Earthmamma, are you out there? : LUSENET : Beyond the Sidewalks : One Thread

I saw your post about herd dispersal on CS. Are you okay? Anything you want to share? I'm worrying about you a bit -- please post and let me know you're okay. Or you can email me, if you'd rather. This addy works!

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001


Hello Joy, et al.....

I am really touched that I have been inundated with emails from people worried about me!

Well, I don't have a terminal disease, haven't joined the Moonies, or decided to become a vegetarian. I am, however, in the active stages of committing an unspeakable act (cowers awaiting possible peltings from the mortified):



Well, here's my story, its sad but may be sorry you asked ....I'm afraid I may ramble on endlessly......

I've been direct-marketing organic, grass-fed meat for about 11 years, and its been very successful; so successful, in fact, that I'm not having fun anymore! My plate is too full, I'm burned out. I've been agonizing over what to do for the past several months and finally recieved an answer during a meditation,and have felt incredibly lighter ever since. I had to sit down and honestly analyze what I love and what I don't, and this is what I came up with:

I've decided to give up farming and devote all that time/energy to the marketing of organic grass-fed meat. I'm contracting with small farmers/homesteaders around here to do the production according to my specs. These people love to farm, many have had to give it up cuz they went broke, but they hate selling, so I will do it for them.They'll get about twice what they'd get in conventional markets, so they'll be able to stay on the farm and make a good return. I think I'll be doing more good for the planet by giving up my farm, because I'll be in essence affecting more acreage and more people in the long run. The more smallholders I can sign up to learn to grow orgainically, the better the ecological/economic benefit to this area.

I also want more time to write. I love sharing the amazing amount of stuff I've learned since I began this, and people seem hungry for info about natural healing, food,and the spiritual connections to the natural world. Also my health-relaed web business keeps me increasingly busy.

Another big motivation is my family. We've been out here for 7 years, in the middle of dairy country, and although our neighbors are courteous and respectful, we have never really found community. We've all been feeling our energy leaking from lack of people with whom we had commonalities, and find increasingly more reasons to travel to the Twin Cities, both for socializing and because we found we miss things like concerts and museums and art shows and theatre and political demonstrations. (This weekend will find us driving our bright yellow VW bus to the MayDay celebration in Mpls, one of the best in the country.) The travel is taking a toll on my car (not to mention the extra pollution), and my time. We're outside the box in most arenas, so it gets pretty lonely out here. We don't even always fit into homesteader type groups, and almost never into lesbian- strident vegetarian-povertyisbeautiful sorts we sometimes do find out here.

My oldest daughter, the musician, was planning on moving to the city in the fall, cuz she needs to be where the music scene is, and we were both mourning not only the loss of each other, but the prospect of my not being able to be a real part of her blossoming musical career. My younger daughter has unschooling friends in the city, and almost no one out here.

Finally, my partner of 26 years and I have been pretty much living apart for the past three. She's a computer consultant, and initially she made the commute every day, then changed to a four day work week and still came home every nite, then when that got old, started staying at my folks place in the winter when they were in Florida, then started staying at motels and coming home on weekends, than started taking more contracts, got an apartment and didnt even always make it home on weekends. She had begun to feel like a split personality; found it emotionally imposssible to switch from country mode 'wish I didnt have to go back to town", to city mode "but sometimes I really enjoy my work in the city". And so we grew apart (much of which has since been healed during a spring trip to magical Sedona, AZ ),she getting involved in spiritual discussion groups (she who had always been rather hostile to spiritual discussions!), writing classes, teaching meditation classes to the people at work, and working long hours. And me, back here running the farm myself, cuz although the kids are fine workers, and they tell me repeatedly they are grateful to have been raised on a farm, I know their hearts are elsewhere, and I want them to feel free, without guilt, to follow those precious hearts. My partners lease is up in June, and we were actually on the verge of buying a small house in the city for her and our daughter to live in instead of throwing all that money away on rent, when it occured to us that this was a bad idea, and we needed to do something radical.

As soon as I made the decision, everything started to fall into place. lIfe always has worked this way for me; we truly can have whatever we ask for. My daughter found a safe, professionally run rehearsal studio to audition band members, animals are already selling (much sobbing going on but my favorite cows are going to someone I know, someone who babies her animals shamelessly, so we can visit them), and although we havent put the farm up for sale yet, we have already found our new home. It kills any ambivalance I may have had left, cuz its like a dream house to me: a log home on a little lake and on three acres of totally private woods! Doesnt feel at all like the burbs! Will probably have to do some clearing and/or raised beds for my gardening. And we'll take with us all our interest in alternative energy and try to implement whatever we can, and although we can't have livestock, I'm thinking I'm gonna sneak a half dozen hens in! After all, there are no sidewalks!

