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

Reader Contribution by The Mother Earth News Editors
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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

Michigan
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?


We
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.

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