Why am I here?. That is what the header ‘ABOUT’ is asking me to explain.  Well, I want to join the chorus of players out there who are calling out and saying “Relax. Life can be simple” There is so much we actually do not need. So much in our lives now that we cannot do without, that were luxuries 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago.  So much food that is cluttering up our arteries and making us ill. So many additives that are not even FOOD! So much food that is not even FOOD!  So  much noise chattering in our brains. So many images confusing our cognitive processes.  Medications that are panaceas for the doctor!!. So many science experiments infiltrating our fields and refrigerators.

It is insidious. It is very very scary every time we raise our heads and actually focus on it. But enough of the calling out. Enough of the ducking heads. Let’s do it. So that is why I have begun this series of work. To show us that we can do it.  We can live simply. That small is OK.  That gentle is good. That kind is the most underrated quality in a person.  That clean food you grow yourself  and cook for yourself is amazing. That good sparkling healthy tastes on our plates shared with the family around the table every single night should be  normal .

And all this woven in with developing amostly sustainable/mostly self sufficient/ mostly organic farm to feed ourselves with out here in the Midwest of America.  Because life is just like that! No rules. Just an idea.


225 thoughts

  1. Okay I started with a couple at the beginning and you have me hooked! I want to be you, well in the man way. I want to visit (probably not too far from you) and do what you do for a day, maybe more. You so make me want a small farm. If my wife reads this she will too! It’s a dream we have talked about ever so often.
    I plan to build a chicken coop and possibly have bees too. Unfortunately our lot isn’t big enough for other animals but that would be a start! You have me dreaming again!
    Oh, we do have a garden, just didn’t do enough this year. We have raspberries, zucchini, two kinds of lettuce, cucumbers, sunflowers, asparagus and corn, but the squirrels usually get that. For some reason I didn’t get around to planting tomatoes, peppers onions and beans, usually I do.
    I have more reading to catch up with and maybe comment or ask questions! Welcome to America and especially the midwest it is a great place!

    • Welcome Harold. if you do stuff with wood you are half way there. Making a chicken coop and getting some bees should keep you busy for a bit. Tell me about your grape tomato. Are those the really small ones. i have been looking for a really tiny tomato to go into salads whole. I kn ow what you mean about fresh tomatoes. We just do into eat them in the winter. i cannot bear it. See you soon c

      • Yes they are small like a grape and great in salads. Cherry tomatoes are a bit larger, but with a big mouth like mine, I pop them in whole to feel the burst!
        Thanks for dropping by my site.

  2. Hi Cecilia
    If you have room for one more guest viewer I’d be happy to join. Your preference of the simple haven’t influenced your blogging. That’s good!

  3. Cecilia, thanks for stopping by my blog, and welcome to the blog-verse from another newbie! I hope you’re having as much fun ‘out here’ as I am. Love your attitude. I’m a gradual-convert (I’m sure you can tell from my blog), but learning along the way lots of great ways that simplifying can, contrary to what the inexperienced might guess, ADD to life. I envy the chicken and bee-keeping, but will have to find safe ways if I’m to do that here in north Texas where we’re setting records for ongoing heat. Got to protect those great creatures properly, so I’m studying up.
    Meanwhile, enjoying your writing and your exquisite photography and all. Glad to “meet” you!

  4. Hello Cecelia – I’m so glad you stopped by my blog because that led me to yours!!!

    I love your philosophy about living simply, not always possible in this modern world but I feed my soul with frequent trips ‘off the grid’, cooking and camping without power or modern conveniences. I so enjoyed your writing, will be back often 🙂

  5. Well that sounds good enough to me Cecilia
    and I bet that you are pleased that this comment
    is extremely brief 🙂 lol Have a great weekend…


    • hullo Androgoth, lovely to see you over here on the bright side! I shall nosey about your site and I am not afraid of skeletons so i may even enjoy myself and please write as much as you like.. c!!

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  7. I love your blog and have now subscribed to it. I totally agree with your philosophy about food, too much non-food in our food. Eating healthy is simple. I really liked your dad’s blog today too. His way of doing things reminds me of my father in law who is an engineer. Everything has to have measurements and be precise. Love it. Keep the great stuff coming I look forward to reading more from you.