Guess I won't be considered a homesteader anymore; gonna be quite a lifestyle shock. I imagine I'd be tongue-lashed by some over at CS for going "backwards". But I truly feel this is right for this time in my life, that Im going toward some wonderful new stage, and all will be well. I know I'll have the support of you loving people here on this forum.


-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Aaaaa homesteader homesmeder!! Who cares! You'll always be a favorite! So keep posting PLEASE ....Love Ya ....Kirk

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Special blessings to you earthmama, I hope that you keep in touch!!! It seems to me that what might seem like a step backwards to some is a step forward to others. My sincere best wishes to you and you family and remember this is "beyond the sidewalks".

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

You will always be a homesteader to me... And even if you aren't, please stay in touch. ;-) Life is always leading us in winding ways. Aren't you glad you are moving *forward* anyway? Think of all the poor slobs who are stuck. (or eek! moving backward!)

I think it sounds interesting. But really, really, really, stay in touch when you have time. We need to have reality checks on the urban/suburban lifestyle. (no yang, no yin...)

I didn't read your post on CS so didn't know you were missing. Just hadn't seen any posts lately. Sorry about the critters.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Earthmamma, if it makes you happy, you should do it. Your plans to be the marketing person sound great -- it seems to me to be a needed service. And a log house on three acres and a lake certainly doesn't sound like your typical 'burbs and tract homes! Blessings to you and yours. Sounds to me like you'll still be a "smallholder" (as the English call it), whether or not that's a homesteader!

Sheepish, Earthmomma only posted that she was dispersing her herds. I knew that meant something was up -- fortunately, it's some thing good. I was worrying about illness, stuff like that!

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Earthmamma, they say "Follow your bliss" and if it takes you to unexpected places, so be it. But please, don't forget us as I love your thotful posts. You'll be missed in the meantime.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Good fortune to you in all your endeavors, Earthmama, regardless if they are in the country or in the "burbs".

Hey, if I found a log cabin on 3 acres and on a lake in a Twin Cities suburb maybe even I could be persuaded to move back there! It sounds great.

And don't be a stranger to the forum just because you're moving. I hear they have those Internet thingies in the big cities, too. ;-)

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Heck Earthmama, if they let me stay around here with only 0.2 acres and a suburban tract house, you're certainly welcome with 3 acres and woods. Homesteading is a state of mind, last issue there was a guy homesteading in an apartment. Your new place sounds lovely and I'm glad that you've been able to find a way to keep your family together. Marketing the beef sounds like a wonderful and much-needed service. You will be able to touch many more lives this way, and with the speed and ease that your plans are coming together it looks like the Universe approves too.

If anybody gives you any flack about "moving backward", just tell 'em to pucker up and plant one where the sun doesn't shine! :-)

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2001

Earthmama, pleeeeze don't be a stranger.Always enjoy your thought provoking posts. Even if your thoughts are coming from the cities, we'll know they originate in a really cool place. Your journey sounds familiar in many respects. We lived in Amery Wisc and my partner drove to minneapolis 3-4 days a week. Not only the vehichle expense but the time and oh those roads in the winter. We felt the same about the people. They were very nice but we too did not feel that deeper connection that we sought. We first moved two thousand miles west, then 5 thousand miles and 4 more moves brought us back west again. Your idea sounds easier. Fortunately it sounds like you will be able to continue with some things which you are into. Best of luck with the next chapter. Don't forget ,even those living in the city can 'think country'. Take care jz

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2001

As usual, you know what you need. Those heart strings pull hard. Sounds like a wonderful new adventure.Yeah you'll miss the farm and animals,butI can't immagine you not filling your life with magical things.

Hadn't heard from you for quite a while and I wondered what was going on,now I see you had a lot of introspection you've been working on. Good journey and quest, and don't forget to write us frequently! Happiness always.

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2001

Earthmama -

I applaude your courage!! It takes a lot of guts to do what is right for you - and even more to figure out what that is!!!! While I am sorry that you are leaving 'homesteading', I am sure that you know what you are doing - and wish you all the best in the world. Only you can make those decisions - don't let anybody else say otherwise!! Besides... Homesteading is all in our heads and hearts anyway - it doesn't matter where you live -

I wish we had someone out here just like you - I love to produce things (rabbits, crafts, etc) and want to do more, but I am no salesman!! Most folks in this town are pretty much the same as me. I can only hope that we can find someone willing to put forth all the effort and legwork needed to do the sales part of our ventures!! Hubby wants to, but I've never seen him sell anything to anybody either (though he claims he can sell ice to eskimos!!)

I admire your honesty and openness - it is refreshing to see someone so at home with themselves! I wish you much beauty and happiness in your 'new' life, and I hope you'll stick around on the forums, for I will sorely miss you if you don't!

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2001

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