Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I guess it all started when I was younger and loved to watch Little House on The Prairie.  I fell in love with Laura Ingalls, the Ingalls family and their homestead.  I knew in my mind that life was harder back then but still my heart had fallen in love.  Even if I could not go back in time and live as the Ingalls family did, we could still live on land and in a sense, live as they did... right!?  

When I was eleven years old my family moved to a town two hours north of where we were. I'm sure my parents had talked of land before we moved but I guess I just don't remember the conversations, maybe I was just too young.  Once we moved though, I remember the drives in the country, the talks, looking and dreaming together.  They wanted land and they had dreams of building their own home.  Sadly, for whatever reason this never came into fruition and I am sure this dream is still there for them. 

As a teenager I would dream of moving to Colorado... or Montana...  anywhere really where we could afford land.  Anywhere.  Somehow, it has been etched on the canvas of my life...  

Brent grew up on five acres of land in the country and his best friend raised sheep on hundreds of acres.   He loved growing up on land and has many, many stories to tell of his days out exploring the area around him.  

We were married and started off in a little apartment and then moved to our first house when John-John was a year old.  We were so thrilled to have a yard for our little guy to romp around in and to explore.   Benjamin came and still the yard was amazing, it served us well.   We had a huge side yard and built a large planter box so that we could grow our own organic garden. God had blessed us... He had provided so much for us through this backyard...  Sweet, sweet days... precious memories.

Then our two little boys began to grow and we were reminded of our dreams...  Brent growing up on land and knowing how good it is and me dreaming of it.  Our boys needed room, room to grow, to build, to play, to work.  

I don't remember how it started but somehow my whole family began looking for land together but it just never came together and we ended up moving to Colorado.   

And now, here we are in Colorado.  We love where we are...  a little larger home then we had in California, a little larger backyard then we had in California and an amazing neighborhood.  It's been so wonderful living here as we've discovered our new town.  Still, that ache for land is there...  

We've talked, dreaming with family and friends... I'd love to raise our own chickens and cows... to have a large organic garden and some fruit trees...  I'm not sure what the future holds and if we will end up on the land we dream of or if we'll end up right here in this home for years to come or if we'll end up in another country serving the least.  

So, because I want to embrace today, do all I can with it and enjoy it to it's fullest, I am starting my own Operation: City Backyard.  I don't want to just sit around dreaming of my land that hopefully will become a reality    but I want to make our backyard a place where the boys love to play...  A place where their imagination sores... where they can work and play.  

Our friends were over for dinner the other night and some of our talk surrounded around city backyards and land...  City backyards worked when our parents were growing up because they had the freedom and safety to go and explore the local creek or a neighbors farm in the afternoon.  They were not confined just to their backyards but instead their backyards were a useful tool in their afternoon adventures.   It's different now...

Operation: City Backyard will hold my brainstorms and projects for making our backyard a place for two growing boys and two little girls to dream, explore, work and play...  at least until, Lord willing, somehow, our dream becomes a reality... 


  1. I am right there with you and no my/our dream hasn't ended or died. I am drawn to land as you are, I am drawn to the open spaces and hope that at some point, while we are still able, to have land...be it a couple of acreas or ten acres. But I am working hard on being content for the Lord knows the plans He has for us, plans for future and a hope.
    May He cement His plans in our hearts and spirits.

  2. I can't wait to see what Carrie's fertile mind is going to come up with for her City Backyard - it will be amazing!!

  3. I am so excited to see what you have in mind!!!!

  4. I understand where you are coming from. I grew up in rural North Dakota on a big farm/ranch. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I also grew up knowing that my farmers were the hardest workers in the world. I'd love for my kids to have some space to run and explore like I did. For now, we'll just visit grandma and grandpa and have lots of running and exploring then.

  5. Carrie,

    Just wanted to pop in and here and say how happy I am to read your positive attitude about where you are now!

    Your post reminded me of an article I read on Crystal Miller's website (the Family Homestead) where she shared how she prepared herself for country living someday while she lived in the city for years. You might like to read it for more encouragement:


    I can't wait to hear your ideas! :)


  6. Mom - yep, our heart's tick the same.

    Michele - How fun for your kiddos to have a place that they can go as they get bigger! It will make time with Grandpa and Grandma so special!

    Anna - thanks for the link! I really enjoyed reading it, just as I enjoy reading your homesteading stories. :)

  7. There is a lot of great info online about homesteading in the city. Some places will even allow up to 3 hens as pets or will allow a miniature/pygmy goat as a pet. Some of those little goats are great milkers too! Even if you can't have the animals, there are a lot of great ideas for making the most of small spaces. Good luck ! :)

  8. We're on the same page as you. Maybe we'll get to be neighbors~some day! Until then, come on down and meet us at the Berry Patch Farm up the road!

  9. Wonderful post, Carrie! You have such a great attitude in all this! These are my dreams too, but until it happens, IF it happens, I want to have this same attitude, as well.