Tuesday, March 20, 2012

what is your dream?

If you read this blog, you are reading the constant story of one woman working towards a creative, agricultural life. If it seems like I already achieved that, I haven't. I have reached many goals but I am a far way off from waking up on a Tuesday morning and not packing up for the office. I work towards it every day and shamelessly believe I can make it happen. I appreciate you reading along, and your encouragement and shared stories and advice. But what is your dream? What are you hoping for in your own world? You know so much about me, but I want to hear more about you? There is some serious mojo in finally putting it in words.

Tell me.

photo by jon katz


Blogger Marlo said...

I want to be a recognized chef, able to really financially support my family with my craft and make every person who enters my kitchen be glad they came belly and soul filled. Thank you for caring.

March 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger TmcG said...

I am hoping for the same thing actually, so your blog here is a constant inspiration :) So far, I've only got 30 acres of California foothills, 18 chickens, a second-year vegetable garden and some newly planted fruit trees. I don't yet know how to make it happen, but I also look forward to the day when I wake up and go to work without ever leaving my own land. Your story gives me hope that someday it might happen. Thanks for a great site!

March 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I confess I am pretty much living my dream now. We bought our acreage two years ago and are slowly turning it into a homestead. House building plans are on target, riding is back in my life, hubby is learning to ride. Adding our own horses is part of the dream - not here yet but well on its way. Mostly we just need to develop the property a bit more - building gardens and pastures, and adding fencing. Won't all happen at once but no reason at this point to doubt it will. I love my life and am grateful for where we are. Of course, I'm in my forties now so I've had a head start on you, Jenna (and frankly you are miles ahead of where I was at your age!).

March 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Kelsie said...

This is my dream:


Enough room for the market garden I've always wanted, a barn for the chickens I've always wanted, and a blackberry thicket. 100 year old oak trees. And the best thing...total silence (except for the sounds of nature). Sure, it's only 1.5 acres, but it's totally surrounded in farmland and forest.

Right now, I live in the ghetto (no, really). The cops appear on a daily basis to handle the noisy altercations of my neighbors. Chained dogs bark day and night. I am worn down and actually sobbing as I write this. My boyfriend and I fight constantly because of the strain this environment puts on us. That little farmhouse on a small parcel of land represents my dream. I just don't know what to do to make it come true. This afternoon, I drove out there, sat down on the front steps, and had a nervous breakdown. I cried so hard and for so long I nearly passed out for lack of oxygen. For some reason, having a nervous breakdown on that particular porch with the buzzing of bees and lowing of cows in the background felt RIGHT. If I have to have a nervous breakdown, Lord let it be in a place like that. Amen.

March 20, 2012 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

After 8 years of dreaming and 5 years of trying, I'm finally picking up one of my dreams this weekend!! http://wagntails.com/html/prodinfo/elite.htm

My other dream is because of you, Jenna, and also my new little Nigerian Dwarf herd. I would love a small farm to allow my little herd to roam and to raise my own chickens, fiber goats/sheep/rabbits. Maybe a beef cow or 2. I want a place where I can't hear traffic, but I can hear a creek. I want both trees and pasture, a barn or 2. I just want space...

March 20, 2012 at 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are living the dream in our passive solar designed home on 85 acres in Margaret River Wine Region, Western Australia. We are almost self-sufficient generating more solar power than we use, have our own water tanks, septics, chooks and vege beds. Next stop dairy goats then sheep when we thin out our tree plantation, for paddock fence posts. We grow our own oaten hay for the horses, and will also put in some Lucerne/alfalfa. Like Jenna I am back in the saddle after 2 years off http://www.facebook.com/v/3599830237594

March 20, 2012 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

I want to do more with my hands while still actively engaging my mind. I'd like to be closer to self-sufficiency, although my goal isn't to be able to do EVERYTHING for myself. Just a lot of it. Maybe enough to where I don't have to work full-time because I'm supporting myself. I'd like to expand my knitting/fiber arts, and have a large garden and some small animals (rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep). At this point, I've bought a house with a small amount of land (1/2 acre), I'm in my second year of gardening, have two dogs, and have gotten to the point where I grow some of my own dye for yarn that I've spun that I'll knit into garments later, which feels like a good leap in the right direction.

March 20, 2012 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

been dreaming of farming for a long time, reading about animals and veggies/fruits. Did the whole in city but backyard garden,fruit trees, chickens, etc...still wasn't enough...Monday I signed contract for a tiny farm 5 acres, off-grid lean-to attached to barn. Thanks for the inspiration daily to live our dreams,

March 20, 2012 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

My dream is to be a full time SAHW and homeschooling mother of four. I want to grow our own fruits and veggies as well as produce our own dairy and poultry products here on our homestead. It would be great if we could sell our surplus.

March 20, 2012 at 11:58 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

My dream... To have a working micro dairy. Working with raw, fluid milk has become my passion these last few years. I want to have 3-5 cows, 10-20 goats, and run a herdshare program. The dairy would be the base of things. From that dairy, other things would sprout and blossom. Pastured hogs, grass fed beef, bees, sheep, rabbits, poultry... I want to someday grow to have either a veggie CSA, or a full-diet CSA. I want to teach people how to do the things I do. How to farm. I want to host on-farm dinners that are made from ingredients strictly from my own land. Draft horses, writing, a farm collie. Is this too big of a dream for one person?

