What Every New Cow Owner Should Know…

I have some VERY, VERY exciting news (and I bet you can guess what it is!) – in a month’s time, we are going to become first time cow owners! (Cue the excited squeal!)  For months I’ve been connecting with an amazing farm that raises Jersey cows, waiting patiently to see if there would indeed be a cow for our family.  And the answer is yes, yes, yes!  She is a registered Jersey in her second lactation, she is in milk and has been exposed to a bull, so we’re hoping she’ll be bred when she arrives in mid-October.

Even though we raised Alpine dairy goats for years, we’ve never cared for a cow.  So, I reached out to my favorite cow-owning homestead bloggers for their VERY BEST tips for a new cow owner.  Here they share the advice that they wish someone had given them when they first got a cow!

Homesteaders share their best advice for new cow owners | Homestead Honey

Katie from livinlovinfarmin suggests that new cow owners be prepared!

“And in prepared, I don’t just mean physically and emotionally for the long hours and the physical strain it takes to manage and milk a cow, I mean a well prepared, well-stocked medicine cabinet.” (Katie has put together an amazing guest post detailing her cow medicine cabinet, which I am really excited to share in the near future – thank you Katie!)

Quinn from Reformation Acres reminds us that cows are creatures of habit.

“Know well the condition of your cow and give her proper attention. These gals thrive on routine and do best if they know what to expect each and every day and get the hands-on attention they deserve. Livestock is a huge and yet highly rewarding commitment and what they are offering to you and your family is an extremely valuable (and delicious) return for the time and effort you’ll put into them.”

Advice for First Time Cow Owners | Homestead Honey  (Thanks to TheToupsAddress.com for their photo of Belle!)
Connie from Urban Overalls shares her experience with the less glamorous side of milking a cow!

“While I currently do not have a milk cow, I grew up milking cows. The one thing I wished I had known or that my siblings who had milking duty before it was passed to me was … tie the tail to something to prevent it from swishing around if the cow has loose bowels that day. The last thing you want is a poopy tail swatting around you”

Ashley from The Browning Homestead at Red Fox Farm suggests having a cow mentor.

“Be sure that you have a few resources that you can turn to when you have questions or concerns. A few good books and then one other person who is experienced with family milk cows is invaluable!” (And by the way, Ashley is an amazing source of cow information. I have been known to email her photos of potential cows, just to get her advice!)

Great advice for new cow owners | Homestead Honey (photo credit TheToupsAddress.com)

Ashley from Whistle Pig Hollow votes for coming home with an experienced cow.

“For a first milk cow, I highly suggest getting one who has been milked before, so at least somebody (the cow!) knows what’s going on when milking time comes. And as soon as you get your cow, start working with her and getting her comfortable with the future milking routine (assuming she’s not already in milk). Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out to people with more experience than you! Our local dairy farmers, our neighbors who own cows, and the man we purchased our milk cow from have been so helpful.”

Heather at Green Eggs and Goats knows that a cow will win your heart!

“Be prepared for your cow to become more than just livestock. A milk cow quickly becomes a treasured member of your family.”  (Awww!)

 

For all of you cow owners out there, what is YOUR best piece of advice for a new cow owner? 

Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe

Make Your Own Homemade Hot Sauce | Homestead Honey

Imagine combining the spicy zing of your favorite Tobasco sauce with the complex flavors and live-culture, probiotic goodness of a lactic acid ferment, and you get this amazing hot sauce – one that we make at the end of summer and enjoy all winter long.

Here’s how to make it:

Long Thin Cayenne Peppers | Homestead Honey

First, we start with ripe, fresh chiles.

These are Long Thin Cayenne Peppers mixed with a few yellow hot peppers, but you could also use green chiles like seranos or jalapenos for a green hot sauce.

Long Thin Cayenne and Hot Yellow Peppers | Homestead Honey

Cut off the stems and chop into a couple of pieces, and loosely pack into a mason jar.

