Category: Contributors

Following up…. and finally, an introduction!

A while back, quite a while back I am ashamed to say, I posted about what it means to be a homesteader and whether or not you are one and don’t even know it…. you can read about it here.

In that post, a comment from one of our vendors and fellow homesteader, @bobydimitrov a vendor behind @bghandmade said this:

What I’d really, really like to see is a follow-up post in your own context – which one of the points you can check off your list, your daily or seasonal life and more photos of what looks like a great garden!

I am going to try to answer that question over a few posts, in no particular order of the first post, but as I am able based on the seasons and when I can photograph what I need to for examples.

But firstly, I believe I also promised to introduce myself in this post.

Who is Thistle-Rock?

My real name is Heather. Hello there!

I chose to call myself @thistle-rock here on the Steem platforms as it incorporates two things I do. “Thistle” because of Thistleworks Designs, the name of my shop at Homesteaders Coop and under which I have always marketed much of my work, and “Rock” for some of the art I create under rockAdoodle Art.

My husband and I live in north central Canada on the border of the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

A little confusing to some, while we live in Saskatchewan, a province that does not follow Daylight Savings Time, but we and the two nearby communities actually follow Manitoba time because most of the population around these parts works in the Province of Manitoba, who does follow Daylight Savings Time. This makes for interesting travel scheduling and conversations with people in other provinces or around the world.

photo © Heather JohnsgaardWe live on the Precambrian Shield, a place where it is not uncommon to find vegetation growing out of the nooks and crannies of the rocky earth, and which I wrote about here.

Our home is on the outskirts of a fairly remote community which is based around a mine, the product being zinc and copper plus a little bit of gold.

On the Saskatchewan side, the nearest major community from us is about a four hour drive each way.

Neither Calendar nor Dates Make the Seasons it Seems

photo © Heather Johnsgaard

Winters here appear long, usually very cold with lots of snow, and summers short. I cannot say we have very noticeable Spring and Fall seasons because by the time the snow melts, summer heat is upon us, and the snow usually hits us again by October before all the leaves have fallen from the trees. All this makes for a very short growing season outside of a heated greenhouse if you are lucky enough to have one.

Our small acreage is mostly covered with pine, spruce, poplar, birch and willow trees. Our soil is mostly clay. We need to do a lot of soil amending if we want a decent garden, or build raised beds.

Sometimes raised beds seems easier because even though we have cleared land for gardening, the roots of the poplar trees spread far and long and make hard work for tilling.

As our home is situated on the lake shore of a small lake, we draw our own source of water with a pump system (I will show that in another post in the future). We have beautiful clear water. A filter system within the house allows us to utilize the water for drinking and cooking with no chemicals required.

We do not live off-grid, and are fortunate to have power right to our house, we are not without basic necessities unless the power goes out. If the power should go out, this of course affects our ability to get our water which requires our electric pump, and also means we cannot flush toilets or run water during that time. Our heat is forced air, with a wood stove for backup or secondary heat source.

photo © Heather Johnsgaard

We try to follow a lifestyle which includes, as much as possible, zero waste, recycle, reuse, refurbish, and repurpose. I am saddened with how much waste the human race produces. The only thing I can do about it is to live a lifestyle of which I feel I am doing as little harm as I can upon the land we have been granted use of for the time we are here, and to share what I learn with others.

We try to grow our own produce, canning, preserving and freezing for future use. We make things we need when we are able, which may include tools, clothing, food, home decor and craft supplies.

Self-sufficiency with as little reliability on others as possible is a motto of our life. Sharing when we can our abundance of food or our talents and skills, and helping out our neighbours when needed.

I love the life we live, it suits my personality… I can’t imagine life any other way.

I’d love for you to follow along as I attempt to show you a few things we have done which allows us to live the life of a homesteader. Perhaps you will find some things of interest that will change the way you live too, perhaps you are a homesteader yourself and didn’t even know it!

~@thistle-rock

Introducing @Wildhomesteading – Monthly Wild Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter

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Hello! @wildhomesteading here and this is my introduction post as a new contributor to @homesteaderscoop.

My name is Daron and along with my wife I run the website Wild Homesteading and I post here on the steem blockchain Monday through Friday. Generally, my posts focus on what I call wild homesteading which is homesteading that is focused on working with nature.

