The Eternal and Existential Question – Who Am I?
Call me Tasha (or Tasha Greer if you like to use last names). I’m an Epicurean homesteader and writer focused on simple, sustainable living. The Epicurean part means that we make our homesteading choices based on evaluations of what will lead to long-term pleasure while (hopefully) causing minimal harm or even helping improve the health and well-being of my fellow global citizens, wildlife, and our shared planet.
In this complicated, interconnected, global world with extremely non-transparent supply chains, it can be hard to figure out the right thing to do. Generally though, aiming to create low-maintenance homestead routines that don’t rely heavily on regular purchases of non-local goods makes it easier. For example, a one-time purchase of a scythe keeps me fit when I use it. It’s quiet so my neighbors don’t have to hear me run a lawn mower just when they were sitting down to relax. Plus, there are no long-term inputs like gasoline and oil changes so it saves money and resources. Oh, and you get to look like the grim reaper when you use it. It’s like Halloween all spring and summer which is even better than Christmas in July!
That’s just one simple example. But choice by choice, we’re finding simpler ways to do the things that used to be seem so complicated, expensive, and detrimental. Of course, we also eat really well and live in a place surrounded by natural beauty that we helped grow.
I’m also the author of Grow Your Own Spices: Harvest homegrown ginger, turmeric, saffron, wasabi, vanilla, cardamom, and other incredible spices — no matter where you live. It has lots of info about beginner and advanced gardening techniques so you can expand your food production (for more than just spices). Honestly, it’s a beautiful gardening book and even has practical herbal medicine tips and stunning illustrations from my friends Lindsey Feldpausch and Greta Moore. (Also, just an FYI, since this website is not monetized and I am not getting paid indirectly for the content you read, buying my book is a great way for you to show your support for me if you like the information here.)
I garden on about 1.5 acres (okay maybe more like 2 acres) and grow a large variety of edible and medicinal plants. Much of what I do by way of gardening though is soil regeneration because there wasn’t a speck of soil when we moved here in 2013. To do that, I have used applications of organic matter and flocks of ducks. I have also worked hard to encourage plants other people might call weeds to grow in places where even they were previously unable to set down roots.
Now, there are things growing everywhere — including in and on my trusty 2007 Honda Fit that I call my farm truck. Matt says my car has it’s own ecosystem or microbiome.
One of my favorite things to do is create a new garden “room” on our property once the soil is actually workable for non-weed like plants. I’ve made 5 so far – The Main Potager, the Simplestead Test/Play and Duck Garden, the Espalier Garden, the Outdoor Edible Landscape, and the Bamboo garden. We also have a mini-vinyeard for homeamde wine, and two mini orchard areas.
I know some people think of gardening at that scale as as work. But for me this is fun time. I absolutely love designing and implementing new garden areas. Plus, they also beautify our landscape, contribute to our food supply, and to nourish the local wildlife (like the handsome climber pictured below who frequently turns up in my garden rooms with artisanal cocktails in hand).
Oh, and did I mention I have a greenhouse? It’s my winter paradise, full of citrus, spices, annual vegetables, a water fountain, and a wood-fired hot tub. It’s the reason I never need to take a vacation from homesteading life because we created our own little exotic escape right here at home.
I also keep ducks, dairy goats, ducks, chickens, ducks, a pet turkey, DUCKS, worms, and (occasionally) pigs. Oh, did I mention I keep ducks? Yes – I love ducks. They have a way of winning your heart with their sideways glance. Really, I don’t think you can trust a person who doesn’t WANT those nosy busy bodies digging around in their backyards? Makes you wonder what not-so-dark and loamy secrets they’ve got buried there…
For some extracurricular fun, I teach classes in my community related to edible landscaping and organic gardening. Lately, I teach classes online too. So, if you want to hear me speak with obsessive enthusiasm about composting, growing garlic, spice gardening, cooking easy but amazing food, or whatever else I am fascinated by at the time – you may not need to drive to Surry County, North Carolina.
For the record, I created this website to share my experience homesteading for pleasure with people like you — who care about homemade, homegrown, and home-based fun. But I’m not a social media guru who collects followers like grains of sand on a beach with my incredible marketing savvy. (Sometimes I wish I was just to help turn more people on to this beautiful lifestyle!) I’m just a homesteader and writer who wants to share my love for more environmentally sustainable and pleasurable living with others who interested in doing similar things.
So, you can expect me to act like a uniquely flawed human – and not some branded/polished version of myself – on this website. And as my chickens and ducks (who are constantly watching me like…all the time) will tell you, I am totally flocked up!
But wait… there’s more! Trying to stay connected to others during COVID has made me realize how fun it is to spend a few minutes a day sharing happenings in the gardens, goat udder comparisons, deeply meaningful chats with my ducks and chickens about our philosophical beliefs, or whatever slice of life/homesteading self-entertainment strikes my fancy. So, I also encourage you to follow me on Instagram @exploresimplestead for an inside look at regular life on an Epicurean homestead.
Last but not least — when not growing food, cooking, composting, writing, milking the goats, or admiring my ducks, I’m likely rocking in the garden swing with my partner Matt Miles, surrounded by our two dogs and four cats, and…about 20+ ducks. Now, I won’t lie… I’m perfectly capable of doing most of this homesteading stuff without his help because, well, I’m a pretty capable gal who isn’t afraid to embarrass myself learning something new. But living here with Matt, making Epicurean decisions together, is the absolute best part of my homesteading life.