Making homemade hot sauce with cayenne peppers | Homestead Honey

Mix a 5% brine (3 TBSP salt per quart water) in another container.

Mixing a 5% brine to make homemade hot sauce | Homestead Honey

Pour this over the chiles and cover with a cloth or a lid that is left slightly a jar.

The technique is exactly like making naturally fermented pickles.

Hot peppers fermenting in a salt water brine | Homestead Honey

I like to keep this jar on my counter where I will see it every day and remember to invert the jar 1 or 2 times per day to keep mold from forming on the surface.

After a week or two, the liquid should be cloudy, the sign of lactic acid bacteria proliferating, and the ferment should taste delightfully sour/tart.  Now we’re ready to blend!

Blending homemade hot sauce | Homestead Honey

Carefully blend the chiles and brine into a velvety red puree.

You might not need to add ALL the brine – start with a small amount and add to your desired consistency – more for a liquidy, Tobasco-like sauce, less for a thicker paste-like hot sauce.

Blending lactofermented hot sauce | Homestead Honey

We usually add a few drizzles of apple cider vinegar, just to increase the acidity, which helps the hot sauce keep longer.

Homemade Tobasco-style hot sauce | Homestead Honey

Store in a cool or refrigerated place, and enjoy a bit of summer heat all year long!

 

 

A Homestead Pantry

A custom built homestead pantry for our tiny house | Homestead Honey

A few weeks ago, I shared a photo of our custom pantry-in-progress on Instagram. What a flurry of excitement it generated.  And it should!  In my mind, a well-organized, well-stocked, and beautiful homestead pantry is one of the best ways to store and easily access whole foods and canned goods.  Plus, for our tiny 350 square foot house, it is essential that we are using every inch of space wisely and efficiently.

Little by little, my carpentry genius husband Brian is creating these gorgeous, efficient spaces, and our tiny house is starting to look as divine on the inside as it always has on the outside. Details like tile flooring, a mudroom shoe cubby, plaster on the walls of the mudroom, and finally, this custom built pantry are making our house feel so much more like HOME.

Pantry before shot | Homestead HoneyThis was last winter’s pantry – a totally functional metal shelf unit on which we could store bulk food, glasses, and our beloved Berkey filter. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful wood backing that my husband spent countless hours planing, sanding and finishing.

This summer, we moved our kitchen outdoors so we had the spaciousness to finally finish the pantry. Brian created a gorgeous design with shelving just the right height for both gallon glass jars and quart mason jars. Some lovely pieces of oak and elm from an auction were planed and lovingly sanded and finished with Heritage brand natural oil finish.

We spent time this morning “moving in.”

Custom built homestead pantry | Homestead HoneyI’m in total pantry heaven.

Storing canned goods in our custom built homestead pantry | Homestead HoneyFor those that were curious about the dimensions, the width of the shelves was built to fit the space that we had available in our house. The height of the bottom four shelves is simply 1/2 inch taller than gallon glass jars and the height of the top four shelves is 1/2 inch taller than quart mason jars.

Now onto the walls and floors!

 

 

TEND Magazine :: An interview and giveaway

One of the best parts of my blogging job is getting to connect with amazing readers and small business owners.  My sponsorship program allows me to highlight businesses that I truly love and believe in, such as today’s featured sponsor, TEND Magazine.

A magazine whose tagline is “nourishing a mindful life,” whose pages are full of food, crafts, natural parenting, and homeschooling goodness – Yes, please!

TEND Magazine Issue 3:: Autumn

Today, I’m excited to introduce you not only to Issue 3 :: Autumn 2014, but also to TEND’s Editor, Debbie Qalballah.  (These images are all courtesy of TEND, so you can see the absolute gorgeousness that lives within its pages!)

Welcome to Homestead Honey, Debbie!  Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, thank you for having me over. I’m Debbie, I’m from the UK, I home-school two boys and live in a small house in the middle of a city. I dream of living on my own small farm one day, but until then I do what I can with what I have and we live as simply as we can. And I’m also the Editor of a new magazine called TEND.