  8. Cecliag – Hello! You had me at FOOD….. any blog that features anything at all to do with FOOD…is A-OK in my book. So, a New Zealand Gal living in the Midwest….. that must be quite a change from home huh? 🙂 I have bookmarked ya and will be back. Have a wonderful day 🙂

  9. Dear Cecilia, how beautiful is your approach to life and words! Yes, I love simplicity too, having grown up in cities all my life… I like opportunities to escape, to be simple, to dwell on the things that really matter.

    Thanks for finding my blog – now I have found yours. Am bookmarking it 🙂

  10. What a wonderful blog! Had I not left a little note on Just a Smidgen’s blog, I wouldn’t have found you. Enjoyed every bit of it and will look forward to getting your posts via email. Have a great day! 🙂

  11. What a pleasant surprise! Stumbled upon “The Wild Pomegranate,” made an impulsive comment, and shortly thereafter, stimulated by your comment on the “CiderPress” blog, was prompted to take a look at “The Kitchens Garden!”

    And what do I find? Well…we’re doing much the same thing as you (and for all the same reasons) in Oregon. We began about three years ago with animals first (Goats for milk and cheese, sheep for wool, ducks for eggs, and geese for ‘guard duty’ and background music. But only this spring did we begin some serious gardening. And are just now getting ready to begin experimenting with what we can grow this winter in the 80′ greenhouse extension that I’m adding to the south-facing side of our house. (It will also include a space for conducting some experiments in aeroponics…which is something I’m really looking forward to.)

    Anyway, we clearly have much to learn about gardening and preserving food, etc., so I’m very happy to see that you not only have much the same interest…but also have a good deal more experience than we. On top of that, you are clearly (and very pleasantly) literate! So…I’ll begin by reading everything you’ve posted thus far…and will look forward to reading all that you wish to share in future. And, of course, am hopeful that you’ll be willing to answer an occasional question about how you do this or that in the days ahead. 😉

    Again…it is a genuine surprise and pleasure to have made contact!

    William Lawson & Family

    • Well hullo. How fantastic. i shall zip over and see what you are up to.. an 80′ greenhouse i am about to choke with envy or is that straight out jealousy!! ok.. off to see what you are up to and maybe leave a comment with you there.. c

  12. The following comment is meant for your post “Why can’t a Guy buy a Girl a Drink?” but for some reason the comment space on that page isn’t displaying on my browser. So…maybe you can move it there…or delete it. (Whichever seems most appropriate.) 😉

    As I was reading this I was reminded of “Being Noticed.” I wonder why? 😉

  13. Just discovered your blog and I’m going to have to return in the future! We’ve been doing the ‘small’ thing for almost nine years now, with several adaptations along the way. I have to agree, it’s such a joy knowing exactly what you’re eating – not to mention the wonderful, unadulterated flavour of your own produce!

  14. Love your blog Cecilia, I like the way you think – less is definitely better, and natural is the way to go!
    I found you through rumpydog’s blog by the way! Are you the Miss C who took in Mary’s Cat?

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  16. I followed you back from a comment you made on Margie’s blog and am so glad I did. I love the Coyote post and was entranced by some of your flower photos with bees. I’m very much missing the garden right now; looking forward to spring. I grew up on a small organic farm in Pennsylvania in the 60’s – cats and dogs, chickens and ducks, but no bigger farm animals.The local/sustainability movement is very strong here, still lots of small family farms in the area and an active farmstand community. Looking forward to exploring your blog more!

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  18. Hi c. Please forgive me for touching on open wound. The pain was not intended. 😦 You’ll know what I’m talking about. feel free to delete this, just wanted to say, Sorry. t.

    • That is fine Ted, i know you well enough to know that you appreciate honesty, it is just that adoption is hard, hard, hard too.. on everyone. This is forgotton when people write those slogans.. c

  19. Cecilia,
    I’ve nominated you for The Beautiful Blogger Award. Your blog has inspired me and opened my heart and mind to a life beyond my ordinary. I thank you, Nikki

  20. HI there – I just stumbled on your blog because of reading Camerols…his suggestion. I too keep bees…I read your tale of the large hive disappearing….odd but I suppose that’s life with bees. I’ve been a beekeeper for a little over a year…wondering when that day might come…hopoing it doesn’t. I have 8 hives, I live in Texas. Nice to meet you and I’ll be back. Love all your animals and your way of thinking about how and what we eat!

    • Wonderful to see you Linda and welcome.. yes the hive was a blow.. such a mystery.. we will be checking the other hives on the weekend! Any input would be welcome. I am also learning on the job! c

  21. I just wanted to pop over and tell you how much I loved what you wrote on Lyla’s post about her mother. Your comments were so heartfelt, comforting and kind – I can only imagine that’s who you are : ) It jumped right off the page.
    Have a Beautiful day!

