Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

WEST COAST U-TURN: If you haven’t read new HOMEGROWN member Sabrina’s profile yet, do yourself a favor and give it a gander. It’s funny, it’s inspirational, and it’s bull-free—in short, an honest peek into what led one Californian to leave suburbia behind. We chatted with Sabrina to learn a little more about her homestead. (A preview: homemade Kahlua.) Thanks so much for joining HOMEGROWN, Sabrina. Really good to know you!

What is Meet Your Neighbors? Most of us spend a fair amount of time tending our online gardens, but it’s easy to forget there’s a real person behind every quiche recipe, chicken inquiry, and hoophouse design here on HOMEGROWN. Well, nuts to that! MYN gives us a chance to meet over the back fence and shake hands. (Or maybe hug? We’re huggers. But no pressure.)

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Comment by HOMEGROWN.org on June 7, 2013 at 12:53pm

Hello, Sabrina! How is it in California today? No, wait. Let me guess: Warm and sunny? (Can you tell I'm jealous?) It sounds like you've been in California a while, but with a somewhat recent change of venue, to a 5-acre property. I love the description in your HOMEGROWN profile of going from a Lexus and Suburbia to a pickup truck and chicken poop. What led you to make such a big change?

Comment by HOMEGROWN.org on June 7, 2013 at 1:03pm

We hear you've groomed an awfully nice garden on that property. What are you growing right now? And part 2: It sounds like you've gotten quite adept at canning what you grow. What are we looking at in that canning photo up top? And what are some of the more unusual things you've canned?

Comment by HOMEGROWN.org on June 7, 2013 at 1:17pm

I'm sorry to tell you that your warning not to be impressed didn't work. I am anyway. Wow! That's quite a list. And how cool that this is your second round and that the less-than-stellar results in the first round didn't defeat you. Now, that's the HOMEGROWN spirit! And, yep, bottling definitely counts. Homemade Kahlua: recipe ASAP, please! YUM. (Just for reference, the pic up top looks like celery, carrots, garlic, maybe a tomato sauce, and something very dark and inky.)

So, you've got chickens—or, as you call them, the homesteading gateway drug. You've got a garden. You're canning and bottling and fermenting. Your husband is homebrewing. Have you reached the limit of what two people (with jobs, I might add) can handle? Or do you have more plans on the horizon?

Comment by HOMEGROWN.org on June 7, 2013 at 1:38pm

First Kahlua. Now bloody Marys. You're just taunting us—but we'll forgive you if you share your recipes!

What's that old saying: A homesteader's work is never done? Sounds like you've got more than a full plate—though full of such delicious stuff. (Fermented beets!) That said, it all requires a lot of effort and labor and elbow grease. What makes all of it worthwhile? What keeps you trucking? And was the big lifestyle change (minus the not-changed-yet cubicle hell) worth it? Would you move all over again, if you were faced with the decision today?

Comment by HOMEGROWN.org on June 7, 2013 at 1:51pm

Waste not, want not, indeed!

"To work with nature rather than against it": That sums it up beautifully! How cool to hear that you're happy and satisfied—and what great inspiration for others who might be pondering a similar move. Thanks so much for sharing a bit about your life with HOMEGROWN, Sabrina. We're lucky to have you here. And before we let you go, one last question: What's for dinner at your house tonight? 


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