* Self-Reliance * Sustainability * Connection with Nature *
Welcome to Our Homestead
In 2005, Theresa & Bear bought a small "fixer-upper" in southwestern Wisconsin, on a tiny, Main Street lot (60 x 140 feet) in a small village. We didn’t realize at the time that we would end up trying to become homesteaders in this improbably small location.
Outside at our tiny homestead, we have been using permaculture principles to change our lawn into gardens, creating a "yarden" where we do grow some of our own food (in spite of our mostly shady yard under two towering black walnuts), while rebuilding wildlife habitat and living in a way that connects us to Nature’s cycles (see the Celebrate tab).
Inside, we are learning new ways to cook (see the Cooking tab & Bear's Shelf Chefing), preserve the local harvest, make our own staples, maintain a pantry of bulk and preserved foods, prepare for emergencies, and celebrate the changing of the seasons (the Celebrate tab again).
We are trying to find inexpensive ways to live sustainably and be as self-reliant as possible, experimenting with things like our Buy Nothing Challenge to help us consume less and save more. By 2019 we were able to become debt free and have since been working only part-time at our paying jobs. We try to find ways to live inexpensively so we can continue as part-timers, because we prefer to have more free time in our lives rather than being able to buy more stuff.
It's not necessary to live on large acreage or grow all your own food to consider yourself a homesteader. For us, homesteading is about spending our time learning to make the things we need, as much as possible, rather than spending our time working to make money to buy the things we need.
We find that this single change to our approach has led us down some amazing paths that support us in making better choices. It has helped us recognize and change the preconceptions we've absorbed from mainstream American consumer culture that are personally unfulfilling and harmful to the environment. It helps us live out a new cultural paradigm that supports our choices to honor and protect the Earth.
We believe you can do it too! So we will be sharing step by step instructions with photos for some of our more successful projects, and write about our humorous misadventures, while sharing our thoughts on why the changes we make are important. If you'd like to get updates on our progress and notifications about the new information we add to the website, subscribe to our blog.
We hope to inspire you to join us in making some changes of your own, because we believe that...
Small Choices Can Add Up to Big Change and
Our Choices Will Change the World
Another Example- Our backyard pond is next to the Celtic Cross Garden:
The pond brought wildlife to what was once nothing but lawn:
Some of our Other Favorite Pages: