Grow

Here we grow a garden of food to cook, share and preserve. We grow closer to who we are as we get more in touch with this place we call home. We grow a homestead and a life of earth-based joy.

Camera Dreams Come True

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Grow, Recent Posts | 11 comments

Camera Dreams Come True

I remember taking my first picture. I saved up my points from one of those school fundraisers to buy a 110 camera. I held the tiny box to my eye and snapped a picture of my cousin Kelly who was visiting from somewhere far away. The image was crooked and blurry and I thought hmmm that’s not what she looked like. I’ve taken tens of thousands of photos since then. It’s something I love to do. It started as a way to document the moments of my life for some future me and then for some future kids. But it’s grown into so much more. It’s become a way to express myself–an art medium. I like to compose images to remind myself of the beauty in...

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Dear Garlic, We got it right this time!

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in Grow, Recent Posts | 11 comments

Dear Garlic, We got it right this time!

It’s such fun to learn through trial and error, and there’s no shortage of opportunity in the garden. If you read my book, you know that I planted my first crop of garlic upside-down, because it’s fun to just go for it as a beginner. I was so sure the little green sprout wanted to send a nice root down into the soil, but that green sprout was the first leaf. It had to work a long time to curve around itself to reach the light that first season. I grew cool umbrella-shaped garlic, but the cloves were tiny and, well, I learned how to plant garlic. The side of the clove with the roots that look like little hairs goes down. Planted one of my favorite crops...

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Exposing Home – Reflections on the Tiny House Tour

Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Grow, Recent Posts, Remember | 8 comments

Exposing Home – Reflections on the Tiny House Tour

Last month, we opened our home to the public as part of the SustainFloyd Tiny House Tour. We were happy to share our home and help an organization we believe in all at the same time. What an amazingly full day it was. The tour sold out, and 260 people toured the five homes. Some folks drove a whole day to get here! This is a testament  to the growing interest in simplifying life and paring down to what really matters. Hooray for that! We met so many kind and enthusiastic people who loved our home and were grateful to us for opening it. We even got a thank you letter via snail mail. Thanks, Nancy, for taking the time to honor us with a real letter. There were people all...

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It’s Growing Season

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Build, Grow, Recent Posts | 2 comments

It’s Growing Season

Welcome Spring! Every fall I  plant garlic. This year, the green shoots popped up before the soil froze, and I covered them with a layer of mulch. Once the snow melted and the soil warmed, the green leaves shot out of the ground. There’s a lot of excitement around the homestead this time of year, “Mommy, the garlic’s up.” “Hey, guys, the potatoes are up!” “Have you seen any peas yet?” We stare at soil and wait. We sink our fingers into the moist ground and bury seeds. We plant flowers and watch the first butterflies drink their nectar. We watch the fruit trees bloom and with the rest of the county, fear this season’s...

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Watching Life

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Grow, Recent Posts | 4 comments

Watching Life

I raised seedlings last February when ice covered the ground and winds howled. Karl rigged salvaged shop lights in the shed 8 inches above a shelf. I planted seeds in the tiny house and carried them slipping and sliding on the ice. I set the seed flats on sheet trays with rope lights curled underneath. The bottom heat seemed to do the trick, because the seeds sprouted to life. I needed that. In the darkest days of winter, seeing the seeds break out of their seed pods gave me hope that I would sprout again, too. But those early days were touch and go. The seedlings reached quickly for the light and began to fall over. I had to baby them, raise them closer to the light,...

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Build Community with a Crop Mob

Posted by on Oct 27, 2013 in Grow, Recent Posts | 2 comments

Build Community with a Crop Mob

It’s as simple as this: Invite several friends who share similar lifestyles and ideals to come together once a month. Our group includes five families. This is a good size for a crop mob–more would be difficult to cook for (especially in our tiny houses), and we can accomplish a lot and keep everyone busy. More people=more food and more planning/management. Small is good. Decide how long to work. We meet on a weekend day and work from 2-5 pm and then enjoy a meal together. Take turns working at each home. The host family prepares a meal for everyone. The host family organizes all projects and work for their day. We send an email to the group a few days ahead...

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Building a Family Seat and Cultivating a Sense of Place

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Build, Grow, Recent Posts | 3 comments

Building a Family Seat and Cultivating a Sense of Place

In my last post I introduced you to Virginia, a dear reader and correspondent. In her letter she didn’t just talk about setting the day in your mind, she also talked about how we are creating a family seat here on our land. That term intrigued me. Here is a bit of her letter: My family seat is down below Sparta, NC. I say family seat, but I don’t even live there. It is home to my family since 1773 . That is what you all are building on your land. Family seat is an old English term. Not just a house or home but hopefully a seat for your family to have and come to for generations to come.  You can be so proud of what you are doing and how you all are working...

