This interview is originally from SeedsNow.com (source: http://www.seedsnow.com/blogs/news/28929665-featured-homesteader-blogger-naturallyloriel-com)
How would you quickly describe yourself to others?
Mom. Wife. Dreamer of self-sufficiency. Lover of sweets. Knack for storytelling. Chicken & cat lady. =)
How did you get started with your blog?
I got started with my blog, NaturallyLoriel.com, because I had just found out information on feeding babies that totally contradicted the information I was given by my doctor — my son was 9 months old at the time. From there, it was a domino affect and I began researching and questioning every single thing I was doing, eating, and buying. After about 4 months of steady research, I began talking about it with my close friends and family. In March of 2011, three different people in the same week suggested that I start a blog. I took that as a sign and so I did.
Did you start your blog when you started your transition to live this life style?
Yes and no. At first my blog was about real food and learning about GMOs. At the time, I was living in California and I was heavily involved in the Prop 37 campaign so a lot of my blog geared towards that. As you may probably know, once you become passionate about the food you eat, you start to realize that the best way to control what you are eating is to grow it. Now Naturally Loriel is more about the journey to living a natural life and everything that comes with it — real food recipes, gardening, chicken raising, DIY, and more.
The slightly less glamorous side of chicken keeping: dunking chicken in salt water for 10 mins, soap water for 5, rinsing, drying, spraying with apple cider vinegar mixed with rosemary, peppermint, and lavender essential oils, and finally dusting the run and coop with DE…. All to get rid of lice naturally before it infects the whole flock. #chickensofinstagram #reallife
Have you always been this way?
I’ve always been conscious about the earth but it never occurred to me how MUCH there was to *really* know about life. My mom always had a garden when I was growing up but as a child, I was never interested in it. My continuous journey to living a natural life began those first few months before I decided to start my blog. I really began being interested in building a thriving backyard homestead when I moved to Florida and realized my options for fresh food were limited. I knew that it was up to me to create healthy food. Plus, I’ve always been somewhat of a rebel so the idea of growing my own fresh food and raising chickens for eggs is like a huge middle finger to big corporations like Monsanto… which excites me.
FEATURED PHOTOS FROM HER INSTAGRAM
What are some of the other things you would like to have other people understand about living a healthier and self-sufficient life style?
A few things I’d like people to know is that most likely you won’t receive instant gratification. I’m in my third season of gardening and it has been a struggle — between the bugs, the weather, the fungus, more bugs — it seems like I never win. And actually, sometimes I wonder why I still try but I guess it’s because growing my own food and showing my son what real food grown in a garden from love tastes like is absolutely worth trying over and over again.
Living a healthier lifestyle is about trying, trying, and trying again and sometimes it’s certainly anything but easy. It’s about learning to lean on other people for advice, it’s about researching, and ultimately, I think it’s about teaching you to enjoy the process and slow down a little. Our world is moving so fast right now but moving towards a self-sufficient lifestyle takes time and patience.
What tips and tricks could you share with other people?
Have you ever made mistakes or failed doing something?
HA! Yes, I have totally made mistakes or failed at doing something. One thing that is constantly a battle for me (and my husband) is my lack of watering the garden therefore keeping my plants alive. If it’s not because I forgot to water, my garden seasons have flopped because of the bugs that I deal with in Florida. Though, with each failed garden season, I am more prepared for the next one.
How did you overcome any obstacles?
Have you ever dealt with a person who disregards your life style?
What are some of your greatest rewards with a lifestyle such as the one you live?
I could go on and on about the amazing rewards I get with this lifestyle but I’ll try and keep it somewhat short. In a few words, this lifestyle has taught me patience, gratitude, motivation, excitement, and appreciation for what it takes to grow and raise my own food. For example: by the time I actually account for all the money I put into my chickens, my eggs probably cost me $15-20 a dozen but I never doubt for one second that it’s worth it.
Out of all the rewards, one of the biggest of living this lifestyle is making it possible for my son to grow up with a backyard homestead. I think the problem with our world right now is that most of us have been completely disconnected from our roots. In my opinion, as a society, we’ve all lost the appreciation and knowledge of what it takes to grow real food (veggies, meat, and dairy) and would rather resort to convenience. Most of us don’t realize that the convenience comes with a huge cost that impacts our environment, and ultimately impacts the future of our children.
In my eyes, our children are suffering because they don’t know where their food comes from. That’s why it’s so important to me to continue what I’m doing for my child’s sake and to keep trying each year even if I’ve failed at gardening. It’s imperative for him to see that in order to get an egg that nourishes our body, we need to make sure our chickens are fed, hydrated, and cared for. It’s only until then that a child can see the full circle and learn to appreciate what it takes to have food that makes them feel good.
It’s only until a child sees the patience, handwork, and dedication it takes to start a plant from a seed, water it, love it, and see it grow that they can appreciate their food and truly know the difference between something home grown and something from the store. Ultimately, I want him to know that the good things don’t always come easy, hard work pays off, and there is nothing more gratifying than harvesting something you grew or raised with your own two hands.