Mary Lou Shaw, Local Food Homesteader

Mary Lou ShawName: Mary Lou Shaw

Recent Articles/Projects for MOTHER EARTH NEWS: My book, “Growing Local Food” is being sold at www.Mother Earth Two of the chapters are being featured on MOTHER’s website.

Occupation: Homesteader and writer

Place of Residence: Washington Courthouse, Ohio

Background: Formerly a family practitioner (MD) who emphasized preventive medicine, I am now homesteading with my husband.

Personal History: Born in California, raised in Minnesota. I spent two years in West Africa in the Peace Corps before getting married, then two years in Germany. My husband, Tom, and I have one daughter. We have lived in Ohio for more than 30 years. We’ve always had a garden, but since retiring are able to grow most of the food we eat.

Current Projects: Besides growing our own food, it is our goal to preserve the genetics and knowledge needed by others to grow their own food. We have a large garden and orchard, Dorking chickens, Red Wattle hogs, Narragansett turkeys, Dutch Belted cows, bees and three funny Ancona ducks — all boys. We have solar panels to cover the electricity we use, and this year intend to create a cistern with a homemade wind pump for the garden. I am marketing “Growing Local Food” book because I want others to know the basics of growing their own food. And, we are just getting familiar with using a compost toilet!

Other Fun Facts: We began having apprentices at our farm, and are setting up housing so someone can be here each growing season to help and to learn.

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