Nestled on a 1/4 acre in Central New Jersey is where we begin our self reliance experiment. Right on Main Street across from the library you’ll find our homestead. The house was built in the late 1800’s. A large maple stands at the front corner of our lot, it can be seen as a sappling in a photo taken of our home in 1898. The basement is old stones, pulled from the dirt as they dug the foundation. The house has roots, I can feel the age in the creaks of the floorboards as I mount the stairs on the front porch. This is where we begin.
It started as a very small dream. I wanted to start that garden for John and grow our own food for our children. So many of us don’t have the simple pleasure of going out to the yard and choosing a fresh morsel to pick and eat. I wanted that for our children, I wanted them to see the magic in the garden as I had as a little girl. So one year for Mother’s Day, my husband built me a garden. It was modest at first, five tiered plots with stone walls cascading down the side of our yard. I was ecstatic. Each person in the household was allotted a plot, including our tenant who shared our home. We each carefully chose what plants we wanted in our beds, the memories are sweet of those first cautious steps into homesteading. The garden now reaches Main Street, every year we got a little more ambitious.