Pondering the Meaning of Home

Home. It’s something I take for granted and usually don’t spend much time thinking about in an abstract way. I love our home. I love making our home feel comfortable and welcoming. I love cooking, cleaning, gardening and organizing (okay, maybe not cleaning so much). But what does “home” mean to me?  I hadn’t given it much thought until I recently spent a delightful morning with Harriet Fasenfest in her home. As we drank coffee, walked around her garden and waited for the impromptu coffee cake come out of the oven (maple, blueberry and quinoa – YUM), we discussed the concept of home and what it really means to make a home.

For those of you not familiar with Harriet, she is the author of the book The Householder’s Guide to the Universe and a self-described Farm Wife. Harriet has spent a lot of time thinking about home and what it means to be a home maker. She is working on her next book which examines the history and modern implications of the home economy. Listening to her talk about the history of land ownership, the relationship between the global market economy and the home economy, and the devaluing of the culture of home, I began to have a new appreciation for what a “home” really means.

Harriet has spent the last few years working closely with small farmers in the area. She has traded her householding skills for farm fresh fruits and vegetables. She has learned to put up a pantry that provides delicious, nourishing food for the year. She has analyzed, tweaked and codified her methods for making a home and is now ready to share the wealth of information she has put together and talk to others about what it takes to make a home economy work.

For the next six weeks, Harriet will be hosting a working group that will come together once a month to read, discuss, analyze and philosophize on the topic of the New Home Economy. The groups will be held at the shop and at Harriet’s home. If you’re interested, check out the class page and register for the AUTHOR’S SERIES | Returning Home: The Practice, Principles and Art of the New Home Economy. I look forward to meeting fellow householders and sharing experiences, methods and new ideas. The first class is this Sunday. I hope to see you there!