March 21, 2012 at 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Jenna, thanks so much for asking, first of all.

A homestead in a rural area is my dream. Not a full blown farm, mind you, But a tiny house with just enough room......a couple acres, and above all the freedom of rural living. Not fighting with zoning over getting a chicken if I wish to get one. Freedom to shoot on my property, should I choose to. Freedom to grow and or raise my own food, get livestock, and so on. I really don't care for all the rules that politicians make up about what I am allowed to do on my own land (that I am well taxed on, for the priveledge of owning).....here in town. Peace, a little solitude and some wildlife are a plus as well.

The self-sufficiency side of it is what drives me most in this direction. If the economy gets bad or worse, I'd like to be able to soldier onward without having it hit so hard, due to having built a life that is sustainable.

And darn it, I'm a country bumkin from way back, and the whole urban life just doesn't fit me at all.

I live in an urban area now, and I am hammering away at my mortgage payments and paying as much as i can afford toward the principal so that I can get outta dodge. In the meantime, I'm doing my best at urban homesteading. Gardening, canning, and so forth. Looking at having this house paid off within 2.5 years and either renting it or selling it.

Not at my dream place yet, but taking some very big, bold, and positive / progressive steps toward it.

Thanks so much for your books and your blog. Your writing encourages me in that dreams are just dreams until we act upon them, and you do a fine job of making it all happen, so why can't I?

I'll get there!

March 21, 2012 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Since I just talked my husband (finally!) into being interested in moving to the country, I finally feel like I might actually be able to do it. I've always wanted to live in the country, but we have no dreams or interest in being farmers- we just want to be self-sufficient. We put a metal roof, solar PV and water heater on this house and realized this place isn't big enough. Not the house, which is twice what we need, but the quarter acre it's sitting on. We want to finish paying it off (1-1.5 years); look for a property and buy it; build a cob house on it with a solar system, et al., and then hopefully retire to it. Early retirement out in the country- that's the dream.

March 21, 2012 at 12:40 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Like you and so many others on this blog I dream of being more sustainable. I am still renting with my husband and we just had a baby, which was one of my dreams to come true. I hope, dream, think, save, and plan every day to one day live on a farm raising alpacas, chickens, worms, bees, and having a large garden.

I can almost smell my farm, as well as see it. You are right in not letting time pass you by, and I hope to be living out my dream soon. In the meantime I am learning all that I can. Thanks for the daily dose of inspiration.

March 21, 2012 at 12:43 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Like you and so many others on this blog I dream of being more sustainable. I am still renting with my husband and we just had a baby, which was one of my dreams to come true. I hope, dream, think, save, and plan every day to one day live on a farm raising alpacas, chickens, worms, bees, and having a large garden.

I can almost smell my farm, as well as see it. You are right in not letting time pass you by, and I hope to be living out my dream soon. In the meantime I am learning all that I can. Thanks for the daily dose of inspiration.

March 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger Tess said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 21, 2012 at 1:15 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

I am surveying my dream life right now. I just arrived at the cattle ranch I will be managing in Oklahoma tonight. I sold my home in California and packed up to come to this ranch. I am temporarily staying at a horse and cattle ranch in North Texas where I am back in the saddle after several years. I just got a beautiful border collie pup that I will start on sheep when she is old enough. I brought my American Chinchilla rabbits with me but will be adding a new flock of laying hens and meat birds.
I am going to be walking the land tomorrow to plan out my garden. The "cabin" needs a lot of work but it has so much potential.
Most of the herd is back in Texas but we have a few that hid out when the rest were shipped. I'll be work with Braham Herdford crosses and some angus thrown on for good measure - super black baldies
I am so excited I could not sleep tonight plus it just started raining a good omen for draught ridden Oklahoma. You motivated me to make it happen and it is all coming together. Thank you

March 21, 2012 at 2:36 AM  
Blogger Coco said...

We´re waiting on building permission to renovate an old farmhouse with about a half acre on the outskirts of a small town. I want a big garden, chickens, a couple of big dogs and someday a small spinner´s flock and sell at the farmer´s market.

March 21, 2012 at 3:32 AM  
Blogger Anja said...

My dream is to live a self-sufficient life, not on a full-scale farm but a small homestead like I grew up with, a few acres with a vegetable garden, ducks, rabbits, geese and chickens, maybe a sheep & a pig too.
I have lived the last 10 years in the suburbs growing my own vegetable but I miss the country. August 10th I will be moving to my little place in the country. It's a while but a transcontinental move needs some planning. I am looking forward to all the DIY that need to be done around the house to make it the way I want it.

self-sufficiency and a slow life is what drives me. Being out-doors and not caring about what is on TV next (people look at me funny when I say I don't have a TV but I rather be outside or have a good book then worry about what time I need to be inside or home to watch something on TV)

March 21, 2012 at 4:25 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Hi Jenna,
If you have been to my blog, The Simple Life, you know I retired on the 8th and I am truly enjoying life here with my two dogs while my wife still works.
I love to cook and have supper waiting for Linda when she comes home. Most of my time has been spent getting areas of my home organized and decluttered. We love to travel and as we get older the distances grow shorter but we still like to see places we have not seen. Linda is taking me on a surprise trip this saturday for my birthday, the big 65 on the 24th. Have no idea where we will be headed or spending the night but it should be fun. Have a wonderful wednesday.

