Imagine if you could learn from the experts on how to manage your time to increase your productivity and find joy while meeting your homesteading goals. Well now you can. Welcome to the Happy Homestead Interview Series.
Every Monday I invite homesteaders who have conquered this challenge to share their stories, from realizing they could homestead where they are to building a homestead that meets their families needs, dreams and goals.
If you want to quit your job, and purse your homestead dreams wholeheartedly, read on to learn how you too can have a productive and happy homestead to discover your homesteading purpose, find success and live the life you want to.
Homesteading Blogs leading the way in 2021
If we’ve learned anything, this decade is all about leading a more self sufficient lifestyle that helps us connect with each other, our food and our planet.
I’m interviewing the best homesteaders that I know that are leading the way of living a handmade homegrown lifestyle to sustain their families while still enjoying a simple happier life.
The fun thing about these interviews is that all of these women are strong willed, sometimes thought of a radical or extreme and truly passionate about homesteading.
These interviews were written to help inspire you and lift you up knowing that you’re not alone when it comes to dreaming about homesteading. It’s time to set your own realistic homesteading goals and I encourage you to start no matter where you live or what skills you may or may not have.
You’ve got this my friend.
AN INTERVIEW WITH TERI PAGE OF HOMESTEAD HONEY
Today I’m extremely excited to share with you my friend Teri. She is a master gardener, and all around expert on starting your off-grid homestead from scratch with a family.
In this Interview you’ll learn from Teri
- A sneak peak into daily life in a tiny home.
- How to stay true to yourself as a homesteader, and business owner
- Her secrets to making hard work more fun
1. HOW AND WHEN DID YOU START YOUR HOMESTEADING JOURNEY?
My then-boyfriend/now-husband and I landed in Oregon in the Spring/Summer of 1999 to work and live at a sustainable living education center.
My job was to work in the organic garden, and I hadn't ever planted a single veggie! But months of learning how to grow, cook, and preserve food got me hooked on the homesteading lifestyle.
That experience kickstarted our homesteading journey. We ended up renting a house nearby, on 35 acres, and immediately dove into planting gardens, raising chickens, growing fruit, and preserving food. We haven't stopped since!
2. HOW BIG IS YOUR PROPERTY AND WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? (what do you grow and raise?)
We recently purchased an 8.4 acre property in Central Vermont, where we are building an off the grid homestead from scratch. After months of work establishing a driveway, well, foundation, and solar electric system, in September, our family of four settled into a 25 foot yurt, where we live while we build a house.
At the moment, our focus is creating systems and infrastructure, so there are lots of piles of wood sitting around!
But this spring we got a jumpstart on our food forest, and we currently have a dozen blueberry bushes and lots of raspberries, as well as two large garden spaces, and lots of wild apples and berries! We also have a small flock of 13 laying hens.
Are you thinking of buying homesteading property and starting fresh? Here are some questions worth considering.
RELATED: HOW TO BUY HOMESTEADING PROPERTY
3. What are your biggest struggles with homesteading?
Our biggest struggle has been starting over. After living in Oregon for 13 years, homesteading on the same property, we packed everything up and moved to NE Missouri, where we built a homestead from scratch on raw land.
Our fruit trees were just starting to bear fruit when we made another big decision to move, this time to Vermont. Now, 20+ years into our homesteading journey, we're starting from scratch again.
It is simultaneously invigorating and exhausting to start a homestead on raw land. On the one hand, you have a blank canvas to work with, and can create your homestead to your exact specifications.
On the other hand, we are so focused on building infrastructure that some of the more fun parts of homesteading (for instance, raising dairy animals and making cheese) have been set aside for the time being.
4. What does a typical day look like?
I don't think any homesteader's day is typical.
Here is an average day in the winter:
We wake early to light the wood stove
Collect water from the well
After dropping the kids at school, my husband and I might tackle a home project, or head off to our respective jobs.
This weekend, he installed electric outlets around our off the grid yurt, while I pruned raspberries, mucked out the chicken coop, and prepared our blueberry patch for winter.
Summer months are heavy on food production and preservation, while winter is about keeping the humans and animals warm!
5. How do you stay motivated?
I enjoy learning new things and creating, and I love growing and raising healthy, organic food for my family.
Homesteading never, ever gets boring!
6. How do you celebrate success after finishing a project?
These days I might snap a photo for Instagram!
Seriously, though, I do try to at least mentally acknowledge the success, because the work of a homesteader is never done, and because so much of the work is cyclical and seasonal, the to-do list can feel never-ending.
I'm always up for a good meal made from home-grown food!
7. What advice would you give someone who wants to start homesteading?
There are so many skills and interests that fall under the umbrella of homesteading.
My advice is to pick something that feels exciting to you, whether that is growing food, raising animals, foraging, learning about herbal wellness, etc., and dive into it.
Don't worry about getting it “right” – just be willing to work hard and learn from your mistakes.
And above all, have fun!
If you could speak face to face with yourself when you first started your business, what pearls of wisdom would you impart?
Because my business is writing about homesteading, gardening, and off the grid living, it's easy to feel like my work is never done.
I would tell myself that it's okay not to “do it all” and that finding a work-life balance entails setting healthy boundaries.
And I'd also tell myself that business success does not happen overnight!
What are you most looking forward to for 2021?
I'm looking forward to growing a big garden and taking lots of camping trips! And lots of time snuggling by the woodstove with our kittens 🙂
Teri Page is the creator of the homesteading blog, Homestead Honey and the author of several books, including Family Homesteading , Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead and Homestead Honey's Guide to Fall Gardening .
She and her family live in Central Vermont, where they live in a beautiful off the grid yurt. You can find Teri at Homestead-Honey.com and on Instagram @homestead_honey
What if you could create your own homestead oasis on a low budget with a DIY approach to building a homestead without debt even with young children?
Teri provides you the support and inspiration to make those dreams come true.
You need the Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead Book.
We did a lot of research and talked to experienced people, but ultimately we just had to jump in. We made lots of mistakes along the way, and found that everything took much longer, and was more expensive than we anticipated.
It contains equal parts practical information, encouragement, and radical homesteading inspiration. I will share with you how our family created an off-grid homestead from scratch, working in phases, and adding projects and infrastructure as we had time and money.
You’ll hear what worked, where we made mistakes, and how it fit into our low budget, DIY approach to building a homestead without debt (and with two small children).
Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead will provide you with the support and inspiration you need to make your dreams come true.
Creating Your Off-Grid Homestead is available as a PDF download and contains 95 pages of information to help you start your own off-grid homesteading journey. In it you’ll learn:
- Why we decided to go off-grid
- How much it has cost to build our off-grid homestead
- The solar electric system that we use, and how it works for our family
- How we catch water for drinking, cooking, and growing food
- How we store and prepare food in our outdoor kitchen and with creative cooking methods
- How we bathe, do laundry, use the internet, and go to the bathroom with solar electricity and no running water
You will be guided with dozens of questions for thought, so you can apply the information in this book to your own unique situation.
This ebook will teach you how to build an off grid homestead from scratch, working in phases, and adding projects and infastructure as you go.
Not ready to go all out in 2021? Why not try one of these new projects for your homestead this year?