ABOUT OUR FAMILY
We Geeks are a family of 5. We like to spend time together reading, learning, watching things (videos/screens, the heavens), and gaming –especially DnD. But how did we get to here?
I (Hera) will never forget the night Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone first came to theaters – November 16, 2001. Not because I was there, though. No, I was supposed to have gone with my friends, but I had recently completed training for a new job, and my first shift was opening night. I was thrown right into the fire and worked the 2 busiest shifts there were: Friday and Saturday. But all was not lost! For it was there, at Blockbuster (I mentioned we love movies right?) that I first met Shaggy.
It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but definite Like at First Sight (he said he thought I was “cute”). Somehow I knew that one day, in the future, we’d be together. I was sure of it…
FUNNY STORY: The Blockbuster had a single restroom for employees (no stall) and, well, you had to push that door REALLY HARD to get it to close all the way and lock. I didn’t know this, being only 5 days into working there, so while I was sitting there the door opened and Shaggy starts to walk in. He realizes it’s occupied, yells “Sorry!” and closes the door PDQ. Afterward he kindly explains how to get the door the close *all the way* and spends a few weeks apologizing profusely for seeing my naked thigh. The incident didn’t bother me in the slightest. Years later he asked why I was never as embarrassed about it as he was. I said “Because at the time, I knew that one day, it wouldn’t matter.”
So happily ever after, right? Not so fast. We spent about 6 months working together, getting to know each other. In addition to movies, we enjoyed the same kinds of music, and video games; however, things happen and we lost touch with each other for over a year. Then one night, I was sitting in a diner with my friends, and Shaggy walked by. We spent a few minutes catching up and exchanged numbers. The next day he called to invite me over for dinner (chicken and pesto) and we started dating.
TRIBULATIONS: On the second anniversary of our first date, I told him he was going to be a Daddy. We started the process of buying a house together, and then we were both laid off from our jobs! So we were pregnant, unemployed, and moving in with my mom… Eventually we got back on our feet. We both found good jobs, though I was blessed to spend 10 months at home with our son [“Zekrom”] before I found a permanent full-time position. We bought a house (a mobile home on rented land), got married, had a car accident that partially disabled Shaggy, had another kid [“Squirrel”], had another car accident that totaled our only vehicle and messed up my arm that later needed surgery to fix, got a settlement from insurance, moved to Arizona (Shaggy is a Phoenix native), decided we were done having kids but God had other plans [“Squirmy Worm”].
ABOUT GARDEN OF THE GEEKS
We had long talked about getting a piece of land of our own and homesteading. We liked the idea of going back to the “old ways” but with contemporary technologies, and the more I thought about modern farming and food practices, the more I knew I wanted us to be self-sufficient. We started doing what we could on our small lot and at one point we had 45 trees but unfortunately most of them were killed off by either the cold of winter (mangoes) or the drought and heat of summer (avocados). Hey, we were still figuring things out but Garden of the Geeks was born.
As for the name, I was known through my school years as a bit of a know-it-all bookworm – a bit like Hermione – and Shaggy’s background is in computers but he’s also an avid gardener. Clearly we were used to being called dork, nerd, geek. All of our urban permaculture mentors were naming their “urban farms” (e.g. Longevity Gardens, Epic Yard Farm). Originally we had Gallifrey Gardens (yes, we were Whovians) but the BBC said we couldn’t use it. Well, there’s a gorgeous park in the mountains outside Colorado Springs called Garden of the Gods. At the Denver ComicCon we attended a few years earlier, Wil Wheaton pointed out everyone is passionate about something, we just get called nerds because our passions are different from sports, etc. Skirting any further trademark violations, we settled on Garden of the Geeks with the tagline “Everyone’s a Geek for something!”
A few years ago, we closed on a piece of land, but we didn’t do our research. The county the land was in, was NOT friendly to slowly building your own house with your own hands. A LOT of restrictions and regulations, and it was going to cost a lot up front ($50k) to accomplish anything.
BRIGHT SPOT: From watching other homesteading youtubers, like Handeeman and mylittlehomestead, we discovered another county in Arizona that was VERY friendly to alternative building materials (adobe, cob, earthbag, etc) and even had a specific permit to allow you to build a home yourself. Cochise County has a heritage of agriculture and ranching and wants to keep it way. They’re not interested in inviting urban sprawl, which is perfect for us. We did a LOT more research this time and found a bit of land (40 acres!) with a fantastic view. Now we are working towards making it the future permanent home of Garden of the Geeks.