Open source homestead and market gardening plans from start to finish!


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Step 1 – Write Down The Vision

Every project starts with an idea.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a loaf of bread or the tallest building in the world.  Someone got an idea of what would be a tasty loaf of bread and they penned out a recipe.  Someone got an idea of what would be an incredible building, and they created a plan.  It was 2008 that Wesley and I sat down in a coffee house in Macon, Georgia, and we jotted down our idea for a homestead and a coffee house, even though neither one of us was serious.

Wesley and Colleen CrawfordIt was about nine years ago that Wesley Crawford and I sat in Joshua Cup, a small coffee house in Macon, Georgia, and began hashing out plans that I didn’t understand why we were even making the plans.

I didn’t understand the plans because it was not the direction I wanted to go. It certainly was not Wesley’s direction either, and perhaps he was only helping me with the plans to be supportive.

We spent many hours…countless hours…at the coffee house; and a lot of times we would be leaving while the coffee house was closing. Granted, we were not the type of customers any restaurant would welcome, because we spent countless hours there, but let me explain.

Joshua Cup was not an ordinary coffee house. It was more than that. It was a place of refuge for hurting people, and I was deeply hurt. I had been caught up in the Corporate Rat Race, and I lost everything. I lost my business, my contracts, my home and my vision for my life. I was one very bitter person who was angry at YHWH (God), and the last thing I wanted to be was the “Chip Girl” at Joshua Cup.

Without a contract, and without a job, I would sit at Joshua Cup and work on legal documents because I had no place else to go. In order to stay close to the courts, I would sleep in my car at a rest area, then head to Joshua Cup in the mornings to work on fighting for the return of my company plans. I was in five courts, facing 14 lawyers, and I was a pro se litigant. I was fighting for the path that I wanted to be on, and not the path that Wesley and I were hashing out at Joshua Cup.

The plans we were writing down in the coffee house was about a homestead. It didn’t even make sense to want one, and I still look back and wonder why I was like a deer caught in headlights, writing down the plans over and over again.

I was hired by Joshua Cup to put chips on people’s trays as they orderd food, and I became known as the “Chip Girl”. It was, at that time, the most degrading position YHWH could put me in, considering I was working on multi-million dollar contracts prior to putting chips on trays at Joshua Cup. But, it was my time in this coffee house that changed the course of my life forever. And it was a time in my life that YHWH used to soften my heart.

Nine years in the making, our plans we began documenting at Joshua Cup have come together and become a reality for us. The plans are done. The vision is in place. As I look back at my former bitterness, I can not imagine a different career now.

We faced a lot of criticism along the way, and we just stopped trying to explain to people why we wouldn’t quit. It makes no sense to an outsider when they see someone struggling so much, and yet they keep going, so it was easier to just stop explaining. We didn’t quit, and that’s where we leave it.

We have launched our story site, which begins with an estate sale we call Secret Haven. From there, the story explains everything. It explains the closure of our coffee house and what went on behind the scenes. It explains the spiritual battles we faced and the determination to keep going no matter how bad things get.

Though I never thought I would see the day when I could stop the planning and begin walking through them, that day has arrived.

I write because there is so much to say. But instead of writing out of anger, I write out of love. The love I have for the people who, like in Joshua Cup, will walk through our doors. Those who will stroll through our gardens. Those who will read our story. Those who are hurting, and those who think YHWH doesn’t see their heart.

I am forever grateful for my time at Joshua Cup, because YHWH also changed the course of my life when I met Wesley. Together, we have rode the waves of poverty, anger, bitterness, not trusting YHWH and even though we struggle, we didn’t want to quit. This is what we have been working on for the past nine years, and finally, we are walking through it.

Our plans made sense when we got a phone call to liquidate an estate in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was then that we understood the path we are on is the open door we are to walk through. I understand why YHWH doesn’t tell us the full story at the time something enters our heart. If I would have known about City Homestead back when I was planning in Joshua Cup, I would have fought it and moved away. It was strange to be sitting at the table writing about crop plans, homestead plans and everything that is a reality now, and to be honest, I don’t know why we did that. There was a compelling desire to write the plans down.

I also would have quit if I knew it was going to take nine years for the plans to become a reality. It wasn’t our timing.


It doesn’t mean you will get your dream right away.  For us, it was nine years, from the time we wrote down our vision, to the time we finally understood that what we wrote down was going to be what we walk through, many years later.

It’s free to plan things out.  You can find scrap paper, a pen, or borrow a pen.  Write down what you want to do.  For me, I wrote down:

  • Building structures I wanted.
  • Food I wanted to grow.
  • I sketched out the gardens and where things would be, such as a greenhouse.
  • I planned for rain water.
  • I planned for a coffee house.

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  1. Get caught up with videos.

  2. Set up bee binders.

  3. Add infrastructure page.