TEND Magazine
How would you describe TEND Magazine to someone that has never read it before?
TEND is the magazine that I always wanted to read, but could never find. It is basically about slowing down, consuming less, walking on this earth gently, and encourages homesteading as a realistic goal, even for those of us in urban environments. It is filled with (I hope!) thought-provoking articles, parenting, craft, recipes (oh the food in there is SO good – our wholefood and herbal health editor, Denise Cusack, is a one-woman force of nature, and all recipes are allergy free), patterns, preschool ideas and an educational topic each issue for older children to work through. And we try to make it all modern and design led, because we all love beautiful things, right? We also have online communities on Facebook and else where, because I think in this day and age, our ‘village’ is in diaspora – we need each other, and we yearn for community, and we are so lucky to be able to forge that, even over oceans. So I like to think of this as more than a magazine, really. I’d like to think of it as a community.

TEND Magazine Autumn Issue

TEND just launched this year – what was the process like creating a brand new online magazine?
Well, I began work, behind the scenes on the concept well over a year ago in 2013, and really it has been a truly humbling experience. I’ve had to shift gears and ‘up my game’ in so many ways, and on so many levels. I wear so many hats, and I like to tell people that currently it’s like juggling balls whilst also running between several spinning plates and keeping them all spinning and in the air! It’s a little bit crazy sometimes, but I love it so much and even though I literally have no ‘spare time’ any longer, I still don’t feel like I’m working, because I love and believe in everything this magazine stands for.

But without doubt the over-riding feeling is one of humility, because this magazine would not have been more than an idea on the back of an envelope without the belief, good will, offers of help and hard work of so many people from the first step. From Deb Hendriksma Anderson, our graphic designer, art director and all round super hero who basically made me believe this could be done, offered to make it become, and stuck around after all my emails and nagging to produce something quite startingly beautiful (if I do say so myself), to Denise Cusack who jumped on board, took being professional to the next level, talked me down off several ledges and continues to have our backs whilst also producing mouth-watering dishes, to Heather Fontenot who graciously became our Preschool Editor with her soothing voice and crafty know-how, and to every contributor and helper and admin assistant and artist – everyone! Just everyone who has believed in this project and added their weight to it. The overwhelming belief and hard work is just a joy to work with.

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What can we look forward to in Issue 3?
This issue is all about re-centering on the home. Fall is a time where we seek the warmth of the hearth after the warmth of the sun and so this issue will be about finding comfort in home. There is GREAT food – I’m not lying, when you see it you will want to eat the page; there is a sewing pattern AND a knitting pattern; articles on tea; preschool crafts based on fall; and the education section is about weather – plenty for your children to do once the weather brings them back indoors; oh and fire! nature walks! building a fire pit! how we make jam in the UK; can toppers; (I mentioned the food, right?). I do love autumn and I hope this issue will add a little bit of warmth and beauty to your fall days too.

TEND Magazine Autumn Issue

Thank you, Debbie!

If you would like to purchase a copy of TEND, you can do so here.  And be sure to use the discount code HOMEHON10 for 10% off!

You can connect with TEND Magazine in all of these places:
Facebook
twitter
Google+
instagram
Ravelry

A September Garden Update

What a gorgeous first day of September – just warm enough to jump in the pond, but not so hot that we had to hide indoors. The garden is full of bounty and our meals consist of pieced together bits of harvest – corn on the cob, a tomato basil salad, fresh ripe melons, and green beans.

I’ll take you on a tour of my late summer garden in just a moment, but first I want to give a great big shout out to all of Homestead Honey’s sponsors, including:

Moon in the Window – A delightful Etsy shop featuring children’s harvesting and cooking aprons, hand-bound books, reusable sandwich bags, a PDF pattern to make gardening totes for children, and more!

Lavender’s Blue Homeschool – A resource for peaceful parenting and holistic homeschooling, now offering a complete First Grade Waldorf-inspired curriculum, as well as a kindergarten curriculum!

