About

 

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Hey there, I’m Jill, the blogger behind The Prairie Homestead. Unless you clicked to this page on accident, you’re probably here to learn a bit more about me. So here’s the scoop:

A Little Bit About Me

I’m a wife, mom of two, follower of Jesus, farm animal collector, entrepreneur, mason jar fanatic, fledgling milk maid, wannabe gardener, essential oil junkie, and lover of wide open spaces. I live with my family out in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, out on the open prairie (hence the blog name…)

I love all things old– vintage recipes, weathered barns, rusty antiques, and chipped paint. I thrive on a bit of organized chaos, and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest to live 45 minutes from the closest grocery store.

To get to know me on a more personal level, you can hang out with me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. You’ll get to meet my animal crew, see my homesteading mishaps, and catch up on my daily life over there.

Why I Started The Prairie Homestead

I have a sneaking suspicion that most people have a bit of homesteading spirit hidden deep inside of them, just like I found within myself about seven years ago.

We had just bought our 67-acre fixer-upper, and I suddenly found myself wanting to garden, build a compost pile, and keep dairy animals.  I had no idea where these bizarre urges came from– I wasn’t raised in the country, and I had a pretty conventional childhood. However, my newfound interests quickly became all-consuming. And I’ve never looked back.

I have found such immense satisfaction from adopting this lifestyle, I want to make it available to everyone. I started this blog to encourage YOU to explore these same ideas for yourself and return to YOUR roots of self-sufficiency and simple living, whether you live on a sprawling ranch or in a high-rise apartment. I want to inspire you, motivate you, and spur you on to finding the deep satisfaction that comes from growing your own food and getting dirt under your fingernails, no matter where you live or what homesteading might look like in your situation.

You don’t have to come from a farming heritage, own tons of land, or be an expert gardener to benefit from the old-fashioned skills, recipes, and way of life that is found on the pages of this blog. The best part about this simple mindset is that anyone can partake and the potential for knock-your-socks-off satisfaction is available for everyone.

Remember, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. And I look forward to sharing our journey to simple, wholesome, sustainable living with you!

To find out how I define the modern-day homesteader, click here.

Some Random Stuff About Me

  • I am passionate about horsemanship, and have been obsessed with horses since I was 2 years old. At the tender age of 18 I moved 1200 miles from home to pursue a career in the horse industry. I still love to ride and have several horses.
  • I have a bad habit of impulse buying farm animals.
  • I once rode a steer out of a bucking chute. I didn’t stay on very long, but it was a blast. :)
  • I haven’t always eaten whole foods like I do now… In fact, I have a horrible sweet tooth and used to drink a lot of soda.
  • Speaking in front of 6500 people at the 2014 doTERRA essential oil convention was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.
  • I’ve never really loved writing, and never expected to become a blog writer or author of books. But it’s grown on me quite a bit, and I now rather pounding out my rag-tag collection on the keyboard.
  • Rattlesnakes don’t really bother me (we have a lot of them around our property) but I. HATE. MAGGOTS. They gross me out… I’ll take a snake over maggots any day.
  • I used to hate cooking. My mom tried to teach me, but finally gave up. It wasn’t until I was a newlywed that I finally became interested in the kitchen-arts.
  • Oh, and it case you were wondering, I generally don’t wear a skirt while operating a pitch fork (per the photo above)… In fact, I rarely get dressed up, and you’ll most often find me wearing manure-flecked jeans and a messy bun. Just so ya know…

Other Places You’ll find Me:

Comments

  1. I just want to say Thank you for all of your information.. I too have starting the homesteading journey with Jesus leading me on this journey.. We have a large garden, chickens, goats & I am just embracing the simple life.. Can’t imagine what I was missing out before..

