MISSION: “Helping Families to Sustainably Grow!”
WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY: Late Bloom America, is in reference to the Late Blooming Americans who need to jump on the bandwagon of sustainability in the twenty first century, and we strive to achieve the triple bottom line (environmental/social/economical sustainability).
WHERE WE ARE FROM: My husband Davin is from Oregon, born and raised. I’m from Michigan, and grew up in the Chicagoland area as well. We met in Texas at a biker bar called Hog Wild in Cedar Creek, just outside Austin. I wrote a song about it called Austin Music. Coming from two states filled with incredible trees, large bodies of water, and oh so many wonderful places to spend fishing, camping, hiking, and swimming means that we can’t get enough of the great big outdoors that we call home! For us now, it’s Central Texas.
WHO WE ARE: I’m Kristin, KK, or Kristin Kay is what my family and friends have called me for years. My grandma kit taught me homesteading essentials as a child by showing me how to grow food, eat healthy (sauteed dandelion greens, nuts,whole grains, etc.), bake from scratch, mill food, practice vermiculture in her Michigan basement, compost, and yes, feed squirrels among other things. I’m a part of the Manor Community Farmers’ Market where I sell pasture range organic ungraded eggs, herbs, sustainably grown veggies (non certified organic), fruit, cottage foods, and even natural laundry soap.I occasionally bring baked goods like my Ginger Molasses Cookies, homemade donuts or bread, or cheese, and truffles if you are luck! I’m a military wife, an Etsy seller(Kristin Kay Creations), singer/songwriter, blogger when I can, work at Central Texas organic farms on the side, and a sustainable consultant, among other things. I received my Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College in 2016. I spend a good amount of time doing sustainable agriculture with an organic ethos, teaching workshops, volunteering as a Farm to School embassador for the Sustainable Food Center and AISD, and work towards being self sufficient in the hopes that one day we can rely on ourselves completely and live off the grid. I also come from an enormously fun family which is where I get my charisma! In addition to mingling daily with our pasture raised heritage breed chickens, I grow herbs, produce, native plants, dabble in aquaponics, as well as fish in the Gulf of Mexico for food. Everything that I do day in and out is to get us closer to our goal of having a small scale Sustainable Community Center and Bed and Breakfast for families to visit, relax, learn, have fun, and grow! This website is a platform that is paving the way towards our future goals of a larger learning environment and homestead. Grow with us!
Mr. Davin, as the neighbor kids like to call him, protects our nation and helps the neighbors when he can. When he’s not working, fishing on the coast, wrenching on an old Ford, brewing beer, or trying to figure out how to build something on Youtube, he’s laughing at the chickens, and concocting some great new idea how to do something else. He is definitely a craftsman, a man of his word, with integrity who is constantly humbled by his multiple attempts of seamless projects on our homestead. He has a tendency to do one project several times. For instance he’s built, upgraded, expanded, and downsized our chicken habitats at least 5 times. Not including the brooder and 2 chicken tractors he built for their rearing. Upon retirement he plans to be a full fledged pasture raised chicken farmer that longs for the day that we acquire land, simplify our homestead struggles, and maximize our fullest potential that we’ve been diligently working towards. We both have a vision to maximize our sustainable impact at large; economically, environmentally, and socially and empowering others to do the same. While success isn’t always tangible, we are making progress, and closer to our goal every day. That being said, planning is everything and taking a holistic management or Whole Farm Planning approach is part of our ethos.
