The Unlikely Homestead


To look at Mike Neir and myself, one wouldn’t immediately think “Oh, they’re the sort of people who would absolutely be interested in living a simple life.” Quite the contrary, really (and somewhat sadly.) Mike is a hard-core computer geek, and we are both fond of technology and toys and modern conveniences. We both like Swedish death metal. I like motorcycles and jumping out of airplanes. We both like pretend-blowing-people-up in outer space, and and Mike loves playing the electric guitar.

However, these last several years, I’ve been longing for a simpler life. A more natural life. A way of living that would be simultaneously more fulfilling and less damaging to me and to the environment. As it turns out, “homesteading” is exactly that.

While we don’t have a forty-acre farm nestled in the middle of nowhere as I might like, we are fortunate to have a house situated on two acres a few miles outside a small town, approximately 15 miles from where I grew up. We have neighbors on both sides. It is a rural, but not remote, setting. What can we do on those two acres to homestead?

That’s what I’m going to try to figure out here.

This our back yard:

There is quite a lot of room to work with here, but it will take work to convert the yard into working space.

This is our small town:

I love how there are still many original storefronts. It has the basic necessities, and The Big Towns aren’t far off when we need them.

While I may secretly (or not-so-secretly) yearn for the Little House on the Prairie times, we won’t be approximating them here. We’ll find a balance between modern life and simple life, I’ll be posting our journey here.

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16 responses to The Unlikely Homestead

  1. linda

    Hey Erin
    Started looking at your flickr stream and ended up here on your great blog. Can’t sleep so have been blog cruising. Really enjoying yours and intend to read more!
    Linda’s Angus

  2. Hey Erin- don’t know where you are in Michigan, but I’m Erin and I’m here, too, attempting to homestead in small town MI. Like your writing : )

    • Erin D.

      Hi Erin! Thanks so much for the kind words, and I’m so sorry I didn’t reply to this sooner; I was taking somewhat of a hiatus from blogging and whatnot for awhile. I’m in central Michigan, about 15 miles outside Lansing. Where are you? I wish you all success with your homestead!

  3. Oh wow- we are in Alma, 1 hour north of Lansing!

  4. Erin D.

    Oh wow, Linda! I haven’t talked to you in ages. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂 I hope the pups are well!

  5. Hi Erin!
    You’re town looks like a postcard. Beautiful! We’re on 2 acres also. Only ours looks a little more sparse and completely treeless (for now).

  6. Erin D.

    Thank you, ma’am! I do love our little town – so many original storefronts and quaint little shops. We’re far enough out of town that we don’t really know anyone, but it’s still pretty nifty. 🙂

    I’d like more trees in our yard, too! We lost four last summer to emerald ash borers. >.<

  7. Barry

    I like your website – homesteading has widespread appeal, even way out here in Hawaii, despite a fierce headwind of resistance by insatiable tax-hungry legislators who show no regard for their constituents who pursue principles of self-reliance and sustainability.
    I don’t tweet, like, or da kine, just too fast for my style. I am trying to gear down to island style after a hyperfast professional career. I thank you for starting this website.

  8. Erin D.

    Aloha, Barry! I’m sorry to hear Hawaii is still under focused attack by money-hungry executives and legislators – it’s such a tragedy. I wish you great success in your unwinding from a hectic life, and what better place to do it? I applaud your non-participation in social media, truly.

  9. Your acreage and town are both delightful…looking forward to what you will be doing with your land.

  10. Judy Sebesta

    we were just thinking of doing the same thing here….we have 5 acres, 2 workable….we are getting chickens again ( for eggs ) & have tilled an area for a garden. i look forward to see more in your blog

  11. Hi Erin!

    Nice tameetcha. Peter H. lead me here.

    Love the way you write, I’ll be reading more!

  12. -B

    Always nice to see a downtown like that which isn’t all boarded up. An increasingly rare site.

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