  2. Hi Jill! Hey I love your website! I will have to visit you about it tomorrow at church. I hope you can visit mine. Love in Him, Lynne

  3. Aw… love your beautiful site!So much to come back and check out. Adding you to my faves and I would love to be in touch! jill (too)

  4. I am excited to learn more about you on your site! My husband and I have a big dream to ranch and I am excited to find someone who shares the passion for country life

  5. Great site! It is nice to find other people working towards the same goals.

  6. I love your site…I am trying to catch up on all of your entries. I know that in a previous life I was a homesteader….now re-living it and having so much fun…come and visit me sometime!

  7. Oh Jill! I’m so glad I found you! I am on my journey as well up here in Alberta, Canada homeschooling 3 young boys and trying to urban homestead. Whole foods and local farms were this year’s goal and we met it with gusto! As winter is the mark of slowing down for us we call it the beginning of goal setting, so this coming year it will be a genuinely productive backyard garden and compost that I don’t keep forgetting about!! And putting food by next summer! So you have become one of my new favs for resources. Thank you! The only thing I wish I could see more of is YOUR homestead – get that camera out lady!! Great site.

    • I’m glad you found me too Stacey! ;)
      Sounds like you’ve got a great homestead up there in Canada. I love hearing stories like yours! And I’m working on more pics of my homestead. Look for a video coming soon! ;)

  8. Can I ask you what you and your husband do professionally, or do you support yourself by homesteading? I’m a big fan of Etsy, and have noticed a LOT of enterprising homesteaders selling their homemade items.

    • My husband is an electrician by trade and teaches at the local community college. I am a full time stay at home mama. We don’t support ourselves by homesteading yet. Maybe someday! :) And I looooove Etsy.

  9. Jill, I found your blog from another blog my sister in Oregon sent to me here in South Eastern Idaho. I live in a rural area (Roberts) north of Idaho Falls. I am a single mother (9 yrs now), live on an acre lot and believe that nothing we do can come to pass with out the Lord involved so I invite him each and everyday. I am a full time bank (credit union) worker but try to do the things that bring natural products and foods into my home. Just this weekend I made homemade bread, muffins and chili. I canned the chili I made to add to my food storage. It felt so good to make this and know of the ingredients that went into it and not have all the preservatives and processed junk in my food. Love to can. Am teaching my twenty five and fourteen year old daughter how to can as well. A month ago we made raspberry jam from berries we picked this past August. Local grower with a low cost. We pick and then we enjoy. I love your blog and will be returning time and time again to enjoy your thoughts and idea. God bless….Debi

    • Hey Debi!
      Thanks for the note- women like you truly inspire me– single mom, full time job, AND homemade food-from-scratch. WAY TO GO! And I’m a Idaho girl, too. I lived in Northern Idaho until I was 18. However, my Dad was raised in SE Idaho, near the Terreton/Mud Lake area. The original family ‘homestead’ is actually still there!

  10. Where in Northern Idaho? That’s where I live :)

  11. Too bad you’re a self-professed “Rattlesnake killer”. Interested in your blog – disgusted by that. Didn’t God create all creatures? Don’t they all have a purpose? As an ecologist I see the value in all living creatures, and rattlesnakes serve a valuable role in the ecosystem. Their senseless killing is bothersome and ignorant. Funny you profess yourself a lover of animals… yet a rattlesnake killer, all at the same time.

    • Of course rattlesnakes serve a purpose, but I have seen far too many snakebit dogs, horses, and cattle for me to allow them to live near my house and outbuildings. One bite from a rattler could easily kill my daughter.

      Do I enjoy killing them? No. Do I go out on the prairie and hunt them down? No.
      But when I find them inside of my barn, as I did last summer, I will kill them to prevent injury or death to my child, dogs, and livestock. It would be negligent of me to do otherwise. Plain and simple.

