Archive for the ‘Changing the World’ Category

Today’s episode of Changing the World comes all the way from Austrailia!  Here is what Sustainable in Holdfast Bay had to share with us:

What is your blog and/or project about?

“I started the blog about 8 months ago, primarily as a means to share information and as a way to document local sustainability initiatives. I live in Brighton, a suburb of Holdfast Bay in South Australia, and I write about the changes my husband and I,  and members of our local community, have made in our lives and on the home front in order to live more sustainably. I also trained as a Climate Reality Australia leader in June last year. The blog is also a way to promote this project and communicate local, national and global updates on climate change policies and initiatives.”

How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

“For us, living sustainably implies living within the means of our natural environment and ensuring that our lifestyle doesn’t harm other people and future generations. We value the knowledge and skills of indigenous cultures and are improving our local environment by practicing and promoting biodiversity. We share experiences in growing and preserving food, and contribute to our community through local share and swap groups, community gardens and volunteering for local projects.


Local swap & share table

Over a few years, we managed to reduce our household’s carbon emissions by 90% from the average Australian per capita emissions – one of the highest in the world. If we can do this, so can many others in similar circumstances. We all add up. By informing ourselves, changing old habits, learning new skills, and joining others who share our concerns and values, we are contributing to a global movement of people acting to safeguard our present and future well-being. Sharing our stories is a way of promoting and documenting this movement.”

What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

“It started with an interest in voluntary simplicity. I discovered the Down to Earth blog six years ago and became better informed about climate change. We decided to do all we could to reduce our household’s carbon emissions and quickly realized everything is interrelated. We assessed our use of energy and resources, and made changes to our consumption habits and waste management. It became a challenge to see how far we could go.


Our youngest neighbors were also an inspiration. Their enthusiasm to learn new skills, grow vegetables and connect with others in our street led me to form a local sustainable communities group. The aim of the group was to support each other in making positive changes towards a more sustainable way of life. The group grew to 20 members over 2 years, and we had a lot of fun learning from each other and experimenting with different activities.”

What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their own unique adventure?

“Become better informed about the issues that matter to you. There are lots of excellent blogs and sources of information on the internet and at your local library. Be clear about what you want to achieve and why. You do not need to justify your decision to make changes in your life, but it does help if you can give a simple explanation to your friends and family. Be tolerant of disagreements while insisting your choices are respected. Everyone’s circumstances are different, so avoid setting unrealistic expectations. Work within your means and capacity.

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, assess your consumption habits including energy, food, transport and discretionary spending. Consider the life cycle and embodied energy of products. Start with the easiest measures for you and your family and go slowly. Decide what changes you can make, consolidate, keep moving forward and trying new ideas until you reach your goal. Be creative and think ‘outside the square’. If you have a bad week, don’t worry, just start again the following week. Don’t give up and remember to celebrate and share your achievements.  There will be plenty of those.”

I love to see how you got your community involved and continue to do so.  Especially getting children involved.  That is so important.  As I keep mentioning, getting children started at an early age by getting them involved and setting a good example is one of the most important things anyone can do.  It is also much easier to teach children.  Many adults are set in their ways and are harder to get through to.  Not that they can’t change if they want to, but children are so open and get so excited to learn new things.  It is always a lot of fun.

I really like the advice that you have to offer.  I don’t really have anything to add because you said it so perfectly.  I look forward to following your blog in the future, and I hope that someday, I will ahve the time to work on getting my community involved as well.  I will be looking for some advice from you when I get to that point for sure!  For more from Sustainable in Holdfast Bay, please check out their blog!


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Today’s episodes comes from Inspirational Village.

I found you through your blog. What is your blog and/or project about?

“My blog is about the various building projects that my family has created to make our home and grow a garden on undeveloped land in the Gulf Islands of BC.  It began as a chronicle while we built a timber frame, straw bale home with a living roof.  The blog expanded to include other aspects of our rural lifestyle- homeschooling, food growing and preserving, expression through art, music, poetry and photography,  and spirituality.  As in a village, the blog represents many aspects of our lives that make it whole.”

