Community-Building and Self-Reliance: Our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year

The 2013 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Homesteaders of the Year believe in learning by doing, and open their homes and farms to teach modern homesteading skills and promote community-building.

Deer Isle Hostel
This off-grid timber frame house overlooks the garden at Deer Isle Hostel, an environmentally conscious hostel located on Deer Isle, Maine.
Photo By Anneli Carter-Sundqvist
Private Hut
Anneli Carter-Sundqvist and Dennis Carter prep the private hut guests can rent at Deer Isle Hostel.
Photo By Anneli Carter-Sundqvist
Community Garden
Deer Isle Hostel’s garden provides fresh produce for the guests’ communal dinners. Harvesting food and cooking meals together is one of the unique features of this low-impact hostel.
Photo By Anneli Carter-Sundqvist
Teaching Homesteading to Preschoolers
Amy Saunders shows a preschool tour group how to turn homegrown broomcorn into a homemade broom at her homestead in Lawrence, Kan.
Photo Courtesy Saunders Family
Spreading Mulch
Amy Saunders and her daughter spread mulch on soon-to-be-planted garden beds as part of the family’s efforts to conserve moisture and control weeds.
Photo Courtesy Saunders Family
Freedman Family
The Freedman family taking a rare break on the porch of their handbuilt home near Frederick, Md.
Photo By Ilene Freedman
Handbuilt House In Maryland
Phil Freedman built his family’s home by hand, adding on through the years.
Photo By Ilene Freedman
Solar Dehydrator Filled With Pears
In Reno, Nev., the Chandler-Isacksen family takes full advantage of the ample sun and heat to dry fruits, such as the pears pictured here, in a homemade solar dehydrator appropriately named “El Gigante.”
Photo Courtesy Chandler-Isacksen Family
Chandler-Isacksen Family
The Chandler-Isacksen family runs the urban Be the Change Homestead on a half-acre in Reno, Nev.
Photo Courtesy Chandler-Isacksen Family
Farmhands Work In Front Of Hoop House
A group of farmhands volunteers as part of a workday in front of the hoop house at the Freedman family’s House in the Woods Farm.
Photo By Jeff Stevens
Varney Family
The Varney family established the first organic dairy in Maine, and they have since expanded to include a cafe, bakery, fiber shop and farm store to sell their additional products and to offer community education.
Photo Courtesy Varney Family
Combs Family
Dawn and Carson Combs raise their two children, create herbal, edible medicines, and run a medicinal CSA out of Mockingbird Meadows homestead near Columbus, Ohio.
Photo Courtesy Combs Family
Beehives and Grazing Sheep
Honeybees and livestock are at home at Mockingbird Meadows, a United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary near Columbus, Ohio, run by the Combs family.
Photo Courtesy Combs Family
Clay pot used to store food
By layering damp sand between two clay pots, the Chandler-Isacksens are able to keep foods “refrigerated” and edible even though the family lives in hot, sunny Reno, Nev.
Photo Courtesy Chandler-Isacksen Family
Saunders Family
Amy, Dan and the Saunders family pose on their homestead property just outside of Lawrence, Kan.
Photo Courtesy Saunders Family
Nezinscot Farm Store And Cafe
The farm store and cafe are a focal point of Nezinscot Farm, which is an organic dairy and homestead run by the Varney family.
Photo Courtesy Varney Family

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