    • Donna B. says:

      It’s unconscionable that anyone who’s visiting a blog feels no hesitation about attacking the blogger’s views. Certainly, it’s a “public” forum, but for heaven’s sake, if you disagree, at least present your own views with courtesy. Participating in an online discussion, where you’re not face-to-face with the other people involved, does not give you permission or the right to chuck common good manners.
      If you cannot express your opposing point of view with humility and kindness, then just move on without comment.
      Sorry, Jill, to keep this thread going, but reading Sara’s post really angered me.
      I’ve enjoyed reading the info you’ve shared. It’s important that you continue to feel free to write about the reality of your life with all the beauty and bruises it may have. Authentic living is all about becoming a whole, gentle, honest person. Rock on! :-)

  12. Negligent? Sadly, no. I have a 16 month old daughter. My husband has his PhD and is a snake biologist. I have a MS in zoology and ecology. The snakes were here before we were. It is unfortunate we can’t view them as beautiful creatures and upon encountering them either leave them alone, or, if you find them too close for comfort, use it as a teaching tool (as we do with our daughter when encountering ANY wild animal), and gently relocate the animal to a more suitable location. I always find it amusing people who profess themselves animal lovers, and then boldly claim their hatred for “undesirable” animals. Sorry – do enjoy the content of your blog, but find it distasteful that you need to use this forum to promote the killing of wildlife. Of course, it’s a free country and your blog, so do what you will! Just had to put my 2 sense in. Doesn’t mean I won’t read your content! :) Found you while researching cheese whey.

    • I agree with, Jill. And I can’t help but think that people who talk about ignoring or relocating rattlesnakes have not lived out where they have to deal with them. It reminds me of an old story (and I’m probably not remembering it very well) about a traveler who came across a poisonous snake who was cold and injured. Feeling compassion for the snake, he picked it up and put it inside his coat, and continued on. After a while, seeing that the snake had warmed up and was feeling better, he went to take it out of his coat and put it down. As he did so, it bit him. With tears in his eyes, the traveler said, “Why did you bite me? I saved your life” The snake said, “You knew what I was when you picked me up, so don’t blame me now for being what I am.” So to those who wish to “relocate” the snake or “use it as a teaching tool” just remember that it won’t necessarily stay relocated, and the snake is not teachable, and the next time your child or pet meets up with it, it will behave exactly as snakes have always behaved. Of course, you can’t blame the snake…

  13. Michelle says:

    Hi there! I was referred to your website by my sister because she knew I was looking for ways to use my whey! ;-) I love your website and I am dreaming of the day when we are able to find a home with a bit of earth (maybe a few dozen acres!) where we can have a farm, animals and a large veggie garden, etc. I am just getting started on my homesteading research and learning about how to live and eat in a way that reflects common sense instead of wastefulness and unhealthiness. I also love Jesus, so it’s always a pleasure to “meet” a sister in Christ! Thank you for being an inspiration and encouragement to people like me! Blessings to you.

    • So nice to ‘meet’ you, too Michelle. Keep on dreaming and hope you get your little bit of earth someday soon! :)

  14. Near my home, animal pens, garden etc if it’s poisonous then it’s dead. I’ll leave a Copper Head, a Cotton Mouth, and a Rattle Snake alone when I’m in their habitat hiking, floating, or fishing but if it’s coiled up in my garden or in a haybale I’m going to usher it to the next beyond. No way am I risking getting bit trying to relocate it. Ratsnakes and King Snakes, they are welcome to stay. I might relocate it if I find it in my chicken house but otherwise they are safe here. I’ve seen poisonous snake bites on kids and animals and it ain’t pretty.

  15. Thank you for your encouragement! My husband and I yearn for the day we have a homestead. Right now we live in town that does not allow chickens ( I am working on that :) ) . We have so many dreams and passions we would love to do but sadly don’t have the room. We are doing all that we can with the space that we have for now. But we dream of the day to have acres for us to raise livestock, chickens, have a huge garden and room for our kids to run and play! I love your blog and it gives us hope , even when we get so discourage we will never get there , that it will happen All in God’s timing. He has a plan. Since starting our homesteading journey our family verse has been Jeremiah 29:11 :) Thank you again for your wonderful blog! I love reading and learning from you!

