Asili is a Swahili word that means “nature,” “origin,” and “ancestor.” Our homestead is our foundation of living: it is our way back to nature, a point of reference, and our source of wisdom. It’s the way we provide for ourselves and others. It’s our security and personal utopia.

It’s our innermost desires actualized in practice. It’s the world we all live in reimagined and simplified. We’ve kept only the best parts. We’ve borrowed practices from a number of different healthier, freer, and greener ways to live such as minimalism, intermittent fasting, permaculture, and collective savings.

My homesteading journey began on a whim! In early February of 2016, Emanuel had thrown in the towel from farming, taken a job helping at-risk youth, and was strongly considering city life after six years of building a career in agriculture. During one of our dates out we decided to visit a family Emanuel knew who was living off the grid. During this visit we helped with some farm tasks and Emanuel gave a tutorial on how to make raised beds with their tiller.

During our time at their homestead we did a lot of amazing work including building a house, growing animal feed and vegetables, starting an egg laying flock, and assisting with other farm tasks.

At times it was very challenging: learning how to start the wood stove during cold winter nights, using the outhouse, weeding in the garden and working with the animals. She documented much of her experience via instagram and YouTube. After lots of patience, practice, and lessons from the other experienced homesteaders. Emanuel gained a lot from this experience; he became reinvigorated about farming and was ready to give it another shot. After six months on the communal homestead and just over a year of love and friendship, we decided it was time to move on and start our homesteading dreams.