WHERE WE ARE: We bought a small house with 1 tree on 0.24 of an acre in Central Texas, in a neighborhood with an Home Owners Association(HOA); which has rules and regulations that dictate what we can and cannot do. We uphold the Travis County law about raising backyard chickens and have no roosters crowing in our backyard, although we did at one time, and living along the greenbelt has allowed us the privacy to do so too. Food Not Lawns is what you could call our initial gorilla approach that was admittingly unbeknownst to us when we built our first garden bed. We started by minimizing grass, and maximizing resources while growing our own food, because a giant yard was not useful, and too much grass to mow. Our spunky mini homestead or micro farm, is very small scale, but totally practical, and can easily be replicated in a multitude of ways depending on space. For us, this home is a starting point, the best place for us to learn, with the hopes of having a larger farm with acreage one day! Call it what you will but it has become our own little oasis, bioregional sanctuary, sustainable battle field where we’ve conducted and implicated a lot of ingenuitive research and do-it-yourself projects! Please visit our Late Bloom Project Links followed by the Late Bloom Homestead to see what we’ve done! Catch us at a Mother Earth News Fair Workshop, or teaching at Austin Community College’s Sustainability Program!
WHAT IS THIS WEBSITE ABOUT? As you check out our website you will see what we’ve done and created in our backyard, which we call the Late Bloom Homestead. As you may have already seen on my summary about transforming communities, this website will continue to evolve. I welcome your opinions, feedback, and please send us a message by the contact us page if you have ideas, or would like to be presented on our website to show what powerful projects you are doing in your backyard or community. Green Thumb and the Late Bloom Project are places where I hope to expand exponentially! So I would love to showcase you, if you are willing to share some ideas, in another place other than Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. We have those too and please join our pages following the links on our site! But if you want to join the Late Bloom Movement, that is, the Sustainable Revolution, please share your knowledge for others to expand their mind! Furthermore, if you are interested in some of Kristin’s sustainable consulting services you may contact us through the website, or through firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHY WE CARE: If you like what you see, please join us and the Late Bloom Movement. Late bloom, what does that mean? In the twenty first century, America as digressed from the rest of the world and become too dependant on relying on everyone else to supply everything they need. Technology, petroleum, prepackaged meals, diet food, excessive spending in copious quantities, and junk ends up in a landfill because people often times don’t know that it can be donated, recycled, upcycled or reused! I’m not even skimming the surface and America wasn’t always this way. Back in the earlier days, farming was the number one occupation and everyone lived off the land, produced what they needed and sold surplus (Danbom 1995). In Circa 50, the indigenous people knew about growing the sister crops; beans, corn, and squash (Bullock Texas State History Museum 2014). The Native Americans lived as nature did too, relied on it, supported it, and used it as the seasons changed and while mirroring the animals and plants (Cronan 1983). It’s true that when we settled to the America’s in the 1500s from England, we were unable to survive until we learned from the Native Americans. So the colonies began forming different regions in different parts of the east, our country began producing different crops; the south dominated cotton, sugarcane, indigo, tobacco, etc. We began to evolve as a nation and slowly made our way west as mechanization brought expansion. Henry Ford’s first vehicle early twentieth century, was made for a farmer, since he considered himself one. He wanted farmers to be able to afford paying for a working vehicle and not have to break the bank (Danbom 1995). Women, men, and children, all did what they had to do to support the family. It wasn’t easy, it was tough. However integrity was important, people kept their word, people were self sufficient at home, and their very livelihood relied on the fact that if they didn’t do it, they wouldn’t last. Let’s get back to that! Help our country take pride in what we can do to live more sustainably! A resurgence of Victory Gardens is a great way to maximize food security, improve your family’s diet, health and wellness, propel the American economy, while beautifying and conserving our nation! We’ve forgotten this concept as an American culture. Many other countries have traditionally withstood their independent wherewithal, and sustainably procure their future, as their quality of life depends on it. When and why did we allow ourselves to set such poor standards as American citizens? Progression, technology, mechanization…just stop. Some people have become lazy and it impacts our abilities to do better! So help us do something about it as Mahatma Gandhi says it best, “become a part of the change that you wish to see in the world!” Pay it forward!
Bullock Texas State History Museum. Texas History Timeline. 2014. http://www.thestoryoftexas.com/explore/texas-history/timeline (accessed December 8, 2014).
Cronan, William. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd., 1983.
Danbom, David B. Born in the Country: A History of Rural America. 2nd-2006. Edited by Baltimore. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.