why are we raising money?

this is Esther - we want to build her split rail paddocks to graze her responsibly - and then grow her hedgerows that will protect her, and the land, and be Edible!
maybe some of you who aren't in my day to day life lately are wondering Why shagbark is raising money. why ask strangers, old friends, and random acquaintances to support us? it is a scary thing for me, and NOT something i am accustomed to - but it also feels like a great way to move forward at this moment in my life. here's a short version of how i got here:

i worked for a handful of months in a row, saving up money with a partner the First time i moved to ______ farms, in 2009. we stayed for a season or so, and decided to move back to a city temporarily to face various hardships in a different setting. i visited a few more times during 2009 and 2010, tending gardens and moving stuff around. by late 2010 it became clear to me that "temporarily" was longer than i was comfortable with, and i sought to officially continue my residency at ____ farms in the spring of 2011.

i worked as a waitress for a year and saved half my income (the most money i've ever made in a year!) before returning to the land in the spring of 2011. it was money hard earned, especially after a few years in community both at _____ farms and acorn community in virginia. city life just doesn't compare once you've lived with friends on a beautiful farm. i tried to use my savings wisely, making a down payment on my land (which is very affordable, and is purchased as a Lifetime lease, renewable and transferable to children, heirs, etc) and setting aside enough to support myself, my dog, and our various projects for the first year so i wouldn't have to worry about making money right away.

as cold weather swept in during october of 2011, i started working at a cafe in a nearby town. i have been working there ever since, as well as doing web design work for a local business (they make drum carders for processing wool!), and doing administrative work for folks at the ecovillage nearby who are running a 5-week intensive in ecovillage design. i tack onto this the odd work here and there, selling herbal medicines, hand made books, doing childcare, and occasionally mending clothes or doing custom artwork for folks.

unfortunately, my web design work is slowing to a close, the ecovillage design admin work is temporary, and the lovely folks who run main street cafe are closing their doors in a few short weeks to keep their own family financially solvent. while all this appears unfortunate on the surface, it's also freeing up time for me to work on the land, which is starting to produce for us now that we have more infrastructure in place and more animals to work with. we get milk and eggs and meat on a regular basis now, as well as nearly all our medical needs through the plants that grow here already. soon the gardens will be growing and we'll plant enough extra to put up food for the winter.

so - we're asking for money not because we do not want to work, or because it's hard, but because we Want to do the hard work on the land, supporting this growing culture of sustainability and providing an exciting and liveable example to others, rather than splitting our efforts between the land and outside work that is only relevant in its capacity to make us money. the land is Able to help us make money now, if only we can offer it more time. and that's where You come in. your dollars are giving us that little extra push to tip the scales, so that our farm projects turn into a small business that nourishes our home And the homes, bellies, and hearts of our neighbors. this work is so important, and we are so blessed to have your support. thanks for reading, understanding, and sharing your voice.

if you're able and happy to contribute in Any way, you can help a homestead thrive.


Annie said…
Hello, I just posted about your campaign on facebook and made a contribution too. I have been reading through the blog for a few weeks and am so inspired by your path! Hopefully, this'll send more cash your way to grow your homestead. :)
hennalion said…
thank you Annie! every bit of support helps, i am so appreciative and glad that my actions can offer some inspiration. i hope our adventures encourage you to keep reading and enjoy your own as well.