Cob workshop

I believe that you are someone who is helping to change the world in your own way. How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

“All of our decisions include consideration for the consequences of our actions on the earth and on the people around us.  Being aware of the integral health of ourselves and of the vast system in which we function is at the root of all we create.  As human civilization has developed, and social patterns swing through history in waves of trends and beliefs, it is easy to see that large groups of us can be powerful and effective and intensely consequential.  I see myself and my family as apart of the growing community of humans who are choosing consciously to live with values reflecting a sustainable natural environment, and I think that being aware of that as a choice is what inspires me to see a better world in the future.”

Strawbale house

Many people, myself included, have not always been on this particular path. What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

“Having a family was the real start to doing what I am doing.  Although I can easily say that even before having a family, when what I was doing was less doing and more exploring, I was already drawn towards all the things I am now doing.  Having children really grounds one’s values, really gives a tangibility and accountability to everything.  They are precious beings so unscarred and not yet imprinted to the limitations that society often imparts through mainstream, thoughtless culture.  We have found a wonderful community which reflects our ideals, and offers a diverse collective of beliefs.  My husband and I began building our house in response to what we experienced while we traveled.  We met others who had built naturally- people just building their own homes around the globe as well as designers and builders in the industry.  We lived in a lot of houses that demonstrated the thoughtless, short-term consumeristic mentality, houses that use more energy than they are worth and create more garbage for the world.  We saw lots of abundant organic gardens, as well as places with nothing but nutrient empty, travel weary veggies.  We saw parents and families with strong loving connections, and we saw anger and hurt and loss.  My husband and I, while traveling, saw that we can create money when we needed it, connections with people wherever we were, and learn to express our ideas of the world with whatever creative projects we chose.  We visited various churches, festivals, sacred sites, ceremonies, and temples, reflecting on our own spiritual well-being.  Traveling and living in different cultures gave us an open-mindedness that erases many learned limitations.”

Cordon orchard

Doing things that are not the “norm” are sometimes difficult to get going with. What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their own unique adventure?
“No doubt, it can be very challenging to create a unique path in the world.  It can feel vulnerable.  There are a lot of questions, from practical to philosophical.  I feel blessed to have met my husband 18 years ago and to be creating our journey together.  Finding support is important, at least to me!  However, I think that starting out on a new path will naturally lead to the support of those who are also on a certain path.  Social media has made it easy to find people and information that one can then physically access, face to face.  There may be sacrifice, but one must always look consciously at those sacrifices to see that they may be creating gifts of space for newness.  Also, things usually unfold in a step by step process.  While dreaming big and seeing larger goals and visions is inspiring, there are certain steps that sometimes need to unfold slowly in order to allow many elements of any process to emerge.  We are always acquiring skills and understanding, even if the process isn’t taking the steps we planned in our time frame allotted.  There is a lot going on around us, and we are intrinsically connected to all sorts of plans.  However, we have a lot of power to create and to manifest, and when we use this with the purpose of being respectful and honoring of the systems that support us, then we can do all sorts of great things!   Be creative!”

Friends and family potluck by the pond- a summer swimming hang out for the neighborhood