March 21, 2012 at 5:21 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

All of these are so beautiful!!

Kelsie, you need to call a realator TODAY!

March 21, 2012 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger Andi said...

My dream involves a large piece of land that is close to our community, but in the middle of nowhere enough that you can't hear the highway. We looked for years before finding the perfect spot. It is on this property that we dream of building a straw bale, passive-solar, off-grid homestead. We dream of chickens and huge gardens, a wood workshop, a large sewing and arts studio, and opening our place to the public for workshops to learn traditional skills, crafts, art, and cooking. We dream of having a stall at the local farmer's market to sell our hand-made goods. I dream of waking up in the morning every day, with the whole day ahead of me to do the things I love, instead of leaving to go to work.
It's wonderful to have dreams, isn't it?

March 21, 2012 at 6:28 AM  
Blogger Barbara Dykes said...

I want to be able to quit my day job and leave corporate america for good. I want a small farm with a cow to milk. Sell everything I grow and tend the farm. A simple life. My goal is July 2013 - Fingers crossed.

March 21, 2012 at 6:41 AM  
Blogger John said...

Wow it is so inspiring reading everyone's dreams! I would love to have 40 acres with plenty of room for some cattle and to be able to pasture hundreds of chickens. Right now I'm doing my best to be content with 2 hens in my backyard and trying to be as self-sufficient as possible while learning as much as a can to prepare for the time when the dream becomes a reality.

March 21, 2012 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

My dream is to be self-employed in a life that has the writing paying the mortgage and the sweat of my brow paying for the groceries. I want to work hard, be healthy, and proud to walk in my skin running this small farm.

March 21, 2012 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Oh, and share this life with someone who loves me.

March 21, 2012 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

It is really nice to hear so many people with dreams similar to mine. This is about the only place where I hear this. I live on an island, 2 miles wide by 4 miles long. It is crammed with houses, stores, hotels and tourists. Everybody keeps telling me "this is paradise". I dont want this kind of paradise. I want land. I dont want to hear my neighbors snore, argue, or chastise their kids. I am not antisocial at all, but this life is not for me. Give me a little land, some chickens and good schools for my two sons and I will be content. We almost have their dad convinced it is time for a change. Wish us luck! And may everyone else here find the support they need to bring their dreams to life! Hang in there Kelsie, we feel your pain and send you the best.

March 21, 2012 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

I am at the age where dreams change, and they are not centered around activities or lifestyles. I am happy right where I am at, which is not what I thought would be, when I was, say your age. Everyone needs dreams, true, but not every dream comes true. Part of the magic of dreams is dreaming of them.

March 21, 2012 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

I am working toward my dream daily in word and deed. I want to start a theraputic farm for kids on the autism spectrum. I want chickens, a huge garden and maybe some horses to give these magical kids an arena to explore how to nurture, survive and thrive with their own unique skills. It's gonna happen...

March 21, 2012 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dream is pretty much the same as Jenna's -- except that I'm not so interested in sheep! But I want to have my money needs met by writing and a small amount of selling farm products, my food needs met by my own labour on the earth, someone to share both the work and the love with (also not there at the moment...), and plenty to share with others. I want to learn -- and do -- all sorts of things with my hands, as well as my mind.

My dream is to have a small farmhouse with a big, beautiful garden full of fruit and flowers, and eventually chickens, ducks, and geese, a pig or two, and a cow. Maybe a horse or a pony (Jenna's been inspiring me). With outbuildings. And hedgerows. And maybe little cottages/cabins/yurts for people to come stay in. (Writing/artist retreats, plus friends and family.)

I want enough time to be able to enjoy my work, both intellectual and physical, to read and to roam and to write and to do.

I'm not there yet, but I hope in the next two-three years I'll have a down payment and some writing income. Till then -- learning skills, practising with my town container garden, and I joined a local CSA yesterday!


March 21, 2012 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

The interesting thing about my dreams is the whole what I want to do part is constantly shifting and merging... I'll be in Haiti and dream of getting a degree in art therapy, and then the dream will shift to apprenticing to a straw bale house builder. Or I'll be in the mountains, on day ten of not showering and I'll dream of being a florist and having iced coffee at my disposal every day. So I've learned to view my dreams with a bit of caution. There are wonderful aspects to each of those dreams, but also quite a bit of compromise. I've been carrying around quite a bit of loneliness... I think the new dream is to accept it. And maybe, just maybe I'll find a partner for my adventures some day. The one constant to my dreaming is to find some land and have a cabin or yurt in the mountains.

March 21, 2012 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Flartus said...

My dream depends on my partner's dream...I want her to open her own restaurant, where I will manage the front of house. With a smile, and gratitude for it.

March 21, 2012 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Flartus said...