My family and I live on a small homestead on just under 3 acres of land outside of Olympia Washington at the south end of the Puget Sound about a 2 hour drive south of Seattle. Our homestead is called the Wild Ride Homestead and we came up with that name because at times our life has seemed like a wild ride.

From living in England for a year, living on opposite sides of the state from each other in order for one of us to keep a good job while the other went to school, studying sustainability in Fiji, and raising a family… it sure has been a wild ride.

But now we are settled on our Wild Ride Homestead. Which does not mean the ride is over. There are always new projects and challenges to overcome as a homesteader!

Homesteading has been a dream for us since before we were married almost 10 years ago. But we are also very focused on supporting our local environment and creating a space for wildlife. Wild homesteading is our attempt to create a life that supports both our homesteading and environmental goals and values.

I truly believe that by fully integrating the natural world with homesteading you can achieve a more resilient life that is truly free from reliance on unsustainable inputs. Nature can be your best homesteading partner if you let it.

Monthly Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter

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So, what will I be writing about in my monthly Wild Homesteading and Business Advice Newsletter? Well the name kinda speaks for itself but here are some details.

The wild homesteading posts will be similar to what I’m writing on my own blog but with more focus on how working with nature can result in more freedom (time, food, financial, etc.) for you and your family.

Once in a while I will write business advice posts that will hopefully help you run a successful online business. Much of this advice will focus around what is working (and not working) in my own online business. These posts will also be tailored to the awesome @homesteaderscoop vendors but anyone with an online business or wanting to start one should get value from these posts.

My own business is only in its 5th month but during that time I have built an email list of just over 360 people and so far this month I have had almost 200 people visiting my site from search traffic (google, bing, etc.) alone. Last month in total I had over 1,700 unique people visit my site. In terms of getting traffic and building an email list I think things are going good for just being 5 months in!

I have been studying content marketing for a couple years now on a weekly basis and I’m happy to share what I have learned.

Thank You All!

So, I think that covers everything—I’m looking forward to contributing on a regular basis to @homesteaderscoop. The community here on the steem blockchain is really awesome and has really helped me get started. I’m hoping that by writing this monthly newsletter that I can start giving back to you all.

Also, each one of my posts on @homesteaderscoop will end with a call for topic ideas that fit within either wild homesteading or business advice.

So… what would you like to see me write about in my first full post? Please leave a comment with your idea.

Thank you all!

Introducing @sagescrub of Homesteaders Co-op

Hello steem, @sagescrub here, founder of Homesteaders Co-op. I have asked our contributors (of this blog) to introduce themselves, as they feel inspired. Being that I am also a contributor I realized I should do the same! I have introduced myself a few times here on steem before. However, the context of this introduction is less about my homesteading life and my personal journey and more about my personal interaction with Homesteaders Co-op.

I am going to start from my heart by saying that Homesteaders Co-op has personally been a life changer for me. Being involved in creating this community marketplace has helped me overcome a few emotional and spiritual blocks in my life that have been lingering and stumping me for quite a while.

When a man wants to make an improvement in his life but doesn’t know how to get from A to B but doesn’t know how it an be a frustrating thing, especially when those blocks affect not only myself but others around me.

I was faced with an ethical decision very early on in the evolution of the Homesteaders Co-op. A few of our community who were early beta testers of the website will remember this, as well as @pennsif. They may not know the significance of how the decision I made in my life (well they will after reading this) but they witnessed and participated in the choice of the direction the Co-op would go.

The decision was whether money would be my primary driving objective in building this business or not. In some context money can have a pretty good hold over my emotions. Logically it is easy to see money simply as a tool to help me reach some goal. But emotionally there are clouds of feelings that come up about wanting more money for more security. There is a hunger that is hard to quench, easy to write off.

Homesteading has helped me learn about generosity. It has always been difficult for me to part with money in an act of generosity. Gardening, farming and homesteading taught me the joy of sharing food. I learned that nature abundantly provides and that it is human nature to enjoy sharing. I made an effort to continue sharing food from the gardens I tended with not only family, but friends, acquaintances, even strangers.

Why can’t my relationship with money be like that? Nature wants me to act in generosity. Homesteaders Co-op is symbolically helping me to take a leap of faith in letting go of some of my attachment to the need to try to satisfy my hunger for securing money.

