Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

A New Home For Wide Earth


The gravel road is silent, the crunching and churning from our little moving caravan quieted now. Across from me lie rolling fields, a metal fence marked with a “W” here, a barn roof there, the lowing of cattle drifting across winter weary space. A bird detaches itself from the tree above me, small and brown with a hint of white breast showing, and sails across the road, perching on another tree still somehow clothed in the ragged brown leaves of Autumn. The bird blends perfectly with the leaves; if I hadn’t seen it in flight it would have been lost among the flutter of the long dead leaves. The wind blows and I hop down from my fence-top perch and plant my feet firmly, just for a moment, on the earth, before beginning my walk home through the woods. My footprints from previous days mingle with those of deer, our paths crossed by the light feather tracks of rabbits and something that looks cat-like. The land around the pond is covered in tracks, including the children’s, who have made a habit of bringing out a sleeping bag and sitting by the cold, frozen surface talking, playing, and breathing.

Home!Each day here on our little rented farm is just that, a breath of fresh air that we all longed for and are now so thankful to finally have. We watch the sunrise from the bedroom window as we drink tea and talk over yesterday’s experiences, things we have read, and plans we are making. In the evenings, the sunset guides us home, and I always find that at least one or two of the children sit beside me on the platform in the field as I keep vigil for the sun as it drops behind the silhouettes of the hills.

We walk the land several times a day, observing, drawing, thinking, and planning. One day one of my daughters said that she finally began carrying her asthma inhaler in her pocket when walking, just in case the cold triggered an attack. “I know what you mean,” I assured her. “I always make sure I have my notebook and pen in my pocket.” Thoughts, ideas and inspiration flit through my mind faster than the bird that flew to the other tree, and I have to have my notebook at the ready for fear that they will be lost.

The blue buildings are staying! A few more raised beds to add to the existing ones, so that we can grow more vegetables and herbs for the family and cut down on grocery bills. A bee skep, past the orchard, just one to start. Alice, our landlady, owner of the wonderfully named “Quirky Goat Farm” is always ready to offer advice on our first goats. We are thinking two dairy goats to start, insh’Allaah, hopefully the Saanen and Alpine crossbreeds that Alice will have in April. A close friend in Tennessee has offered us a beautiful pony, trained to be a therapy horse, in Spring as well. Chickens for eggs and meat, and guineas for eggs, meat, and tick control. Yesterday Khalil mentioned maybe a couple of turkeys!

We’ve been blessed to be able to go from dreaming to dreaming and planning, hoping to build each season onto the next. Raised beds!

“Are you looking at long-term?” Alice asked us. With my heartfelt reply of “Yes,” she said, “Good!”

CameraZOOM-20140119142653012 Alhamdulillah, we are looking forward to working the land, raising animals, and living as simply and sustainably as we are able, insh’Allaah, and with Allaah is the success. I plan on returning to posting both here and at Yemeni Journey more often, to share our experiences and knowledge gained. I hope you will join us on our new journey on this Wide Earth!

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  1. Bismillaahi Ar Rahmaani Ar Raheem
    Assalaamu alaikoum wa rahmatullaah wa barakatuh
    Jazakallahu khayran for sharing…awww it is very inspiring and encouraging and interesting and lovely …I love the idea of teaching the children to be environment-conscious while boosting their creativity and their goodwill to benefit the whole world for the sake of Allaah.. Allahummah barik!. I feel my passion for homeschooling is growing everyday, such a blessing alhamdulillaah! My salams to all, fi amanillaah,

    1. Wa Aleikum Assalam Umm Yasmeen! Wa Jazak. I am really passionate about homeschooling as well, mash’Allaah. We have periodically tried other things, but we always come back to it, and it has been a great blessing for the children and myself. BarakAllaahufeekee!

  2. salam alaykoem sister Khadija,

    Barakallahu feek for you lovely posts they always stay in my head even after I read them. My friend also homeschools her kids but my two older kids go to school, but salafi school Alhamdullilah so they get the proper education concerning aqeedah and fiqh. Yes I respect your homeschooling your kids but for me homeschooling my kids is just to difficult. I understand you want your kids around but don’t you think that sometimes sending them to school gives them a chance to socialize with other kids and brings them out of confinement of being at home? I guess homeschooling is either your calling or it’s not! Anyway I’d love to hear your ideas about it and I send my salams to all your family and as my mother is an American like you and I was brought up in America for a big portion of my youth I’d also like to congratulate you on your coming to Islam and say I love you fillah.

