Welcome to Mojo Homestead. This is a page about our regenerative agriculture and holistic management journey and this is my updated “about” page. My first one was all sunshine and roses, which meant every time I read it I cringed. My life has not been sunshine and roses, but it is a work in progress.
I’m Ceejay, a nearly 50 single mum of 2 kids. I grew up in a working-class family in Sydney Australia. My parents never had much money and we weren’t living in poverty, neither were we well off. We lived week to week for most of my childhood.
Due to an inheritance windfall, my parents moved us to 400 acres in the Upper Hunter when I turned 13 years old. It really changed my life! While I loved the country lifestyle but at 13 I did not appreciate what my parents were trying to do for us. In hindsight they were touching on farming in a way that was to go on to regenerative agriculture and holistic management but they didn’t know it by that name.
I didn’t understand sustainability or environmentally friendly, and it’s unlikely I wouldn’t have cared. Luckily, I did learn how to garden and care for livestock but never thought I would use those skills.
As I was a typical teenager who left home early and worked in a wide variety of jobs. Seasonal cotton gins, carpentry, bookkeeping, and accounting. I also got a lot of travel, not as much as I’d like but still more than most. Living on all my money, saving some but drinking most. Being young and with no kids, my money was my own.
I had a bit of an epiphany while overseas and decided to return to Australia and join the police force! Still no kids on the horizon and one divorce under my belt, I lived a pretty good life. Half share in a house with my second husband, but no real savings of long term plan.
Next thing I know 2nd divorce under my belt. A strong sense that I had early signs of PTSD from my work and my biological clock decides to kick in. I became a first time mum at 38 and delivered my second babe at age 40.
All of a sudden I have two small humans who are reliant on me! My partner and I are living a pretty good life at this point. We had a Jims Mowing franchise, a new house in Canberra’s expanding suburbs. It was the house of my dreams, double glazed, solar passive with a rainwater tank.
Then, when my youngest was 3, the relationship with their father dissolved. His story is his own but I will say gambling addiction is a horrible thing, on par with drug addiction and alcoholism.
Those who suffer can choose to go one of 2 paths, but they can never walk away unless they want freedom more than addiction. For a family it’s hard to watch but when children are involved the kids have to come first.
So in 2015, I found myself as a single parent with only the house I lived in, I didn’t even have a car! I had purchased my house under the Canberra based land rent scheme, which is a scam and almost forced me into homelessness. It’s a surreal feeling to have a well-paid job, and still not know how you can afford to pay bills!
Referring to myself as the working poor became the norm. Earning too much for a health care card, but couldn’t afford to go to the dentist. I had a house but my mortgage and land rent was taking more than half my wage per fortnight. Working but childcare was taking almost another 1/4 of my wage. We began living on 2-minute noodles and I was wearing jumpers and socks to bed rather than turn on the heating in Canberra’s freezing winter.
Something had to change, I didn’t want to think about selling my house but I had to, it was not a house for a single income family.
Completely unexpected, in late 2015, I met the “Handy Helper”, Shane, who is my best friend, sounding board, the voice of reason and sometimes, my venting target. He does a lot for my gorgeous kids and me, and we’d be lost without him.
After struggling for 2 years to pay my mortgage I put my house on the market. Being a lovely house, it sold in no time.
During this period I was forced to accept my PTSD diagnosis and seek treatment.
In late 2017 the house sold, my treatment in full flight, I decided that I wanted a simpler life.
One that included veggie gardens, chickens, beekeeping, fruit trees, and milking goats. I went from a small suburban block to a sprawling 1.9 acres. And a small brand new house to a big old farmhouse.
Mojo Homestead was born.
I knew it would not be easy but I had to do it. It’s been a steep learning curve, and I am are still figuring some things out. I follow the Barefoot Investor program since moving to the homestead and am now credit free. The only debt I have is my mortgage and it will stay that way.
After living the semi-rural lifestyle for 3 years and saving as much money as I could, my lifelong dream was realised! The opportunity to buy 120 acres in the Yass Valley area with a small house on it came up. I couldn’t believe my luck, although my mum tells me if things are meant to be then everything will line up for a reason.
Mojo Homestead became real! 4 farm horses, 8 Angora goats, 10 chickens and a lone Ram, McGee, were gratefully accepted with the purchase of the land. So we now have a real farm!
As luck would have it, around the time I was able to purchase the farm (and sell my old house) I discovered a group of teachers who have changed my life.
They introduced me to the world of Regenerative Agriculture and Holistic Management.
Joel Salatin, Alan Savory, Gabe Brown, Charles Massey and Charlie Arnett. I am sure I will discover many more farmers out there who believe we can heal the planet through regenerative agriculture.
Given everything I’ve been through I’ve realised that I want to make changes not just for my family but for other people also.
I may also say things you don’t agree with, I do love a healthy debate, this post is one of those read here
In 2019, I decided to manufacture and sell products that will help the environment and stop the excess of waste that most families produce. It’s also my side hustle to help pay that mortgage down a bit quicker. I am also planning online courses to help others who want to farm make a difference.
I would love you to join our journey to a healthy, frugal, homegrown and zero-waste life. Learn with us about regenerative agriculture, holistic management, biodynamic farming and cell rotation farming. Jump on and subscribe to the Mojo Tribe so you get updates of the goings-on at Mojo Homestead. As our products expand Mojo Tribey’s will be offered specials so don’t miss out.
Take Care and talk soon.