We enjoy sharing the MitchaRachia Homestead on our blog and with friends and family who visit. Homesteading is a choice we make and self sufficiency is a value we live by. Some people choose to raise a family, some to travel, some to build wealth, some to live off the grid, and so forth. We choose to live in the mountains away from a consumer-driven society where we grow and produce as much of our own food, fuel, and other products as we can while both working full time jobs.
We strongly believe in reducing our consumption and waste, reusing all that we can, and recycling what we can't reuse. We are not farmers - a farmer produces or aims to produce for their primary source of income. We produce for our own use at a much smaller scale than a farm and we barter our surplus or time with friends and neighbors before heading to the store. We do not believe a stronger economy is based on being a consumer of more stuff we do not need, but rather supporting local farms, businesses, companies, and services for what we cannot make/do ourselves. Rachel does have an affinity for clothes, but has primarily only shopped at thrift stores and reusing/recycling other people's purchases since she was 16 and only throws away what really doesn't fit anymore - hence the big closet.
Yes, we do think a self sufficient lifestyle is the best way for us to live on a planet that does not have the resources or capacity to sustain its outrageous population growth or societal demands. However, we know the ability to make the types of lifestyle decisions that we make are not feasible for everyone. We try not to pass judgement on individuals, but rather work towards more system level societal shifts and help educate those we are connected to along the way. We judge the system and not our friends and family and we ask that we are not judged in return.
We live in Vermont to be in Vermont which means we do not often travel out of state. This is hard for some folks to understand. Why you may ask? Because it takes a lot of time, energy, and resources to develop and manage our homestead. Working full time leaves us with most weekends to work on the land - we do not have the fortune of unearned income sources. It is also very expensive to live in Vermont and wages do not balance the cost of living the way they do in other states. This presents us with a minimal leisure budget outside of nature, which is our primary source of leisure as it is of sustenance. We are able to plan a few visits in the late fall and winter, but must balance visits with homesteading responsibilities, finances, and days off. We also do not have a credit card by choice, which means we really have to plan for extra travel costs as we keep our debt limited to cars, mortgage, and insane student loans.
Lastly, in spring, summer, and fall, we WANT to be in Vermont - to work our land and to play here and anywhere nearby. A common phrase Vermonters use to share this sentiment with their out-of-state family and friends goes like this: "We don't live in Vermont to vacation in other state." Stick season, winter, and mud season are just too long. Although this year, winter did seem to skip us over. All good, all the more to get done now for summer enjoyment.
Come visit us!!!!