    Ma Salama Sadiah Umm Mohamed

    1. Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah
      The subject of socialization has been written about a lot, in books and magazines, and blogs. I have found that we have success in making our home and our family the center of our children’s lives, a place of safety, security, knowledge, fun and companionship. None of the children have suffered at all by this approach and indeed, it has strengthened them in ways that are too numerous to count. We have also taught them the importance and the criterion for choosing companions, and alhamdulillah, they choose them wisely and well- and we keep an eye on it all, mash’Allaah, as we are responsible for them, not teachers or daycare providers or other people’s parents or whoever, mash’Allaah. They don’t see their home as a confinement, but as a place of light, knowledge, warmth, love and fun, alhamdulillah!
      Alhamdulillah, I am happy that you reached out and wrote, and i look forward to hearing from you again! We send our salaams to you as well, insh’Allaah, and barakAllaahufeekum, and I love you as well for the sake of the One Whom you love me for!

      1. Salam Alaykoem Sister,
        Thank you for responding to all my comments and sorry if I’m overdoing it or whatever but I just really like your whole natural and educated approach to things. I’m not accusing you of confining your children or the like, if you’re comfortable with home schooling and it works then that’s good. I’m not trying to throw my responsibility on teachers but somethings we are capable of doing and some we aren’t. Take me for example my husband is gone all day, I live with my in laws in a not spacious place, I guess I’m just upset because there’s a lot of things I would have liked to do with my kids but that I couldn’t. It’s hard when you’re practicing and you’re surrounded by people who aren’t. I like learning myself and taking interest in different people my mother also always likes to be alone and meditate. I guess my personality just doesn’t fit being around my kids all the time. We should be positive and try and hear each other out, I respect your decision, if homeschooling suits you and it works best then why not but if it’s difficult to home school your kids then at least to find the best school.

        1. Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah,
          No you are not overdoing it, mash’Allaah. I enjoy having these discussions through the blog, alhamdulillah. You are absolutely correct, mash’Allaah. First and foremost we have to understand what our responsibilities towards our children are, and then we must fulfill them as best as we are able. Insh’Allaah Allaah will make it easy for the Salafis to establish more schools, so that the children can go and benefit from them. I am actually working on a full school curriculum for Taalib al-Ilm Educational Resources, based upon the idea that should not teach “secular’ studies, and then “Islamic Studies” like the two are separate things. Rather, the whole curriculum should be based upon Islaam, insh’Allaah. I am hoping to get a few more people on board to assist in this, so that we can move forward with it more quickly, insh’Allaah.
          BarakAllaahufeekee Sadiah!

          1. Barakallahu feek sister for all your feed back and may Allah t’ala grant your endeavor success I think it sounds like a MashaAllah great idea, Ya Rabbi why didn’t they think of it sooner and then we wouldn’t be stuck with these horrible anasheed books. Djazakallahu ghairan for taking out the time to communicate with me may Allah grant give you tawfeeq, I know it is coming from a sincere and genuine place.

            Love and take care Sadiah

  3. While our homeschooling in this area is a tad more “hands on,” LOL, it will be rather exciting to compare notes! After all, the chosen location is almost as high as our elevation, growing zone is the same, climate is also semi arid, and we are just an hour away from the meeting of the Great Plains and the Rockies. I must say that if you ended up there, I’d be inclined to take a 5 hour drive…and abscond you!

    As for that mud brick business, do you think M&M Enterprises would like to hire out for the summer to build our straw bale perimeter wall?

    1. Ours is hands on as well, just different stages of the journey, alhamdulillah- and you never know what Allaah has in store for us, my friend! I am totally up for a kidnapping, insh’Allaah. In fact, I would meet you halfway.
      They would love to build it, and perhaps they will, insh’Allaah! I think I can negotiate a good deal for you. Maybe.

  4. “They don’t see their home as a confinement, but as a place of light, knowledge, warmth, love and fun, alhamdulillah!”

    Alhamdulillaah ,may Allaah reward you for sharing the feelings from your home because it is truly awakening. I know that the house is the main place of the woman but I am now realizing that you can truly enjoy it and not seeing it like a burden. I was thinking of that the other day in your class because I used to get anxiety in the house after the birth of my first daughter. I am now working to make home our favorite place in sha Allaah. I am also more convinced of homeschooling than ever, I don’t want to miss the experience of teaching and learning with my daughters while they are growing next to me, I want the full experience!…
    really please keep sharing may Allaah reward you so much.

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