Letter From A Customer
Everyday, we get many kind, sweet, encouraging emails and letters from customers who support and believe in what we do. Truth be told, these correspondences with like-minded folks from around the world really make us smile on good days and elevate us on tough days.
Often, we get emails from people who are “done” with their current jobs (that go against their values deep down) or where they live (the maddening crowds, the pollutions, the politics) — they get inspired by how we just up and left New York City and went to homestead on an small island, with no preparation, know-how, or funds. We felt we had enough, we really didn’t want to be in the city anymore. Everything about it turned us off - we felt claustrophobic in our little apartment, we couldn’t trust the foods we were eating, even the expensive “organic” foods we bought in the store, and we weren’t connecting with the “rush” mentality we witnessed everywhere. So we just left - we didn’t have anything to lose, was how we felt.
While it’s easy to romanticize rural life, the homesteading life is hard work, and having done it for over 20 years and seen many who have done the same, we can tell you that it’s not for everybody. Many people can find ways of being eco and becoming part of the solution by staying put in the city — they switch to jobs that are more fulfilling and more aligned with their values, they begin to frequent farmers’ markets to learn more about food production, they volunteer at farms nearby to get their hands dirty, and they start to grow their own foods, even in a tiny way - in pots on the balcony or by a light-filled window. We see and hear about urban renaissance all over the country and the world, and we are glad. Not everyone can just up and leave, for monetary or family reasons. Sometimes, it works better to make changes where you are. Other times, it makes sense to pick up and go in an entirely new direction. We don’t have any regrets - we are glad we are not in the big city anymore.
After 20 years of back-breaking work, we decided to scale back and not take on so much. We were looking after rescued animals while running a raw vegan organic restaurant and boutique store, while at the same time running Rawganique. It got too much and our health suffered. So we regrouped and became more practical about it, retaining the parts of homesteading that we have grown to love, like growing our own organic foods year-round in the mild climate of the Pacific Northwest and of course running Rawganique. We have stopped with the do-it-yourself projects, etc.. and aim for a simpler lifestyle of turning in earlier each night and pursuing our various passions and hobbies.
Doing it the way we did by jumping in cold doesn’t always work. We were lucky that we found a supportive community to do it with. We wrote a blog about our experience - our newfound off-the-grid homesteading life, and low and behold, thousands of people from around the world who were on the same page as we contacted us and we became a virtual support community. We never felt alone, even on our 42.5 wild acres on a hill on a small little island. We are deeply grateful to all of you out there who’ve been with us through the years. The sage is just beginning. We love what we do more than ever.
Would we do it again, knowing what we know? PROBABLY!!!
How would you do it? Share with us your thoughts!!!!