By Jordan Charbonneau
Jordan has always lived in rural areas, but recently moved back to the land that her partner grew up on: Rabbit Ridge Farm. After graduation, they realized their ideal life was on a farm and homestead. “This land was ideal for us because we were able to start farming and building our dream immediately. It’s also 60 acres, much bigger than we’re accustomed to having access too, and surrounded by large tracts of land owned by family members.” Here they raise 20 chickens of a variety of breeds, “including one little silver laced wyandotte hen who is utterly convinced she’s a dog.” They also have six rescue ducks, one beehive, fourteen rabbits (three English angoras), as well as a 14-year-old Sheltie mix and a 16-year-old cat.
“I’ve actually been into gardening since I was a child, and my partner’s family has always had large gardens, but together we started our first market garden when we were on a summer break from college. At the time, we were kind of scrambling to make ends meet, and the garden not only fed us but helped bring in a little extra cash.” In their garden, Jordan grows a variety of produce. This fall they’re planting wheat, garlic, carrots, kale, peas, cabbage, leeks, and a variety of greens.
Their largest project, though, is going completely off-grid by building a 24x24-foot home deep in the woods. Jordan hopes to be moved in by next year, but there’s still a well to dig, solar panels to install, and a wood stove to create! Not to mention other homesteading tasks like expanding the garden, planting an orchard, developing crafts like soap-making, preparing the land for sheep, and overall hoping to soon make a full-time income from the land.
To Jordan, homesteaders are those people who first and foremost “are looking to provide for themselves as much as possible whether it be growing and canning produce, knitting socks, or making laundry detergent.” But she believes it can also define anyone who wants to live close to nature and find their community there, cherish traditional skills, and who are grateful for what they have. Her philosophy on country life is just about “slowing down and getting back to old ways of providing for yourself like gardening, foraging, and beekeeping. It’s more about food, family, and lifestyle than about where you actually live.”
You can find her…
On her personal blog: rabbitridgefarmwv.com