(On the other hand, just last night after a horrible day in the office, I was in the backyard watering the new peas, radishes and beets while the dog watched, and I thought to myself, "This is all I ever wanted.")

March 21, 2012 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

We are hopefully raising our barn in a couple of weeks. I dream that everything goes smoothly getting our final approval for the variance etc.

March 21, 2012 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Beth of the Rocks said...

Well, I want to build my own house, one that I designed myself. I would love to continue to be able to see my designs come to life as well. I have designed it to be simple, and with the intent of providing my own utilities. Instead of paying utility companies, I want to use that money to run my homestead.

I want to grow lots of fruit, melons and berries, with an orchard and berry patch. And some vegetables, but we like fruit far more. Eventually I would like to sell produce and earn an income doing this.

I want chickens and rabbits for fun and eating. I want my son to learn to care for these animals - but that some are for pets and some for the stew pot.

I want him to learn to raise his own food and provide for himself - not to be dependent on the system.

I've got the land. I'm building this summer.


March 21, 2012 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I have a lot of what I always wanted, I have to remind myself. There's no shame in not having it all and I've made a LOT of progress in the last year. I raised pigs, chickens and ducks in the past twelve months and brought many of them to market. I have my first farm collie as of last week. I rent a beautiful farm on a lovely piece of property and my husband and I are very happy. I'd love my own farm - a place I don't think twice when I strike a hammer or stick a fence stake in. I'd love to make a profit, open a restaurant on my property and have a venue for weddings and events - something pretty and authentic. I'd love to have kids soon. I know it's all a lot to ask and real life, not dreams, frequently get in the way of making any of this happen. But it's there, in my heart, and I want so badly for it all to just work. It's got to. I've already done so much.

March 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Hmmm, I guess my dreams are twofold: short-term and not-so-short term.

Short-term my dreams are that my folks can stay in this house until, well, until the good Lord takes 'em. I have walked away from my life in order to make this happen for them.

Not-so-short term speaks to my age. I am "just older" and the thought of working in corporate America again makes me ill (Corporate America only wants the truly young, so I'm feeling fine).

Down the road, I dream of living in a place with the mountains in back of me and the ocean in front of me. Of the dwellings on this land a small barn, coop, and small equipment shed will serve me well. Just enough.

I dream of a cabin with a fireplace, a small office, two bedrooms, and a small greenhouse attached. Nothing huge, just enough.

Preserving and canning should get me through the rough spots and the chickens my protein, (if I have the nerve to slaughter a living creature). The food I produce will be shared with those who don't have enough.

This small city plat I live in now serves as my proving ground. Peas, kale, radishes, lettuces, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers are up and growing in the small area of my parents basement until I can transform this small area into an urban farm, but it's just enough.

Some day, I hope to say, "Welcome to Just Enough Farm."

March 21, 2012 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

To own a 1,000 seat performaning theater with an attached 300 seat dinner/night club theater for more intimate performances. I'd have gospel/contemprary christian concerts where instead of paying cash for a ticket people would donate food to our local pantry. The gospel would feed their spirit, and their donated food would feed stomachs.

There'd be a variety of other genres as well as speakers.

March 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger downeast becka said...

i am living so much of my dream already, but after 10 years of work to bring this land back from earlier abuse and almost having the dream house completed, having to look deeper into the dream: as we create this permaculture oasis in downeast maine, how to continue to share in ways that can inspire and conspire to help Mother Earth More...not enough to just do for our small family--a single mama friend will be moving into our little cabin when we move to house in June, with her two beautiful kids. Another young single mama will be moving into our apprentice cabin with her ethereal 3 year old...we will have a small pack (5) of kids running around the farm this year! I dream though, of being more grounded and centered too, Jenna, i want to be more and more appreciative of what we have here and not just scream around from one task to the next (the to do list can be mighty daunting!) oh, yes and to get good exercise every day without feeling selfish about it! basta, thank you...

March 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Noël McNeil said...

My husband and I want to have a funtioning farm that can support ourselves and maybe a few other families. We are working towards that goal and trying to pay off our house so our expenses aren't high. Thanks for wanting to know!

March 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger karental said...

My dream has always been to have a few acres, have a big garden, bees, chickens, and a pair of draft mules. I don't need to earn money from my place, but I do want it to sustain me. We live in the suburbs, nowhere near where I can have draft mules, but over the last several years we've installed beehives, transitioned from containers to 3 very large square foot raised garden beds, and now we have (stealth...shh...don't tell anyone) chickens. Mister loves it here, and I love Mister, so I guess if the choice is Mister or Mules, then Mister wins out.

March 21, 2012 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Melina said...

We currently lease a small farm by a waterfall. Two weeks ago we started taking dressage. We have four bunnies. We look forward our bunnies having more bunnies. I dream growing fruit trees, berries, more heirloom veggies, and a pick your own. I dream of rich fertile soil that we nurtured. I dream of teaching college level courses in creative farming instead of just graphic design.

We dream of living in a sustainable home made of natural materials on acres and acres of land with a workshop space and two barns. I look forward to a family.We hope to live on more land so we can have farm animals.

