Star 2013 Modern Homesteaders

We asked our resourceful readers to nominate friends and family for our second annual MOTHER EARTH NEWS Homesteaders of the Year contest. We found ourselves getting more inspired with each family’s story, whether they were installing their own solar panels and food gardens, raising livestock, homeschooling their families or teaching their communities. You can read about the winning homesteaders who are featured in Community-Building and Self-Reliance: Our 2013 Homesteaders of the Year. In addition, we've collected many of the nominations we received as additional inspiration for those of you looking to get started homesteading or looking for kindred spirits. For our full collection of yearly nominees and winners, see our Star Modern Homesteaders page. We think you’ll enjoy reading each family’s unique story as much as we did. We hope you'll find yourself contemplating how to build an Earthship or plant an orchard of your own.

Our Homesteaders of the Year contest runs in conjunction with International Homesteading Education Month, which we co-sponsor with Grit magazine each September. Share your skills with others by registering to host a homesteading workshop and posting it to our year-round, searchable event listing, or by listing yourself in our online speaker finder. Plus, you can find and attend the events going on in your area or seek out a speaker on a topic you're interested in. For even more exciting, hands-on learning, attend a MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, where you can meet our Homesteaders of the Year face-to-face.

If you know a family that fits the bill, tell us about them! Send a 500-word description of a friend, family member or neighbor you think deserves to be one of our honored homesteaders to with the subject line “Homesteaders of the Year.” Don't forget to include several photos.


Angela Baker

OregonAngela Baker

In eighth grade, I met a tall girl from Texas who had a big fancy bag I’d never heard of.  We quickly grew to be best friends. Adulthood reached us and we moved apart — Angela to Grinnell College to study biology, and I to find my own way in life.

Angela started married life in St Louis; she and her husband had the first of their four children. They had a small urban apartment whose balcony had little room for growing food. She didn’t let that small space stop her. Angela saw potential in an abandoned field behind their building. She put a guerilla vegetable garden there, thus beginning the principles of her permaculture life.