How did the Smucker Homestead come about? Providence.
We were married the year before Ruth graduated with a B.A. from Goshen College, Goshen, IN. She majored in art with a concentration in graphic design and a minor in multimedia communications. Noah at the time was already thoroughly interested in hydroponics, and Ruth just happened to be from the hydroponics capital of the world, Leamington, ON, Canada and had done significant research on the subject. At the time we were members of the Mennonite Church and comfortable as part of the Mennonite community in Goshen.
In the two to three years following Ruth’s graduation we found ourselves purchasing a house in Goshen. Noah was working a full time job at a local factory, and Ruth was working full time for a local web hosting, development, and design company. We also found ourselves going through our first miscarriage and finding that there were some complications with Ruth’s health. Furthermore, we saw major challenges coming that would lead to changes in the Mennonite faith in years to come. Our philosophies on faith, family, marriage, community, and work were all being put to the test.
Within the year of these things, we began exploring the Catholic faith and not a full year later, joined the Catholic Church. Soon thereafter, the financial crisis hit opening ourselves up to even bigger questions about economy and looking for independence and stability.
Ruth had always had an interest in entrepreneurship and decided to go freelance with her design work and to become a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. Noah took a course on small business, and became involved in the Economy of Communion (EoC). He also began a backyard garden.
In the three years following the financial crisis we learned much about economy and business. We also experienced another two miscarriages, and Ruth’s health began to worsen. We were asking even deeper questions about what we wanted from life, and where God might be leading us. It was during this time that we began to learn about the urban homesteading movement. We were very much intrigued.
It was around 2012-2013 that we felt the call to move in the direction of urban homesteading. Ruth for a number of reasons, left her Mary Kay business, refocused herself on her design work, and rediscovered herself as an artist. She also began working in the garden, freeing Noah up to begin dabbling in aquaculture.
What has come about from this is a new focus on the home as a center for productive toil, and a longing to live life in a style of subsistence. To build an economy focused around faith, family, and home.
In 2014, having gone through yet another miscarriage, and more instability at Noah’s work, we felt a call to move forward in urban homesteading, to truly grow it in such a way that we could share the fruits of it with you. Since then, we have made significant strides in our call. You may find you agree as you peruse the pages of this website.
-Ruth & Noah Smucker