If you want to meet a true Homestead Honey, then you HAVE to meet Teri! I’ve learned so much from her over the years, and am always finding myself landing on her website for more. She has a unique approach to homestead living that I think will interest you very much!
I feel like this is starting to become a broken record with saying how amazing the homesteaders within this project are, but the truth is they are all absolutely inspirational! I wouldn’t have asked them to join in on the fun if I thought otherwise. 😉
20 Questions Homesteading Style – Teri @ Homestead Honey
Please introduce yourself & your blog.
Hello! I’m Teri Page of Homestead Honey. I started Homestead Honey 7 (!!) years ago to document our homesteading life, offer inspiration and share how-tos for others wishing to homestead, and I haven’t stopped since!
How did you start your homesteading journey? How long ago was that?
My homesteading journey officially began in the summer of 1999, when I worked in the organic garden of a sustainable living education center in Oregon. I learned so much during that summer and it set me on the path to grow my own food and embrace the homesteading lifestyle.
How big of a property do you currently have for your homestead? Do you think that is ideal for you or do you dream of changing that one day? Why?
Currently, we are renting a 60 acre homestead, which is much more land than we need. Our Missouri homestead was 10 acres – about half wooded and half pasture – and it felt like the perfect size for a small family homestead.
The only thing I’d perhaps change is more acreage for haying and grazing, but if you don’t intend to keep livestock, you can do a lot with a very small amount of land.
What is your favorite thing about the homesteading lifestyle?
I love the connection with nature that the homesteading lifestyle offers, and the opportunity it presents for deep reflection, creativity, and beauty.
What is your least favorite thing about the homesteading lifestyle?
As I get older, I find that my body is less happy with some of the demands of the homesteading lifestyle! It is a rigorous, highly physical lifestyle, and while it certainly keeps me in shape, it takes a very keen awareness of proper form and posture to avoid injury or sore muscles!
What does a typical day on your homestead look like?
I’m answering this in deep winter in Vermont, so my typical day looks like chicken chores, cooking from scratch, perhaps some fermentation project (I love to make kimchi and kombucha) and a bit of dreaming about the summer’s garden.
In the summer months, we grow as large of a garden as we have space for, do a ton of food preservation, and often raise animals for meat. No one day looks the same, which is part of the reason I really enjoy homesteading.
What animals do you have on your homestead, and what is their purpose?
While we have raised pigs, goats, dairy cows, bees, ducks, chickens, and lambs over the years, right now our only animals are 7 laying hens and a couple of roosters, which actually feels really, really good during this time of transition. We raised a batch of broiler chickens this fall, and I expect we will do that again this spring.
What is your favorite thing to grow? Why?
I would have to say tomatoes, because there is truly nothing like the flavor of a vine-ripened tomato, and I love so many heirloom varieties. A close second would be flowers and herbs, for their beauty and all of their many benefits.
Are you a seed saver, do you order seeds, or a combination of both?
I do a combination of both. I save seeds from several plants – breadseed poppies, dill, and cilantro are among my favorite – and I also love buying seeds from the many wonderful seed companies out there!
Are there any animals or plants you don’t have currently, but hope to one day?
We really loved raising dairy goats when we lived in Oregon. We milked them, but also enjoyed bringing them into the backcountry as pack goats! I dream of adding them to our future homestead. I also really love fruit trees and look forward to adding some delicious apples to my orchard.
What are some of your favorite things to make? Ex. soaps, salves, etc. Feel free to include a story of why you enjoy it.
My 11 year old daughter and I have been making salves together and sell them in our family’s Etsy shop. We start by ethically wild harvesting, growing, or sourcing beautiful herbs and flowers, so the process of making the salves is so lovely and nourishing. Plus, we get to spend time together making a product and she is learning a bit about having a cottage industry.
What is the hardest lesson you have learned on your homestead?
The hardest lessons have come from animal deaths. Although we raise animals for food, they do become part of our family and we care for them deeply. It’s never fun to lose an animal, whether to illness or accident or by choice, but raising our own meat continues to be one of the more empowering parts of homesteading.
What is your favorite recipe to cook from scratch?
I have developed an amazing winter squash cheesecake recipe that uses fresh cow cheese, sorghum or maple syrup, and of course, winter squash. It is one of my favorite recipes to make and share!
What homesteading skills are you thankful for learning?
I would have to say growing food. I love that I can provide for my family and community with fresh, nutrient dense, organic food that I’ve grown. I get deep personal joy from wandering my garden each day.
What homesteading skills are still on your list to learn?
There are so many! I’d love to learn from a really skilled beekeeper and bring bees back to my homestead some day. I’d also love to learn more about traditional crafts, like basket weaving. Some day I am going to join my husband and learn some carpentry skills as well! You could truly never grow bored living the homesteading life!
What is the funniest thing that has happened on your homestead?
Definitely the time our cow wandered over to a neighbor’s house and decided to wake him up by grunting at the window! My neighbor got a very unusual wake-up that day, and I giggle thinking about her sweet face pressed up against the glass.
When you are having a hard day/week, how do you keep yourself motivated?
Homesteading is hard, there is no question about that. There are so many joys, but they are balanced by challenges and hard work.
It helps to stay focused on the why – Why are we living this lifestyle? I believe in homesteading as a vehicle for personal and community transformation, and that makes the hard work worth it, every time.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start their homesteading journey?
Just do it. There are so many ways to homestead, so you do not need to wait until you have the perfect piece of land or a place in the country.
Simply pick a skill that sounds intriguing, or will make the biggest impact in your life, and start practicing. That process might involve finding books/videos/mentors/courses to help facilitate your learning, but there is nothing like hands-on experience to get you started.
When it comes to resources, what are some of your favorites?
I have to admit, I don’t really have time to read many blogs or magazines, and I try to limit my screen time, so I avoid YouTube, but I do love books!
Of course, I would love it if you read my book, Family Homesteading, which is full of seasonal projects, recipes, and how-tos to share the homesteading lifestyle with children. I keep a running list of my must-read homesteading books here.
What are you most excited for in 2019 on the homestead and for your community?
2019 is a year full of big and exciting transitions for us. We will be selling our off the grid homestead in Missouri, which will be an amazing opportunity for the right stewards, and then we get to begin the fun work of seeking our next homestead here in Vermont.
I’m not sure if we will end up on raw land again, or if we will seek an established homestead, but whatever happens, I look forward to documenting the process and sharing it with my community.
I also have a lot of really fun projects to share with the Homestead Honey community. If you’re not already signed up for the free weekly Homestead Honey newsletter, I invite you to join (on my homepage) so I can keep you updated on future opportunities!
It’s been a real pleasure having Teri of the Homestead Honey join in on the fun! If you’ve enjoyed learning more about her, be sure to visit her website and leave a comment for us below letting us know you enjoyed it!
Be sure to check out the other participants within this series by CLICKING HERE! Each one has something unique to offer, so I’m sure you’ll find delight in each of them!