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Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Homesteading Month Brings Country Skills Workshop to Today’s Abundant Living

By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

Tags: International Homesteading Education Month, country skills workshop, sustainable living, rose rehabilitation, DIY vermicomposter, Today’s Abundant Living,

Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Happy Homesteader SheepMichigan homestead. 

We had just moved into our home and were busy getting things in order when one evening my wife, Holly, decided to take a break and relax with a cup of tea and the latest copy of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. She had not had this opportunity in months. That is when she discovered International Homesteading Education Month. She came to me with delight and disappointment. There were only six weeks until the end of September and Homesteading Education Month. Certainly we could not make plans to participate this year…or could we??

Holly and I are the founders of Today’s Abundant Living, which was originally born through the challenges we overcame during Holly’s breast cancer diagnoses and journey to wellness. It is our great passion and desire to teach, guide and coach as many people as will take this journey with us to live a life of health and simplicity. Our sincere hope would be to empower others to take hold of their Abundant Life and influence those around them to do the same, and together build a community of wellbeing, and vibrant living! 

However, we had just moved into our new home. Our composter wasn’t finished, we didn’t have a single raised bed prepared, our greenhouse was still being used for storage, and our yard, although it was one of the main reasons we purchased this home, was a disaster in need of much work. Yikes! How could we possibly participate this year?

Happy Homesteader bandWe decided to move forward and we made plans for a fairly simple event. We named it: Homestead Open House and Skills Workshop. We selected a date: Saturday, September 29th. Then we went to work. We used the preparation of our yard as the basis for our demonstrations.

At our event we taught our guests how to build a composter and how to prepare a vermicomposter. We readied our greenhouse for use and offered printed material explaining the process. We displayed sheep and goats and offered demos on spinning and bee pollen collection, as well as food dehydration and other healthful food demos. We displayed pictures in our “Rose Rehabilitation Garden” and explained the process that we were going through to save the terribly neglected roses that we found buried under mounds of weeds as well as the organic principles we are implementing to reclaim our new yard. We offered some simple refreshments, asked some friends to share their gift of music, while another friend shared free chair massages. There were even drawings for valuable prizes that were donated by local businesses. We were set for what turned out to be a wonderful event.

Happy Homesteader compost

We had a fabulous turn out. We had the opportunity to meet many of our Today’s Abundant Living friends face-to-face that we had previously only known through emails and the internet. And we were blessed to meet many new like-minded friends as well. We are so glad that we chose to participate in this International Homesteading Education Month. We had a fabulous time and so did our many guests. It was a fun-filled and educational event for the entire family and we are very much looking forward to hosting our Second Annual Homestead Open House and Skills Workshop on Saturday, September 28, 2013.

We have posted many pictures of the event on our website as well as printable material from the various demonstrations and product recommendations based on each demo. Visit our site and click the “Homestead Open House” to enjoy a recap of our Homestead Open House and Skills Workshop. We hope you have fun during your visit and take away some great ideas that you can implement into your lifestyle.

Be well and take hold of your Abundant Life!

Photos by Terri Jones Photography