The Aquaponic Source – Providing learning materials, products, and leadership to empower people to grow their own fish and vegetables in their homes and schools

The Dental Essentials -A nutritional supplement that has been specially formulated to reduce cavities. (Use coupon code Homestead for 15% off!)

TEND Magazine – A quarterly, downloadable magazine, designed to nourish a mindful life. (Use coupon code HOMEHON10 for 10% off!)

Ollie and Stella Children’s Outfitters – Featuring super high-quality DucKsday outdoorwear for kids

Gypsy Forest - Natural goods for home and play

The Sitting Tree – Handmade goods, for a free-spirited life

Randi Jo Fabrications – Soft goods for bicyclers

Are you a small business owner? I am currently accepting new sponsors for Homestead Honey, and would for you to consider joining me! Please take a look at my Media Kit on my Sponsorship page, and contact me to get started!

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 Now, let’s take a stroll through the garden…

Upper garden in early September | Homestead Honey

Remember the upper garden space that we created new this spring?  Some crops have done fantastically in this tilled garden – melons, peppers, okra, and sweet potatoes are growing and thriving. Sadly, the corn, beans, and squash did not fare as well. I suspect that this garden needs quite a bit more organic matter, and I’ll be adding this with a cover crop and additional manure and compost amendments.

Everettt harvests in the lower garden | Homestead Honey

The lower garden is a jungle of vegetables and flowers and herbs. You can see the cattle panel trellises have worked wonderfully for cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. I have been so impressed by a cucumber variety called Delikatesse, from Baker Creed Seed Company. This is a dual purpose cuke that just keeps producing!

Newly made sheet mulched garden bed | Homestead Honey

We expanded the garden fencing this spring, leaving space to create new beds. This is a newly built lasagna or sheet mulched bed, which I’m treating essentially as a compost pile.  Cardboard was layered, followed by decomposed straw. We continually add food scraps and garden matter, as well as manure. Getting this bed built now means that it will be perfectly ready for planting in the spring.

Ella's fall bed | Homestead Honey

Ella’s garden bed is a perfect example of successional sowing.  This bed started out with an early spring crop of fava beans, sunflowers, and potatoes.  As we harvested plants, new ones went in their place. We sowed a late crop of zucchini in late July to be sure that we had back-up plants in case squash bugs killed others.  Recently, Ella sowed lettuce, mesclun, radish, and purslane, and we filled in with a few kale transplants.

SeptGarden6 SeptGarden5

A few pin up shots of some of my favorite plants.  This cabbage (I believe it’s Perfection Drumhead from Baker Creek) has far surpassed my expectations, especially with the cabbage worm problem I seem to be having – I handpick easily 100 per day.  And the cayenne peppers!  We’ve already put a half-gallon jar of them in a brine to ferment for hot sauce making, and I plan to dry the rest to use throughout the winter.

Flowers, brassicas and more! |Homestead Honey

Flowers, bunching onions, new kolhrabi, and turnips combine in a bed, which is typical of how I love to garden.  In the background you can see the waning sunflowers which have given us such delight as goldfinch habitat and feed.

Now it’s your turn – what is growing in your garden!  Share a link or just comment below!

 

Less Is More: The Tiny House Movement

Hello!  It’s been a very busy time on our homestead. While we spend hour after hour working on the interior of our tiny house – moving our bed and kitchen and all our furniture out of doors so we can plaster and install a pantry and wood flooring – I thought I’d quickly pop in to share this great infographic that was generously shared with me by the folks at CustomMade.com.  I’ll be back in a day or two to share the gorgeous custom homestead pantry that Brian built for us!

What do you think? Could you downsize to a tiny home? 

