On Sunday, most of my family and I traveled through Tennessee and into Kentucky to visit the sweetest farm and home to Silly Goats Soap Co. It was a totally unexpected continuation of our decision to start a small dairy goat herd on our five acres of land. We returned home with two adorable Lamancha bucklings.
The drive was so beautiful. We passed so many farms as we meandered through central Tennessee, largely avoiding the interstate. Large farms and small farms. Many of the old farmhouses were constructed out of the stone that was very prevalent there. Again, it was so pretty.
Most of the farmhouses were small against the backdrop of rolling hills and fenced pastures. My husband and I got to talking. It times past, it was very common for large families to live in small houses along with a good chunk of land to grow a lot of their own food. How different we live now!
In fact, average US home sizes have grown by 1,000 square feet since 1973. That’s a huge jump!
I’ve lived in many neighborhood homes throughout my life. The lots were small, and really, my neighborhood homes were small, too. But there are many neighborhoods out there that boast massive homes on postage stamp sized lots.
This is the trend we see today. It is not “normal” to grow ones own food, and we want to live in a home that is much larger than we need. I’ve been there, and have felt these same exact things. Bigger seems better, right? It also feels so easy to follow along with what everyone else is doing.
I wonder if those in generations past were content with what they had…most people did not have much square footage, after all. I can’t help but think that they most likely were. I find that I’m my happiest when I’m with my family spending time outdoors. It took me many years to decide that it didn’t matter what everyone else was doing…I wanted to give “homesteading” a go. The trade off that usually comes with that is a smaller home with more land.
I believe this trade off is totally worth it, if you are thinking about homesteading and are on the fence. There is nothing like the satisfaction that comes with growing your own food and becoming more self sustainable. I’m at the very beginning of this journey, but I must say that eating our own homegrown eggs and vegetables is fantastic. It is so nice to come inside after a hard days work and have a feeling of accomplishment.
Overall, I believe the “large house/small lot” thinking is backward. Of course there are situations where a family is much better suited for a small (or no) yard. But overall, there are so many blessings that come with stewarding the land to benefit our family and others.
And if you have a small lot and want to grow a garden or keep a few chickens, go for it! There is so much that can be done on a small piece of land. All you need is a little imagination and know-how.
Have a wonderful day, ladies!
One thought on “Backward Thinking…Why Do We Want Bigger Homes and Less Land?”
I see both sides of it. We have nine children and my husband works long hours and commutes a long way, so does not have time to take care of land (and our children are all young and close together, so they are not capable yet either). I am home all day with them, and our home serves as a piano studio, school, home, play space, office, etc. We have all four seasons and many days are not conducive to spending large amounts of time outside. So for us, we would prefer a much larger house rather than a small house (like we have now) with lots of land. My husband grew up with lots of land and loved it, but with where and what God has called us to, it would not work well for our family.