My house is getting listed for sale today. It was a home I bought just over 5 years ago, as a single mom, wanting to create security and stability for my kids.
I would have loved to have bought a piece of land in the country, where I could have chickens, and grow as much food as I wanted. I craved the peace and simplicity of country living.
But I knew that I had to be realistic, and as a single, homeschooling mama, that it would be extremely difficult for me to maintain a large property on my own, on top of everything else I had to do on a day to day basis.
I made the decision to buy in town. Although it was a small house, on a small piece of land, it was all ours, and I was determined to make the most of it. I wanted to create our own little homestead right in town.
High on my priority list was a wood burning fireplace, and a cold room for food storage – I wanted the ability to burn wood and store seasonal food.
I also wanted space for gardens – which we built.
We pulled out the ugly, overgrown shrubs in front of the house, and planted food shrubs – blueberries, red and white currants, and an elderberry.
We planted useful herbs instead of flowers – lavender, echinacea, chamomile, and chives.
We planted fruit trees in the back yard – semi-dwarf, multi-graft fruit trees, so that even in our small space, we could have a wide variety of fruit.
We planted an apple tree, pear tree, cherry tree, and plum tree, all of which had 4-5 varieties of each fruit grafted onto the tree. We had a clothesline, so we could dry our clothes with air and sunshine.
I was proud of our little home, and what it meant for us. I also loved showing people how it is possible to live the simple life no matter where you live – simple living is a mindset, not a location.
It’s where my blog was born – as there were tons of homesteading blogs out there, but very few who showed you how it could be done in the city.
The time has come for us to move on. I got engaged this year, and my fiancé and I are now looking for the perfect home for us to buy together.
We don’t know where it will be, but I am craving more space and freedom (city bylaws are not my favourite thing) – so we may very well end up in the country. I would love more space for my kids to roam, now that they are older, and more space for food production.
I’d love to be able to have a camp fire in the back yard without worrying that we’re bothering the neighbours. I’d love a wood stove, and enough space to store more than a face cord of firewood at a time.
I have always wanted our own hens for eggs, but didn’t have the time or energy to fight city by-laws. And even if I did, they likely would only allow us to have 3-4 chickens, which wouldn’t come close to feeding our family of 5.
My fiancé would love to have a workshop – somewhere he can tinker and create, and somewhere he can escape to when he feels like it.
I have loved our home in town – and our simple life in the city. It was an incredible learning experience, and allowed me to get my feet wet learning homesteading skills.
I’m excited to see what the future has in store for us, and in turn, I’m excited for the family that will take over my home. I hope that they love it as much as we did, and that maybe they love the simple life, too. I hope they see the raised garden beds and fruit trees as a blessing rather than a burden.
Depending on where we end up, I may have to come up with a new name for my blog – as Simple Life in the City may not be so suitable if we’re living in the country.
We’re going to take our time looking for the perfect home for us – looking forward to sharing the continuation of our adventures!