Jason, Lorraine and Penelope: from California to the simple life in the mountains of North Carolina

America is a country of opportunities. It’s also a place where people are more comfortable moves from a place to another, leaving behind them their past, saying hi to a new life somewhere else.

Today I am happy to share with you the story of Jason and Lorraine, who moved from their town in Souther California, saying goodbye to all their comforts, to the mountains of North Carolina. A choice taken as a result of a tragic event in the life of Jason, and the growing awareness of the precious gift of life.

I invite you to watch their beautiful Youtube channel, “Sow the land“, and to look at their crafts shop. You can find them also on their website.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Jason, that kindly accepted to be interviewed.

Photo: Sow the land

Question: Why you chose to move from California to North Carolina? I read you were looking for a minimal life, but what has been the inspiration to do such a giant step?

Answer: The move has been all about being closer to our food. Wanting to have a little more land to raise chickens and grow as much of our own food as possible. We vacationed to North Carolina and fell in love with the community here. A lot of like minded people here. Also, the land is very fertile. The winter is mild and the summers not terribly hot.

Q: I read you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. How this changed your vision of life and how this helped you to understand and appreciate more the little things of life?

A: Yes I was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma 10 years ago. I did 6 months of chemo and have been in remission ever since. After having had cancer it really woke us up and we began to think what we really want out of life. It really changed our way of thinking. I was 30 years old when I got cancer so it was a huge shock for us. It made us look at our nutrition and to learn how to eat better and grow our own food. It made us realize just how precious this life is and it can all change in an instant.

Q: According to you, what is the best thing of growing your own food?

A: The best thing is being a part of the entire process. From have a little seed in your hand to putting it in the soil to watching it grow. Then harvesting it and cooking it for dinner. It is such a satisfying process to be a part of.

Another thing is teaching other people and showing them where real food comes from. Watching their face light up when they take their first bite into a homegrown tomato. It is something that I will never forget.

Q: I think that craftspeople are the true engine of America. They keep America moving forward. Creates something with your hands. What are your personal thoughts about it?

A: I think in todays world making something with your hands is becoming lost. Much like growing food. Doing something the slow way is not very common in this I want it now mentality. 

Q: Share with us your daily routine in Asheville. How your day starts and goes on?

A: We try and keep on a routine but really no day is completely the same.

On a good day I will get up early to move our pastured chickens in our chicken tractor. I also feed them and give them water. At the same time all day I am also filming my day for our Sow the Land Youtube channel. Where we document our day here. After I feed the chickens we all work on our garden. Pulling weeds, harvesting and just keeping up with it all. After a few hours we go inside for some breakfast. After breakfast I will edit some video for our youtube channel. After that I will usually go in my workshop to work on product for our shop in Asheville or a custom order for a client. After dinner we usually end up in the garden. We talk about our day and how we can improve the things we are doing on our homestead. Always growing!

Q: In the end, what are the been the difficulties of this change? And also, what is the best thing of this new life?

A: Most difficult thing is to be away from ALL our family back home in California. We were born and raised in Socal and that is where all our family lives. So, it has been difficult being so far away. But we still keep in touch and talk to each other daily.

The best thing is the community we have found here. A lot of like minded people here in this community. Everyone has been so kind and welcoming to us. It’s like we found our own family here in NC.

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