Friday, June 28, 2013

Interview with a Homesteader

Being a homesteader was never on my list of top five things to accomplish when I was 25 years old. It really wasn't even in the top 10 until my son was born in 2005. When I look back and think about the transformation that is my life, I'm pleased and honored that I have been given the gift of looking after my family, the land, the animals and able to grow food.

Another gift has been my connection with the gals over at Farm Chit Chat - we're doing a Homesteader Highlight each week - in life I'm assured there is a main purpose: to help other individuals.

There's a kind of childish smile that begins when I contemplate the connection between myself and the term homesteader. Me? Really?  Yes, really.

Here is part of an interview that I completed last week:

Farm Chit Chat: Sheila Menendez started her blog, Hope Farm, as a means to connect with others and make known what her life on a small -timey farm is like.  She posts the good, the bad, and the ugly, not necessarily in that order.  Sometimes, she doesn't post as often as she would like to - this often means that they are busy working the farm, pulling weeds, or visiting with friends and family.  The blog and the ever-growing pile of laundry often come last  in a long line of priorities.  

Interviewing Sheila for the homesteader highlight, I was reminded of my grandparents.  Not that Sheila and her husband Ed are old.  Not by any means.  But their strengths and values remind me of a generation that had to live purposefully, with grateful hearts and enduring spirits.   Read on to learn more about this beautiful spirit.
 Farm Chit ChatHow did you get started in farming/homesteading?

 Sheila - I suppose I've always been connected animals my entire life – having always had horses and later, chickens. My husband grew up in upstate New York and he was involved in the FFA (President in his senior year of High School) and 4H as a youngster. In fact, his mom, Marie, started a 4H group and kept it organized for a good while. So, all that to say, there has always been some level of farming or homesteading in my blood – while I could certainly be considered a city-girl, growing up in the Inland Empire of Southern California – it’s something that can’t leak out; that desire to grow your own food, be a good steward of the land, and to excel at animal husbandry. We got started in 2005 – back in California – but really gained momentum in 2008, here in North Carolina.
Farm Chit ChatWhen did you begin? How?

Sheila- I always say there’s a story that leads to every story so let me start in the beginning. Prior to living in North Carolina, my husband and my then-toddler and myself lived in the mountains just south of Banning, California in an area called Twin Pines. We had a mini-homestead then with some Barbados sheep, chickens, and a couple of goats. But in October of 2006 the Esperanza fire ripped through the area taking over 30% of the homes and while ours did not burn, we lost our business and decided to make a major life change. We needed to live in a location where we could afford to live within our means, grow our own food, and raise our son to know what that was like. We prayed for guidance and I have often said that “God rolled out the red carpet right to this old farmhouse on a few acres.”

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the interview.


In Progress said...

Read the interview...very nice. I could hear your voice saying these things! As to your last answer: Amen!

A Daughter of the King said...

" I always say there’s a story that leads to every story..." I love this about you, Sheila!

Sheila Menendez said...


Sheila Menendez said...

Today, at church, I was reminded of the Greatest Story Ever Told, and it made me realize WHY I say that there is always a back-story. Thanks for loving that about me, Becky! <3 Blessings to you and yours.