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So You Want to Be a Modern Homesteader? (PDF)
All the Dirt on Living the Good Life
Dreams of self-sufficiency, independence, and tranquility continue to pull in a new generation of modern homesteaders. While growing your own food and being in charge of your life is the source of much satisfaction, there are many challenges to living away from modern conveniences.
Written by an experienced modern homesteader who successfully made the leap, So You Want to Be a Modern Homesteader? offers an in-depth examination of what you need to consider before moving “back to the land.” Drawing from a deep well of experience, this essential guide covers:
- Romance versus the reality of rural living
- Finding the right property
- Building versus bootstrapping
- Practical “must-have” skills
- Earning an income and farming on a budget
- Creating community
- Seasonal living
- Children and schooling
- Social media, the internet and rural life.
Whether you are dreaming of moving to the country for peace and an escape from the daily grind, to provide a different lifestyle for your children, or you’re already long-established in the country, this complete and realistic guide is the essential resource to help you achieve success as a modern homesteader.
Kirsten Lie-Nielsen is a writer and farmer restoring a 93-acre farm. Her homestead has grown to include encompass geese, goats, chickens, bees, ducks, and extensive vegetable and herb gardens. Kirsten shares her experiences in Grit, Mother Earth News, Backyard Poultry, and Hobbyfarms.com. Kirsten is the author of A Modern Homesteader's Guide to Keeping Geese and the hostilevalleyliving.com blog. She lives on a farm with her partner in Liberty, Maine.
"Three years ago, we moved from our small hobby farm in Virginia to the woods of Maine. While we considered ourselves ready, nothing could have prepared us for the rigors of heating our home with wood, maintaining acres of fields, gardening in chilly zone 5 or the threat of coyotes and bears to our livestock and pets, not to mention living more than 40 minutes from, well, anything. If only I had Kirsten's book back then. Well-written and engaging, this book relates a lifelong Mainer's experience restoring her farmstead, sprinkling questions throughout that the burgeoning homestead would do well to ask themselves before diving in to the self-sufficient lifestyle."
Lisa Steele, author of Fresh Eggs Daily and 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks
"The pragmatic and practical idealism of Kristin's book will bless many current and want to become homesteaders — you will walk away with a realistic look at the joys and trials, benefits and challenges that a homestead life offers, along with a great deal of "worked for wisdom" that they share along the way."
John Moody, author of The Frugal Homesteader
"In her book So You Want to be a Modern Homesteader? author Kirsten Lie-Nielsen offers a frank and beautifully honest framework for getting from where you are today to that place of pastoral self-reliance collectively known as homesteading. Is it going to be easy? No! Is it going to take planning and personal fortitude and resilience? Yes! Can you be a modern homesteader and still earn a living? Possibly! With a no-nonsense, yet delightful approach, Lie-Nielsen guides the reader through the thought exercises, property analyses, fundamental skillsets and virtually everything else you need to maximize your enjoyment and successes on any homesteading journey. The book is perfect for folks just beginning the journey, experienced old-timers like me and everyone in between because self-reliance is a journey, not a destination."
Hank Will, Editorial Director, Ogden Publications
"The most valuable aspect of Kirsten's book is her absolute honesty about the emotional aspects of homesteading, as well as her refusal to narrowly define a modern homesteader. I love that every chapter ends with a list of "Questions Before You Leap" for the reader to answer. This book is especially valuable for someone who is just starting to contemplate a homesteading lifestyle and wondering if they should jump in — and how far."
Deborah Niemann, ThriftyHomesteader.com, author of Homegrown and Handmade and Raising Goats Naturally
"Kirsten Lie-Nielsen's new book brings a realism and humor to her stories and experiences of going "rural". The book proves a helpful guideline to some of the pitfalls that folks dreaming of the idyllic countryside might not expect, while still embracing all that a lifestyle in the country has to offer. A perfect starting place for the would-be homesteader, this engaging book is a fun take on all things homesteading."
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