  16. Farmlife Chick says:

    Hi, Found your site through the barn hop! So glad I did!

  17. I just started reading your blog and am so excited ! I live in Western Wyoming . I love farming and all that goes with it and love animals ! Right now I live in a small town ….right on the edge so I can’t have animals .:( Well I do have two dogs! But I have access to raw milk and am looking to buy a cow to keep at my son’s, if I can get him talked into letting me keep it there. He says it’s cheaper to buy the milk than keep the cow… I do not agree. So I’m praying he will come around. I love the Lord too with all my heart mind and soul !

  18. Just found your blog googling use for Whey, I enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to trying your pizza dough recipe! I have a stone that I have not used in years. Gonna get it out and get busy! Thanks so much!

  19. Jill – you have such a beautiful site! I’m so glad I found it. I’m making some free time this evening so I can do some reading here. :) I’m a Doterra consultant, too. Love it! What’s your favorite oil?

    • Thank you Nina! I’m glad you found me, too. Oh my goodness– not sure I can pick a favorite oil- I like them all! So far I’ve been really impressed with Breathe, though. It’s really helped my hubby’s lifelong asthma problem. Off to check out your site now!

  20. Shellhomed says:

    Hi,
    I am trying to sign up for your e-letter but I keep getting an error window popping up saying that the link is not found. ??? Can you help me with this please? thanks,
    BTW, I loove your site, can’t wait to explore it more… :)
    Blessings,
    Shellhomed

    • Hi there- sorry for the trouble. I have a couple people report this problem lately– I’m not sure what is going on.

      If you wouldn’t mind, shoot me an email via the contact page and I’ll send you another link to try. Thanks!

      • Hi again,
        I did find another link through pinterest, and I could sign up there. Thanks for your quick reply though :)
        Blessings, Shell

  21. I planted corn 10 years ago in my corral and reaped 18 bushels of corn. It was an exciting time. But I soon abandoned my garden and it became weeds again. It was too much work with weeds, watering and I had no time. Last year a co-worker that has gardened for 26 years asked me why I did not garden. My answer it was too time consuming. He volunteered to help me develop a garden. We started in February and tilled the corral. A month later we tilled it again. That removed most of the weeds and we started planting heirlooms as well as some hybrids. Some were planted as sprouts and others seeds.. We planted over 70 different varieties of veggies. It was a huge success. We gave away so much extra produce.. We figured we produces 1500 lbs of veggies. This year we did it again. We have experimented with alot of different ideas. Some failed and others produced huge results. This year I decided to start a worm farm advised by an friend whose grandfather was a worm farmer many years ago. The worm farm has produced thousands of worms. I took 80 % of the worms and put them thru out the garden. The other 20 % is making more worms. I have now started a in the ground worm farm fertilized with horse manure that was given to me free. I now have cow manure that is being offered for free. I quit buying steer manure in the store because it was getting too expensive. It went from .97 to $1.41 for 1 cube foot in about a 2 month period. I composted all my foliage from last year and have luscious humus to break up my clay soil. When I ate that first garden fresh produce last year I was hooked.

    • WOW Micheal! That is awesome! What a fun adventure- and I agree- storebought manure is so expensive… Especially when you can usually find it for free with a little searching. Keep up the GREAT work!

  22. Love your site Jill. We’ve lived on three acres on the outskirts of the Kansas City metro for 3 years now and it is our piece of heaven here on earth. We have 6 ducks, 11 chickens and 11 guineas, love the eggs and love to garden a bit as well. Want to do this full-time as soon as possible and before I can’t move well. :-)

  23. Awesome someone else who thinks like me . It is exciting and fun and with growing our own food i hope to live as long as my great grand parents and my favorite great aunts and uncles .

    they all lived passed 80 some into their 100+ No chemicals in there food ,No Gmo and All of them used animal and Veggies to replenish their Gardens . I’m just learning about verma-culture but honestly Rabbit droppings is my favorite and i am getting back into chickens . Bless you and your fmily for sharing with some who do not know and some like me who got shot in the head and god allowed me to rethinking the life i had and learn i love life and need to slow down . Thanks for having a lot of New info for me too,. Tammy

  24. Margaret K. Gates says:

    Patrick and I knew your family in the town where your parents still live. We met them in March 1984, before they had any children. We attended Grace Church with you all. We now live in the Missouri countryside and raise sheep. What a change for an older woman who grew up in the huge city near where your mother lived as a child. We both love it here.