 

Click to Enlarge Image

Less Is More:The Tiny House Movement

Less Is More:The Tiny House Movement
Infographic by CustomMade

Selecting a Solar Electric System for our Homestead

How we selected a solar electric (photovoltaic) system for our off-grid homestead | Homestead Honey

As many of you know, we’ve been living without electricity in our tiny house for the past year. This has been an incredible experience, and one that has brought clarity to our needs and our wants surrounding electricity. While waiting for the time and money to be available to research, purchase, and install a small-scale solar electric (photovoltaic) system for our homestead, we’ve created strategies to meet our needs for keeping food cold (renting out freezer space at a friend’s home), using the computer (trading house-sitting at another friend’s house), and running power tools (a Honda EU2000i generator).  But all along, our intention has been to have our home powered by solar, and now that plan is turning into reality!

How did we select a solar electric system for our home?

We started this process with very little prior knowledge of photovoltaic systems.  So the first step was educating ourselves. I bought Brian a subscription to Home Power magazine last year for his birthday, we checked related books out of the library (books with titles like “Photovoltaics for Dummies”), and talked to people who had installed their own systems. We knew that we’d have to start small and add on over time, because a large system was simply not in our budget.

The following considerations helped us select a solar electric system:

1) Cost – This was the most important limiting factor in our purchase.  We knew we wanted to invest in quality components so we could expand the system as we are able, but right now our budget is limited to $5,000.

2) Needs vs. Wants – We’ve been living very simply for the past year, and will continue to do so, but there are some electric needs that truly feel like needs, and some that feel like extra luxuries that we’re okay doing without (or have found that we prefer to do without).  The needs are:

  • A chest freezer, both for food preservation, and for freezing ice jugs to put in the coolers that act as our refrigerator.
  • A computer and internet.  As both Brian and I are self-employed, we rely heavily on a computer for business and communication. Besides, I really love writing this blog!
  • Charging hand tools, camera, phone, etc.

3) Technical Support – We thought about hiring a professional to install a system for us, but again, cost was an issue. Since Brian is such a handy sort of guy, we knew he could figure it out, as long as he had resources to ask questions as they arose.

Battery box | Homestead Honey

A sealed, vented box in our mudroom, ready for the batteries.

Purchasing a System

We decided to purchase our system through Backwoods Solar. What we love about Backwoods Solar is that the company is staffed by people who actually use the systems they sell, and when you purchase a system through them, you get phone consultations and technical support as part of the price.  We know that there are DIY ways to have gone about this process less expensively, but the fact of the matter is that we did not feel comfortable piecing it together all alone.  After coming up with our approximate electrical needs (check out this great resource page), Backwoods Solar helped us come up with a system that included:

  • Three 290 Watt Solar Panels
  • Eight Trojan 6V batteries
  • A high quality inverter that will allow us to expand as needed

The system that we purchased will allow us to power a chest freezer, a computer, a few lights, and will allow for a few extra luxuries, such as occasionally using a sewing machine, food processor, or blender.  Our generator can be used as a back-up.

What’s next?

Lots of work getting the house ready for the installation!  Brian is building a box in our mudroom that is sealed and vented to the outdoors, which will hold the batteries.  I expect that the entire installation process will take a few months’ work, and I’ll be sure to share the process here!

 

* By the way, registration for Empowered Eating is in its final stretch!  The course begins on Monday, and we’d LOVE to have you join us.  You can register right here.

Local for Dinner

Late summer has to be my favorite time to eat. Each meal begins with a walk through the garden to see what is ripe and ready.  Cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant feature prominently into daily meals, as do additions from my CSA share. This week I got to take home:

  • Kale, Swiss Chard and Turnip Greens
  • Turnips
  • Eggplant, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Peppers
  • Beans and Peas
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic and Onions
  • Okra

It’s truly a bounty!  Add to this our own honey (the very last from our 2012 harvest), local sorghum, our chicken eggs, local raw goat milk and Amish butter, and it’s not too difficult to pull together meals that are 99% locally grown.  Last night’s dinner was locally raised pastured pork with sweet peppers and some garden fresh salsa. This morning we enjoyed a broccoli and roasted chile egg frittata for breakfast!

