Mary Ellen Ward, How-To Author and New England Dairy Farmer
Occupation: Homestead and How-To Author, Web and Content Writer
Background: Mary Ellen was born on what would now be considered a New England Homestead, later turned family dairy farm. She and her siblings worked hard but learned much. For many years as a typical teen, Mary held that when she survived that ordeal, she would never milk a cow or spend a life farming.
As they say, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Mary met — on a New England dairy farm, no less — and married a man who was not born into a farm as she was, but whose father had worked on many area farms, and from whom her husband caught the same bug. Fast-forward to today, they’ve raised four admirable children to adulthood and almost adulthood, circled back to their roots, embraced the Yankee ingenuity and determined “can-do” example set by their parents, and, long story short, milk a couple of backyard dairy cows, bake, grow, make butter and cheese, raise meat and eggs and elderberries and whatever else strikes Mary’s gardening fancy.
Mary Ellen’s “day job” for the past two and a half years has primarily been caring for her husband as they traveled a long road of recovery following a catastrophic leg-crush injury at work, necessitating an early retirement. Throughout that time, the family did what they could to maintain a recognizable homesteading existence and keep the framework of their lifestyle intact.
For about 12 years prior, Mary performed contract work as a ghostwriter and web content writer, and also published books via Amazon on home- and homestead-related topics. Her husband much improved, Mary is now concentrating on writing and publishing once again as together they find their way back to this much-loved, though somewhat altered, lifestyle. Additionally, Mary Ellen has worked in a variety of small businesses, including animal care, feed sales, a farm-to-table commercial kitchen management producing value-added products, and a local country store and deli. Farming and homesteading, it seems, make for an interesting partnership of experience and ability that can often find one in unanticipated but interesting positions!
Read all of Mary Ellen’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.