What’s Old Is New Again

I’m coming back home.

Ten months ago we packed up our things and left the city of Chicago behind. This past ten months has been a series of fits and starts, fits and starts. But we’ve finally landed. We are very much in suburbia, but we are still apartment dwelling. It will be a little while until we realize our dream of home ownership, and that’s okay.

So I tried my hand at a new phase of blogging at Agrarian Revival, but I’m not quite there yet, so I’ll leave it be. Where I’m supposed to be is here, Apartment Farming. I fell into a common trap at Agrarian Revival – I tried to reinvent what I was doing and then I just stopped. It takes a lot of work to reinvent something. And I’ve spent so much time worrying about “content” and taking amazing photos that blogging became this really stressful concept in my mind, so I stopped doing it. If I wasn’t going to do it perfectly, then I wasn’t going to do it at all.

As it turns out, I’m human. And I’ve been missing the point. I’ve got a good life – reliable job, nice apartment, enough money to make ends (mostly) meet, health insurance for the whole family and always, always enough food on the table. I’ve got an amazing husband and a wonderful son. But the stress has literally started to eat me alive. Again, I’ve been missing the point. I’ve set the bar so high for myself that there’s no way I can clear it. So I’m coming back to square with my life. I’m going to work my job and when I clock out I will be done. As soon as I step off the elevator, my head will be clear. I’m going to start doing the things I enjoy, even if they don’t turn out perfectly and I don’t photograph them so they look amazing for the blog.

And I’m coming back to Apartment Farm – for me. I started this thing so long ago as a journal of sorts, to connect with others and share my little slice of the world. I’d like to start doing that again. But you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t have incredible pics on every post and mind-blowing, inventive never-before-seen projects for you to try. I’m going to go back to being me, and I humbly invite you along for the ride.

Follow Me At Agrarian Revival!

Just a friendly reminder at the beginning of a new year – I’m now writing at my new blog, Agrarian Revival, exclusively. I hope you’ll update your links and blog feeds and join me there! 

Won’t You Join Me?

Hello Everyone,

I’m sure some of you expected this, but after our exodus from Chicago, blogging at Apartment Farm didn’t quite feel right to me anymore. But wait! I’m not leaving leaving. I’ve moved into a new place in real life, so it’s only fitting I move into a new place in blog-land too! So stick with me through the end of this post, okay?

We still haven’t bought our own place or made any super-drastic changes in our life (well, aside from the sea change of leaving the city, that is), but we’re not urban homesteaders anymore. We’re in suburbia, which is a vastly different place from the north side of Chicago, and we have green space of our own. So the challenges and projects that I’m embarking upon are going to be a lot different than those who choose to remain in the city. While I’m not turning my back on that part of my life, it is time to move on from it. And I’ll respectfully let those doing the urban farming be the ones to share their own voices without me chiming in from the suburban hinterlands.

The fundamental core of our family (and of this new blogging home) are the same as they have been here – to be as self-sufficient as possible. To always grow as much of our own food as we’re able to. To can and preserve and fill our larder for the cold months from our own garden or farmers that we get to know personally. To make and do for ourselves as much as we can – sewing, candle making, DIY Christmas gifts, brewing beer, making wine, baking bread – you name it. To not wantonly exploit fossil fuels to cater to our wants instead of needs (we do own a car now but the trick is to be responsible with it – I’m aiming for two grocery trips per month, and that’s it!).

So please join me from here on out over at Agrarian Revival, where I’ll be householding in the modern age! 

And what’s in a name? Everything. Agrarian – of the land. Revival – an awakening. An awakening of the land – Agrarian Revival. Whether here in suburbia, on a little farm in the country or who knows where we’ll end up next – where ever we are we will be working towards awakening the land that lies around us. And about the tagline “householding in the modern age” – this is a concept that I’ve been mulling over for awhile now (my most recent article on the topic is On Longing for Simpler Times). Susan Haye’s excellent book Radical Homemakers encourages people to participate in home-based economies instead of consumer-driven ones. And one of my favorite blog authors, Paula of Weeding for Godot (and can I just say, how can you not like a blog that has a header photo of hops and a name that’s a play off of  a Samuel Beckett work?) summarizes exactly what people like you and me are trying to do in her excellent article Householding vs. Homesteading. And you know what? It ain’t homesteading folks! As Paula points out, we’re not trying to carve something from the wilderness or hold down a claim for title and deed. What we’re trying to do is run self-sufficient households, where a dollar saved is more valuable than a dollar earned, and where food in the pantry is better security than money in the bank. We’re householding.

I’ve greatly appreciated the fellowship and insightful discussions we’ve had here over the years (seven years!). I assure you they will continue at Agrarian Revival with great enthusiasm. Crafting, cooking, gardening and all the trappings of a good life, lived simply are what I’m aiming for. And I’m thrilled to be able to continue to share it with all of you.

Cheers,

Amanda

P.S. Please make sure you update your blog subscriptions and feed links with the Agrarian Revival address – while I’ll always leave Apartment Farm up as a reference site for you (and me!) all of my new articles will be hosted at Agrarian Revival from now on.