I dream of inspiring others to pursue a natural life. I dream of spending more time inventing recipes and taking photos, videos, and documenting our story.

As I write this the dough is rising for a loaf of bread. Robert is fencing a new planting area. Four years ago our dreams were just in notebooks. Now they are the seedlings of kale coming through the soil. The sweat on our shoulders from riding lessons.

March 21, 2012 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dream is to be slow, and happy at it. My dream is to have time to wander in the woods. My dream is to have time to putter in the garden while my children play. My dream is to know where all my food comes from (backyard or not) and know that it nourishes my family.

March 21, 2012 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

My dream is to move back home to GA to live on a farm and raise my children knowing their grandparents and family.
We want to raise/grow our food- chickens, pig, cow, garden, orchard and bees. A couple of sheep for wool, a pony for the kids and a horse for me. A permanent clothes line and a wood cook stove...
To slow down and live a simple life and for my dear, sweet husband to not have to work so hard.

March 21, 2012 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger jim said...

kelsie-your entry was a bit unsettling=dreams are just dreams until we act on them- Im not sure why you stay where you are if thats not where you want to be. You're smart, educated and have the ability to make it all happen. Just do it, you'll be at peace with yourself and the stress will melt away----good luck

March 21, 2012 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Alassel said...

My dream is to be happy. :) Thankfully I'm pretty much there - I have a wonderful husband and we will celebrate our tenth anniversary in May, I have three wonderful border collies (and one not-so-wonderful terrier), I have a job I enjoy with good benefits, and I have lots of hobbies and a few close friends. Most of my dreams beyond what I have already are simply material things - renovations to my house, closing out of a lawsuit I'm involved in, etc. - that really aren't a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

I suppose a grand dream is for my husband to triple his salary so I can quit working, stay home, and raise the dogs and maybe get chickens. :D

March 21, 2012 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I dream of living in a small town with my boyfriend and three cats, close enough to town that I can walk to places but far out enough that I can have a small amount of land. The whole song and dance of chickens, bees, garden, maybe goats. I dream of a horse, though I don't know that I would have enough space.

I want to work at a library part-time, with the rest of my time spent on the homestead. I will plant tons of herbs, maybe make teas and medicinal products to sell at the farmer's market.

March 21, 2012 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Helois said...

We have already started towards our dream homestead we bought 5acres in the fall of 2010 and spent last spring/summer putting in apple and pear trees, some small raised beds for veggies and got some chickens. This year we are adding a few more trees to the orchard and some more raised beds, bought some more chickens and turkeys and some geese. There is still much that I dream about doing such as having a small flock of sheep and learning how to spin and knit and I would love to have a horse but haven't ridden since I was a little girl.

March 21, 2012 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Dee said...

My dream... to have land to live on, raise chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep and a cow and grow a large garden, and have fruit trees in order to be self sufficient and make a little money to survive.

When we have children, I want them to be surrounded by the beauty of nature like I was. I want to live the pure and simple life!

March 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger e.m.b. said...

I want to be a writer. A fly fishing writer. I want to publish a book (No upon no have been coming in the mail...) I live in the mountains of Colorado, and every workday morning, I pack up for the office at 6:30 a.m. and get home at 7:00 p.m. My dream is to not have to do that. I work in an office, like you said, to support my dream....my cabin and my side of my mountain. I love it. But I'm a long way off from my dream.

March 21, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

My dream is to eventually be self sustaining (which seems a common theme here). I’d like it to be that most if not all of what I consume is something I’ve grown or raised, that my energy and water comes from off the grid, to make a living off of my garden and livestock.

But then I have this other pull—to teach or work with children in some way. The dream is to give back somehow and has evolved into the realization that if I must have a job for now to support myself and build towards the other dream of being able to have my work be my land then I’m glad it’s teaching which I can feel happy about doing for many years to come even when I do get a piece of Earth that’s my own. When I do get to the point where I can be my own employment I’m sure I’ll still be working with kids taking in foster children and whatnot even whenever I do have my own kids. I’d also like to share this dream with a partner, but maybe have gotten cynical (or smart) in this area and am not going to continge my happiness around that factor.

I’m not sure even where this dream will finally transpire. I know I don’t want to live where I am now my whole life, since I miss the seasons and trees and don’t wish to forsake them forever—when I got a taste of the Northern Minnesota I got the idea that there would be the place, so my current dream visualization has a lot of Norwegian pines and tamaracks in the background. I’ve never lived in a place longer than 3 years since getting out of college and somewhere in my gut I know its right to stay and save where I am so that the next move can be the real deal…honestly I’ve come to some sort of peace about that, and I’m having a great time in the present, because the dream is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

March 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger farmforeman said...


I second Jenna: Call a realtor. The place is enchanting, and the price looks good. Jenna did it, so can you...

March 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Kelsie: I emailed the realtor about you! I hope he contacts you!

and EMB: i just sent your link around ORVIS!

March 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I have many dreams, some very large, more small, some that will be fulfilled, others that will remain dreams. Right now I am fulfilling a dream of starting my own business. I have the papers from the town offices to make my business official. My brochure is almost done and I am looking for someone to help me build my website. Almost every day I think of backing out but try to remember what I read about dreams: the reason most people don't fulfill their dreams is because they have to step outside their comfort zone. So I am scared to death but am stepping outside.... It is a small business, not meant to replace my day job but will allow me to continue one of my passions: collecting vintage china.

