The Grovestead

Farm, Family, Fun.

About

Me with my son Ivar

More than anything, this blog was born out of a desire to document what we are doing in this stage of our lives. The Grovestead is the story of our family’s adventures in homesteading.

We moved to this 10-acre hobby farm in southern Minnesota just under two years ago. At the time we lived on a 1/8th-acre lot in the Big City, with raised bed gardens taking up most of the backyard. Our son was an active 1-year-old and baby #2 was on the way. While we loved our location, neighbors, and Big City amenities, we felt a pull towards a simpler, more self-sufficient lifestyle. I wanted space to build, plant, grow, learn. We wanted to try farming, raising animals, and teaching our kids some of the lessons that skipped our generation. We wanted to reconnect with what our great-grandfathers and grandmothers knew and practiced.

So far we have tapped maple trees, raised chickens, sown alfalfa, kept honey bees, started an apple orchard and planted an absurdly large garden that is likely to only keep growing. But it all started with a tomato plant on an apartment balcony.

My background is in computer programming and business development–those nebulous skill sets which make digging in the dirt and watching things grow all the more rewarding. I have been self-employed for many years and feel fortunate to be able to work from home, making this venture possible.

My wife Becca is a homemaker, educator, mommy-extraordinaire, and one of the best writers I have ever met (check out her blog at joyfullybecca.com). She’s also my best friend and adventure-loving companion.

Becca and Elsie at the strawberry farm

Our kids Ivar and Elsie are 3½ and 1½, respectively. Ivar is all boy and loves watching tractors and harvesters up-close.

Ivar

Elsie is going to take over the farm someday (and maybe she’ll figure out how to turn a profit). She loves feeding the chickens, picking strawberries, and helping daddy dig in the dirt.

Elsie

So that’s a bit about us. Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoy it. Please leave a comment, join our mailing list, or like us on Facebook so we know you’re here. Living in the country is all about community, after all.

Some of my favorite posts:

 

6 Comments

  1. Love this! I will be checking back regularly.

  2. Howdy! I’m Sheri and I’m from North Coastal Washington State. I’m a backyard gardener, all no till and 100% organic. I look forward to following your blog! God Bless!

  3. Hey Rory,

    This is absolutely fascinating! Love reading it. Your cre
    ativity and persistence are inspiring, and the kids are as gorgeous as ever. They’re lucky to have such terrific parents, and we’re lucky to be able to read all this. Hi, Becca. Your whole book in the works is exciting. Go for it!
    You guys are really just too much. Wish we were still neighbors.
    Love to Ivar and Elsie and to you grownups too,
    Alison

  4. Just found your site looking up maple syrup tips. Left you a note on that.

    My wife and I live in Central Minnesota and just made the same jump as you and yours did a couple years back, albeit not so far from the city and on about the same acreage as you. Friends of ours made a similar leap a while before us and now run Sweetland Orchard in Webster, MN. Maybe they’re near you!

    I look forward to reading your site more and seeing your new posts. But now to get back to the syrup finishing…

    -Matthew

    • Congrats! This is all new to us as well, but it’s been a lot of fun so far. Look forward to comparing notes!

      Best,
      Rory

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