    • Hullo Lisa, thank you, sometimes it is hard knowing what to say, but worse to say nothing.. I hope it helped i shall pop in now and then and see what else she is up to, such a burden for anyone.. c

  22. I have done it….read every one of your posts from the begining. Much learned. Many laughts. We have our own little farm purchased 16 months ago and working our way through it. No animals yet, but I am growing friuts and veggies and even wheat for those I love. It’s a good start.
    Yes indeed….Love grows Love.

    • You are brilliant! I am so impressed. Thank you for reading. You will love your little farmy.. I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

  23. Cecelia, my dear. It is discovering a blog like this that makes a shining moment in my day. I adore your writing. I love your fat little pig and pompous rooster. Virginia

  24. My dear Miss c, it is Fall and that means it is time for blog awards, and I have nominated you for The Sunshine Award – stop by today’s post to see what that means, and know always how much I love your words. And I still have that jar of Marmite for you – I’m just a total sludge about going to the post office.

  25. Thank you for commenting on Kaffee Und Kuchen. I was very happy to find THREE new comments last night when I woke up in a haze and checked my phone. Your blog is beautiful and inspiring – I would love to be self-sufficient, but it’s hard for a student :/
    Thank you for sharing your life with us 🙂

  26. This has to be one of the best ‘About’ pages i’ve read. Like so many others I connect with your philosophy. It’s worth noting though that when things appear simple it’s usually down to a lot of hard work – as I’m finding out myself. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Hi Cecilia,
    Thank you for stopping by our blog and liking my pumpkin soup post! Greatly appreciated.
    I like your support for sustainable food: have you ever checked out the Slow Food association at http://www.slowfoodusa.org/? They have several US chapters and you might be interested in what they do. Just an idea!
    Take care,

  28. Pingback: Hands up who loves Cows ? | Promenade Plantings

  29. Pingback: Pottering and pootling and photographing the allotment | Promenade Plantings

  30. Hello I just stumbled across your blog, lovely. I’m also a Londoner who has roamed to greener pastures. Though you are probably far more industrious than me, I just wander and think 🙂 …but I’ve put in the time with the digging believe me!

  31. Pingback: The weekly view…… | Promenade Plantings

  32. Thank you for dropping by and the “like.” I followed it back to here. I love what you are about. It’s been about 15 years since I gave up eating anything with any chemicals in it. As you might deduce that means I cook from scratch. The very last of our tomatoes are ripe on our draining board. I had hoped we would still have some until Christmas, but not this year. Cheers! 😀

      • Hard? Not as long as you shop the edges, buy fresh and like to cook. Given the chance I would live very close to the land. And yes, I am sure we have a lot in common, although you may not be as eccentric (a description I prefer to nuts) as me. 😉

  33. So glad you visited my photography bog, Ceci. I am making a conscious effort to return to the simple, uncluttered life I remember as a kid growing up in a modest home in a small midwest community. Can appreciate your conviction.

  34. I look forward to your posts every day, and particularly enjoy Ton-ton (I hope I got the name right?) sightings – there was a while when he was sneaking into nearly all of your pictures, and it was like a ‘where’s waldo’ game 🙂 As a hat-tip and a thanks for the pleasure you bring me, I nominated you for a blog of the year star: http://trophos.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/further-award-sharings/

    (Also, I’m selfishly glad you’re home from NZ because I missed the daily view 😉 )

  35. I think I need you now! I was sent to you after my last blogabout my need for simple…perhaps your blog will guide me on my quest.

  36. Hi Cecelia, I have followed your blog for a while and wondered if you were interested in submitting a post to a new event called Our Growing Edge. The event aims to compile a monthly snapshot as to what bloggers are doing in terms of new challenges with food. This monthly event aims to connect and inspire us to try new things.

    A growing edge is the part of us that is still learning and experimenting. It’s the part that you regularly grow and improve, be it from real passion or a conscious effort. 

    I hope you can make it. More info can be found here: http://bunnyeatsdesign.com/our-growing-edge/ 

  37. Cecilia, I am not sure if you “accept” awards. However, I just wanted to let you know I nominated you for 2. The Very Inspiring Blogger and One Lovely Blog Awards. To find out more you can go to my post for today and check it out. Thanks for being such a wonderful Blogger.

