So why Modern Farmsteads?
Modern Farmsteads is about more than just garden design and how to dig in the dirt! We wanted to start off our blog series by sharing the three main things that are at the heart of all we do.
Over the years we have seen how gardening and growing food can build connection among neighbors, families, and communities. When we had a plot in a community garden in Boulder, CO, non-English speaking, Chinese grandmothers taught us how to grow pole beans up natural wood trellises, helping us to learn sustainable practices even though we didn’t speak the same language. In London, like so many busy cities, neighbors who wouldn’t have otherwise known each other’s names found community in our large allotment. Some of our happiest summers were spent pulling out our BBQ’s and roasting veg straight out of our garden patches together while our kids played, learning how to care for beehives and harvest gooseberries among the thorns. Gardening has strengthened our bonds as a family too. Planting big bean seeds and watching them pop out of the soil, or planting sunflowers together and seeing them grow has been grounding, giving us a shared hobby that carries us through change and the different seasons of life. Gardening can bring people together in ways that many other things can’t.
Economy & Sustainability
Growing food can be an incredible way to save money over time, and it’s an investment in the fiscal security of individuals and communities. Every week, Christina’s great-grandfather used to take the train into Philadelphia to sell tomatoes that he grew during the Great Depression. It can be a very powerful skill to be able to grow one’s food during economic downturns or challenging seasons of life.
For many of us who care about sustainability, this is a way to enjoy fresh, organic food that doesn’t deplete the earth’s soil and cuts down on the pollution of our planet. We reduce our carbon footprint when we are connecting directly to our own food source - our yard!
Spending time outside and being involved in one’s own food production can be great for our mental, physical and nutritional health. There is nothing like being in the garden to clear our minds - for many of us being in nature is healing and gardening is no exception. Watching seeds grow, harvesting tomatoes, experiencing the seasons are all ways that we are refreshed and strengthened as human beings. Gardening is great exercise, too! Additionally, the opportunity to choose what fruit and vegetables we’ll add to our diets is fun and exciting. (This year I am growing a Chinese celery variety that is pink!) Having full control over the growing methods and the conditions that we use in food production is very empowering and the nutritional benefits that this brings to us, our families, and our neighbors are endless.
We believe that everyone can have what we call a “modern” farmstead. We’re crazy about this way of life, and would love nothing more than accompany you on your own journey. We can’t wait to celebrate your successes with you. Happy gardening from both of us!
Christina & Jochen - ‘The best food is grown in your own backyard.’