Linda Holliday, The Handygal Homesteader
Name: Linda Holliday
Occupation: Linda and her husband work full-time for their home-based business, Well Water Boy Products, LLC, where they design and build water well-related products and human-powered machines for off-grid living.
Place of Residence: In mid-summer 2010, Linda and her husband bought a 45-year-old fixer-upper in the Missouri Ozarks that they are steadily readying to go off-grid.
Background and Personal History: Growing up in central Wisconsin in the 1960s and '70s, Linda was surrounded by dairy farms and forest. Her mother had the best garden anywhere and stored a basement full of raspberry, cherry and strawberry jam, applesauce, bins of potatoes, rutabagas, and carrots, frozen peas and berries, and canned green beans, corn and tomatoes every year. Their meat usually came from the woods – rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, deer, turtle, fish, frogs and assorted game birds. Linda spent many years trying to get back to that simple country lifestyle, finally doing so for good three years ago. She now grows much of her own food year-round, saves heirloom seeds and is relearning old-fashioned skills for self-sufficiency. Linda's husband is continually designing ingenious human-powered devices so they will not need to rely on the grid.
Current Projects: Improving the soil, building compost areas, building greenhouses, establishing rainwater collection, raised beds, seed-starting and seed-saving and designing watering systems. Linda's husband is busy making their self-sufficient lifestyle comfortable. He recently invented a unique hand pump machine and has plans sketched for a pedal-powered log-splitter, firewood saw and washing machine.
Other Fun Facts: Linda loves finding ways to repurpose discarded clothing, furnishings or other items. She made the handiest firewood carrier from old jeans, for example. Her kitchen towel rack is an old oven door handle and her favorite garden kneeling pad ever is a foam boogie board she found in the ditch.
Linda earned her bachelors’ degree at age 43 in less than one year while simultaneously heading a military reserve security detachment in Japan, writing freelance as Linda the Handygal for a Minnesota magazine, working weekends as an auto hobby shop attendant and volunteering as a reporter for the base newspaper.
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