Two and a half years ago I had no idea that a single book purchase would launch a new lifestyle for Fuschia, me and and a half dozen others. But that's exactly what happened. To be fair, our (now)friends Biker, Hippie Chick, Reader, and The German all had some leanings in the self-sufficiency direction. In the fall of 2008, in a magical, mystical perfect storm of coincidences, all those people blew into our lives, the stars aligned and we began our group journey into homesteading.
The first major purchase, and perhaps my largest contribution to the cause, was The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. We called it the Bible and it was good. Filled with more projects than we could reasonably try in a year, we wore out mine and a few library copies those first few months. Our enthusiasm was boundless in the early days with various people trying home brewing, potato tires(look in the book), building furniture, vermicomposting, and gardening. It helped that part of our (collective) job was to work with some local gardens.
Months rolled by with varying successes and (ahem) learning opportunities, including my worms, until we reached the point of group fervor required to discuss founding a hippie commune. Daydreaming continued unabated until we reached a point where Fuschia and I had to make a life changing decision: stay or go? Ultimately, whether right or wrong, we went and it took us away from all our hippie friends. We would eventually be reunited with some of them, for various periods of time, but even that has proven to be bittersweet. Never again will we all be in that beautiful moment attempting to live a more authentic life, together. Everytime I can green beans, pick berries or pick up a new homesteading book I think of the commune that could've been and wonder if in an alternate universe we're all sitting on a porch somewhere, drinking Biker's brew, eating Hippie's bread and enjoying the sweet life we've built.