Prior to watching the movie, Rosie Bolin and her husband, Lee, had already decided to simplify their lives. They were interested in moving out of the suburbs, but it was “Food, Inc.” that became the catalyst for the move.
Seeing the cruelty occurring on factory farms in our nation’s industrialized food system made an impression on the couple. So did GMOs.
So they did their research, joined a local homesteading meet-up group, and moved their family of four to the farm, getting much of their materials for free from Craigslist.
Bolin says, “We started very slowly, adding just one type of farm animal at a time. Our first was a bull calf. Because Holsteins are primarily dairy cows, we found that buying young bulls is very inexpensive. Ours was only $75. Grass feeding is pretty much free, so that has been an amazing return on investment.”
Next came the goats, which were also fairly inexpensive or free on Craigslist. After goats came chickens, which are kept in fully-enclosed tractors and moved every two weeks so they are both protected from predators and have constant access to fresh grass.
As for gardens, Bolin says, “We were way too ambitious and planted two acres of everything. We didn’t have irrigation (other than me with a hose), so I ended up watering, by hand, for two hours every night during one of the hottest, driest summers in North Carolina history.” She says their big lesson was to shift to a lower-impact, higher-yield method, so they’re moving most of the crops to aquaponics.
This year they plan to start selling eggs. They’re also creating educational trails so people can view and learn about the various animals. Because they’ve been inspired by the changes that their family has made, they are anxious to share their experience with others.
To follow their journey, visit them on the Road to Simplicity on Facebook.