Tired of living in a crowded urban environment with its deafening noise and bumper-to-bumper traffic and eager to escape what they saw as an economy bent on destroying the planet, Matt and Tasha left their home in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in March 2014. In doing so, they became modern-day pioneers, part of a wave of Americans who have chosen to go back to the land over the past decade, seeking to reclaim and rebuild their lives and to forge a deeper connection to the earth, the animals that inhabit it, and to each other.
Growing food for family-living purposes in connection with enough outside work to provide the family with the cash for the necessary farm and family expenses is a combination that many families now want to develop. Recent hard times and still more recent Governmental policies have renewed and intensified interest in this possible combination. This kind of farming has often been called subsistence farming and a farm of this kind a subsistence homestead.
I’ve got two teams of Belgians that power all the things on the farm. I don’t have a tractor, I don’t have a truck or anything like that. Everything must be done by them. I have two buggy horses that I use for transportation. I have a one-seater buggy for when I’m going into work or into town by myself and then I have a two-seater one for when I’m with the kids.
In the 2010 book Radical Homemakers, author Shannon Hayes devotes several chapters to the “consumerization” of American life. While many books have been written about this subject, few go as deep as Hayes does, to question the assumptions that are often made about just what constitutes economic well-being. In short, she shows that “more” isn’t always “better,” and that sometimes what seems “cheap” is actually very expensive if it comes with costs to your time, energy, health, relationships, environment, or conscience.