Welcome to Keeper’s Croft, my tiny little piece of the planet where I mostly hide from other humans and do a lot of digging. Seriously, the shovel(s) is my best friend.
This 2.6 acres of land came under my stewardship at the end of 2019. And it came into my life just as I had decided to give up on the idea of living on land with a place for a garden, and wildlife, and nature. I’d lived on a shady lot in town for 10 years, and I’d spent most of those years plotting on how to get an acreage. First, I wanted 10 acres but after some hard self talk had scaled that down to a more realistic 2-5 acres. But as time wore on, I creeped into the latter half of my 40s and I felt like I was treading water, and my financial situation was not great. I decided I needed to be more present in my current space and stop living for what seemed like an impossible future.
And then, wouldn’t you know it, about a year later, Keeper’s Croft happened. With the very generous help of a friend/real estate agent, I proverbially stumbled onto the croft, which was now mine to care for, unable to believe what had happened.
It hasn’t been easy. I’m doing this solo. I had no tools or equipment. I had no DIY or handy skills. I had no money. I do have a career which is greedy of my time and mental energy. Three years on, was it a mistake? I wondered this more than once that first year…or two…but I can now say absolutely not. It’s been an amazing adventure that isn’t without its frustration and stress but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to connect with this piece of land and learn what it takes to be a good steward.
So that explains a little who I am and what Keeper’s Croft is but what’s up with the blog?
On a whimsical note, this blog covers the adventures of an earnest, middle-aged, semi-competent, often lazy (hobby) homesteader on her journey to become a village wise woman. Living sustainably. Honoring Nature. Lover of stories.
What that means practically is that I will be writing about a mix of things, including:
Currently, the croft has a vegetable and fruit garden, a small orchard, herb garden, 1.5 acres of woodland and a cut flower garden. I don’t yet have any animals beyond the indoor furry kind.
The reader of this blog at its most broad, I am envisioning as a beginner gardener and/or homesteader. I’d especially love to connect with other women, particularly if you are embarking on any kind of life dream or adventure without a partner. I am a wildlife biologist and care deeply about nature, seeing myself as part of it, not above it, and I am a progressive which will likely come out in my writing.
Keeper’s Croft is a play on the Scottish Gaelic phrase, Croit Ciobaer. Ciobaer is pronounced like “Keeper” and translates as Shepherd, which is my family name. My ancestry is half Scots-Irish, a quarter Irish and a quarter English. Put it all together and it represents this place and time and honors my heritage a little bit as well.
And what’s a Croft? It’s a small rented farm that usually includes some shared pasturage. I am not likely to start keeping sheep but my acreage fits the croft definition by being small and owned mostly by the bank;).
This little piece of land is only 2.62 acres, half of which is yard and building sites and half of which is woodland. It’s just outside the city limits, which means I can have chickens but still get to grocery store in under 5 minutes. It’s not much but it’s mine!
My goal is to live more sustainably, provide a decent portion of my own food, and honor nature by creating an environment that is welcoming to wildlife. Welcome to Keeper’s Croft!
“The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of eons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”-Aldo Leopold