The thought of having children very much opened our eyes to so many things.  We wanted our children to have the best chance at living happy lives.  Once we had children, our lives kept right on changing towards this new lifestyle.  I agree so much with everything you had to say about families and what you are doing for yours.  There is so much good out there available for our children if we look around.  Having a good community to raise a family means everything.  Your children are so very lucky to have what you have shared with them.  Our children are everything, as I have said before, and we owe it to them to provide them with everything we can.  This does not me money and things, of course.  It means tools to help them through life.  Surrounding them with good people and ideals.  Values and morals.  Teaching them they can build their own homes and grow their own food.  It makes me so happy when I see there are more and more people getting away from consumerism and back to nature.  You are a wonderful inspiration to those of us just starting out and to those thinking about starting out.  Thank you!
Spirituality is another thing that we are changing in our lives.  It is wonderful that people, like you, can go out and experience so many different spiritual paths and decide what works for you, rather than just going along with whatever is in front of you.  We have grown so much by looking past what was handed to us and looking at other options.  This is a process that I would encourage everyone to try.  See what else is out there, just in case there is a better option for you and your life.  This goes for all aspects of life, not just spirituality, but spirituality is one of those things that people tend to be scared to change.  The religion you have is what you have and that is it.  But that is not truly spiritual for everyone.  Take a chance and look around.
There has been so must vulnerability and questioning in our lives.  There has been a lot of sacrifice.  But this is all in the face of change for the good.  It can be very scary, but I know it will be worth it in the end.  The advice that Inspirational Village has to offer is very helpful in my opinion.  All the hardship is worth it in the end.  I am just starting out and know that this will be true!  Having a support system is also so valuable.  Although we moved away from our family, they are still an amazing support system to us.  We are also starting to develop a support system here, in Maine.  They are not our family that we love so much, but they are new friends and people who have so much to offer.  Information and advice is what I have found to be the most help from our new friends.  Once you get into a new community and start to find people who share your values, your world opens up.  It is a truly amazing thing.
Thank you so much for your answers to my questions!  Anyone who would like to read more, please check out this blog!
One final note:  I have only one more post to do from my Changing the World series.  Anyone else who would like to participate, now is the time!!  It is also now spring, so I won’t have much more time to do many more of these, so I hope you have all enjoyed!

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Today’s post is from At Home with the Brennans.

I found you through your blog. What is your blog and/or project about?

The blog is about our move towards self-sufficiency, it will become a diary of our house renovations – using all natural local materials, our organic farming practices and animal husbandry, with some lifestyle posts and recipes thrown in. I hope it will be entertaining and instructive.”

I believe that you are someone who is helping to change the world in your own way. How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

The intention is to be self-sufficient in nearly everything, and to minimise consumption of whatever we can’t produce ourselves (petrol?). Primarily, I want a healthy lifestyle for me and my family and I want to consume the least amount of toxins. If that means that I’m also helping the environment, that makes me feel good, and if by listening to me or reading my blog it makes other people change their lifestyle choices, that’s also great, but I don’t intend to preach!”

Many people, myself included, have not always been on this particular path. What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

I’ve lived in some of the most consumeristic societies on the planet, Hong Kong, L.A. and currently Abu Dhabi, the blatant consumerism, wastefulness and environmental disinterest had never sat right with me. When I moved to the UK 6 years ago I was horrified at the price and quality of supermarket food, so rented an allotment from the local council to grow our own veg organically. In that 1st year we produced over 50 different fruits and vegetables and then I got into healthy processing of the surplus, it was immensely satisfying knowing that all of the produce we ate for at least 6 months was our own, and we knew everything about it. The following year we decided to rent a farm in Wales, where we added chickens, ducks, geese and pigs into the equation. The more I researched the less I wanted to consume bought products. We loved it, but it was a financial drain, there’s a reason Wales is full of sheep, it’s because grass is the only thing that grows there :). Out of the blue I was offered this job in Abu Dhabi so we made a decision to put smallholding on hold, come here and save enough money to buy a place in a warmer climate without having to get a mortgage and have enough money to live on, although we have grown mostly all our own fruit and veg and kept chickens here also. Because we were starting from scratch, we could afford to plan every aspect of our new lives, and off-grid self sufficiency was the obvious choice.”

Doing things that are not the “norm” are sometimes difficult to get going with. What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their own unique adventure?

“One step at a time. I didn’t imagine when I started growing veg that that was the first step to completely changing the way that I wanted to live.

Get to know like-minded and positive people, there will always be someone out there who is already doing what you want to do, find them via forums, blogs etc.”

This is an interesting path to be on compared to what I have read before.  It is wonderful that you could live in the city and keep a garden.  I know that there are more of these types of city gardens coming available, but it still is wonderful to me.  I have never lived anywhere but a smaller town myself, so I wouldn’t even know where to start in the city.  I had never thought of renting a farm either.  I didn’t even know that you could do that.  I’m happy to see that the next step is going off grid and being self sufficient.  I can’t wait to see where you go from here!

