Land: In Her Own Hands

 

 

Wind whistles through the trees and down the back country roads of the small village of Rutland, Ohio. A wigwam is tucked into the tall grass and wooded foothills of Appalachia, a region Sarah Fick has called home since she was born.

After five years of saving up enough money, Sarah was finally able to purchase a plot of land where she could build a space that reflected her ideals of self- reliance and environmentalism. “To me, I’m here and this is where I take my stand,” says Sarah. “This is where I try to do my best to be responsible to the land that I live on, to take as best care of it as I can and to protect it—to protect my living environment.” A critic of capitalism and the energy industry that utilizes the region’s resources, Sarah chooses to remove herself from the commodification of everyday life to prove that sustainable living and healthy, conscious interaction with the world around her is possible.

 

triptych

 

It cost Sarah $1,500 to build her home. “It’s awesome to live in a home that I made. It’s awesome to know exactly what is underneath of everything in the house and it’s awesome to live in a house where I know how to fix anything that breaks.”

 

 

Sarah and her grandparents, Clarence and Geraldine LaFollette, who inspired her to live off-the-grid. “Watching my grandparents live their lives the way they did as poor but self-reliant and capable people living in harmony with the land was a huge inspiration and a big part of what makes me who I am today.”

 

  “There’s something about the woods and the hills here that just make me feel safe and at home. As soon as I get somewhere flat or somewhere that doesn’t have trees I feel kind of uneasy, like its not safe here, I need to go someplace else. . .I just wanted to get back with my people, get back with my friends, get back here somehow.” -Sarah Fick

The Vegetable Encyclopedia and Gardener’s Guide; the book Sarah used to learn how to garden

 

Selected entries from Sarah’s pig journal, where she records the activities of her Kune Kune pigs.

 

 “I think if we were to measure countries that we call first world and third world and measure the happiness of the people, the amount of leisure time they get, the amount of connectedness with each other that they have, I think things would look a lot different.” -Sarah Fick