Owner Built Homes and Homesteads

In this excerpt from his book "The OwnerBuilt Homestead," Ken Kern considers the factors that go into designing owner built homes and homesteads and the mental and physical qualities homesteaders need to be successful, particularly in a governmental policy environment that favors large agribusiness operations.

| March/April 1973

Kern - hay fork grass fork

Knowing the purpose and proper use of your tools is vital for homesteaders.


How can it be agreed that food, clothing and shelter shall be produced en masse, by machinery, and simply as objects of merchandise, things produced solely for the profit of investors of capital, and yet that, fed on machine-made food, dressed in machine-made clothes, housed in machine-made buildings, we shall be able in our leisure hours-the hours when we are not working in the factories—to produce and enjoy the products of human cultivation?  

What an environment!  

And environment is important, because it is as necessary as the thing environed.  

You cannot have responsible human beings in their leisure time, if they are not responsible in their working time.  

For working is the means to living, and it is life for which we have responsibility.  

You cannot have responsibility for your work unless you have control over it.  

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!