utensils all hang from the walls. And the countertops were always cluttered, even when they’re clean!

But despite some of the storage issues and having no space for a fridge, the kitchen was still my very favourite space in the house. After all, it’s where I spent the vast majority of my time. And so it’s the one inside area that I did end up photographing.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading
This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteadingI loved the kitschy wallpaper, the cozy breakfast nook, the open cabinetry and even the half burnt-out christmas lights we put up the first Christmas that we lived there and never took down…

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading
This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteadingBut I especially loved the pantry.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

Because while 100-year-old houses have no need for refrigerators, they absolutely must have pantry space. We were delighted to find the large, under-the-stairs pantry hidden behind the fridge that was there (before we opened up the pantry and moved the fridge to the sunroom), and realized it hadn’t been opened in roughly 3 decades before we arrived!

We knew this because we found magazines from the 1980’s and the owner confirmed that was most likely the last time it was opened for use.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

The pantry was, by far, the thing that was hardest to leave behind. 

But the rest, while charming in nature, was cluttered and unfinished and impossible to keep clean, no matter how many hours I put into it each day.

So I never wanted to really open my home to the world. I never wanted to photograph it because just getting it in order to photograph could sometimes take hours. It was just that kind of place.

 

Why I Finally Decided to Open My Doors

I think it’s important that I share this house with you… “The OG,” as I call it, because it will forever be the original House & Homestead. In fact, you might have even noticed that the logo for my website is this exact house. Maybe I’ll change the logo someday, or maybe I won’t. But this will always be where the journey really began.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteadingIt’s also where we first started gardening, and where we’ve had every success and failure  as gardeners and homesteaders so far. 

This year our garden has definitely been more of a failure than a success with us moving and not having time to dedicate to it in the summer months. The weeds have taken over. The plants are mostly dead or dying. And volunteer squashes, tomato plants and other seedlings have sprouted everywhere. Our little garden has, in essence, re-wilded itself. And like with just about every other space on the property, we just haven’t had the time to invest in keeping up with it all.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

So we’ve accepted it for what it is and let nature take its course, still grateful to have cucumbers and beets and onions and herbs and the odd tomato still clinging to the dying, neglected vines. 

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

Over at the greenhouse, we’ve lost our battle with the weeds. While the horsetail isn’t nearly as bad as it has been, the blackberry bushes we cut back last year have wrapped their thorny brambles around the little greenhouse like something out of a Disney princess movie.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

The little wooden walkway has gone back to the land and the Queen Anne’s Lace has grown up inside the greenhouse and now bows over the squash plants that I planted too late, alongside the lettuce I’ve let go to seed. Sigh.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

Elsewhere on the property, the perennial fruit trees and vines are doing fairly well. But they’re in need of some TLC too. The grape vine is decades old and has grown right up into the tree beside it, so now you need an orchard ladder to harvest the grapes.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

And the apple tree; Let me tell you about this big ol’ Gravenstein apple tree…

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

This baby is roughly as old as the house itself, so somewhere around 100 years. It stood for 100 years without incident! And then, two winters ago while we were living there, we had one of the heaviest snowfalls we’d ever seen in this area, and the weight of the snowpack destroyed the two largest branches of the tree.

So the owners had the gaping hole in the tree that was left behind filled with concrete. This summer it rebounded and gave us apples once again, though not nearly as many as it did the first year we were there. Indeed, it seemed like it was just something else that went into disrepair while we were living there.

And yet there is much to be grateful for everywhere. Even the looming shadow of the old, broken apple tree on the drought-stricken grass at the end of summer is a thing of beauty not to be taken for granted.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

One of the shining stars of living on this property: The view of the huge backyard we shared with our neighbours. (Technically it belongs to them, but they took their fence down years ago when the original owners lived there. They’ve been friends of the family for over 40 years!)

 

The House That Made Us Who We Are

Yes, this house was a challenge. A beautiful challenge that was meant to be. And while I always wanted to create a beautiful space here, I felt like I was just never able to get it to that place. And I never wanted to open my doors up completely and share the clutter and the mess and the weeds with the world because I felt it reflected poorly on me.

But I realize now that it is beautiful in spite, or maybe even because of this. Despite some of the hardships we faced in this house, it inspired me to create more than I ever thought I was actually capable of. It’s where I learned to garden, to can and preserve, to make candles and body products and herbal remedies from things grown right on our property. It’s where I learned how to create a blog where I could share my stories and recipes and love of homesteading with the world through words and photographs. It’s where we created our family, which continues to grow.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

 

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

And although I’m so, so happy to be in our new place (our first house that we actually own!), there will always be a special place in my heart for this old house; The house where we gardened and cooked and preserved and created; Where we battled weeds and drafty walls and constant clutter and never enough storage space; Where we lived and learned and laughed and loved and lost.

Yes, in spite of all this, or perhaps because of it, this house will forever be the house where it all began. It will always be the original House & Homestead; The place that shaped us into the people -the family- we’ve become. And that makes every pile of clutter and patch of weeds totally worth it in the end.