    • Hi Margi!! So good to hear from you. :) Mom keeps me updated on you guys every once and a while. Sounds like you have a wonderful life out in Missouri. So glad you dropped by!

  25. Lisa M. Schulz says:

    Thank God for social media, and good fb friends, else, it is unlikely I would have found you. I love your values and ideals. Your site is a wealth of information, and I intend for it to be a go to source. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  26. Hi Jill! I stumbled on your blog by looking for (of all things) a recipe for bread crumbs! I’ve spent the better part of 2 hours looking through all your posts, and learning your way of life. I LOVE IT!!! I can’t believe I’ve been living the way I have for so long! Thanks to you, I’m a new born homesteader! Thank you so much for sharing, and I’ll let you know how it goes!

  27. Love your blog!!!!!
    I am definitely following. I am interested on homesteading. We raise some cattle. Have chickens. Grow a garden. But by no means am sustaining our selves. I don’t think we ever will 100% and that’d ok with me. Bit I do love doing as much as I can (at this point).

    As for therattle snake killer…ick…I HATE rattle snakes! We have them around here too. This past weekend Ar found a garder snake in the basement under a Christmas tote, I’m now paranoid we will have a rattler inside! ***shivers***

    Love your blog!
    *following*

  28. Hey! I enjoyed reading about the goat giving birth. I think my mom in law’s goat is about to pop! tuesday will be day 150, and we aren’t sure if she is actually pregnant…. it will be her first time. Any other way we can tell if theaseus did his job or not!? Thank you!!! Very informative!!! new “homesteader” myself. great info!

  29. Hi! I just found your website and am very interested. How old is your daughter? You see, i am turning 13 next month but i still love to cook, clean, take care of the dog, (and secretly I’ve always wanted to get some chickens! :-P) and tame my brothers. My mom has some health issues, so i help do some of the things around the house, and i love finding new recipes (not like 1 cake box plus 1 stick of butter…) and fun household ideas and i’ve found some on your site! Yay! I live in suburbia, North Carolina (lol) but i’ve always wanted to live out in the country (AND GET SOME CHICKENS)! But there’s one thing about you that really gets me excited, you love the Lord Jesus Christ and are seeking to glorify him in all you do! I try to do that too! And i know you are older than me, and I’ve never met you, but we’re sisters in the one only mighty God! And that’s pretty cool!

    • Katie– you have got to be one of the coolest 13 year olds ever! :) My daughter is just 2 1/2, but I hope she is just like you when she is 13. I love that you are into cooking– you are already ahead of where I was when I was that age. Keep up the great work sister! :)

  30. Christa says:

    JILL!! I want to be you when I grow up! I read your “I-statements” and thought “that’s me!” “That’s me, too!”
    My family and I moved last year from the Columbia Basin region of Oregon and Washington to Rock Springs and it has been a great move for our family. Right now we are “Postage Stamp Homesteaders” but we are learning all we can for the day when we get to be “Big Acres Homesteaders.” Our retirement plan is to raise bison one day. I am so glad my husband found your blog; I can tell we are going to learn a lot here.

  31. Hi Jill,
    Great job on your website. As someone who has lived off the grid for 12 years now and tries to “do the right thing”, your website/blog is very encouraging to me. Although I live in eastern Canada where the climate is much different I think we share common problems living off the land. It is our dream to one day be debt free and able to help the people of Haiti with the extra money we will have. We have adopted two beautiful children from Haiti. Keep up the great work. God Bless You!