I understand that money is not a bad thing by itself. It’s true, I do hope that one day I can earn money from Homesteaders Co-op, because in many ways it is already a dream job. Now, however my desire for our vendors and also our contributors to have some earnings, whether small or significant, is much greater than my desire to earn money for myself.

The choice that I made was to serve my community rather than seeing them as customers. Suddenly Homesteaders Co-op was not a business, and it has become a tribe with community goals. How will this go? Where will this lead? I don’t know. Letting go of the attachment of wanting to control an outcome for financial gain has given me the freedom to enjoy walking into the unknown, rather than be paralyzed by the fear of failure.

This change, while perhaps trivial for some, was huge for me. I am overcoming some challenges that have been with me since a young age. I see that my attitude and inspiration has had a positive effect on the folks involved in our Co-op. I am very glad for this, it is a good foot to start off on.

These actions and commitments to our friends at @ghscollective, @naturalmedicine, @ecotrain, now @tribesteemup as well as other communities I haven’t listed here, even steem at large (for anyone that feels affinity to @homesteaderscoop) has given me great pride. Serving people I love, respect, admire, over serving myself gives me great, deep satisfaction that I had been longing for and didn’t even know it. Funny thing is, that ends up serving me in the end with this deeper happiness that I have found.

I feel lucky because my web design and programming skills from my past life, my love for homesteading and my excitement for steem has come together and allowed me to share an idea that has blossomed into a beautiful shared vision.

Frankly I am grateful for steem, for the tribes and the people here that have encouraged me to open more, heal more, share more and be more myself.

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know I don’t post many pictures of myself. Well, I did a lot of that on social media in my 20’s (I am in my late 30’s now). Looking back at it I had a lot of fun posting photos of myself. But I don’t have that desire so much anymore. I’d rather have my words speak for me and share snippets of how I appreciate the world through photos.

But I also know the value in relating to each other not just through words, but being able to see, hear, smell, touch each other. So I chose to share this photo now.

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I tend to write with a fairly serious tone here in steem, but I am actually often quite goofy in person 🙂

I took this selfie 2 years ago while I was wwoofing at a forest garden homestead in Northern Washington, to share with my parents. They had just emailed me, I was playing a podcast, happened to look down and saw a photo of what they were doing and wanted to share what I was doing that very moment, several states away!

I was weeding a garden bed and I had a pile of weeds next to me. I grabbed it and shoved it in my mouth to pose for this beautiful selfie. Aside from being ridiculous its also fitting because around the same time my friends and I played a game where we each decided what our “hippy name” would be if we named ourselves. Mine was Eats the Weeds. Because I love to include weeds in my diet.

Well this photo is also special to me because I let go to the moment. I didn’t care about what anyone thought of me and just did what was fun in the moment. If I can wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see that smile in my eyes I’ll know its going to be a good day.

If this was a professional business blog I probably wouldn’t be posting this photo. But I feel perfectly comfortable sharing it here. I consider you all my friends and extended family.

Thank you for allowing me to journal here today as I introduce myself. Now that I have written what I have written and shared what I have shared it suddenly occurs to me that I want to carry 2 personal intentions going into 2019:

  1. Let go to the moment more = more smiles in the mirror
  2. Keep sharing from the heart because it feels really good

And from a Homesteader Co-op and steem at large community perspective I would like to carry the intention into 2019:

Maintain the spirit and intention of giving and letting go that has helped our co-op start off with lots of love and excitement.

Happy Holidays!

Much love,
@sagescrub

Introducing Stortebeker, a Contributor to the Homesteaders Co-op

Hey everyone!

I’m David, or as I made myself known on steemit: @stortebeker. I’m here to introduce myself as a contributor to the @homesteaderscoop. What it means to be a contributor, you ask? The way I’d put it is: sharing posts as part of this co-operative with the idea of bringing people together in a community: vendors and buyers, readers and writers, folks who have something in common, and folks who have something others need.

Stumbling Across the Homesteaders Co-op

I came across this co-op only a few days ago. Even though I had been part of the @ghscollective, and other homesteading groups before that, I wasn’t aware of this recently created project. The reason is simple: I was barely on-line these last months. I just completed a three-month-long bike journey, following a six-month-long Earthship building project, during which my connectivity was so sparse that I was happy to publish a post or two in a week (scroll down on my blog if you’re curious about them). But other than that I was barely active on steemit. Now that I’m back home again, I’m seeing all these wonderful projects that have shot out of the ground, most excitingly the Homesteaders Co-op.

