We spent 18 months looking.
It was a dedicated search that teetered on the brink of obsessive but, eventually we found It and It was perfect.
Circa 1880, It, was a sand stone villa over 130 years old
and sitting on one third of an acre.
Welcome, it is a pleasure to share this space with you. My name is Xan Holyoak and I am a Mum to two kids, Evie and Noah. This blogging space began in August 2014 when we were a family of four and were following our dream to live self-sufficiently and in harmony with our natural environment. Striving and learning every day as we embraced all that encompasses the life of an urban-homesteader. In January 2015, we became a family of three when Tuck, my husband and the father to our children, was killed in a motorcycle accident.
The three of us remain urban homesteaders and we continue to follow our same dream. Amid the fog of those early days where shock and devastation played centre stage, it remained so clear to me that this dream of ours was very much my own as well. I wrote a little more about this here and it comforts me to know that Tuck is helping in huge ways from the mysterious place in which he now dwells and, as I adjust to the life of a single parent, I am embracing all the other joys that make me who I am.
I am a Mum, a Woman and a Writer. These are first and foremost. I am also a Photographer, Reader, Researcher, Maker, Baker, Crafter and Gardener. I love an adventure and a challenge - ha, I'll have to remember I said that. We live from scratch as much as sanity allows at this stage and relish any opportunity to 'do it ourselves'.
Here is where this chapter of our journey began...
Our search originated with 10 acres and rose close to 20 acres so it was surprising that we did not hesitate over our 1061m2 block. It was somewhat out of our hands, we had fallen head over heels with our future family home and we would work with what we had and what was there, to create our dream.
We live in the hills surrounding Adelaide, South Australia. Our children were both born on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and in 2011, Tuck and I decided it was time to relocate nearer to the place of our own childhoods. A place where Grandparents pop in, family gather and cousins sleepover. Here is where our children will grow and leave the nest. It is a home for us to plant fruit and nut trees and watch them grow and be harvested year after year. It is a home with a cellar lined with shelves where one day soon I will store jars upon jars of preserves made from our own homegrown produce. Those same shelves will provide a safe haven for the seeds saved from the previous years bounty. The owners before us were smart. They already created a north facing sun room perfectly doubling as a glasshouse, but with an every day use as the family craft room. Those previous owners also built a shade house, perfect for protecting some edibles from our unrelenting mid-summer rays. A head start has been given to us and, for that, we are mighty grateful. This home comes with a community. Not in the sense of 'gated' or 'eco-village', but in the 'we actually really dig our neighbours' kind of way. Our hills neighbourhood has it's own busy precinct, a cluster of shops where almost all things can be sourced. We are in walking distance to the train, the shops and a great school. There are weekly and fortnightly markets, including an organic co-op. We have a National Park on our back door (well it's very close), the beach a 10 minute drive down the hill in one direction, and the Adelaide CBD 10 minutes in the other direction. Seriously, it doesn't get much better.
During the time we have lived here, much work has been done and so many plans have evolved and are slowly taking shape. There has been a great deal of informal training bringing us/me to this point. Alongside my children, I am learning and growing and fumbling my way through each day. I have big plans and I am not an idle person. There is so much excitement to be had and I can't wait for you to join in on our little adventure, so thanks a bunch for being here.
Each day brings me closer to my dream...
To teach and be taught by my children, and with them, create something awesome. To live within our own homegrown food forest. To exist as close to our food source as we are able and to limit, if not eliminate, any reliance on mains services. It's about being happy, balanced and filling our days with goodness, laughter and joy. Add a healthy side-serve of adventure and indeed, I think that ticks all my boxes!