We’re a couple of artists, aging ex-punk-rockers, and spiritual seeker types who rather unexpectedly found ourselves trying to farm, homestead, and raise animals in the rural Deep South, just outside the bayou on the edge of Alabama.
Prior to that, Mike had been a framer, a roofer, a handyman, a cabinet maker, a graphic designer, and a painter. I’d been a university English teacher, a freelance writer and editor, and a creator of handmade spiritual supplies, art, and jewelry.
Our customers and clients were in the city, we knew the city, and we got additional customers and clients from our city wanderings and interactions. We knew how to go to the grocery store and to the bank and to cook for ourselves, which is really all you need to know in the city.
All of that changed pretty drastically when, after an extended series of financial disasters and all around crappy luck, we found ourselves moving out of the house in the suburbs without having another place to move *to.*
First we did some couch surfing.
Then we lived in a tent in the woods.
It freakin’ sucked, man.
But we eventually got a roof over our heads. We had to build it ourselves, and it covered a one-room cabin, but at least we could stand up in our “living room” again.
On paper, we were not appealing to utility companies and landlords. We basically needed a miracle to be able to move into an actual house again.
We basically needed a miracle to fix our lives.
We eventually got one. It involved our managing, recovering, and improving a ten-acre farm that had been neglected and overgrown for over a decade.
We did not know how to do this, of course. We didn’t know how to grow food in this zone, in this soil, or help our city dogs (or our children) adjust to the country. We didn’t know how to manage chickens or any other animals, or fix any of the broken machinery in the barn you could barely walk into because it was stuffed so full of detritus.
We also did not know how to handle it when we discovered that our friends — and most of our family, for that matter — weren’t exactly tripping over themselves to visit us or keep in touch now that we were not ever on their way to anywhere else.
This blog is about us learning all of these things — and making something new out of the rubble.
Our online shop and our little Etsy booth showcase some of what we create out here at our farm/studio/home. It ranges from the eminently practical (bookshelves and chicken coops) to the deliciously, defiantly impractical (mala beads made with wild-gathered / foraged animal bones; a spiritual petition or prayer woven into a silk ribbon to be hung by your door).
Mike is a practicing Buddhist, so we lay fencing, but we also cut walking meditation paths around some of our venerable trees. I’m a folklore junkie, rootworker, and spiritual advisor, so we grow vegetables, but we also grow herbs used in traditional regional folk medicine and folk magic.
We also nab abused, neglected wood and furnishings to give them makeovers or new lives. We’ve made *lots* of things with scavenged scrap wood, from custom-fit shelving to chicken grow-out pens to intricate, tricksy little puzzle boxes to store your treasures.
Much of our work reflects and explores the rich, colorful, and often flat-out weird lore and traditions of the Deep South, which is so central to our own personal mythologies and spiritual paths.
We believe in conjure, kindness, and creativity, and we make stuff to help ourselves and others live lives with more of all of these in it.
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