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The farmhouse had been empty for 30 years. Built in the s, the building had no electricity or running water, the surrounding fields were overgrown with brush, and a giant Yankee-style barn on the property was filled with animal waste and discarded equipment. Yet to Kirsten Lie-Nielsen and her partner Patrick Jackson, the old farm looked like home, a place where they could pursue their homesteading dreams.

In , the couple moved onto the property, deep in the woods of Liberty, and got to work. Written for the homesteading beginner, the how-to style book offers tips on everything from finding the ideal homestead property to selecting firewood and selling vegetables. And she runs a successful blog about homesteading at hostilevalleyliving. Prior to moving to Liberty, Lie-Nielsen and Jackson ran a little hobby farm in Bath, where they had two gardens and kept various types of poultry, including geese.

But they were cramped for space, with neighbors crowding in on three sides. When they made the move to the old farm in Liberty, they were willing to sacrifice modern conveniences for a time in exchange for privacy and space — 93 acres to be exact.

What is ‘Modern Homesteading’, Anyway?

There they purchased a small herd of Nigerian dwarf goats to produce milk and clear brush, and they added to their flock of geese, chickens, ducks and guinea fowl. They also set to work fixing up the barn and house. In writing her most recent book, she thought a lot about what makes a person a homesteader, and she came up with her own definition. The people who follow her homesteading journey on social media are from all walks of life and living situations, she said, as are the people who have recently attended her book talks on homesteading and geese.

When Lie-Nielsen brings her fluffy white sheepdog Stanley on a walk, they can go for hours without ever leaving her property, and every time, they seem to discover something new — a grove of trees or a brook or an old rock wall. Lawrence Nurseries — Under new management for , this company has been offering plants and trees for northern growers since My Favorite Garden Seed Sources — plus tips for seed storage and germination.

Magazine — explores a wide range of sheep-related topics of interest to sheep growers and sheep product marketers at all levels of experience. Keeping a Family Cow message boards — active online discussion forum focused on all things family cow. Backyard chickens — BackYardChickens has become the 1 destination for peeps looking for information on raising chickens in any urban, suburban, or rural backyard!

Homestead Chicken Resources. Just sign up below or on the subscription page. Countryside Magazine. Rural Living Today has a great list of homesteading resources , and a homesteading blog. Household Tips on Common Sense Home. Food banks and individuals can also post wanted classifieds for surplus food, garden tool, gardening space, etc. The Atlases cover most regions of Wisconsin. Related issues we also promote include; Wisconsin agriculture, tourism, small batch distilling and the safe enjoyment of alcoholic beverages.

Wisconsin Specialty Meats map — Specialty meat producers in Wisconsin. Located in Custer, WI. No big investment or complicated format, just start where you are with what you have. Topics include:. Heal Thyself — This is a great online community that promotes knowledge sharing and healing through traditional foods. The Natural Living Site — information about traditional foods, herbs, natural living skills, homesteading, animals, alternative healing and spirituality. Food As Medicine -Todd Caldecott, a medical herbalist and practitioner of Ayurveda shares insights for using food to promote healing.

Acres USA — Organic and sustainable farming info. Great magazine, plus excellent book store of hard to find titles. OrganicA -a resource for organic apple production.

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We promote organic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources and expertise farmers need to succeed. They also offer emergency supplies, camping supplies and water storage and filtration options. American Preppers Network. Prepper Website. The Survival Doctor. We tried inhalers, steroids, breathing machines, even a colonoscopy since we suspected GI at one point. Nothing helped. Long story short I finally saw a lung specialist who helped me figure out it was caused by the wood stove. The tiny minute amount of particulates that were released each time we opened the door were irritating me and leading to painful wracking coughs.

Modern Homesteading, Musings, and More from the Mountainside

I asked why I was the only one suffering. And he explained that children that grow up around wood fire are more apt to suffer later in life. My husband did not, I did. No asthma or allergies. My parents had a very nice updated wood stove too and my mom was a fanatical clean person. We were healthy homesteaders. He explained that this was actually very common hundred years ago and that while romantic, wood heated homes are not healthy in the long term and that babies and children under five are at the most risk for having problems later in life because their lungs are underdeveloped.

Also epigenetic research is revealing that children who are around smoke regularly will have offspring more prone to asthma. Or their kids will. But I am determined to fixing it now. I had inklings of this when I moved in, came across a few articles and really just chose to ignore them assuming our wood stove is modern and we are all healthy.

When I took the time to research, sure enough many of our forefathers and mothers and their children had lung issues at young ages due to wood heat. And of course their issues started sooner and led to terrible suffering until they died. For whatever reason, it is no longer talked about and we rather stick to the romantic stories. But even with upgrades, exposure to wood stove heat can cause issues with lungs, heart disease, cancer and more.

In my state alone Washington there are about deaths a year and an added million dollars in health care due to exposure of fine particles of smoke. And children playing outside around chimneys or in neighborhoods are also at risk. Also, smoke and fine particles from chimneys eventually settles on the ground and children breathe this. For the first time in a long time, I could sleep and enjoy winter. We set one up in the living room and another in my kids room. So it helped. Even minimal exposure can be harmful and babies are the most vulnerable.

We are also considering selling our home and moving to a mild climate where no AC or heater is needed. Or at least not often. But thought I would share so you can be aware. It is actually very hard for me to tell people because we did nothing but sing the praises of wood heat in the beginning and we have 25 cords of firewood stacked that my husband did himself you need about eight for each winter. But I wish someone had told me early on. FWIW, swimmers seldom have active asthma. Swimming increases your lung capacity a lot. I only found I had asthma after 50 when I underwent some tests for my heart.

Much earlier, I maxed out lung capacity machines at 5 litres plus. So put your kids in a swimming program, especially in swim meets. Might save them from drowning, too…. An easier way for splitting wood with less upper body strength is to use a maul and wedge. You can choose a heavy splitting wedge to make up for less down force. Also chose a maul with enough weight to help you.


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My mom was the primary wood cutter in our house for years, and she use a maul and wedge with great enjoyment. We are older so we prioritize our energy and strength as we have only so much to accomplish so much. We are firm believers giving work to young people who are anxious to earn money, saving our strength for things that only we can do.

Of course, I am talking about the work of word splitting not the Zen of flower preparation , if your husband hurts his back or shoulder it could ruin your many years ahead of you in FW happiness…. Your email address will not be published. Our woodpile grows…. Babywoods next to the Iris.

Taking out the bucked rounds. FW bucking a tree he felled. FW splitting wood. My floral arranging set-up on the porch. One of my arrangements atop a free sideboard, no less. Frugal Hound scopes out the veggie garden. There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again. Email Address. Fervent Finance says:. June 30, at am. Katie says:. Brittany says:. LS says:.

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What is ‘Modern Homesteading’, Anyway?

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