March 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Wow, this is amazing.

I was outside today seeing how much I have exactly what I want. There is a lot if work to do to complete it but the bones are there. I was turning my compost pile, a giant beast that we started before we even had the first though of gardening, and I had to dig deep and pull out branches but I got to this point where I hit that gorgeous black dirt. This is 10 years of grass and leaves decomposed, it beautiful! Then I looked at the raised beds and containers I have and have planned and I can't believe it but I'll have enough compost. And as I was surveying I saw the spot for my chicken coop (right next to the compost pile) and my bee hive and I felt like it can all come together on a half acre in the city. There are two huge farms three miles away where i'm registered as a volunteer and will learn and help with animals. It isn't all mine but put together it contains all the elements of my dream right here where I am. I want to sustain myself and my family as much as possible from our half acre ( in addition to raised beds my landscape plan is all edible fruits and berries). But we'll have to dive into the community for some things and I'm happy with that. We can make a huge difference to city living by supporting local agriculture and giving fruit to our neighbors!

All I had to do was open my eyes and it was all here all along. Thanks for being the catalyst, Jenna!

March 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

My dream is to be a published novelist. I've fallen back in my pursuit of that, but I'm slowly getting back on track, a half-hour at a time after the kids in are bed at night.

March 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Monster Librarian said...

I dreamt of clouds and a huge storm this morning. I wasn't scared, I was fascinated and I awoke feeling like I could get what I wanted, what I dream about: that I could write a really good book; be a librarian in a small rural library where I knew people and felt like I made a difference; that I could be a Farmer; that things could work out happily ever after with the wonderful boy I met this weekend...*sigh* :)

March 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Jenna, thank you for giving all us us a supportive venue to voice our dreams. A gentle kick in the butt for those of us who need it. Thank you. What can you tell me about the area west of you- Greenwich/Easton.

March 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Northwest Girl said...

Jenna - you already share your life with a whole lot of people who love you!

March 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Northwest Girl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

kwdiving? Are you in some tropic? Sounds pretty fancy!

That area is very nice, just a bit west and still washington county. it's got a lot of farms up on the market, nearbye salem has an AMAZING arts community, too. Waldorf schools and homeschooling co ops and such. Friendly people, lots of dairy and ex-dairy farms.

March 21, 2012 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

@Kelsie, been thinking about you all morning since reading your comment…yes, talk to that realtor! Then even if it does take some more time at least you’ll know what it’ll take to get there. Even if it means saving and waiting think about moving on to a better location somehow, someway by renting or bargaining or some means—a negative environment can sure be a spirit sapper even for the strong of heart. Hang in there…cheering for you!

March 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Shadow Lane Farm said...

My dreams include saving up enough money to buy the 11+ acre wooded property that surrounds the 3 acres we currently own. I want to raise more chickens and eventually add goats and maybe even a pig or 2 to the mix. I have plans to keep expanding my vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens and plant apple and pear trees so I can produce enough for us to eat, preserve, and sell at local farmers markets. I want to live more simply and hand over less of my hard-earned money to the utility companies (we heat our house entirely with wood so that helps cut down on the electric bill). I would like to start my own business of giving piano lessons out of my home (I’m the only piano teacher in probably a 25 mile radius so I would probably do okay). I want to get to the point in my life where I can finally be my own boss—to make enough money so I can justify being a full-time, self-employed homesteader. Oh yea…and I want to play the piano in a local rock band! (a dream I’ve been carrying around with me since Junior High…

March 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

I want to do work that I love. Right now, I think that will probably be something to do with making and selling something from home, rather than working for someone else. My current job is just a job, but the salary and benefits are very necessary for us right now. I want enough land for us to be out of sight from the neighbors. I want a garden and an orchard, chickens. I want a home where the dogs can run outside and not be hit by a car. I want a sauna with a wood-burning stove. I want to spend my time making things instead of emailing about nothings. I want to be a healer of some kind. I want to be happy and healthy. I want to enjoy my wonderful wife's company every day.

March 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I dream of walking away from my day job. I'm trained as a graphic designer, but all I do is herd pixels around the screen all day. I don't *make* anything anymore. Haven't been on a press check to smell the blanket wash in years. Everything I make is sent far away to be produced. I never hold it, never feel it.
I dream of "Just Enough", like a lot of people here. I dream of caring for myself, and loved ones, growing, raising, and building things. I dream of finding someone who has like dreams, who will help shape my own.
Right now, I feel like I haven't found all the corners to start building my life's jigsaw puzzle yet.
There dreams are there, under the surface, for now.

March 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger spike said...