This is the house we began homesteading in. This is where we learned many valuable skills and hard life lessons. This, is the OG. Come along for a home & garden tour! #hometour #homeandgardentour #farmhousetour #homesteading

Oh, and I think it makes for some pretty beautiful photos, if I do say so myself;)

 

Click here to read Part 2 of this post: Our ¼-Acre Rancher.

The House & Homestead


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
Homemade Yogurt Recipe (Plain & Greek Style)

Homemade Yogurt Recipe (Plain & Greek Style)

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   I’ve known that homemade yogurt was “a thing” for a long time. I always considered making it myself, but it was never really at the top of my list of skills to...

read more

The Ultimate Guide to Emergency Water Preparedness

The Ultimate Guide to Emergency Water Preparedness

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Water. Fresh, clean, potable water—Besides air, it’s absolutely the most important thing when it comes to survival. To many people around the world who...

read more

When homesteaders hit the road for a summer road trip…

What am I missing?

@modernhomesteadingconference here we come!

(Yes, a week early, but we’ve got important business on the way;). Will I see you there???

#homesteadersbelike #homesteading #roadtrip
...

25 5

The Modern Homesteading Conference is just a few short weeks away, and I have TWO free tickets to give away to one lucky winner.

This is a live, in-person event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on June 28th and 29th. I’ll be there speaking and teaching alongside expert homesteaders like Joel Salatin (Polyface Farms), Melissa K. Norris (Pioneering Today), Carolyn and Josh Thomas (Homesteading Family), Lisa Bass (Farmhouse On Boone), Anne Briggs (Anne Of All Trades), Lisa Steele (Fresh Eggs Daily), Robyn Jackson (Cheese From Scratch) and more!

Comment “ENTER” below and I’ll send you the link where you can submit your details and enter to win!

I’ll be drawing a winner this Thursday, so make sure to enter by tomorrow night (Wednesday, June 5th) if you wanna win!

May the odds be ever in your favour 😉
...

19 4

For Mother’s Day this year, my husband is teaching our daughter to empty the dishwasher on her own. It may seem like a small feat, and for anyone who has kids who already do this and more, this may seem like nothing to celebrate. But for all of the moms who understand how much quicker and easier it is to just “do it yourself,” slowing down and allowing our daughter to take ownership of this even if it’s not perfect or takes twice as long is a huge milestone, both for her and for us as parents!

While it may sometimes feel like the work that we do day in and day out is just mundane and repetitive, the way we show up every day over many years with our children will have a huge impact on the type of people they’ll grow up to be.

What we teach them—the skills we pass on and the values we instil—will help to shape who our children become as adults, and who they become as adults will help to shape what our future world looks like.

It may seem as simple as emptying a dishwasher, but what this really symbolizes is that we’re raising a capable human being who takes responsibility for contributing to our household and is a valued member of our family. And since she will someday grow up to run her own household, possibly be a mother herself, and contribute to our future society, that means that we, as parents, (and especially us moms!), have immense power to shape what the future looks like through the simple actions we take every day to teach and empower the next generation.

All of that to say, thanks for everything you do moms! You are more valued and powerful than you know.

Happy Mother’s Day, and may someone else be doing the dishes for you today!
...

22 2

Hot cross buns are an Easter tradition in our house, so naturally I wanted to learn how to make them at home.⁣

They're surprisingly easy to make with just a few basic ingredients, including flour, dry active yeast, milk, eggs, sugar and spices, plus raisins or, more traditionally, dried currants and/or candied citrus peels. ⁣

Click the link in my bio to learn how to make your own and enjoy hot cross buns fresh out of the oven this Easter!
...

16 1

🗞 BREAKING NEWS!

I’m not always so good at sharing all of the awesome stuff I’ve got going on in life and business here on social media. When you’re a full time homesteader, business owner, editor, mom and wife, sometimes IG falls by the wayside 😬

But I just had to pop in this morning to let you know that I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and offering anyone who would like to try out my online membership program—The Society Of Self-Reliance—the opportunity to join for just $1.

Yup, you read that right: Right now, you can get unlimited access to The Society Of Self-Reliance for an entire month for just $1!

Here’s what you get access to:

🌱 Over 150 video lessons to help you build your skills in the kitchen, garden, workshop and home.

👨‍🌾 A private community of amazing people sharing their on journeys and supporting you in yours.

🫙 Our monthly live group coaching call, where you can ask questions and where I offer personalized help and guidance on your homesteading journey.

🌿 Exclusive bonuses: Get downloadable digital copies of my Home Canning Handbook and the annual edition of Modern Homesteading Magazine for free (regular $40 for both), as well as access to other bonuses, like my gardening and preserving masterclasses and bonus interviews with other top homesteaders.

I’m only offering this deal for a limited time, and after it’s over, the membership cost will be going up. But if you join now for $1 and decide you love it, you’ll still be able to continue with your membership for the introductory price of just $20/month (or $200/year).

However, if you decide The Society Of Self-Reliance just isn’t for you right now, you can cancel any time.

