Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

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Living the Homesteading Question

11/21/2007 12:00:00 AM


I am the Mother Earth News staff person who answers most of the readers' questions. The range of questions asked is impressive: how to cure psoriasis, what's the best woodstove, where to find bamboo floor covering in Mesa, Ariz., the best strategy for getting roosters to stop fighting with each other – well, you get the picture.

One of my favorite reader questions is 'How do I learn all I need to know to move to the country and be successful supporting my family on a farm?' My answer is usually to plant tomatoes and hang clothes on the line where you live, now. Over time, add some other country-living skills to your repertoire and see how the family enjoys it. If all goes well, you will have developed some of the skills and the necessary attitude to make a successful transition to country life. Tackling the learning curve before making the move makes sense – but not everyone does it that way, some just jump in with both feet and hope for the best.

Logan and Heather Ward did just that. In the book, See You in a Hundred Years, Logan tells how he and his wife left the fast paced life of New York City, bought a farm in Swoope, Va., and proceeded to live there for a year as though it were 1900 and not the 21st century. After a few months of getting their ducks – or chickens and goats – in a row, they unplugged and settled in for 12 months of off -the-grid farm life with their two-year-old son, Luther.

The Wards were overwhelmed by the community support they received during their year-long experiment. Neighbors praised the Wards for their efforts that brought the community together and reminded them of the homesteading skills that built the community a hundred years ago.

Whether you are planning to move to the country or just enjoy a good tale of hard work and the joys of rural living, this book may inspire you to consider a simpler life.

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