The Best Thing for a Coin is Circulation

I’ve always felt that what a currency (crypto or otherwise) needs, is being accepted as a means of exchange. This is why many coins fail, no matter what lofty ideas they represent. So seeing this on-line marketplace, where you can buy and sell stuff for STEEM or SBD, was just like when I first heard about that major on-line retailer for books – and other things was selling gift cards for Bitcoin. Awesome!!! The big difference here, of course, is that the products at the Co-op are all home-made, natural, sustainable, and small scale. Wow, I’m still getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

Let Me Get Behind It!

So I decided to get involved, first by just curating one of their latest articles. Then I delegated some SP to them, even though at the moment I’m still un-delegating what I’d let others use for upvotes while I was gone. But never mind, this is certainly an effort I want to support. Just this morning I had a chat with @sagescrub who asked me if I wanted to contribute to the blog. Most certainly I do, but before I start getting into deeper topics, a few words about myself.

The Facets That Make Me Up:

As I said, I have been involved in homesteading groups since the first day I joined steemit. The topics of sustainability, permaculture, natural building, healthy nutrition, off-grid living, DIY and making things at home, as well as community building have always been close to my heart. Even though I live in a city (one of the biggest, most crowded, and polluted cities in the Americas – Mexico City) I have been practicing aspects of urban homesteading, the ones that are feasible in a small apartment: vermicomposting, mushroom cultivation, making kombucha, kefir and water-kefir, and growing spirulina.

What started out as an experimentation of what is possible soon evolved into a budding business, when I was invited to participate at a newly created producers’ market, selling probiotic drinks. Most beautifully, the connections I’ve made there helped me create various win-win situations, which I wrote about in one of my earlier posts.

And Now Moving on to the Homesteaders Co-op?

So now, it almost seems like the Homesteaders Co-op should be the ideal next step. The question is, how and in which way? My immediate plan is to make my first purchase and gain a direct experience on the shipping fees and times, which has been a bit of a concern for me. Then, I want to get even more involved, by becoming active as a vendor. Sending bottles of kombucha around the world might not be the best idea, however there are some other things I’d like to look into. But let me come back to that.

What I can promise for now, though, is sharing thoughts and ideas, musings and stories, here as part of the co-op. So stay tuned for more post by me, shared under @homesteaderscoop.

Introducing Nate, a Homesteaders Co-op contributor

Hey y’all, I’m Nate!

I’m one of the new contributors at Homesteader’s Co-op, but if you know me on steem, you know me as @nateonsteemit. I wanted to do a quick intro post to this audience before I started making additions to the content here (trust me, it’s coming).

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Words will have a hard time expressing how stoked I am to be given the opportunity by @sagescrub to post here, but I’m gonna give em a chance to.

@homesteaderscoop is an awesome thing that he’s done, and I’ve been following since he announced his intent to create the marketplace this past summer. Now that it’s finally a reality, it is far better than I had imagined back then. I was the first person to place an order from the site just a few days after it launched because I had started saving up as soon as that intro post dropped.

As he outlined@sagescrub has made his contributors here beneficiaries on the posts we make. How awesomely generous!

Moving forward, I plan on using that blessing to benefit the steem homesteading community.

Anyone that knows me here knows I love greeting and helping new folks on the platform. From my introduction comments, where I recommend outstanding permaculture steemians to follow, to delegations like in the contest I linked (which is still ongoing wink wink…), I really enjoy helping folks fit in here. That’s what I would love to do with this opportunity with @homesteaderscoop. I don’t have a specific plan yet, but I have my wheels turning, debating whether that will include continuing or increasing delegations, funding accounts, or straight minnow support with my portion of beneficiary payouts. I’m not sure yet, but I’d sure love some input from the community. That’s usually a good metric: to help the community, do what the community thinks is best.

The reason I enjoy helping new folks here so much is that it strengthens our community. The more active members we have on board here, the better. More people means diversity, and in permaculture, nothing beats diversity.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this new opportunity can achieve! Thanks, @sagescrub, and thanks to you, the readers, supporters, and community members here on steem.

Up next, I’ll explain why you should actually be using your crypto (preferably at Homesteader’s Co-op), even in a bear market!

Be blessed,
Be fruitful,
Stay relevant.

Nate