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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Good Life

Good Neighbors: The Complete Series 1-3In the 1970s there was this wonderful BBC TV show called The Good Life, or Good Neighbors, in America.  It was a brilliant show about a couple who suddenly decide to leave the rat race, and turn their upper-class, suburban home into a homestead.  They dig up their front and back yards, plant vegetables, and raise livestock.  In London.  In the 1970s.

Yeah, the neighbors weren't pleased.

I love this show!  We first watched it before the move, but after we had bought our current home.  So the dream, my dream, of a homestead was already alive.  But this show brought the dream into focus.

But as much as I love that show, it wasn't until today that I processed the full implications.  See, if I want a pretty house with some space, fruit trees and a good sized garden, then we are on the right track.  But if I want a homestead, a real one, then my husband and I need to have a serious talk about yard versus garden, and livestock versus acreage.

So.  New plan.  Discuss with thoughtful and open-minded husband the prospect of turning the front yard, or most of it, into a beautiful and productive vegetable garden.  Turn the side area into a fenced pasture for the yet-to-be-decided livestock.  And allot the area over the septic for the chickens.

The pros:

  • Less mowing
  • Better soil in front of the house
  • It can be beautiful (or so I have read)
The cons:
  • Um, no yard!  We live in a rural area (duh) which means that the neighbors won't really have a say, but we would still be different from the other houses on the street.  It would be a major transition for a girl and a boy from suburbia.  And it will make us stand out.  I don't like to stand out.
  • Where would the kids play?  We have two boys who need large areas to run around.
  • I can't think of another con, but I am sure there are more.  I'll come back to that.
I think this is a question of commitment.  Am I committed to being that different and off-base?  Are we ready for the full-deal, or are we only playing at the homestead idea?  And would that be so bad?

I don't know.  I definitely don't have answers.  But I am intrigued by the new epiphany tonight.  A front yard garden may be the missing link in this dream.


  1. My father insists that tomatoes thrive over the septic field. Ugh.

    a rustic Irish stonerow (like this would strike the right balance of country charm and eyes-off-my-vittles

  2. As much as I value your dad's advice, I am not eating any veggies grown over septic! Yuck!

    Hmm, that is some serious fence! I was thinking more of a white picket deallio to protect my vittles. Or maybe a Scottish hedgerow:


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