We are doing it here...the dream. My husband and I have known each other since we were teens and always talked about homesteading and farming. There are still goals that I would like to meet as part of that dream. The dream realized so far: 40 acres, 20 chicks in the mail, a veggie garden kicking off the Spring season, fruit trees, berries, very busy greenhouse, lots of perennial flowers/herbs that we are grooming for market and two houses being built for our parents. I am also a graphic designer but I work out of my house and only part time. I'm raising a son who is only 14 months right now. I have to admit it is hard work carrying him in my Kelty Pack while I work the fields. My goals for this year are to identify the most viable direction to take our farm. I'm leaning towards perennials... we already have over 200 varieties of lilies and a huge stash of echinacea and bee balm. I want to research grants for women farmers and continue educating myself by spending time with other local farmers. Thanks for asking. I have enjoyed reading what the other readers are dreaming of too :)

March 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Jenna, The island is Key West, FL,it has become a mix of the very wealthy and tourists. I grew up here and it used to be a cool place to live. Now they tell you what color you can paint your house and where you can park,etc. It is time for a change. I am not wealthy but can afford a small bit of land and house. I have been watching the area to the west of you for sometime. Any info you can send my way would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, kwdiving@aol.com

March 21, 2012 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Jenna, The island is Key West, FL,it has become a mix of the very wealthy and tourists. I grew up here and it used to be a cool place to live. Now they tell you what color you can paint your house and where you can park,etc. It is time for a change. I am not wealthy but can afford a small bit of land and house. I have been watching the area to the west of you for sometime. Any info you can send my way would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, kwdiving@aol.com

March 21, 2012 at 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dream of Belted Galloway cattle for meat, Clun Forest Sheep, Alpine Goats & Water Buffalo for milk to make cheses. Orpington & Sicilian Buttercup chickens for eggs and Jersey Giant & Russian Orloff chickens for meat. Haven't picked out pigs yet. And enough land to not hear neighbors radios or tvs.

"Oh, and share this life with someone who loves me."

I know this isn't what you meant but we love ya here and we enjoy you sharing your life with us.

I didn't meet my husband until I quit pining away and looking. About 2 years later he moved in next door to me on Oct 16th, we married on Nov 24th. It'll be 30 years this year.

March 21, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I have so many dreams. I think some will happen and some won't and that it will be fine, but for now I dream of raising my kids to be wise, and kind and connected to the world around them. I dream of having a big fat garden and chickens and bees and sheep. I dream of owning a nursery/bakery. I can't think of anything more heavenly than gorgeous green plants and good food all in the same place. And maybe some homemade cheese do go with the home baked bread. For now I'll stick with the kids, and throw in the garden and chickens when I can get the land. It's coming.

March 21, 2012 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Caitlin-Cats Critters said...

I want to be happy with what ever I end up being. To one day have alpacas, Nigerien Dwarf goats, maybe have some bees, some other birds besides my chickens, have more chickens, and get my garden going for this year and possibly expand it in the future.

March 21, 2012 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

We want to be as food independent as possible. Currently building our passive solar designed house on a hill in WV. We have 53 acres with big plans! Chickens, big gardens, a dairy cow, eventually some sheep. An orchard and vineyard. Putting up and preserving as much food as possible. Our ultimate goal is for my husband to be able to retire in 15 years and only consult (he will be 45) - the rest will be taken care of via the farm.

March 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger sara said...

Well, thru various circumstances I had to leave a job in the autumn. Chronic illness was a major component of all this. Secondarily, needing to finally return to what I do creatively and resurrecting that was a motivator. My partner and I want to actually buy about 20 acres here in CA, grow olives, raise goats, ducks, chickens and possibly cows, and all our own veggies and fruit. We've been working toward this for a few years now.

March 21, 2012 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

As a 61 year old mother of 2, grandmother of 5, I only hope & dream that my parents (who are still with us) can live long & happy, that my kids will live to appreciate me as much as I appreciate them & my grandsons will grow up strong & responsible. I don't want a lot of money ~ just enough to pay bills and help my grandsons with pizza money or Legos (they range from 17 years to 3 months). My husband of almost 40 years and I have recently bought the house we always wanted ~ a log cabin at the end of a dirt road (a very simple existence). We have a barn and healthy, black soil for our vegetable garden & small orchard. This summer we hope to grow healthy food for our family & friends. So far, my dream is coming true.

March 21, 2012 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

Wow, oh wow! These comments were amazing. JD - you kind of described Aptos or Big Sur or further up by Pt. Reyes. Maybe California is in your future. And Miss Kelsie - do what Jenna did. Call a realtor, get your "have-tos" in place, cause I think your little dream house rocks.

March 21, 2012 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

My very short term dream is to get all my bills paid very quickly so the electric doesn't get turned off and the cars stay insured and the phone and internet stays connected. They are all hounding me daily with threats. Then my very near dream is to be approved to rent a cute little bungalow in a very rural area near here where the rent will not take all of our income and we can begin to truly live a more simple life. My big dream is to either get a job that pays more than minimum wage and/or find a way to not even have to worry about "going" to work. I'm about to turn 54 and living a nickle and dime life is truly scary.

March 21, 2012 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger tanya Good said...

I too would like to live more self Sufficiently and own a farm. I'm tired of waiting so I've started a little on my own property, this year we are taking a 25' x 47' area of my back yard and turning it into a raised bed veggie garden! I'm so excited. Perhaps I'll add a couple of chickens after that. We own Alpaca's but since I don't have land yet they are at my friends farm in Ohio, but I have them!!! Wish me luck!