Zacusca1

In addition to creating and eating locally inspired meals, I’ve been preserving the summer’s bounty.  This week, I plan to buy sweet corn from my neighbor and either freeze or can it, can dill pickles, begin drying garden-grown cayenne peppers, blanch and freeze kale from the garden, and figure out a really, really good plan to preserve zucchini!

PreservingCorn

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Eating a seasonally inspired diet is not difficult, but it is great to start with some skills, inspiration, and a strong support network. My upcoming eCourse, Empowered Eating is designed to provide just these tools in a fun and supportive environment, and today I’m giving away a spot in the course!

Empowered Eating eCourse | Homestead Honey

(Want to register right now? Great! The course page is right here.)

 
Simply comment in the blog about what you’d like to learn in the course, and enter below!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Have a Totally Awesome Camping Road Trip with Kids

Hello!  We’re back from our almost three week epic road trip vacation, and I have to say, it was fabulous. So many beautiful places, hours spent with beautiful people, and beautifully focused family time. It was really wonderful to visit our old home of nearly 14 years, but also really wonderful to return to this new home.

When we moved to Missouri almost two years ago, in October of 2012, we also drove across the country. But since it was October and we weren’t sure what kind of weather we would encounter, we didn’t camp, but stayed with friends and in hotels.  This time, we camped 10 out of 18 nights, and with two young and energetic children, ages 3 and 6, just being able to cook and sleep outdoors was a phenomenal balance to the long hours in the car.

So, today I want to share a few of the tricks that made this trip so wonderful (and of course sneak in a few photos of our journey!)

Having a successful camping road trip with kids | Homestead Honey

Travel your Values (but be willing to flex!)

At home, we eat almost an almost exclusively whole foods diet, made from scratch.  We have a few favorite prepared foods, like tortilla chips, ice cream, or crackers, but we try to cook and bake as much as possible.  Continuing to eat this way on our road trip made us all feel comfortable and well-nourished. Immediately before the trip, I stocked up on Farmer’s Market produce that I knew would travel well – green beans, cucumbers, and zucchini, for instance – and also harvested as much as possible from my garden.  We ate delicious meals without having to shop for at least 5 days and saved a lot of money in the process.

Of course, there are times when you’re in the middle of a state with few natural food stores, and the only option for grocery shopping on a Tuesday at 6pm is the Super Walmart. Be gentle on yourself and make the best choices possible from what is available.

Oregon Coast

Take Detours

We literally started this trip with no itinerary – just a vague idea that we wanted to see some relatives in Idaho, and perhaps also explore the Badlands of South Dakota.  Part of the joy of approaching a trip with this much freedom is that it gave us wiggle room to take detours and explore some really amazing places!

For instance, when we were in the Grand Teton National Park, we realized we’d be driving right past a friend’s town.  We were able to spend an hour checking out he and his wife’s amazing Earthship home in progress.

Earthship home in progress | Homestead Honey Entry way to an Earthship home in progress | Homestead Honey

More is not More

Making one more stop, pulling over to check out one more scenic overlook…they are not necessarily going to make your trip better. In fact, we found that the fewer stops we made, the happier we all were. Rather than unbuckle and buckle the kids into their car seats over and over again, we found that taking longer breaks to really play and enjoy our surroundings was so much more relaxing and fun!

Similarly, we packed very lightly for this trip, as we took the Amtrak train home.  To help pass car time for the kids, we brought ONE small bag with a few coloring books, magazines, and books.  We downloaded several Sparkle Stories and had a few books on tape.  The rest of the time the kids drew pictures.  For HOURS they drew!  Even Everett, who does not seem to be drawn to artistic endeavors at home was asking for paper and crayons every day. (By the way, I wish I had a photo of this, but my husband made lap drawing boards out of very thin masonite board and they were amazing for car art!)