I really like this response because it begins to show you what you can do when you aren’t living out on the land.  There are many options for people to try, no matter where you are living.  There is beginning to be more and more available many places you go.  Maybe we are starting to take a step in the right direction as a society.  Maybe.

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Today’s Changing the World comes from Oak Trees Studio.  I really like this blog with all it’s beautiful photographs and lots of good information and projects.  Here are her responses:

1 I found you through your blog. What is your blog and/or project about?

“I started my blog to share the creative side of my life including my crochet, gardening and upcycling projects. As well as my practical projects, I love to share my interactions with the natural world and my inspirations from Nature – skies and landscapes; trees, woodland and wild flowers; fruits, berries and other tasty delights from our foraging forays. I also take inspiration from some of the WordPress community’s photo challenges where I often draw on my love of the natural world and my fascination with history in the landscape.”

2 I believe that you are someone who is helping to change the world in your own way. How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

“As a species, I think we could really do with a seismic shift on the way we treat our planet, its other inhabitants and each other. But of course most of us don’t have global influence! However, I think what we can do is live our own lives with an awareness of our own individual impact and take mindful decisions within the scope of our own circumstances. By sharing our knowledge, experience and enthusiasm, I think we influence others too. I haven’t set out with a plan to change the world! But I do find myself sharing my enthusiasm through my creative projects and my endless fascination with the natural world and our interactions with it. I am hopeful that my enthusiasm rubs off on others and they too are inspired to explore creativity and connect with the natural world.”

3. Many people, myself included, have not always been on this particular path. What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

“I have always had a keen interest in the natural world throughout my own life but I think being a parent has made me even more aware of the plight of our planet. The future really matters. I feel we have a responsibility to bring up our children to know and love the natural world because we are part of it. As part of caring about the environment and natural habitats it seemed natural to want to be more aware of our own environmental impact and to try and take our own individual actions. I remember when we first had community recycling facilities in our city and going along with our eldest son to recycle newspapers, tin cans and plastic bottles. That was 20 years ago.
I enjoy crafting, especially in yarn and textiles but I’ve also had a long-term interest in upcycling – making new things from old. For me, this is a natural re-using of resources but also stems from my keen sense of thrift. I will look to make something rather than buy it, where possible, and I only buy new when I really have to.
I would say these are the main influences in my life.”

4. Doing things that are not the “norm” are sometimes difficult to get going with. What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their own unique adventure?

“I guess I’ve never been one who follows the trends and being an ‘outsider’ is normal for me! But for anyone setting out on their own ‘sustainable’ journey, I would say start with the ‘easy’ things. That might be finding ways to recycle more, using less fuel or water, or perhaps starting to grow some of your own food. There’s nothing like freshly picked herbs or salad leaves – I grow them in pots on my window ledges. If you have a family, encourage your children to get involved too. I think you have to look hard at your life and lifestyle and begin by seeing what relatively simple adjustments you can make in your life – then make those simple adjustments into habits. I think changing your life is really about changing the way you think – so lots of reading and research is useful … including, of course, following really useful blogs here on WordPress ;)”

I think that the single greatest thing, I believe, that we can do in this world is show our children how to connect with nature and everything that goes along with that.  There is so much valuable information and resources out there in the natural world for our children.  Everything is out there.  Our children deserve everything.  If we can get them off on the right foot, they have a fighting chance in life, no matter what life hands them in the future.  It has also been a lot of fun for me to learn alongside my children.  As I start learning new things, I try to find ways to include them in everything so that they can begin to have that appreciation for doing things for themselves.  One of the many quotes I really love goes something like this, “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.”

Thanks again and please check out her blog at Oak Trees Studio.

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With winter starting to come to an end, so is my project.  I only have a few more posts to share, so I hope you have all enjoyed this as much as I have.  Also, I am slowly getting my computer running again, so I will be able to post more regularly soon, I hope.

Here is today’s Changing the World blogger, Thirty Birds Art and Design.  Enjoy!

I found you through your blog. What is your blog and/or project about?

“My blog is simply a collection of my artwork, ideas and a few articles I have written/put together …either on the art/jewellery design side of things or on the slow path I’m trying to carve out for myself to a more sustainable and ultimately healthier, happier life for both myself and in terms of the footprint I am leaving on the planet.

I also have a Tumblr where I post – among random silly comedy/film/music/art posts – about my inspirations and goals in trying to simplify and take more control over my way of life. (If you would like to see this it can be found here)
I currently live in the centre of town in the South-East of England; though I am Irish and hail originally from a very rural location in the North-Western tip of Ireland.
I have lived here for 8 years and in the latter half of this I have felt a strong pull back to the country, and a more connected-with-the-land way of life. I therefore keep these blogs to serve as both a driving force and inspiration to keep those goals in sight and to collect information/ideas and imagery that may be useful to me, and indeed to anyone else who reads/follows my blogs.

I have spent many years s far researching, reading and educating myself on alternative building, ecological methods of living, sustainability and resourcefulness as I truly see this as a way forward for those many many people who – like me are beginning to opt-out of the mass-consumerist cultures upon which our western society seems to be based.
Factors such as climate change/the impact we as a species are having on the planet, socio-economic aspects not least in the wake of the financial downturn of 2008/9, and also dependence on fossil fuels are all now hugely up for debate and an ever-growing movement of people are continuing to share information on how to make better personal, societal and global choices and make conscious efforts to improve and enrich our lives at less of a cost to each other, our health, our resources and our planet.

Both economic and ecologic sustainability and independence are important to me. I am in my early 30’s and have never owned my own home, nor – in the current climate – would I be able to afford to do so.
I am also keenly aware of how the society in which I live not only wastes its resources, but is also disconnected from how we exist here as a whole.

To use an example; though recycling, sustainability and green energy is something that the average person is aware of – we still flush our toilets into some of the cleanest drinking water on the planet…a resource taken completely for granted and the process is one which is never given a second thought.

I seek to involve myself with as many steps in he process of living my life as I can…and by educating myself into simplifying my life; building a simple, ecological home, recycling my wastes and becoming solely responsible for any resources I use I hope to ensure that the footprint I leave behind is both measurable and consciously thought-out. I have been doing the background work to enable me to begin this adventure seriously now for eight-or-so years…my journey is still embryonic; but the wheels and cogs are finally in motion for things to start taking shape.”

I believe that you are someone who is helping to change the world in your own way. How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

“While I think this is indeed subjective; I would place myself amongst the many people around the world who – thanks to the proliferation of information – are actively trying to continue the dialogue on how to make better choices for ourselves and for the impact we as a species have on the planet.

This could be in the form of simply making personal choices for oneself and blogging about/discussing this with others, to directly educating people on alternative methodologies. Or in ways as wide-ranging as choosing “greener” more ethical/ecologically sound options when shopping, to instigating political or community action groups to tackle issues. Every action from the small to the grand can have a positive effect and make things a little better, so I would like to hope that some of those actions I take contribute to the movement for the better as a whole.”

Many people, myself included, have not always been on this particular path. What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

“In my early education I was introduced to alternative technologies and green building (I went to a Rudolf Steiner School in Northern Ireland).
While these “concepts” had been discussed – it was helping build a straw-bale building and the moment I stepped inside the almost-complete structure that a part of my brain sort-of woke up to the fact that there are many different ways of doing things.
As I grew up and travelled a bit, and carrying the early-inspired love of nature and the world around us with me..I realised that our species was doing a lot to damage this incredible world in which we exist, which would need to be balanced with efforts to sustain it for the future of us all.
Breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation are truly inspiring yet need not be to the detriment of society or to nature…and by changing how we exist on the planet we can ensure not only our own survival but the survival of everything we share the planet with.”

Doing things that are not the “norm” are sometimes difficult to get going with. What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their own unique adventure?

“READ read read read! As much as you can, educate and inform yourself. We are in the information age…join internet forums and discuss your plans, interests and hopes with others. Follow blogs of other people doing things similar to those that interest you…watch documentaries, youtube videos and vlogs relating to your adventure…its amazing how many people across the globe are having similar ideas to you, huh?!

Reading, researching and collecting information alone of course is only part of the process…where you can, physically involve yourself in a practical way in your adventure.
Take a course, attend a workshop, volunteer for a group/community initiative, go WWOOFing if you can or simply grow some vegetables on your kitchen windowsill…each tiny step will tangibly and constructively help you begin your process of starting down the path of your alternative choices.

I especially liked having this reply because it shows so much of the information gathering aspect of things.  Many of the bloggers I have interviewed are on a path with much of the journey already planned and steps being taken along the way.  They have been specific.  I like this blog because it shows so many different things that are available to us all.  There are many interesting ideas about tiny houses and living simpler with of mix of art and design.  I love art myself and have not had much time to enjoy any with all the planning going on in my life right now.  It is one of the many ways to relax and step back from our hectic and crazy lives.

Thanks again, Thirty Birds!

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Here is the latest episode of changing the world.  Today’s guest: Mountain Permaculture!

I found you through your blog. What is your blog and/or project about?
“MountainPermaculture started as a way to record the work I was doing to pursue a
Permaculture Diploma in Design and Implementation through Pemaculture Institute,
USA. It has evolved into a journal centered mainly around the development of our
mountain homestead and our experiences homesteading “part-time”. We try to share
our decision making process, successes, failures, and the realities of off-grid living and
“part-time” homesteading.”

I believe that you are someone who is helping to change the world in your own
way. How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

“There are so many who are making a difference on a greater scale that it’s difficult to
look at what we are doing in the same light. However, our desire for a simple life, timed
with learning about holistic design, alternative energy, regenerative land practices,
natural building, etc. has allowed us to work towards creating a homestead that we
hope will become a resilient and productive ecosystem. Our hope is to show others
what is possible and provide another voice of inspiration for people looking for a simple,
productive, sustainable, and fulfilling life.

Through this transition from suburban life to homestead life and our increased
awareness of energy, food, environment, waste, and consumption we’ve significantly
changed the way we live. Our suburban life was downsized from a 2500 sq. ft. home to
a 950 sq. ft. condo located closer to my husbands job and within a walkable
neighborhood. While in town, we’ve decreased our in home energy & water usage. We
eat local, consume less, reuse, share, and recycle more.
When at the homestead, we are off-grid and consume very little relying mostly on solar
and people power. However, we still rely on a diesel tractor for the heavy lifting and
Though sustainability came as a byproduct of our initial goal for a simple, fulfilling life,
it’s a byproduct that we have come to embrace.”

Many people, myself included, have not always been on this particular path. What
inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

“We were a typical suburban raised couple, college educated and gainfully employed.
We followed the suburban script and climbed our respective career ladders but felt
something lacking. Career milestones typically meant more stress and less time spent
together. “More” wasn’t making us happy the way we had been told it should.
We made a conscious effort to carve out some time for each other. One of those
activities was to start exploring the Colorado mountains. Those camping trips were
transformative. We found we were happiest with just a few possessions in the back of
the truck, exploring forests, hunting mushrooms, cooking over a campfire, and for the
first time in a long time, dreaming under a star filled sky.

We hatched a plan to buy land where we would eventually “retire” and have gradually
been transforming it into a homestead that would sustain us. We established a budget,
worked out the details for a debt free life, and got busy downsizing, saving like mad, and
making it happen.
We’ve been on that path ever since.”

Doing things that are not the “norm” are sometimes difficult to get going with.
What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their
own unique adventure?