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My Love Affair with Cardboard

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Grow, Recent Posts | 4 comments

My Love Affair with Cardboard

This whole tiny house journey started as part of a much bigger plan. We wanted to live as free as we could from the confines of mortgage and corporate food. As we’ve lived on our land, we’ve been growing a homestead. Slowly, our virgin garden is showing signs of fertility–earthworms wiggle out as I am transplanting the seedlings, the shovel sinks in with little effort, there are less and less rocks to remove. Oh joy! You might laugh at me, but I stopped everything and took pictures the first time I saw earthworms in the garden. This brings me to cardboard. I’ve recently fallen in love with this free and plentiful resource for use in gardening and...

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Hooray for Progress!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Breathe, Build, Grow, Recent Posts | 6 comments

Hooray for Progress!

Thank you so much for supporting my work by buying my book! I am enjoying this feeling of accomplishment, and your encouraging words fill me with joy. I am also grateful for the support of other bloggers. Here are links to reviews of my book on Tiny House Blog and Tiny House Talk as well as some link love from Rowdy Kittens. Thanks, guys! Ella was sitting in the garden planting seeds when she said, “Mommy, remember when we didn’t have a fence around the garden?” I smiled at her sitting there in the purple hat she found at a Roanoke yard sale. She is so good at keeping me present and helping me appreciate my life. “Yeah, I remember that. The deer...

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My Book is on Amazon! Coming Home: Letters from a Tiny House

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Breathe, Grow, Recent Posts | 10 comments

My Book is on Amazon! Coming Home: Letters from a Tiny House

Today is April 3rd. I marked this day on my calendar a couple of months ago as the day I would launch my book. I picked April 3rd because it is an auspicious day for our family. I birthed our first child, Ella, on this day 10 years ago, and 6 years ago on this day, we opened our dream restaurant, New Day Cafe. April 3rd is a good day for new beginnings like birth, New Days and new books. In late February, when there was snow on the ground, I slipped on the ice moving laundry from the washing machine in the shed up the hill to the dryer in the shed behind the tiny house. As I lay there staring at the starts, that voice–you know the one–that crusty inner...

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How We Can Food in Our Tiny House

Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 in Grow, Recent Posts | 13 comments

How We Can Food in Our Tiny House

On Sunday, I posted a picture on Facebook of the apple canning I did this weekend. One reader thanked me for posting, because she was just telling someone, “A small home doesn’t mean you cannot can food or live a ‘normal’ life.” I like how she put normal in quotations. It’s true. Life in the tiny house is life, and from my perspective it feels pretty normal. Even though there are moments of frustration when I have to adjust my activities to this tiny space, exercising my creativity to find a solution brings unexpected rewards. Turning a bushel of local apples into twelve quarts of jarred applesauce last weekend challenged me. In summer, we do all of the canning outside...

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My First Blog Post: A Year Later

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 in Breathe, Grow, Recent Posts | 21 comments

My First Blog Post: A Year Later

I am enjoying an online writing class with Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens where I am reminded of how much courage it takes to click publish and share with the world. Thank you, Tammy and classmates! It’s been a year since I first clicked publish on TinyHouseFamily, and what a ride it has been. I remember posting about how I’d like to get someone to come over and take a video for me, so the camera wouldn’t be so shaky. I never thought it would be two cool guys straight off a plane from the Anderson show. Or that we’d fly to New York and share our tiny house on national television. All of this publicity has been exciting and fun, but when I read my...

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Garden Summer Garden

Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 in Grow, Recent Posts | 14 comments

Garden Summer Garden

I planted my garden from the far side toward the house without a plan. I figured the point was to get the seeds in the ground, so they’d grow. When Karl bakes bread without measuring anything, he calls himself a free-baker. I guess I’m a free-gardener. Now, it’s time to harvest the garlic, new potatoes and some of the onions. It looks tired on the far side of the garden, but in the earth is a bounty I’ve never harvested from my own garden. Last weekend, I dug up about five pounds of new potatoes to take to my grandma’s 84th birthday party, where I cooked the family meal for the first time. Today, I will dig up enough new potatoes to bake scalloped potatoes for one of my...

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Grow, Recent Posts | 6 comments

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Simply, Hari P.S. Enrollment for the Winter 2015 session of our eCourse, Creating Your Path to Mortgage-freedom, is now open. Read about the course here! Sign up for our newsletter to be informed of open enrollment for future sessions and receive our seasonal newsletter. Share...

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