By Kelly White
Kelly White lives in Brunswick, Maryland, where she works to support and promote local events, food, and history. She enjoys writing about DIY projects, recipes and home care items to make with farmers’ market items, agricultural history, and rural life in general.
She is currently teaching herself to grow wildflowers, dry, and arrange them. Organic gardening, nature crafts, repurposing found items, and learning how to start a CSA are also on her to-do list. As a lifelong rural resident, Kelly is very interested in life in the country and small towns. She has lots of country skills, too: canning, cooking, gardening, repurposing, flower arranging, and natural body and home care.
Kelly planted her garden out of a desire to know how her food was produced and to save money — besides, she finds it enjoyable to sow and reap a harvest that’s all her own. Right now she has tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, strawberries, a raspberry bush, sunflowers, lavender and wildflowers planted. Two dogs share her home, although she’d like to get chickens, sheep, or goats in the future.
She defines a homesteader as “someone who has an adventurous spirit and is self-sufficient. I usually think of homesteaders as people who like to work with their hands — growing and canning food, making things, learning by trial and error. Also someone who has an attitude determined to persevere.”
“Country life is a part of my heritage. I grew up on a small-subsistence farm that was organic before organic was really a ‘thing.’ My grandparents lived next door to us and they grew absolutely everything. Their garden took up nearly an acre of land. My grandmother would can everything that grew, and every meal was made from scratch (and with love). My father helped with caring for the livestock and haying. Everyone would help with the yearly cow and pig butchering — we never had a need to buy meat from the store. In the area where I grew up my family’s way of life was considered ‘weird’ and ‘different.’ Now I am proud of how I grew up. I want to encourage others to consider this ‘different’ path as an alternative. It’s not for everyone and that is okay, but it is for me, and I want to encourage others to either try the country life or educate them enough to consider it as a respectable and plausible alternative. I think some people think it will be ‘too hard’ or ‘too much work’ — and it might be! — or maybe they don’t think they know enough to get started. Start where you are — in your own backyard.”