Melissa Souza, Self-Reliant Orchardist, Organic Gardener, and Homemaker

Name:  Melissa SouzaMelissa Souza Self Reliant Orchardist

Occupation:  Homemaker, homesteader, homeschool teacher, organic gardener, and writer

Place of Residence:  Battle Ground, Washington

Education: BA in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Dakota

Values: God first, family, live simply, charity, hard work, nothing is owed, deserved, or expected.

Background: Melissa was born in the Seattle area, where she was raised until leaving for North Dakota to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught for several years in the public school systems in Nevada and Washington before deciding to stay at home to raise her four young children.

Melissa and her family sold their first home in the city to start building a more simple and self-sufficient life. Her children are all homeschooled and raised to understand where their food comes from. The main goal for the Souza homestead is to teach their children to do things for themselves. They expect all members of the family to participate in the gardening, pruning, gathering, preserving, and processing that is done on their 1-acre organic homestead property in rural Washington.

On only 1 acre, the Souzas raise their own backyard chickens and meat rabbits. They also grow plums, apples, pears, a variety of berries, and all the produce they need to eat and store for the winter months. Melissa loves to inspire other families to take steps to save money, be together, and take steps towards self-reliance no matter where they live.