    • I am so grateful that you should nominate me .. thank you so much, but as you can imagine I am swamped at the moment though.. I so wish i could come out out and play! have a brilliant day and thank you so much! c

  38. Pingback: Awards and Acknowledgements « Laura's Mess

  39. Hi. Serendipity must be in the air today. I was sitting out on our porch this lovely spring morning sipping coffee and thinking “what a peaceful, calm, enjoyable day.” I particularly loved watching the birds come and go from the feeder. Then I stumbled on your blog about simple, gentle living. It was perfect for my mood! I have enjoyed looking at all the farm pictures and imagining how rewarding it must be to be so close to nature, in so many ways, every day.

    Looking forward to following you.

    • Good morning Al and thank you, i am doing exactly the same thing now, drinking coffee, still in my filthy farm clothes with hands that are seriously questionable as to cleanliness, watching the birds in the maple trees. Lovely to meet you and thank you much for joining the fellowship of the farmy! c

  40. Good evening! How are you? You know me as “Granny.” The business that owned that blog was sold, which was the kick in the behind I needed to turn my attention to artwork. I looked forward to returning here as myself, through my own blog and had to say hello before I browse around to catch up with the adventures of the Farmy. It’s good to be back. Wishing you a sunny month of May. ~ PS MacMurray

    • Granny there you are!! Excellent. Do I call you PS now? i shall come over and visit tomorrow and see your art work.. wonderful and thank you for your kind comments about Mia, it will all work out one way or the other, life is like that.. c

  41. Hello! Thank you for your blog ‘like’! I never cease to be amazed and gratified by the way people find their way to me. I have enjoyed looking at all your lovely pictures. I’ll drop by again. 🙂

    • That is very kind of you. goodness FOUR awards.. I am unable to play the award game in the summer, things are pretty busy and I barely have time enough to visit the blogs I so love to visit let alone anything else. However that was very kind of you to think of me. I shall pop over to your blog and read your lovely pages.. thank you again.. c

  42. Very well said…enjoy reading about others that feel growing food is how we can heal…also so much we don’t need, you are right…we all need to get outside with our hands in the soil:-) robbie

  43. Hi Celi. I am writing a book on beekeeping in Australia and would like to include your photos of mice damage in hives in my book. Can you let me know if this is OK? I will fully attribute the photos to you if you agree that I can use them. My wife is from NZ as well, Wanganui.
    Thanks in advance

  44. Hello, I’m enjoying your blog a lot. Wish I had the space you do… My animals had names even when they were destined to be food. One friend used to come for dinner and ask “And who are we eating tonight…?” I gave them a bloody good life, and in return they gave back to me. And I always said thank you when it was time. Drop by my blog some time. KC

  45. Pingback: Nomination for the sunshine award! | oawritingspoemspaintings

  46. Hi there,

    I recently came across your blog and was wondering if there were any sponsored post opportunities available? I represent a number of travel clients who are looking to sponsor posts with a contextual link in, either in the text itself or in a disclosure at the end.

    Let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in, or if you have any similar alternatives and we can discuss further and make arrangements.

    You can contact me on James.Dart@accordgroup.co.uk.



  47. Hi there, I took a break from blogging and am slowly crouching back because I MISSED IT! 🙂 Good to see you’re still up and running! Sending you all the best over the pond, Nikkie

  48. Pingback: Blog of the year Award | aristonorganic

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  50. Kia Ora from a Kiwi in Doha the capital city of Qatar. Qatar’s in the Middle East next door to Saudi. Not even sure how I found your blog but I’m so glad I did. Love your writing, don’t envy you the cold, though we are at the other end of the scale with summer temps in the high 40s and into the 50s.
    Keep up the great work.

  51. Pingback: And the Award for Most Terrifying Toilet Goes to… | Tip of My Tongue

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  53. Miss C, please help. I am unable to figure out how to post a comment on your daily posts since you switched to this theme. Now I’m sure you have not been looking for me as you have so many wonderful friends but….

    • That is very kind, thank you so much. i wish i had the time to play but it is very busy on the farm right now.. thank you though, i really do appreciate the thought! c

  54. Dear Cecilia
    I just found your blog via Racheleats and I love your writing and posts. I was raised on a farm in Germany and this brings back so many memories. Thank you.

  55. Hello Cecilia,

    Thank you so much for dropping by my blog. I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of your blog and am glad Ronnie told me about it. I look forward to reading more posts on your blog.