All you have to lose is $1, but what you have to gain is priceless:

—> Independence and self-reliance in all areas of life.
—> Security and confidence in your ability to provide for yourself and your loved ones in good times and bad.
—> Freedom from complete and total dependency on “the system”
—> Skills and knowledge you can pass down to the next generation.
—> Fellowship and community with other likeminded folks.

And so much more!

Comment “Society” below and I’ll send you the deets!
...

69 4

Me shopping for Easter candy for my kids, and walking out empty handed because it’s all full of absolute garbage!

I don’t mind my kids having sugar now and again, but I draw the line at food dies, seed oils and artificial ingredients. (Or at least, I try!)

Hey, we’re not perfect, and yes, our kids will get Easter candy on Sunday morning. Ryan has already bought some and I’m sure he didn’t check all the ingredients like I do! I’m fine with the 80/20 rule most of the time. But the meta question here, is why are these types of ingredients allowed in foods to begin with? Especially food marketed toward kids!

Yes, it’s “junk food.” I don’t expect it to be HEALTHY. But it could be made better by omitting the known carcinogenic ingredients that have been linked to everything from ADHD to hormone imbalances to cancer!

Folks, we must demand better. We DESERVE better, and so do our kids.
...

27 7

We said goodbye to a family pet yesterday. My mom has had Zoe since I was a teenager, and Evelyn has grown to love her during her visits with nanny.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a family member, human or furry. But we don’t shelter our kids from death either. Evelyn was with us when we found our rabbits dead. She went with my mom to say goodbye to her other cat a year ago. And she knows where the chickens go when it’s their time.

Having a healthy relationship to death is important. It is, after all, the only certainty in life.

Today Ryan is heading down to clean out his dad’s place after he passed last week. They had a strained relationship, so our kids never knew him as their grandpa. But still, it’s never easy.

It does, however, teach us to be grateful for every day we’re alive, and to appreciate the ones we love while we’re still together, because you never know how much time you have left.

RIP Zozo ❤️ See you over the rainbow bridge 🌈 🐾
...

95 16

When I first started homesteading, gardening, and trying to be more self-sufficient, I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was new to me, and I had no one in my life to teach me the ropes.

I’m not a second or third or fifth generation homesteader. I’m a born-and-raised city girl who had to figure it out on my own, using books from the library and resources from the internet, and advice from random strangers on social media.

While these free resources have taught me a lot, I’ve also come across lots of bad (or just wrong) advice online, and sadly, I’ve dealt with a jerk or two in the comments section of public Facebook groups.

Eventually I did invest in online mentorship and my success from there was exponential. Now, less than a decade after leaving the city in pursuit of our new life as homesteaders, I’ve not only learned how to grow an abundance of food and troubleshoot all kinds of plant issues to ensure a healthy crop and successful harvest, but I’ve learned how to be more self-sufficient in just about every area of life.

I’ve learned how to
🌱 grow my own groceries
🫙 can and preserve my own food
🌿 make herbal medicine and natural products
💵 create multiple income streams
🆘 prepare for a wide range of emergencies
and more.

Plus, with my husband’s help, he can also
🛠 fix or build most things
so together we’ve got a wide range of skills that allow us to live a more empowered, self-reliant life.

Now I want to help you do the same…

I recently reopened the doors to The Society of Self-Reliance—my private membership program where I teach you the skills and mindset you need to become more self-reliant in every area of your life.

Not only do you get access to nearly 150 step-by-step video tutorials (and counting), you also get monthly live group coaching calls with me, and access to a private, SUPPORTIVE and knowledgeable online community of likeminded folks on the same journey.

For a limited time, you can join The Society for just $20/month (or get two months FREE with an annual membership!).

Come, join a community of people who will lift you up and ensure you DON’T starve 😉

Comment “Society” below to learn more!
...

29 7

Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

But the problem is that there's no real way to be sure whether the information you find on line is genuine. Is the person who wrote or shared it actually sharing their own experience, or are they too simply regurgitating answers that they Googled?⁣

As we barrel full speed ahead into the era of AI and deep fakes, it will be even more difficult to know whether the information you're getting is even from a real human!⁣

While it's definitely an exciting time to be alive, so many people are feeling overwhelmed, and are craving a return to the analog world; To a world where information was shared in the pages of trusted books and publications, or was passed on from human to human, from someone who held that knowledge not because they Googled it, but because they lived it, experienced it, even mastered it.⁣

That what sets Homestead Living magazine apart from much of the information you'll find online: We don't have staff writers, we have experienced homesteaders sharing their hard-won wisdom in each issue. And while we do offer a digital version, we're also now offering monthly PRINT issues for U.S. subscribers (Canada and elsewhere hopefully coming soon!)⁣

Plus, until the end. of January, you can get your first 12 issues of Homesteading Monthly for just $1.00!⁣

No matter where you are on your homesteading journey, if you've been feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information and the noise of the online world and have been craving a return to the real, the tangible and, quite frankly, the human, Homesteading Monthly was made for you. ⁣

For homesteaders, by homesteaders.⁣

*** Comment "Homestead" below and I'll send you the link to subscribe! ***
...

39 14

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal