Start Here!

What picture comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘homestead’?

Perhaps you envision a quaint little farmhouse surrounded by tall oaks and a meandering creek; complete with a grazing Jersey milk cow in the back pasture.

I think that the majority of us would love to have a homestead like the one described above, but let’s face it: those types of properties are few and far between, not to mention expensive!

So, what do you do if you are one of the millions of “other” folks? You know who you are:

  • The ones with a tiny backyard, instead of countless acres.
  • The ones with an apartment balcony instead of tall oak trees.
  • The ones with rocky, hilly land, instead of fertile rolling prairie.
  • The ones who have never owned an animal larger than a goldfish.

What are YOU supposed to do? Just write off your dreams and assume you are not one of the “lucky” ones?

Well, I’m here to tell you otherwise. It’s my opinion that ANYONE can have a piece of the homesteading dream, regardless of where you live.


Because homesteading is a fill-in-the-blank kind of venture.

For example, I live on the prairie, so my homestead is called The Prairie Homestead. I love where we live, but it’s definitely not the perfect homesteading enviroment. It’s incredibly dry, windy, and the winters are harsh. The growing season is short, and fruit trees are very difficult to grow. We are a far cry from the lush, green farms that allow for gardening year around.

Now, you fill in the blank according to your situation:

“The ____________ Homestead. “

Perhaps you have a City homestead? A Mountain homestead? A Suburban homestead? An Oceanside homestead? Maybe even an Apartment homestead?

Embrace your unique situation and make the best of it!

Having the perfect farmhouse with the white picket fence isn’t necessarily the magic formula that makes you a homesteader.

The homesteading spirit is really about returning to our roots of simplicity:

  • Of hard, yet fulfilling work.
  • Of an intimate relationship with our food.
  • Of quality family time NOT spent around a talking box or at the mall.
  • Of a life that is not dominated by STUFF.

The Prairie Homestead is here to help you to return to those roots and learn how to cultivate old-fashioned skills in a modern world.

Here at The Prairie Homestead, You’ll Learn How to:

We invite you along on our journey to simple, wholesome, and sustainable living. Won’t you join us?

If this describes you, be sure to subscribe to our FREE email updates to get homesteading tips, ideas, and encouragement delivered straight to your inbox! You can also keep up on the homesteading action via Facebook, Pinterest, and Google Plus.

Most-Loved Prairie Homestead Posts:

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


  1. Lisa, in NZ says:

    Hey there,
    I have a 1/4 acre and we live in a good growing area in NZ, so have 35 fruit trees, lots of fruit bushes and quite often lots of vegetables.
    We keep chickens but do not have enough land to keep cattle. My alternative?
    I buy a beef cattle beast off farming friends each year and have it butchered.
    I get a grass-fed, well cared for animal that has not been shipped off for slaughter I cant stand those trucks) and the meat is well hung instead of being cut straight away as in the supermarkets.
    It is also a whole lot cheaper and I save up for it over the year.
    If you do not know a farmer with cattle then why not try an ad in the paper?
    All you need then is a good butcher and a big freezer!
    Love your page.

    • Yes, that is a wonderful alternative! Thanks for sharing this helpful tip!

    • Karen Hann says:

      Hi Lisa
      I do exactly the same as you with a garden, have chooks, buy my meat off farmers and my beef the same way. I make soap, cheese, cleaning products and preserve all I grow and all from a 1600sq m section in Christchurch. I hate spending money if I can make it myself and will always shop for clothing at op shops before anywhere else. I even work from home.
      Its the greatest life ever!

      Best wishes
      Karen H

  2. Thank you for sharing this! I have been wondering about homesteading and you gave me a clear definition and answered all my questions. Now I’ll have to read up on canning, gardening, etc. Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. Thank you for this encouraging post! A great reminder to make the most
    Of what we have. My husband and I just moved from a suburban home
    Into an apartment home. A little discouraging because I thought before
    That didn’t have the space for homesteading! I am going to take this time
    To learn things like canning and quilting. If all goes well we will be moving
    Into a home on 1 acre in the spring which will feel like a farm to us!
    It is all in one’s perspective.

  4. Hey, I found you on kelly the kitchen kop real food wed. Maybe I can call myself the urban homesteader. I know, not original. I live in an hoa neighborhood so lots of restrictions. Since I found all the real food bloggers I am working to grow good food organically and buy meat, eggs, chicken locally. We have terrific small farms here and I enjoy getting to know the farmers. I dream of having a small homestead where I can have chickens if I want. Who knows? I think I was a farmer’s wife in a previous life. lol

  5. Toni J. Longville says:

    Hi, I found your site from a friend’s posting on FB. I like what I see.
    I always wanted a farm since I was a young child (thanks to my grandfather teaching me (by example) the love of land and animals.) For the past 15 years, I have been living that childhood dream on a 3 acre llama farm. We have taken our llamas to schools, nursing homes, parades, celebrations, besides having many visitors to our farm to see the llamas. I am also a spinner and we sell their manure. We also utilize the llama manure in our gardens.

    We have always had a garden, but for the past 8 years we have specialized in heirloom tomatoes, several types of peppers, several types of greens, other vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs that we sell to restaurants that like to utilize locally grown food. 3 1/2 years ago we added chickens to our farm. Our heritage breeds of chickens are out in the pasture daily. (In the winter, I shovel paths in the pasture for them so they can get out and about and not feel so cooped up. (no pun intended) We have no problem selling their eggs. The llamas also help protect the chickens from coyotes and just their presence keeps the hawks away. We literally use every inch of our 3 acres and work hard in our retirement years…but love what we do.

    • Megan Sherwood says:

      Tony– your posting is exactly what I want to do when I retire in 7 years. I have a small acerage or 4.5 acres in southwest Iowa. When my kids were little, we had almost everything. Goats, pigs, horses, one cow, many chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits. Well the lists can go one, but now that I am living in the city, I can only dream until that time. Can you tell me— how do you handle weeds. I try to keep up with them, but they always win. I also have a barn that is falling down so that goes in the plan too. I would love to know more!!

  6. I just found your site because I am looking for homemade products that I can make to save money. I have recently become disabled to the point to where I can’t go back to work at my profession of 22 years. I am able to pace myself and take care of my home. I recently had to downsize from a 4 bedroom house with huge yard and garage to a 2 bedroom apartment. With losing my income and trying to survive on my husband’s modest income is going to be a real challenge and I have to double pinch pennies. Years ago I was really into making as much from scratch as I could but lost my way somewhere along the way. I need to get back to it now out of necessity. Thanks for your assistance!

    • Megan Sherwood says:

      AJ- so sorry to hear your story but I love your drive!! Have you looked into cooperatives? I use bulk shopping too. One year a long time ago, we lived in a little town– not more than 45 people up in the mountains. We all got together in the fall and let our needs be know. Thus we all got through the winter just fine because people who have too much of something would exchange for what they needed. We also did community meals. I worked for a place that had a pizza buffet, so I always was able to bring home the extras… so we traded for potatoes and deer!! It was great. I was also thinking about a seed exchange as you don’t have to go out spending money.

    • For the lady looking for homemade alternatives to save money: Look on Pinterest. I’m using a homemade laundry soap that costs less than 4 cents per load that I got from Pinterest. There are a ton of things you would be interested in there.

  7. I love your philosophy so true. We used to have 100 acres of prairie land. Now we have a lot in the deep south(coastal). I can grow more food for my family here than I ever thought about growing there. I have a garden full of veggies right now IN JANUARY. Life’s funny that way. Love your blog by the way.

  8. Diana Burns says:

    I am fortunate to be living on a 250 acre farm. I actually feeled a little overwhelmed with all the space. I have a fenced garden area about 40×80. I really don’t know where to begin. We have approximately 2000 apple trees that we care for and direct sell them to the community in an orchard shop on the farm. I’m wanting to be able to provide additional produce for the shop and don’t know where to begin with selecting what vegetables/fruits to grow. I do have gardening skills and am quite crafty, if I may say so about myself. I just love anything with self-sufficiency and sustainability. Also, we have a natural spring on the place, a peach tree, a pear tree, and an English walnut tree. I am very interested in starting a community garden and work with those that are apartment dwellers to help them with growing as much food as they can. I am up to any ideas. My email is Thanks in advance.

  9. I have been to your web pages before, but this time it is really sinking in. I have wanted to blog my recipes and ideas for a long time. I just don’t organize my blog well. Maybe I will just read yours! Currently living in Northern Illinois but we plan to move one day closer to my family in Tennessee, and hope to be able to buy enough land to successfully homestead and retire into a B&B if the world doesnt end and “Contagion” doesn’t hit us first. LOL. Love your site.

  10. I drive school bus, today school was closed so I had extra time to “surf the web”, which is when I found your site, “love it”. I’m a single mom living on an acre and a half. I’ve always loved the west with its wide open spaces but after reading your site, I realized I can have it great here too by working harder at putting it all together. Thank you for all your info, I’ll be checking in regularly.

    • Hi Rebecca! So glad you found TPH! Yes, you definitely can still partake of this lifestyle where you are now! Stay tuned for my eBook due to be released next month. It’s all about homesteading where you are right now!

  11. I am really enjoying this blog all the way through, since I stumbled over it yesterday. My big dream is to get enough acres to have a chicken coop, a barn with some dairy goats, possibly a cow or two, and maybe some day have a bed and breakfast on site. My husband wants to be in charge of our orchards and veggie gardens (we all know what’ll really happen, since he’s the primary breadwinner, and I have the green thumb), I’m obsessed with things like composting science, soil improvement, and with a large space in my heart for any kind of animals.

    (If anyone’s interested, we live north of Seattle, WA, and our gardening space on a balcony of about 5×12″ – give or take a few inches – on the north side of the house. The container garden still yielded carrots, onions, beets, tomatoes, small sweet peppers and herbs last year, despite the bad conditions. I want to add strawberries, and more nightshade family plants to the yield this year, since vertical space is readily available, and we have a very narrow strip of direct sunlight hitting our balcony… And we almost got a few tomato-stealing squirrels, since our cat thinks he’s a great hunter… My educational background is in architectural engineering, with a degree I never finished, but I grew up being a barefoot tomboy in the countryside, and firmly believe mucking stalls at a stable or poking around in a compost is soothing, and outright beats a few hours at a spa. My husband was a military brat, whose background is in IT, and he’d never dare run around barefoot outside. Poor thing.)

    One thing I latched onto with this post, Jill, was that you complained about the wind. This is a very, very, very slow solution, but there are places such as the Shimane Prefecture in Japan, where you see an L-shaped hedge (often of evergreens) protecting the house and its garden from the prevailing wind directions. There are whole neighbourhoods with farmhouses protected by wedge after wedge of greenery. It’s a long, slow task to grow a wind break, but that can help create a “microclimate” that’s sheltered from the wind, where you can potentially grow plants that are one or two zones “warmer”. It’s similar to why I think I read somewhere, that English country houses often walled in their orchards with brick walls; the thermal mass of the walls helped retain solar heat and extend the growing season, to yield better harvests.

    • So glad you found us Penny! It sounds like you have some spectacular plans in the works!
      YES, you are absolutely right about windbreaks! We actually do have over 100 trees/shrubs planted in an L shape right now, which shields us from the West and North winds (our worst). And we plan to plant even more this spring. Unfortunately, like you said, it takes a while for them to provide protection, so for now, we are still getting blasted. :)

      • Just found your website and am enjoying it so much but when I read this post I just had to reply. Thirty-four years ago my husband and I bought an old farmhouse on 8 acres. The first thing we did that spring was to plant a windbreak. My husband planted 750 trees as a windbreak around the perimeter of our property – yes, he did ALL the work because I was quite pregnant with our first child at the time! I know you said that it grows slowly, but the years flew by and in no time (it seemed) the trees were big enough to make a big difference. We homesteaded, too. Now the trees are huge, by husband has passed away, and two years ago I downsized into a suburban home to be near my children and grandchildren. Leaving our home was one of the hardest things I have had to do. I will keep on reading your lovely blog and learning how to homestead here in suburbia!

    • Cheeryshirley says:

      Penny ~ I am so interested in your balcony garden, especially in the Pacific Northwest! I live in Coos Bay, Oregon, and rain and high wind and coldness has almost discouraged me from doing what I love soooo much! I would love to see pictures of your garden to show me how I can do it too!

      Jill ~ This blog has so impressed me! I just read this post aloud to my husband and we both kinda relaxed about our “Oceanside Homestead” in a senior mobile home park! :) It especially encouraged ME! Thank you so much! This is my first visit to your blog and THIS POST is so helping me to look around at what “Homesteading” I can do right here! I would really like to read and see how other homesteaders garden in little/difficult areas! Thank you for this great blog! :) Cheeryshirley

  12. Shelly Caris says:

    This is a great site, thank you so much for all the info

  13. Hiya – just found your blog and I’m a bit excited. We are a few years from our “homestead” (my husband is a military man) and still not sure what that will mean for us, but I’ll be reading up until we make it a reality. I think I’ve been imagining a mostly meat-free homestead, but one of the first posts I read was about butchering your steer. What an eye opener – a whole new perspective. Thanks for sharing all this information!

    • Hi Sarah,
      So happy that you found me! Sounds like you have some great plans in the works- good luck with your adventure!! ;)

  14. Debbie Jennings says:

    I just found this site. I am loving what I have seen so far! We started as Preppers, but I would love to be totally off the grid. I call it self-sufficient. =) We do garden almost every year. This year I am wanting to make a permanent raised herb bed. I would love to have the whole garden done with raised beds.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us.

  15. I just found your blog and am enjoying poking around a bit. We are in south GA so our growing season is long. We have 3 acres and have our first batch of chicks out in the coop:) We have a garden started and would love to learn more on self sufficiency, too!

  16. “The Island Homestead” :) I like it! So far, we raise meat chickens, and keep hens. This summer we’re going to have a garden, too. :)

    • Hmmm… Lovin’ the “Island Homestead.” Has a nice ring to it! And sounds much more exotic than mine, ha!

  17. Jill,
    I was looking watching youtube videos on cheese making and saw the milking video you posted. I have almost 400 acres in the Ozark Mountains but I can’t convince my wife and sons to live that far away nor that secluded. Our compromise was ten acres just outside the city where we work. We are doing the same things are you all are and love it. No better way for me to start my morning milking my does, listening to them jostle for next in line to be on the stancion, hearing my roosters announce the morning. Collecting eggs in the evenings still bring some childhood thrill like I’m Easter Egg hunting. In a small county in Arkansas we are living our dream. It’s nice to know that there are other young families out there seeking the same adventure. We are students of trial and error learning what our grandparents were taught by their parents but somewhere that knowledge stopped being passed down.

    • Sounds like you have a wonderful start with your 10 acres Andrew! I agree, it IS a wonderful way to start the morning. It’s sad to me that the knowledge quit being passed down at some point, but I’m thankful there are folks like you who are so passionate about learning the old ways. Keep up the great work!

  18. I’d like to think, for myself, that homesteading is a state of mind. Some of us don’t have money at hand to do the land purchase that we all wish for. My family and I live in a rental, but are able to garden on a small scale. We have access to community gardens if we want (have done in recent past). I value farmer’s markets, hand crafted goods, skill-share networks. People helping People.
    I like the idea of becoming sustainable in living, but feel the importance of community interaction and cultivating unique skills amongst all of us, enjoying seeing our passions fulfilled. I am a knitting knut ; ) and about to embark on weaving. My peas are in the ground and I look forward to reading everyone’s story and learning much ; )

  19. Hey we have a few rabbits and chickens and some ducks and we have a small “farmette” in the Ozarks. We are just starting out. I had an 18 acres farm back in the 90′s and we had it all back then. Now we’re having to start over in a very small way. But my point was gonna be that rabbits are a “small homesteader’s” dream animal. You can have most of the meat your family would want or need and you can sell some babies (buy purebreds) and have your kids do 4-H with them and SO many options. And a few chickens are good, too. That is why we have two different types of ducks (muscovies which taste like steak and are VERY prolific and great moms, and Pekins which grow fast and taste more like traditional duck meat). So we have basically 4 different types of meat animals in a VERY small space. You can put rabbits in a garage or outbuilding and they make no noise and their poo is excellent fertilizer….So a good starter animal to ME are rabbits. I like Satin’s but most people like New Zealands or California rabbits.

  20. Oh and I also like container gardening. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that container gardening is much less work and you can grow just what you need, practically anywhere. If you just get the cheap plastic storage totes or buckets and fill them with potting or top soil from WM? You have a garden. And NO weeding. Just make sure to drill some holes in the bottom of your container…Tomatoes do VERY well in containers and so do herbs.

  21. Hey there Jill!
    I still haven’t thought of a name yet. I was actually thinking “The Gohier Ranch” rather than a homestead, even though what im doing is basically the same. This is my first year working on this. We just finished or huge Chicken coop as I had told ya yesterday, and at the moment working on my goat pen. as of right now my goats are at a friends house until i finish my pen. i have 4 dogs 3 cats and 3 horses. we have 40 acres of land in Burns Wy, 36 acres of it is for livestock, atvs and well he wants a small gun range (men will be men). While doing the chicken chasing , horse trainning and gromming, goat chasing and milking at a friends house..hahaha, i am about to start a before and after school program in Cheyenne Wy. I have been working for almost a year on it and i’m hopefully about to get my loan to start building the facility. it is suppose be finised the end of this year beganning of next year. I do not work right know, and i would love to stay home, but i love children and this is in need here. and thank you again for all of this information, i visit your site almost everyother day sometimes more than

  22. Gaurav Marwah says:

    Hi Jill,
    I am from India. I relatced to a suburban area from the national capital Delhi. I have a small house with abt 20 sq. yards of gardening area. I have just started growing vegetables on my rooftop in thermocol boxes as they are inexpensive and store water well, thus, reducing the number of waterings. By growing veggies on terrace i have saved the ground space for fruit plants. Planning to get a small chicken coop for eggs. can you guide me for the same. I know the environment of your area and my area is very much different but the spirit of homesteading is the same.
    Gaurav (Gary)

    • Sounds like you have a wonderful urban homestead! Good for you. :) Yes, the climates are probably very different, but you are right– the spirit is exactly the same! Keep up the great work!

      • Gaurav Marwah says:

        Hi Jill,
        Just wanted to share that I have been working on a terrace garden from June and now i have some containers and beds. Garden has Fenugreek, Coriander, Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Egg plant etc. Still finding ways and resources to add some extra large bed type containers for growing tomatoes and gourds.

        Your blog gives me inspiration to keep going. Ah! I forgot to mention we installed solar panels now we are looking forward to go off-grid permanently.



  23. I just discovered your site and I am very excited! We have a 5,000 square foot lot in Portland, OR, and garden and have chickens, and I just got dairy goats too. : ) We have so many plans for our tiny farm.

  24. Hi Jill!

    I found your site looking through Youtube on how to milk goats (and I live in a rental apartment in Budapest!:) and memorized the name TPHS. So I just came back and reading through these comments and our post I am also just sooo excited at all the prospects, and it is incredibly inspiring to read all the wonderful and positive posts of all these people who want to really DO something with their lives, and be an active, creating part of what they eat, and how they live. Instead of just going to the mall or supermarket for food. I am really looking forward to revisiting your site and discovering all the ways I can start becoming an urban homesteader,and then who knows…one day a ‘real’ one with my own goats to milk, own horse to ride, and own peaches to grow! Have to start somewhere. :) Thanks for all the help and thanks for this site!

  25. Great page that you have here!! Crazy that you only have 33 likes on FB but then again just another great example of how meaningless it is in comparison to real life. Thanks for the recipes!

    • Thanks Rick! Well, actually The Prairie Homestead has over 7,000 likes on FB- not sure why it’s saying 33? But you are right- FB is pretty meaningless compared to real life. :)

  26. I just started out this year homesteading. I built 12 square foot raised garden beds. I also have about 12 of those topsy turvy planters & have made a bunch of self watering containers for gardening out of 5 gallon buckets & large 50 gallon totes (sold around christmas time to store the artificial trees in). I also stared out with honeybees in 8 frame garden hives. I also do vermiculture & the worm population has grown 2 about 13,000 now (I hope to get them big enough to make all the compost for all my gardening needs). I started canning this year also. I live in West Virginia & have dwarf bananas, pineapple, pomegranate, lemon, lime, orange, & coffee tree treep plants growing indoor under grow lights.

  27. I have a rain barrel & received a Kindle for a Christmas gift & I have read about 65 books about homesteading, gardening, animals, etc. I plan to get some chickens & some Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats next spring for my backyard. I don’t have a big homestead just enough for the worms, bees, chickens, goats, & the gardening. I read you could grow strawberries & stevia indoors under grow lights even in the winter. I plan 2 start growing my own grain for grinding here soon. I have a full woodshop of tools, I sew, knit & make candles on a regular basis so I guess homesteading has always fit with me anyway.I am inspired by everything you are doing keep up the good work & thanks for everything.

    • Wow Meli- You are awesome! What a wonderful place you have going- and bananas and pineapple? I’m SO jealous! :)

  28. Portia McCracken says:

    Love your site. Thanks for the great ideas and tips.

    Does anyone know of any urban homesteading websites for older single women? I really want to try it, but all the sites I find, while wonderful, seem to be written by younger, married women, usually with several kids who pitch in on many of the chores. All those hands and strong backs make a big difference.

    • Arlene Goves says:

      I agree with you as I’m also an older single women. I try and do a lot on my own. The others in my household, that is a daughter and grandsons not one bit interested in the work but enjoy end product. That is the fruit, veg, eggs etc, etc. etc. I’m in Australia.

  29. Hello, from south dakota….I have been following your website now for about a month….so many great things to try…love it …made your tortillas….have been looking for a recipe for a long time and the family loves them….been trying to follow your ebook on homesteading….my husband and i are in our mid 50′s….we moved here 12 years ago to finishing raising our youngest son and grandson from calif…..i have always wanted a farm…..and live like my grandmother did….we now have 13 acres that we’ve had for about 5 years….we have been looking into building already figured our house plan…but with the economy the way it is it’s a little hard.. it sure isn’t anything like when i was going up…..hand shake was a hand shake of trust….anyway love your site….i check it everyday…haven’t quite gone through all the other sites….we will keep plugging along….and i guess patience is virtue…..



  32. Hi ya’ll from Virginia’s Northern Neck…We started our dream 6 years ago on an old 7.5 acre farm here…house was so bad we lived in a camping trailer for 6 weeks before we could move into one room of the house…since then we have completely renovated the house and all of the outbuildings on the farm…we have added chickens, Nigerian Dwarf goats( a totally addictive habit by the way), American Guinea hogs(only 2 and they are grazing hogs that don’t get HUGE)….my wife, who has always had a superb green thumb, raises more heritage veggies than we can ever use in a season so we can a considerable amount every truly is a dream for us and the “home” we always wanted…btw…we were both in our 50′s when we started this ‘little’ project and now in our early 60′s we feel better than we have ever felt in our lives .

  33. Susan Elisabeth Cunningham says:

    At this time I raise Alpines and am delighted by their nature. Rugged and able to handle the cold of New England. One thing about them that is quite different than Nubians, which I have also raised, is that they are not expert climbers like Nubians! I am very happy to find Prairie Homestead! It is fabulous! I grew up on a small dairy farm in Vermont and now live on about 4 acres of land In Plymouth, MA. we have a beautiful flock of Alpines, Jungle fowl and a nice Peacock, etc.

    • I know several folks with Alpines and they seem like a lovely breed. The Nubians can be a little bit of a handful sometimes! Sounds like you have a lovely homestead! :)

  34. I just finished making the homemade cream cheese. It was so easy, taste better than the store bought.
    Tried to put a picture of it on this post but could not figure it out.

  35. Just found your blog a few days it! Our family journey started with just not eating imitation food product anymore..then went a little further to all organic non-GMO foods.and now we are planning chickens in a few weeks when my hubby has time to build a coop…we get most of our produce from an organic co-op a town over from us…raw milk from a dairy here in our town ….and grass fed beef from a friend who lives a good bit away….we don’t have room for a cow only 1 acre in town but lose restrictions and no HOA! Just thought Id say hi from gulf coast Texas

  36. Linda Kauffer says:

    Hello! I just discovered your blog! And can’t wait to explore your kind ebook gift on using essential oils around my place!
    I live on .9 of an acre in West Central Ohio, my own little corner of heaven, in a 700 sq. ft. house which I call Bittersweet Cottage. So, now that I have discovered your blog, perhaps I will call it Bittersweet Cottage Homestead! I, like Portia above, am an older single woman, and try to do as much as I can, but there are some homesteading projects and practices I just can’t do by myself, so will appreciate seeing posts and hearing about other blogs for us older independent gals!
    I have been a gardener for twenty years, learning more and more with each one. I use nothing on my garden other than what God and mother nature provide! I have moved from purchasing plants and seeds from wally world to being extremely selective and purchasing plants that are started and grown locally with no chemicals, no growth retardants, and using organic heritage seeds for my veggies, learning how to save seeds for the next growing season. Whenever possible I buy local, from produce I don’t grow myself, to meat, and I even have found a source for chemically free soil and unadulterated peat moss that comes straight from a local bog, not five miles from my home. When I moved here six years ago, I discovered the technique of “digging” raised beds, and have found it to be a fantastic way to grow food and herbs. I would have my own chickens if it weren’t for local restrictions!
    I grow tomatoes for canning my own sauce, with my own oregano, basil, onions and garlic (I also grow sage, thyme, parsley, and a variety of other culinary herbs). I am pleased to grow around 50 lbs of Kenebec potatoes every year, but struggle with keeping them edible through the winter. I also grow peas, green beans, carrots, brocolli, cucumbers (pickle making starts this year), jalapenos and cayenne peppers, gourds, pumpkins and sunflowers. Can’t seem to get corn to grow in my soil (boo hoo) I have a bed of nmedicinal herbs which I add to every year. Two years ago I established a large bed of everbearing strawberries, planted (last year) a patch of red raspberry vines, and my property is blessed with a large amount of wild black raspberries. Those, along with an American elderberry provide a great supply of fruit for eating as well as the jams and jellies I make to give away as Christmas gifts! I also have four majestic black walnut trees. I would like to make my own compost, but just don’t have enough to put in to make it a worthwhile endeavor.
    I also bake, sew, craft from things I pick up “wild”, and hope to start making herbal soaps this year (with my onw lye, made from my black walnut and tulip tree storm droppings). I look forward to discovering on your blog, and posts and links to others, many more ways I can simplify my life, be more self-sustaining, become a greater and greener homesteader! Blessings to you all~!

  37. I like your blog Jill , I have 9 acres of rock in the Catskills of NY,, It’s rough in the winter and super busy in the spring summer and fall , The gardens take up most of that time,, I raise a few chickens , and look after my kids , and am looking to get into beekeeping, Possibly a few goats as well. I too have a homesteading blog and like to look at others and glean info of which I don’t currently have. I am very much into recycling (I only pay for 2 bags of garbage per year) and solar energy (certified installer) I will be back to read up (especially about goats :) Thanks again for all the good work and it is my pleasure to find folks like you here that love God, family, and a simpler life. May the Lord bless you and your homestead. Peace and Prosperity ,, Rich G.

  38. Hi Jill! This is a great site! My husband and I recently purchased our first home with the intent of homesteading. We were lucky enough to find a nice little house (still big enough for our family of 5!) with 5 acres which was just the motivation we needed. Growing up in the city we didn’t do a lot of “homemade” things, but I’ve started making my own bread and other goodies and canning veggies from the garden. This year we are adding some fruit trees and some chicks and ducks. This has been a great adventure so far and the Mighty Teens and Little Miss seem to enjoy getting their hands dirty more than I thought they would. I’m lad to have stumbled upon your site, you have a lot of great information, and have answers to some of the questions I haven’t even thought to ask yet. :) Thank you so much and have a great day!

  39. Hello

    Firstly, thank you I love your blog and website, I admire what you are doing, admit a little green with envy. I have just moved into our house in rural France it was built in 1804… We have only two acres of land, which we hope to turn into woodland coppice and prairie garden with the added spice of growing our own veg, we have 10 apple trees, 4 plum, several cherry trees, and peach, in a spare orchard…sadly only three dogs no
    other animals ….and ideas would be warmly welcomed, god bless and continue to enjoy …best wishes bea x

  40. So glad I found this, I can’t wait to nose around to see what I can find here. Hopefully in the next 1-2 weeks we will be closing on our dream property, 20 acres with a pond & 2 fresh water creeks. Unfortunatly the house on the property is far from livable. But we’re figuring within 2 years we will have it done, and have done it all ourselves. Once we get moved out there we plan on chickens, a large garden and eventually a few goats. So exciting & overwelming all at the same time. I’m sure your site will supply some much needed info.

  41. Jill,
    I really like how you are helping people get inspired to try more natural ways of living and eating. My family and I have a small farm in S. America and grow coffee, bananas, plantains, yucca, and some citrus. We sell eggs, milk, coffee beans and plantains. We also have cows for beef. I had a question to ask and I wondered if you would research some and let me know what you think. I see that you have pigs and are raising them to eat. Have you ever investigated what a pig is a what it’s purpose in nature is? I too am a christian like yourself and I studied a while back about how a pig’s body works and how they are different from many other animals (biologically speaking). Pigs can actually eat a rattlesnake whole and not be harmed. Their bodies are able to digest very toxic materials and not die. In the OT, the israelites were forbidden to eat pork and Jews, to this day, don’t eat it. There are also some youtube videos about worms in people’s brains from eating pork. I don’t mean to be gross I just wanted to offer this bit of info to help people with more healthy choices in their diet. Check into it and let me know what you think. BTW, we have been reading many of your articles on here and are learning a lot. Thanks for the site.
    Adios, Greg.

    • Hi Greg,
      Yes, I have looked into the whole topic of pork– I know that there are a lot of folks who don’t eat it– for OT reasons, as well as health reasons. However, I do believe that the OT law was abolished with Christ’s death on the cross, and there is the spot in the NT where Peter had the vision of everything being o.k. to eat. However, I do know that pigs biological systems are different than other animals (and actually quite similiar to humans.) And I agree that many of the OT laws did have very legitimate health reasons behind them.
      Right now, my husband and I are ok with eating naturally-raised pork, but we are still investigating the topic. You never know, if we feel called to omit pork from our diets in the future, then we most definitely will. ;)
      Glad you are enjoying the blog, and thanks for the comment!

  42. thejensenfive says:

    I signed up so that I could get a free copy of your ebook about essential oils, however, I have not received a link to download it. Is there a way that you could send me a link. I am really excited to read it. Thanks.

    • Hmmm… You should have received a download link right after you confirmed your subscription. If you send me an email at: jill(at)theprairiehomestead(dot)com, I’ll make sure you get a copy.

  43. Absolutely intriguing! I never heard of “Backyard Homesteading” until I saw your page on Facebook. I always just assumed since I lived town that I was limited. Your ideas are inspiring. This might be my first year with garden! Thank you for offering an alternative view of living!

  44. Thompson Family says:

    I found your site surfing for ice cream recipes. I have a lot of milk and my my rennet and C101 wont be here till next week. I am new to milking and am really enjoying all the things I’m learning to make with it.
    I am constantly looking for ways to feed my family better and not waste anything!
    I’ve been canning all of my left overs! Never waste a good chili cause I make too much again!
    Thanks for your inspiration and your experience.
    The Thompson’s

  45. Wow, fun blog. We have a lot in common. I am a sahm of 4 and a blogger. I also use DoTerra oils. We have goats and chickens and try to be homesteaders on our acre in Oklahoma. I would love for you to pay a visit to my blog as well. It is dedicated 95 percent to essential oils and 5% to adventures on the farm. Maybe that will expand in the future. I look forward to reading more of your adventures.

  46. I can’t believe the wonderful think I just read on your Blog. I am a 57 year old Grandmother who has lived in town most of my life. We live in Florida where the ground is mostly sand. We recently moved to the 5 acres we purchased in 1992. It would be our future homestead. We have been here for 8 years now (still in Florida, just farther north), and the sand in the garden has become SOIL!! Lots of compost and chicken manure. We have 10 hens and one extremely sweet Rooster. I love learning everything there is about Homesteading. I have already learned a lot. Thank you so much. I am so excited. Homesteading is Awesome.

  47. georganna silas says:

    i am so excited I came across your page..i am a simple person that has always wanted to live on a working homestead. I meet my new husband to be as of June this year. I started to bring home chickens and more chickens I now have over 30 chickens and we r out growning our acre cause 2 weeks ago I bought home a baby goat I knew he wasn’t gonna be happy cause he always says we don’t have room for animals we live in a subdivision. But no he surprised by coming home 3 days ago and said honey I just bought you 11 acres for you homestead I hope you don’t out grow it. I just laugh so now I cant wait for the move.. I have learned so much just reading you blogs I cant wait to get started now…

  48. So, this is probably going to be a slightly odd question, but where does one start?
    I feel like I’ve done a good job so far, especially when it comes to real foods, but I feel like I’m stuck in this place and I don’t know what to do next, or how to get a ‘routine’ down. We have been working towards self sufficiency for a while (our goal is to be pretty much completely God/self sufficient, only shopping a few times a year – if that – and being off-grid, relying on the land and bartering), and I have done a LOT of research. We buy all organic foods, some from the farmer’s markets, co-ops, and some from organic stores (usually in bulk and on sale when I can find it) and I buy extra fruits and veggies to freeze, dry, or can. The one thing we haven’t been able to get is meat (beef and chicken) from a good source. I try to make things from scratch, but have a hard time knowing what to make and when. Oh, and I HATE making bread.. I tried taking one day to make it in the oven, and would get about 4 loaves done (I’d freeze all but 1) but then when it ran out, I just DREADED making it again.. I’ve done this a couple of times, but we usually go at least a month without bread.. :/
    I know we should have chickens (and probably a dairy cow), but I don’t know anything about them. I know we should have a garden, but I’m just so confused on how to start, what to do, what and when to plant, how to plant, how to care for them, and when to pick and till and weed. I know pretty much nothing about planting things, and every time I have ‘taken care of’ someone else’s house plant, it dies.
    The ironic thing, is that we live on 100+ acres (my husband’s family farm), have 9 head of longhorn cattle, 4 head of angus cattle, 5 horses, 4 lab dogs and 2 cats. All but the cats belong to my husband’s family, but we take care of them and benefit from them.
    Some things I know, and some things I love, but other things I have no idea about and don’t know where to start. I have a hard time knowing when and how often to do things (especially to meet our end goal of survival), and how to get it all done and what to make part of my ‘routine’ – whatever that may be.
    Any help you can give me would be awesome. I’ve looked over your blog and LOVE what I’ve seen, and have been trying to ‘catch up’ on the posts. I follow a lot of good things on pinterest and facebook, plus have a lot of books I need to read, trying to expand my knowledge. I know it would help to SEE these things in action, and I know that you have things pretty much down. If I could make a trip to see your homestead to catch a glimpse of what you do, I would, but it’s a far drive from mideast Ohio. :P

    • It sounds like you have a great start Kelly! I think starting points really differ according to individual. Focus on what is important to you and what will give you the most benefit the fastest.

      Don’t worry about the “I *should* be doings…” and focus on what you like to do. And if you hate making bread, then I wouldn’t! :) It’s all about the baby steps.

    • Kelly, I think you’re trying too hard and too fast to do things, why I say that is I did the same thing. Find what you want to do first and think you would love to do first like Jill recommends. I love raising my chickens it is something that I had wanted to do for years and now I have a very nice flock as long as something doesn’t get to them. But the fresh eggs are so good I can’t make something without adding one more egg to the recipe. It is a lot of work and readying and researching is all part of it. Best of luck from Oklahoma.

  49. Jill, I enjoy reading your web page and all the information that you put into it. I am an older of young years :) I grew up in SE MO out in the country in a small town; my family had a small garden with all sorts of veggies that we kids would eat when out picking items, the extended family would do lots of canning so I was around that some. I grew up and moved away from all that to the military until I retired then lived in the city for 18 years, when I married my second husband which is an country boy we talked and it took us three years to find a place out in the country that we liked and saw potential in the future of our little farm of 7 acre’s. So with me working full time and then going home to help tend to the chickens, horses and now a goat oh I can’t forget about the dogs and cats. It is a very long day for me but I don’t think I would give it up for anything. So after all the chatting of above, I was thinking about the growing season that you have where you live; have you ever thought of using old tires to help extend your growing season. You can stack them. I get used tires for free from one of the local business that is ten miles away and so far I use them around newly planted trees and bushes (keeps the chickens and dogs from digging them up for now). But you can grow potatoes all season long this way (by stacking the tires a couple at a time using compost you can get a good 5-gallon bucket of potatoes; possibly other items you would have to experiment to see what would work for you.

    • Hi Tammy!
      Thanks for your comment! No, I haven’t tried tires, but it’s definitely a possibility for the future– I’m willing to try anything here in our difficult climate. Keep up the great work on your homestead! :)

  50. Debbie Brinkley says:

    Hi guys i have beenI subscribe to your page for a while now but received any new updates I did change my phone but email address is the same anyway in saying that I lost my copy of ebook essential oils could you send me the link again as I really enjoyed having it and using it

  51. Debbie Miles says:

    Hi, Jill
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your newsletter and have gained so much information from it! Keep up the great work!
    However, I somehow missed the download of the ebook on essential oils when I subscribed in April. Could you
    email me that link again? Thanks so much!

  52. What a great post! My husband and I are in the process of looking for land to start our homestead on, but in the mean time I am using my blog to collect info, learn new skills, do research and plan. We figured there is lots we can do right where we are to prepare. Right now we live in a nice neighborhood with a nice big house but little yard. I currently have a container vegetable garden I am nursing on my back patio. Boy, I cannot wait to get some land……We are also looking at some prairie like property, I am more interested in getting land and making it work than waiting for the perfect piece that we may never find. Thanks again for your blog and all you are doing and sharing!

  53. Hi! I just discovered your blog, and am really enjoying browsing.

    We have a cow about to have a calf, and are going to start milking soon. My husband is a country boy and I’m a city girl, so this is a real learning experience for me! I’m curious if you have found any other fly sprays that are effective, or if you are still using the ACV and citronella oil solution that you posted a while back? I, too, prefer to use safe and natural products. We milked a little last fall, right after we got our cow, and I used the same filter/funnel set-up that I see you are using–works well!

    Thank you!

    • I actually have a post coming soon on this very subject! Right now I’m using an essential oil blend from doTERRA called Terrashield. I mix about 30 drops in a quart of water and add a couple drops of dish soap to help it mix together. It works well and is 100% natural! :)

  54. I just love your site ! We can our garden and orchard and I would love to have goats and maybe a cow. I am really interested in learning more about essential oils, but I missed your book when I signed up. Can you please send me the link? Thanks so much & keep up the good work!!!

  55. I want to say thank you for pulling this information together. I grew up on a fairly large dairy farm and after living in the city for the last decade or so (3 different cities actually) i’ve come to realize the country life is the only one i want. so i moved back home to maine and it’s been a whirlwind since then. Next month is the last one in my rental, i’m moving up into the hills of my hometown on a nice 2 acre plot. It’s rustic as all get out, a well with a hand pump (no actual running water) and an outhouse. But with finances the way they are to me it’s a golden palace. My housemates and i plan to have a small garden, a small flock of chickens, and maybe some goats (eventually). We’ve also discussed a cow or two in the future for fresh milk and such. But it all just seemed so overwhelming when i realized that due to our budget restrictions all the work has to be done with our own hands. It was a sigh of relief i released when i found this website and it’s treasure trove of knowledge. Will definately keep my eye on posts and maybe (oh goodness) make a blog at some point to track our work in creating our own little 2 acre homestead.

  56. Your blog is amazing! I was wondering have you ever had goats that have gave birth early?

    • Thanks Naomi!

      It’s hard to say for sure, since I generally don’t know the exact date when the goat got pregnant. But usually, they kid “right on time.” ;)

      • Thanks you so much! I had a doe who had when when I was not expecting till a month later. But the babies are doing just fine!:)

  57. Sorry about the last comment I meant to say I had a doe who had babies when I was not expecting till a month later.

  58. Arlene Goves says:

    I just love all the information on this site. It has always been my dream to be a homesteader. I have 4 very beautiful acres. Have planted lots of fruit trees. Watering is not a problem. I do make pickles, and jam. Tried making chees. Though, trying to do everything on my own is a tough call. I am a female in my sixties. Have about 20 laying girls that are very productive, and ducks, and two goats, one due to kid very shortly. I have milked my goats. Would love to get a house cow. I do try grow some veg as well.. But I’m the only one, here who seems to want this lifestyle. It would be absolutely fantastic to have someone to share my passion for gardening and the rest. But alas that’s not going to happen.

  59. Hi,

    I hope you can answer my question.
    I have 2, first timers, pregnant pygmy goats that are supposed to be due anytime! Yesterday, I was almost sure one of my pygmy goats (named Lilly) was in labor! She had lots of signs. Like scratching her belly a lot, stretching, peeing a lot, making a bed in the straw, she also would hunch over, she had a little mucus, and just didn’t act right! But now their are still no babies! Are these some of the signs? And what other signs am I supposed to look for?


  60. I’m hoping you have some ideas for me….

    We just moved onto 10 acres and have foynd we have a lot of hops. Any ideas on what to do with them, besides make beer? Thanks for any suggestions!

  61. Linda Moudry says:

    A container garden to die for!! Some years ago, I bought a Jacuzzie spa for the back yard. I live in AZ and the spa did fine for one year, but by the following summer, the heat of the previous year had rotted/cracked many of the plastic plumbing fittings and the repair bill was over $900. Same thing happened the next year and the repair estimate that time was $1200. I decided, in spite of how much I enjoyed using the spa, this was not something I was willing to keep spending my hard earned money on! In no time, I would have invested the price of a new spa in the cost of repairs! So, my husband said, “Swell. Now how am I going to get that blamed thing out of the yard and carted away?” Being the genius that I am at finding uses for absolutely everything imaginable, I said “Oh heck…..fill it with dirt and I’ll plant something in it! I have used this “spa garden” for 8 years now and it does WONDERFULLY every year. Yes, we did drill drainage holes in the bottom. We filled the bottom 1/2 of the spa with regular dirt from the yard (not especially good dirt!). The top half we used good Potting Soil and mulch. Each year, I add another large bag of good potting soil and the compost I have. The insulated cabinet allows me to start seeds 2-3 weeks earlier than normal and also allows my garden to keep going 2-3 weeks longer in the Fall. No bending over………no weeding………..easy to reach everything……..easy to cover quickly if hard rain/hail, etc blows up…….and it’s beautiful besides!!! I normally have planted in it: 2 tomato plants, 3-4 rows of spinach, 2-3 rows of Romaine lettuce, radishes, green onions, 2 celery plants, and a red and green Bell pepper. Yes, I plant things closer together than the seed packets recommend but I feed the plants regularly and it does an amazing job! Love my little kitchen-garden-in-a-spa !!!

  62. Jill, It takes me “back” to an earlier time in my life when I read this post. For 16 years, we were “suburban homesteaders” with a dream to own land where we would have space to grow more produce, animals, as well as our lives. After 13 years of seeking God, He brought us here to our rural 10 acres in California’s Gold Country. No, it’s not the “perfect homestead”. It’s one with a strong slope and rocky clay soil. But with incredible views, an abundance of wildlife, peace, quite, and potential.

    I confess to having “flat land envy”, especially when the rains come and we have to keep the horses off the steep, wet slope for their own safety. But, our homestead also happens to be one of the best areas in the nation to grow fruit trees and vineyards. And, we overcome the rocky soil by building gopher-screened raised beds.

    Homesteading is in the heart–to be steadfast at home. That’s us. We’re grateful to have our steep, rocky homestead, Stable Road Homestead. Thanks for your inspiration.

  63. Hi from Australia :D

    I LOVE your blog :D I have been reading for about 8 months now and it is because of you that my husband (28), myself (29) and our 3 children (8, 5 & 3) have just signed the contract for a 300 acre block of land with a tiny cottage on it and not much else. It has a few dams and rainwater tanks. For us the water is the most important part. It is not lush grazing country but has some cleared spots with good grass to run a few head of cattle. We plan to have our own pigs, goats and chickens as well. I will be starting a large vegetable garden almost immediately after arriving and also a small orchard. As there is no electricity (gas cooking and a generator) we will be getting some solar panels installed. I am looking forward not to having a TV but to have a wireless radio on. I will be home schooling also. I really look forward to reading your blog in the future and trying all of your ideas on our own little homestead :D

  64. Hi there! Just wanted to say I just found your blog & I’m loving it! Also it is absolutely true that you can “homestead” just about anywhere. We have a little over 5 acres in western NC that is sloping/steep & parts of it rocky but we make it work for us! We raise chickens, quail & dairy goats & grow plenty of food to sustain us, we barter for everything we possibly can & are having a wonderful time raising our 4 children to be self sufficient & appreciate the little things. I look forward to reading more from you!

  65. Hi Jill~! You are (and have been) doing just what I would like to do! I’m just starting out on my homestead journey …even after having lived 20 yrs on 160 acres! :-/ We raise “mostly” grass fed beef (in dry California, it’s nearly impossible to grass feed year round…we have to supplement w/ what hay we can find/grow here!) We have chickens and horses and I’m feeling a strong pull to have a dairy animal….I’m thinking about starting w/ a goat as we don’t drink that much milk…but, the allure of homemade cheese/lotion/soap/butter is too strong to resist! Thanks for all of the great information on your site…I’m slowly reading pretty much everything…the goat info has been fantastic! Blessings to you~!

  66. I remember reading something about swishing coconut oil in you mouth helping with placque build up.. Cant find it again. Can you please re direct me? Love your site. Ive made yogurt, ice cream and granola this week. Pretty excited!! I feel like Im channeling my 1972 former self.

  67. Molly Holman says:

    Hi Jill, my name is Molly. I am 11 years old & I love your pics and ideas. This is my dad’s e-mail, his name is Brad. I am a strong follower of Jesus & so are the people around me like my family. My dad & mom are building a barn & I help too. We have all the siding done but we still need to work on smaller things on the inside. We have goats; 2 pregnet & due in January. Then our other mamma goat just had babies on the 18th. There are 2 bucklings but we weren’t there for the kidding we were at a Mad-Ants basketball game. The goat’s names are MadAnt & Garett. We built the barn for horses but got interested in goats so our barn is for horses and goats. Plus someday maybe cattle. Our horses are at my grandpa’s right now but we’ll get them in our barn right when our barn is done. My 2nd vacation was at Wyoming & I was 9. That is my 2nd FAVORITE place I’ve ever been in my life!!!!!!!!!! First is where I live now, Indiana. At Wyoming we rode 4-wheelers & rented a house. My grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, my brother (Dax) and I all went. My dad grew up on a cattle farm but went out of business so it was VERY COOL for my dad feed them again. When we were at Wyoming, we got to do some of the chores there and played with the animals although there were no goats. I am sorry that this is SO LONG, but I think you’re really cool and you animals too!!!!! HA HA HA! If you ever need some help on the farm, it would be my pleasure to move over there for a year!!!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA! Love your BIG FAN, Molly Elizabeth Holman!

    • Molly Holman says:

      Could you please tell me…do you have any recipes you just love? Well if you do can you please put them on your website? And if you already do than could you just tell me where they are. Thanks

  68. Thank you for your site. We just got our 60 acre homestead hope to learn more from your blog.

  69. we have a 3 acre mini farm 2 mini horses I mini Nigerian dwarf goat 3 dogs 1 barn cat we grow our own veggies in summer and share with friends ..I know this sounds morbid but we started a tree of life fruit trees everytime a person dies we plant one in there honor with a plaque on it and share with the family …this is the best life ever farming your own stuff and not worrying so much of all the chemicals on veggies..enjoy ur site our best to you!!!!

  70. Sherry Clemens says:

    I didn’t think there were anymore homesteads available?? What state do you live in? Love your sight and I believe I should have been born around 1850 instead of 1966…lol I don’t mind living without electricity and running water and I don’t mind hard work in fact I thrive on it. Now if I can only find a man that feels the same I’ll be doing good! ;)

    • I live in WY. The free land available in the Homestead Act is long gone, but many of us modern folks still like to call our little farms “homesteads.”

    • I feel you Sherry! I have a wonderful loving man that’s very much into the homesteading lifestyle but just can’t put down those video games. Plus you have to remember we’re very privileged in many ways growing up in a generation with the advances in medicine and technology that we have. There are good and bad sides to everything. So we can just make what we can of it and use things to our advantage. Like the internet to find websites like this.
      I personally had no farming knowledge passed down to me so finding things online is a major benefit. Then again I can always wander down the the library. ;)

  71. I found this blog thru a post on Pinterest about alternative cheese cloth. I love it. I never grew up on a farm, but my husband, who is from Macedonia, was raised that way. When we first met his family was almost totaly self sufficiant. However, we now live in an average suburban neighborhood in Colorado with a very tiny back yard. We plan to start a garden this year, starting with tomatoes and peppers this weekend. The space we have to plant in is about 4′ by 10′. The rest of the yard, about twice that size, we will plant grass in for our kids to play. We eventually would love to find space with lots of land to grow/raise our own food. Look forward to reading more and learning lots here.

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