The Nature Life Project is about my journey towards living a simpler lifestyle that is more connected to nature. For me, this journey started slowly, one small step at a time. I was not a nature girl by any stretch of the imagination in the beginning. But then I grew some flowers and started eating more fruits and vegetables. I started spending more times outside and had a few good experiences using natural remedies in place of pills. I watched the Back to Eden film and knew I wanted my own Back to Eden garden and a flock of chickens. With each step, the wisdom of nature became more and more obvious to me.
I started to recognize that we tend to make things more difficult for ourselves than they need to be. When I started working with nature, life became easier.
My First Raised Bed — Lettuce and Tomatoes
Back to Eden Gardening
I really started to experience this difference when I discovered Back to Eden gardening. Up until this point, my experience with gardening included growing in containers, a small raised bed, hydroponics, and houseplants. I had experienced sick plants, bugs, fertilizing schedules, and pesticides. In fact, my husband and I were partners in a hydroponic/indoor gardening shop. I made a living selling fertilizers, pesticides, and grow lights.
When I watched the Back to Eden film, all kinds of light bulbs turned on. I saw plain as day how hard I was making gardening, how out of sync with nature I was, and how my plants were suffering for it. It just so happens the film took place only 2 hours from my house. Paul Gautschi, whose garden is the focus of the film, holds tours of his garden every Sunday, so I decided to go check it out for myself.
The visit was life changing. It is one thing to see a movie about something, but it’s a whole other thing to touch the soil with your own hands and to taste the fruit yourself. It was the sweetest, juiciest, most delicious food I had ever tasted in my life. In that two hour visit, I learned firsthand that just because the food we buy at the grocery store is big and pretty, that does not mean it tastes how it was intended to taste, or even has the nutrition it is supposed to have. I felt ripped off. Lied to. My eyes were open.
My Back to Eden Garden
So, I planted my first Back to Eden garden. It was a small plot, about 6 ft x 8 ft. I hauled bags of compost to my house in the back of my 1982 Toyota Corrolla, and was lucky enough to get a load of wood chips delivered from a local tree service. I drove behind shopping centers and loaded up my car with cardboard from the big recycle bins. Then I went home, laid down a layer of cardboard, spread one bag of compost at a time, and then shoveled and hauled wheelbarrow loads full of woodchips to the garden and spread them out.
My First Back to Eden Garden, Original Raised Bed, and Cloth Pot Containers
When I was done, I stepped back and admired my work. I knew this was the first small step of a long journey. This was my test garden, but even then I already knew I wanted what Paul had created in the Back to Eden film. I wanted a home on land where I could grow my food, raise chickens and live close to nature.
I added a brick border to make it a little prettier and planted my garden. You can tell I’m a rookie because my tomato cages are upside down.
I went on vacation and came back to an explosion in my garden.
My first Back to Eden garden was my healthiest, easiest, most successful garden to date. The soil was luscious. Dark, rich, loose. No matter where you dug into the garden, there were tons of earthworms working away. I rarely watered. Because the soil was so loose, it was kinda fun to pull weeds. My harvest didn’t compare to Paul’s in terms of taste (it takes decades for that), but it sure beat the grocery store.
I planted a second small Back to Eden garden at our hydroponics shop.
It did pretty well it’s first year.
Time to Make a Change
I started to become my own worst salesperson at our hydroponics shop. Instead of pushing fertilizers and pesticides, I started trying to sell the idea of an absolutely free (and healthier) garden to my customers. I didn’t believe in what I was doing anymore, and the time came when I wanted out.
In 2016, my husband and I sold our share of the shop and bought a piece of property near my husband’s favorite river for salmon and steelhead fishing. He had already been working double time starting his fishing guide service, and moving closer to the river would make life a whole lot easier for us. We would finally have the opportunity to create our own little homestead, with a huge Back to Eden garden, chickens, bees, goats, and a pantry stocked with harvest-filled mason jars. We craved a simpler, but higher quality, life than the one we had been living.
Sharing our Homestead on this Blog
This blog is about our journey to create this life for ourselves. We are learning a lot along the way. We make mistakes and have had great successes. We’ve had to learn to live with less, even though we feel like we have so much more. What I do know is that this is the life for me. As challenging as it may be at times, I love this lifestyle.
I love spending my morning feeding chickens (and defending myself from my mean rooster!). I love getting dirty in the garden, pushing myself past my physical limits, breathing fresh air, and feeling the sun on my face. I love the bees buzzing around me, the chickens clucking, and the frogs singing me to sleep. I don’t spend money like I used to, we don’t go out to eat very often, and I rotate the same 5 outfits every week, but I don’t mind. You can live without a lot of luxuries and be happier than you otherwise would be.
Our first flock and their chicken coop
I want to invite you in and show you how we are doing what we are doing. I want to show you how you can experience this kind of deep down fulfilling joy and connection with nature. I’ll share with you our progress, struggles and successes, along with how-to articles about gardening, natural remedies, and the plants you’re growing. I’ll even share a few of my favorite recipes for your harvest.
I suppose my hope with this blog is that I’ll inspire someone the way Paul Gautschi and his garden inspired me. Learning to live closer to nature completely changed my life for the better. I’d like to do what I can to show others how to do the same.
Read These Popular Posts to Get Started
Where Else You Can Find Me
I’m a regular contributor to Maximum Yield Magazine. You can read past articles I’ve written for them here. Three of my favorite are:
I’ve written a couple of stories for HydroLife Magazine, which you can read here.
Read my guest post, Why I Decided to Get Back to the Land and Start Homesteading, on the blog Take Them Outside here.
I am not a doctor. Although I heavily research every educational article I write, I recommend consulting with a professional for your individual health needs.
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