The way out here

Goodbye homestead

By HUNTER HILL
Posted 8/4/21

We sold the homestead. Yes, you read that right, my wife and I finally closed on selling our home of four years on the two acres of homesteading heaven we’ve been cultivating throughout that …

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The way out here

Goodbye homestead

Posted

We sold the homestead. Yes, you read that right, my wife and I finally closed on selling our home of four years on the two acres of homesteading heaven we’ve been cultivating throughout that time.

When I called Roger at the River Reporter to change our address for the subscription, I was immediately asked if I would be continuing to write about the outdoors and practice the way of life that I have had the great opportunity to share with you all. The answer is yes.

If it weren’t fairly obvious from these articles, I have a deep passion for living the country life: farming, hunting and cultivating the land for my family. With real estate being what it is, we decided to sell our current homestead in order to buy a larger property—hopefully the last property we will ever call home.

The other motivating factor has been the inevitable outgrowing of the space we were once comfortable in. Prepare yourselves for a couple more big announcements. As of the end of this year, I will once more be a dad, as my wife is pregnant with our second child. In addition to this, we just launched the opening of our official farm business, Hillstead Farm LLC.

They say bad news comes in threes, but I would call this the opposite of a bad omen, considering it’s three big steps towards our future as a farming family. For those of you asking if we have already found a new property to call our home, the short answer is no. We were initially in contract to purchase a farm around the same time we were trying to first sell our home. However, that opportunity fell through. So, in the meantime, we do have a place to stay and are working the property we lease. We will grow vegetables, like the potato patch mentioned in my column “One potato, two potato, three potato, a thousand,” and the garlic mentioned in “Ex-scaping the 9 to 5.”

Even if we had to move into town for a time, fear not, my loyal readers, you would still hear about me skinning my quarry on the kitchen table or helping my wife with the fall canning no matter the location where I reside. The way out here isn’t a lifestyle based on location alone; it’s a deep-seated drive to provide for yourself and live off the resources of the land, no matter how meager your stake in it. You can live out here all your life and not live this way, or you can run to the biggest city and still not escape that calling in your soul; it’s not unlike Jack London’s famous “The Call of the Wild” or even Gary Paulson’s “Hatchet.”

There is a drive to live the way we have chosen, and sometimes, attaining the most in a lifestyle like this involves selling the homestead you’ve started for the dream of the farm where these practices can be lived out in full fruition.

It was a strange feeling for sure, sweeping out the chicken coops one last time, clearing out all of our new hydroponic racks from the newly constructed greenhouse, and closing the doors to my small woodshop after sweeping out the last remnants of sawdust. There will never again be a homestead like the one we close this chapter on, but with God and work, our next chapter will hold even greater blessings. The way out here, we’re always working to build on what we have, sometimes by selling it in exchange for the next great opportunity. Stay tuned for more big news from the homestead, wherever that may be.

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