“Find Your Why & Develop a Plan – It’s important to spend some time soul searching and
developing a clear understanding of why you want to do something outside of the
“norm”. Once you understand your “why” you can move onto “what” will fulfill your goals
and develop a detailed plan to follow.
Know Your Risk Tolerance – When planning on making a major change in your life it’s
important to know your risk tolerance. Be really honest with yourself and if, like us, you
have a low tolerance for risk, spend some time “practicing” your new lifestyle before
taking a big leap. If you can, intern at a farm or homestead, downsize your current life,
live on your anticipated income, grow a garden, preserve food, etc. Practice everything
and make sure you still love it when the romance of your new life wears off.
Eliminate Debt – Be really honest with yourself about your finances and if possible,
eliminate all debt. Eliminating debt will greatly reduce stress during your life transition
and allow you to make decisions based on your beliefs without being influenced by debt
Find Support – This is also the time to have really candid conversations with your family.
These major changes are hard to make and having everyone onboard really makes a
difference. Spend some time finding and developing a supportive community. Learn as
much as you can from others who have been down the path you choose. They’re often
happy to share their story, things they may do differently and what worked well.
Embrace the Unexpected- Despite all your planning, the unexpected will happen. For
us it was a forest fire the first year on our property followed by a year of continual
flooding. Adversity provides great learning experiences if you embrace them!
Just Start – Most importantly, start moving forward on your own unique adventure. We’ll
all be here to support you along the way.”

Mtn Mahogany Band July 7-41I really love the very last thing said, “We’ll all be here to support you along the way.”  That is one of the things I have found a lot of is this type of lifestyle.  We have barely started out and have been emailing and asking questions of everyone who did things we might be interested in.  The good information people have shared with us, for free, is awesome.  everyone is excited for you and is there rooting you on.  Everyone who is into this type of lifestyle is interested in having others join in and want to help.  The support system is amazing.

Thank so much for the great answers, Mountain Permaculture!  The information you give about starting out I couldn’t agree with more.  Really good advice.  I wish you all the luck in your journey and look forward to reading more!

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I found you through your blog. What is your blog and/or project about?

“I recently starting blogging again after a three year break.  My previous blog started in 2006 as a scrapbook/craft blog but I found I was much more interested in sharing my garden.  I started over with a focus on our suburban homestead.  We know we will move eventually (due to silly laws about our bees being livestock and no chickens allowed) so I am focusing on the things we can do now and learn to prepare for our eventual “cabin in the woods”.”

I believe that you are someone who is helping to change the world in your own way. How do you think what you are doing is making things better?

“Thanks for thinking that of me!  In my professional life, I teach inner city kids how to naturally grow vegetables.  I love, love everything about teaching outside of a classroom.  I just find that “plant people” are so willing to share what they know.  Through my blog, I hope I can share how ANYONE can try their hand at homesteading.  I am always hoping to “spark” someone to give gardening a try.”

Many people, myself included, have not always been on this particular path. What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?

“It’s all about my Grandparents.  My Grandfather is my bee keeping idol.  Both my Grandmothers made sure I grew up eating jelly and pickles from their own canning jars.  It’s very important to me to pass down these skills.  Otherwise, they will get lost.  You can read all about how I got started gardening here:  https://hudmanhoneyfarm.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/29/

Doing things that are not the “norm” are sometimes difficult to get going with. What advice would you give to someone who may be out there trying to start their own unique adventure?

“I started years ago with deciding I would learn a new homesteading skill each year.  So far I have taken classes on soap making, had my Grandfather teach me his way to make sauerkraut, earned a certificate in compost making, took a class to make cheese, added to my canning skills, taught myself to knit with Youtube videos and went back to school to earn a degree in plant science.  This year I focused on studying herbal healing with a monthly group of ladies.  I am thinking next year I am going to focus on bread making.”

Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.  I think it is wonderful that you can share your knowledge in a blog and teach kids in the city to grow food as well.  That must be a fascinating job.  Kids are usually so interested in learning things outside of the classroom, it must make you feel good to get to work with them.

We started out our homesteading journey in the same way.  We would learn new skills as we waited to get enough money together to make the big move.  It is amazing how much we have learned.  So much that we didn’t realize we could do ourselves.

Beekeeping is one of our next ventures.  I’ll be doing some reading on your blog before we start!  Anyone else who wants to check out the Hudman Honey Farm blog, please do.  Lots of great information.  Thanks again for your contribution to my project and keep making the world a better place.

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