Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Agrarian Home-Based Lifestyle, Part 1: Our Vision

Ok folks, today begins my first "series" of blog posts!  How many parts to this series?  Who knows...until I feel like I've said enough, I guess!  Forgive me if it sounds a little bit like I'm thinking out loud throughout this series...because I am.  We are just beginning to shape our "dream"; our vision for what we want our family life and livelihood to look like.  It seems clear to us that God has brought many factors together into one place for us lately, and I'm going to take a little time to explain it to you.  Hopefully we here at Domestic Reformation will understand ourselves better in the process, too.

I'll keep this pretty basic today since future posts in the series will cover many aspects in greater depth, but let me begin by laying out our overall vision by defining some things (thanks to Merriam-Webster online!)...

agrarian: of or relating to fields or lands or their tenure.  Yup.  You heard me right.  We actually intend to "make a living off our land".  Well, mostly...more about that in a minute.  We've been blessed with 20 acres, about two-thirds of which is open land.  The rest is brushy undergrowth, young-ish forest, and our yard.   Is it possible to earn enough cash off 20 acres to live comfortably?  We believe it is.

home: one's place of residence.  Our dream is that our whole family--Dan included--will be able to work together here at our own home--our own "place of residence".  Around here we find that we get exponentially more accomplished in a day when we're all working together than when we are split off in our separate ways all day.  There's a kind of synergy that occurs when we're all working together, and it's way more fun than being apart all day.  Our family actually likes to be together!  Will it always be sunshine and roses?  Of course not!  But it's not a bad goal:)

Let me be clear: a "home-based business" does not mean we intend to become hermits or social recluses.  However, it does mean spending more time actually at home.  Less running, fewer last-minute trips to the store, better planning, more intentional time spent with friends and family.  As I mentioned above, we plan to "live off of" our 20 acres, but we will continue with Courser Deer Processing, which I suppose, being a service-based business, can't really be considered living off our land.  Currently we run this business at a different location, but our goal is to move it here for next season.  Being away from our own home so much is taking a toll on us already, and this year's hunting season is just getting started!

lifestyle: the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture.  I hesitate to call this merely a home-based "business" because it is about more than just money for us.  It's a way of life, and a way of life that is radically different than most folks.  Our dream is to have a lifestyle that not only "pays the bills", but is more rewarding, more fulfilling, more healthy, and more whole than what "normal" American culture has to offer.  And, we hope it's contagious.  We hope that when others see what we're doing they, too, might be inspired to slow down and smell the proverbial flowers...literally.

Our intent is not in any way to sound condescending or "holy-er than thou".  Right now we are in the dreaming, visioning phase where anything can happen.  It's probably something of a honeymoon phase.  Hard days will come when we wonder what in the world we've gotten ourselves into.  But for now I hope maybe you can all dream with us a little bit as the series develops, and maybe even help us shape our vision of what's to come!

Next post: the "History" of our vision (or, "How the Heck Did We Come Up With This Wacky Idea?")  No promises as to when that post is coming.  After all, it's deer season.  I'm sure you'll all be waiting with bated breath though, right?

A few shots from the south side of the property at sunrise.

Isn't it beautiful?  We are so blessed!


  1. I AM waiting with baited breath! Well written, Jill. I think it can be really hard to communicate such a deep vision and commitment and do it in such a way that readers from all sorts of places and philosophies feel a sense of excitement and possibility. You did that. Now tell me more!!

  2. Hi! This is my first time reading your blog. I commend you for taking a big leap and step, even if you're a little scared. I think family is the most important to take care of first. And these days, I feel we're disconnected from them (well, me at least). Sounds like it will be fun, adventurous, and hard work. But I bet it will be worth it!

  3. Hi Cindy--thanks for reading! You must have found my blog from the polyface blog, right? I'm not posting so much right now since we're in the thick of deer processing season, but hopefully you'll check back in here now and then!