Yellowstone NP

Play in Water Every Day

If I had to give one piece of advice for how to have a happier life, it would probably be this: Play in water every single day. My friend Mike has inspired me over and over again by his philosophy: “If I know I can get warm and dry, I will always jump in water.”  Even just hanging out NEXT TO water brings a whole new level of energy to my day, but certainly the best is when you find an amazing alpine lake to plunge into!

Eastern Wyoming reservoir | Homestead Honey in the Black Hills of South Dakota |Homestead Honey

I’m sure there are some seasoned road trip campers out there, so I’d love to hear from you:

What is your best tip for a totally awesome road trip with kids?

9 Reasons Why Local Homestead Friends are Priceless

Today I welcome my friend Erin Kelly, of Blue Yurt Farms. In addition to being amazing homesteaders, Erin and her husband Mike are also skilled web developers who are in the process of creating an amazing online resource called Homesteader Hub. Imagine being able to jump online to find homesteading friends in your area or to network farm-sitters. Homesteader Hub will help with that, and more!

And why are local homesteading friends so important?  Here’s Erin, to tell us why!  Welcome, Erin!

homesteadhoney-feat

Many of us have moved to a homestead lifestyle because we were tired of the rat race. Peace, quiet and privacy are all top of the list for many homesteaders. Yet, there are things that are so much more fun or lots easier when you have a few like-minded people to call on. Not to mention, when emergencies happen on a homestead, it’s a comfort to have someone to call. Someone that knows how to milk a cow, keep a garden functioning or why it’s important to put chickens up at night.

That said, it can be REALLY hard to find a local community of like-minded homestead friends. Sure, there are more online homestead forums and Facebook groups than you can shake a fist at but it’s not always easy to determine who is close to where you live.

Which is why my husband and I are launching a homestead focused Kickstarter project called Homesteader Hub. We are experienced web developers and homesteaders — and can’t wait to create a super user friendly site that you can pop onto from your phone, tablet or computer, find people near you and then pop back off to go milk that goat, pick those tomatoes or just enjoy a quiet moment. There are enough time wasters online, we don’t want to add another.

But what we DO need is a way to bring this amazing nationwide homesteading community together. And that is how the Homesteader Hub idea was born. Together we can do great things!

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So why are local homestead friends awesome? Here are 9 of my reasons, and please share yours in the comments!

1. They understand why you make your own deodorant, feed your chickens fermented feed or bake bread from scratch.

2. When you say you want a dairy animal, they not only get excited for you but try to help you find the right animal using their network.

3. Homestead friends understand that you can’t go on weekend vacation anymore. Quick visits, often involving homestead chores, are expected and enjoyed.

4. Canning, processing, picking are all more fun when you have many hands to help out. Creating a crop mob schedule with your local homestead friends is an amazing tool for your collective homesteads.

5. It’s a relief to have someone local to call when an emergency pops up, and know that they will take care of your homestead as if it were their own.

6. Homesteading can be lonely and overwhelming. Having like-minded folks nearby can allow for homeschooling get togethers, jam making sessions, help raising a small livestock barn and more.

7. Wanting to switch to a different animal feed? Not sure where to buy chickens? Ask your local homesteading friends, two/three/four heads are far better than just one.

8. A support system of like-minded people can make a big difference when you get off the phone with a family member, friend or just someone that doesn’t understand WHY you’re homesteading when you “can just buy that at a store”.

9. Sharing tools, collaboration projects and homestead magic is created when you build a strong local network. There is no limit to what a group of motivated, like-minded folks can create when they put their minds to it!

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Sounds awesome, but don’t know anyone local?

Help us share the Homesteader Hub project far and wide by first sharing this post with friends, family and fellow homesteaders. Then visit the Homesteader Hub Kickstarter project page. Even if you contribute just $2 towards building the site, you’re helping us create a collaborative online space where we can ALL build our own local “hubs” of like-minded homesteaders. The sky is the limit!

Learn more about the Homesteader Hub project here.

And a big thank you to Teri for sharing your online community with us! We absolutely love what you’re doing here.

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You can find and follow Homesteader Hub on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram!