• Jess

Discovered and Rediscovered

I spent most of today with my hands in the dirt. Since they were planted on the first of this month, many of my seedlings have grown quickly. It's taken me by surprise, how swiftly they've outgrown their seed trays.

When seedlings are young, if they're grown in containers and not properly cared for, it's easy for them to become rootbound. Rootbound, they wilt, their fruit or flowers are smaller and their leaves drop or turn yellow. Their growth becomes stunted when they've outgrown their container and have no more space to grow. Could there be a more apt metaphor for what happens to us when we don't have room to grow?

This got me thinking about how much I've grown since I first started urban homesteading back in 2017. I've learned a great deal since then, and while it's a delight to be running my own small farm, when I move back to the city, that won't be the end of farming for me.

I first started my homesteading journey by learning about natural body care products and folk herbalism. I began making salves and balms and quickly moved onto making herbal tinctures and vinegars, then to hand-poured candles and soaps. Along the way, I found myself curious about growing food, as well as preserving it, and from there, learning to make jams and pesto, to bake my own bread.

As my curiosity grew, I decided to start growing my own herbs on my window sill. I still remember the delight I felt after a modest harvest of kale and tomatoes grown in my bedroom. I began brewing my own mead, making infused honeys and creating my own recipes and sharing them with others. From there, I took an interest in fiber arts, in spinning wool and some tentative forays into simple sewing projects.

Throughout this exploration, my creative and spiritual paths overlapped. Working with deities of hospitality, healing and hearthcraft inspired me to continue deepening my knowledge and practice. It led me to a deep sense of joy and resilience, to a confidence and capability that I wear like a second skin. It can never be taken from me and it connects me to a more ancestral way of living and thinking.

If there's anything I would have done differently, it would have been starting sooner. I put off pursuing my interests because I was intimidated at the prospect of making my own bread or growing my own herbs.

Like many things, it turned out to be trial and error and a fair bit of both humour and humility. If self-doubt or intimidation are standing between you and what you want to pursue, I invite you to set it aside, keep a sense of humour and try. The discoveries you make might surprise you

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