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History Pt.2

If you haven't read Pt.1 start there as this post is a continuation.

As time went on I grew up and had this longing to leave my small town. The world was just waiting for me, so shortly after I turned 19, I packed up my belongings and moved to the “city” Waterloo, Ontario. I was off to see the world and to become an Aesthetician. I figured this was going to be a short year in the city as I always planned on coming back home but somewhere during that year I jumped the tracks and started on a new path. My early 20s involved a lot of late nights, too many adventures and a ton of self directed learning. I would move every year, sometimes twice. I became a licensed Aesthetician and then went back to College and became a Medical Office Administrator. Life was always changing and sometimes I would have no idea where I would be living the next year but every summer, I always grew vegetables. I lived in dorm rooms, high rise apartments, basement bedrooms, and townhouses but I always had a pot in a window, or on a balcony or on the patio. Mostly I would grow beans, peppers and tomatoes since they still thrive in pots but every summer I had this innate desire to grow something. Most of the time my poor vegetables would meet an early death as I would forget to water them or they would get knocked over but they were always there. In the blink of an eye the short year I had planned in the city turned into 13 years and I was buying my own townhouse condo and settling in. I loved the city, the independence and the excitement. I had a dog, Kingston, finally my own little yard and I met this guy who would never leave me alone, Jarod.

Life started to feel very complete and stable. Jarod quickly turned my world upside down in all the ways the best romance novels do. We spent our time working in my backyard together turning it into an oasis of plants. We started to grow all sorts of vegetables and learned about vertical growing since our ground space was limited. I would source out local farms to get fresh dirt since I wasn't able to take advantage of the farm dirt back home. Jarod was technically a city boy but underneath it all he was country. Different from every other man I had been close with, Jarod put me back in touch with this huge part of me I had buried and forgot about. It didn’t take him long to pop the question and once we started to plan our life together by talking about the future we realized that we both wanted more than my little yard in the city.

It is funny how when you start to plan a family the things you once thought were important change and you think about how you grew up and what you loved or hated and how you want to give certain things to your own kids. In 2018, I became pregnant with our first daughter and we immediately started to look for a home with a bigger yard. We had no idea where we were going to move since both of us worked in Kitchener and liked our jobs but there was this feeling we couldn’t ignore, we needed to leave the city, the noise, the crowds, the buildings. We wanted space and more grass. In the spring of 2019 we found a bungalow, in Owen Sound, Ontario. It was still in a city, just much smaller (21,000) and had this yard we both dreamed about. 3 weeks after our first daughter was born we moved and started a whole new life.

This is where my homesteading journey really began, here on 7th Ave. We had one blissful year before the world changed and Covid hit. I became pregnant with our 2nd daughter and we both leaned into our skills more. Jarod started hunting and we expanded our garden, cold room and dry storage space. We became more self-sufficient and relied less on the grocery stores. I dug out my indoor garden and bought more grow lights. I bought a dehydrator and mastered the art of dehydrating and rehydrating food. I got a pressure canner and learned how to process meats, broths and vegetables allowing for more food to sit on a shelf instead of in our freezer. Mom and dad even joined in by putting in a 2nd garden, getting meat birds such as turkey and chickens and hens for laying eggs. Food security became the driving factor for us and our family.

I have been canning for 8 years now but this past year I put down more than 500 jars of goods making it my biggest year yet. Moving into 2023 I knew I had to share more about what we did and who we are. I want to empower people by sharing my experiences, skills and knowledge. I believe homesteading doesn't have to be all or nothing, you don't have to have this big yard or farm to grow your own food or you don't even have to grow your own food can. Homesteading is just about being more self-sufficient and there are many ways to achieve that.

If the modern consumer life has left you feeling anxious about food security or if you are feeling like there has to be more, you are in the right place, friend.

Thank God for Grandpas. And cows

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