Overview: We bought land in Benzie County, want to stay in touch, are starting to build tiny houses for others…and have a new address!
Ants, Garlic, and Tiny Homes....
Huh? Yeah, I know.
When I had freshly graduated from U of M, I wanted to start an urban farm in Detroit, thinking it would ‘help’ Detroit and Detroiters. There was a lot I didn’t know and still is. I didn’t know…anything about growing food or running a business…or what Detroiters really wanted or needed. I did know I wanted to be a force for positive change in the world. I wanted to care for the earth, work for social justice, and inspire others to do the same.
Fast forward a year and I was helping grow garlic amongst other crops at a certified organic urban farm and food justice project in Detroit. A farmer friend said he saw garlic as a commitment to farm again next year as it is planted in the fall and harvested the following summer. I agreed then and still do now.
When Jon and I got married in the summer of 2013, this same farmer friend gave us 5 or so varieties of garlic he had been saving. We planted it that fall on the local farm we were living on. In the summer of 2014, a northern Michigan farmer who I admire graciously let me purchase some seed garlic from him, a reused plastic grocery bag full of a variety that had been being saved on his farm for more than thirty years. Planted in the fall of 2014 and 2015, I hope the overall quality and size is improving. In July of 2016, I harvested the crop and it’s lying to dry in one of the rooms of the manufactured home Jon and I rent. In that same month, we purchased ten acres from a friend that was a part of his organically run farm with an awesome name: “The Ant and The Grasshopper Farm.” We now have land and could have a farm. What we do have is a pretty decent garlic harvest, a few kohlrabi, a taste of basil, and kale.
For me, the idea of wanting to farm is wanting to be useful, doing meaningful work which benefits other beings as well as myself, being gentle on the earth, the same things I knew I wanted ten years ago. There are more ways than farming to work towards these and one Jon and I are excited about is building tiny homes for others. You may already know that Jon and I built ourselves a tiny house in 2012 and lived in it for about three years. We have received so many compliments on the space and with all the attention Tiny Houses are getting on national media, we feel the time is right for us to offer this service. We have bought the trailer to start on another tiny house and now need to figure how to get over the initial hump of getting going…
I still consider myself a wannabe farmer. I want to nurture well-being in others and myself. I do plan to plant that garlic again this fall and hope you are interested in joining us in the journey of intentional living!
Lisa & Jon
P.S. We have just started a website and plan to occasionally send updates (about 1-2 a month) on how our journey is unfolding. The website is www.ForNowOnJoyfield.com
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