March 21, 2012 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

How nice of you to ask! It must be funny to realize so many people know so much about you and natural to want to feel a connection to your readers and their dreams. Reading all of these raw hopes and dreams makes me smile. Regardless of where you are in the process of acheiving your goals, there is nothing more beautiful than hope.
My dream is to continue to learn anything and everything I can related to farming and homesteading so my 12 acre farm can continue to be a haven to me, my husband, our son and Baby #2 due next month. But, more than anything, I want to always be able to provide my children with this life - knowing where their food comes from (just out the kitchen door and in the barn), loving to get dirty, thinking chickens are completely normal playmates, viewing the world as their classroom (and not having to actually spend time in one), going barefoot more often than not, never being told to use their "indoor voice", welcoming the sight of a honeybee landing on their arm, measuring their growth against that of the trees planted in their honor when they were born, thinking it's cool to wear handmade clothes, not knowing what a Big Mac is, and being given the freedom to just be a part of the natural world in all ways. I beleive this kind of legacy would be the greatest work I could do as a human being.

March 21, 2012 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...


Thank you so much! I'm checking it out now.

March 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger blind irish pirate said...

I want to open a small business - at home nursing care for large animal, equine specific, if you must know, plus a post-hospital equine rehab facility where horses can recoup from their various stays at the local hospital. In theory, it would give owners back their time and money that is spent with pricey hospital and vet bills, and also would free up my time, to a degree, so that I can enjoy building up a small hobby farm. As it is now, well, work suck you dry or sucks you dry.

March 22, 2012 at 3:22 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I want to be a published author.

There are at least three books I know I want to write - now I need to get it done! Thanks for the inspiration.

March 22, 2012 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Catharine said...

I am 1 month away from making my dream come true! I am moving to Sandpoint, ID and buying 10 acres of land on the Upper Pack River. I am building my dream home complete with barn, pasture, riding ring, huge garden, the works! I want to live more simply and surround myself with the things I love. I am a quilter and want to devote more time to that as well. Since you have played a huge part in inspiring me, feel free to stop by your old stomping grounds anytime! Love You!

March 22, 2012 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger mommypie said...

My dream is to make beautiful things. I like to sew, knit, spin, cook, and make baskets. I'd like to learn how to make hats, bandboxes, lace, a banjo, a canoe--so many things! Right now I am really interested in costuming. I am making a Victorian ball gown for a friend, and wanting to learn tutu construction. That dream is now becoming a reality! A world-class teacher is willing to come to my city next spring, and our local ballet company is willing to host the workshop--and it just took asking!

Homesteading used to be my dream, but isn't anymore. I like being downtown in my small town, and walking to the grocery, post office, yarn shop, library, etc. I like my neighbors, and we can grow a few things in our not so sunny yard with a huge walnut tree nearby. We have a CSA and support the farmer's market. I guess I represent the audience for the homesteader's surplus, and I am happy to support them. We can't all grow a good tomato or pasture beef, and I'll have more time for my passions if I leave those skills to someone else.

March 22, 2012 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Hey Jenna!
My dream - getting the hell outta Florida. I've never liked it here.
I want to find a rental house in upstate SC with a fenced-in backyard, so we can get a dog. Get settled and start exploring to determine if we want to stay there or move further north. Continue repairing credit so Husby can get back in school, while we're land-hunting. The building blocks are there. I'm reading up a storm this year. I want a garden, chickens, bees, and to live away from a city, so that other foods can be acquired more locally. The biggest problem will be finding decent work, I fear. But I'm over saying every year that we're going to move and then realizing we can't.

March 22, 2012 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

On a completley unrelated topic, the above photo reminds of the Thelwell characters- are you familiar with the British cartoons of the pig tailed littles girls on their fat, hairy and full of spunk ponies? If not, Google Thelwell Ponies and I think you will see what I mean! :-)

March 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger moesewco said...

I haven't been around for a while, but this morning realized that I miss you and your blog. I kinda lost my dream since we last talked. I want to be what I was, a piano teacher and milliner. We moved from Chicago to Duluth because the economy chewed us up and spit us out and moving "home" seemed like the right thing to do. But Duluth has not been kind and I'm working a temp job in a mailroom. We aren't able to get away on the weekends, so though we're 2 hours away from both Grand Marais and Minneapolis, we might as well be in Chicago. I have to admit that my spirit is mostly broken at this point and I'm trying to figure out how to get it back. I'm hoping reading your blog again helps me find it again.

March 23, 2012 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Desirée said...

I want to grow food and share it, and teach kids how to do the same.

Also I want to master Spanish and study in Argentina once I get my degree finished. Or while I finish it.

I'm single and have almost always been so (and happily)- but recently I've started to feel the absence of someone to lean and love on. So I'm adding a partner to the dream list too :D

March 23, 2012 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

After taking a trip to Japan, I feel like maybe my dream is shifting. I saw some really interesting examples of small-scale agriculture while riding the trains near Osaka and Kyoto, and it made me wonder about comparative agriculture...

April 13, 2012 at 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Henry David Thoreau said...

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

July 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM  

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