Alix, her husband Ken, and their children are first generation farmers of Blue Reed Farm. Located in the low country of South Carolina, their small scale farm is focused on smaller animals and permaculture gardening. Their homestead is made of up quail, rabbits, mini cows, chickens, ducks, sheep, and a very spoiled mini donkey.
I remember when we really started getting into our homestead journey. Ken was starting to outgrow his little garden and I was ready to take on more animals besides chickens. But when I envisioned our homestead growing, I saw acres filled with cows and goats, chickens roaming free, a big barn on the hill, you know…a farm.
Instead what we had was a little brick ranch house on half an acre. We said goodbye to the vision of sprawling acres with animals roaming free and instead managed to Tetris three chicken pens, a pheasant house, rabbit hutch, garden, two farm dogs, and quail shed in our tiny backyard. With still a little room left for our boys to run and play.
Our small setup can be a complete headache sometimes. I wish the boys had more room to roam, I desire more space for animals and systems, and I would love for Ken to have his orchard and market garden. But the reason I’m sharing all of this is to not be negative or complain but to make the point that this small homestead still has a big meaning in our life and still does a big job. I also hope it shows that you can start your
homestead journey whenever you feel ready and that it is possible even when you think you don’t have what you need.
I feel it’s so easy for us to caught up in the idea of what something should look like or how it should be, but that’s not true at all. It’s not so much the size of the farm, but what you put into it that counts. And our quaint little homestead has taught me that. While I still admire larger homesteads I see, and farms I have visited (because I know all the hard work that goes into them), I do not take our little farm for granted and know our hard work and dedication as well.
This small homestead has had a big meaning in all of our lives. It has taught me and Ken hard work and dedication, teamwork, and a great appreciation for the resources God has given us in life. My children have also grown in so many ways. They have a greater connection to their food, have learned compassion and responsibility through taking care of animals and doing chores, and have been able to work hard and appreciate the fruits of their labor.
I’m happy to say that God has recently blessed us with the opportunity to grow our little farm into the acres we envisioned for the future, but it has not taken away the appreciation we have for our little homestead and how it has prepared us for bigger things to come.
I encourage every mama on their homestead journey to not get caught up in the ideas of things or expectations but instead focus on the wonderful meaning your life around you already gives. Big or small farm, it all has a wonderful meaning, and we all add to that meaning as well. Our roles as homestead mamas have big meanings as well. No matter the size of our farm we still put in hard work and dedication every day, into our children, partners, home, farm, and ourselves. It’s not easy, not always fun, but no one can deny the pure satisfaction and great meaning it all gives.