  56. Ceci….can I suggest donations towards all your recent expenses……will not write anything until you say yay or nay

  57. Hi Cecilia,

    Thanks for your note. I thought I would reply here. I am glad to have found your site because we also have a small farm and I am a devoted foodie. In response to what you wrote, with a background in journalism I am unlikely to ever give up an interest in what goes on in the world although I will say I never get it from television which is better in Australia than the US where it is nothing but propaganda, because it is the worst source of news- in fact it is not really news and particularly not on the issue of Palestine.

    But I do believe in moderation as well. I guess I believe the freeing of Palestine from nearly 70 years of colonial oppression and military occupation matters because Israel claims to be a democracy and what it does betrays the democratic principles on which our Western world so perilously stands.

    And having lived in five Third World countries, India and four in Africa, one during a civil war, I believe it is important that those of us who are lucky enough to live in the free, developed and democratic world, support justice for others on the same principles. Having spent a few decades living in the third world I also have no illusions about how thin is the veer of civilization which papers the modern world…..and as the German theologian, Martin Neimoller said: ‘First they came for the socialists but I was not a socialist…..

    And beyond the suffering in the world there is day to day life, people we love and who love us in return, food to be cooked and enjoyed, laughter to share and if we are lucky, cows, cats, chickens, dogs and the beauty of the natural world.


  58. Hi, Cecilia,
    Your post on blog-evolution gave me something to think about, especially as blogging has grown to become a natural part of daily life. Your images and equally meaningful words were a great start to my day. Looking forward to following along, and enjoying your farm and cast!

  59. cecilia it is a pleasure to connect with you. Hey thanks for liking my blog too ♥ Cooking and Gardening are something I need to work on as well as photo’s…unless it’s my cat…I seem to get him all the time, I love law, and justice, and wish I could find a job…keep blogging girl you are awesome!!!

    • Jobs you love to do are hard to come by, but I had a friend not long ago volunteer in a local city garden and after learning all kinds of things they offered him a job there.. ‘course they are still under snow so he is waiting to go back to work..it will pass the time ’til he gets a job in his own field anyway..

      • Laster year I did tomatoes, lettuce, and several herbs. This year we are getting ready to move, so I didn’t put a garden out. If we get to the new house in time, I’ll see what I still have time to plant. Right now we’re focusing on our ducks, and I have a small herb garden in pots. I can’t wait to expand with the move. We’ve had to do all our planting at our current home in pots on the deck since there isn’t good light in the back yard, and the suburban neighbors frown upon an edible front yard. The home we’ve got a bid on has established apple and pecan trees, grapes, and a huge garden area. I really hope everything works out for us to buy it.

  60. In asking for great homesteading sites I was given the name of your blog from one of your followers. One of my own blog followers suggested I write a post that lists other homesteading sites in various areas, saying it would be helpful to readers to check out homesteading blogs in their own area as well, and I agree!! So I am about to publish a post on my own blog listing other homesteading blog pages for all regions, and I’d like to include your page. Would that be OK? If so, can you give me just a line or two that would best describe your location and blog topics?


    ~Taylor-Made Homestead~

    • What a lovely compliment thank you Taylor. Here is a wee line you might include.
      Cecilia grew up on a beach in New Zealand and now she is farming on the prairies in Central Illinois, growing almost all her own food. She posts daily so we can follow her adventures and discoveries as this girl from the beach learns how to farm the land.
      What do you think? Is that ok?
      I look forward to reading about your other sites too! have a lovely evening.. c

  61. Pingback: Blogroll – My Daily Cuppa Island – TheTurtleWay

  62. Thanks for joining my blog. I hope you enjoy reading my recipes and travels as much as I enjoy reading about all your animals and farm life. Bienvenue.

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  64. Your blog is beautiful. The work you do is wonderful and so important for our environment. We do not appreciate small farmers enough. I would love to visit your farm one day and stay at the lovely cottage. Do you allow children? Thank you for posting your pictures and doing the work you do.

  65. Nothing can beat a simpler life and growing one’s own food. It is amazing how much food has been changed and ‘improved’ so much that some of it is no longer aromatic as it was when I was – something I noticed when I visited home (Zambia) a few works ago. I was chopping tomatoes and an aroma that I had not smelt in years wafted up to my nose. I could not help but mention to my niece that the tomato had very good aroma. She looked at me strangely and I know she did not understand as she has lived all her life in Zambia.

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