About Us

the Homemade HomesteadSo, Who Am I and Why Am I Here?

To keep it to the point, I am a New England wife and mom of four, a freelance writer and ghostwriter, and happy homesteader.  I grew up on a sizable dairy farm here in my home state of Massachusetts and I was your typical farm kid who hated my chores and swore about it every day. Also typical of us farm kids, as I grew older I came to appreciate that life more and more, and by now in my thirties I’ve come around full-circle and am glad for the life skills and lessons I’ve learned along the way. I even own a cow, something I swore in my teens I would never, EVER, do.

Growing up my farming family was pretty self-sufficient, by default I guess more than anything but probably also because my family was large, and it takes a lot of ingenuity, energy, and planning to keep a family of 8 kids and 2 parents happy, healthy, clothed, and fed. My Dad worked hard each and every day (and still does), and my mom was (and still is) a woman of many, many talents. Neither of them has ever been a person to back away from any task and think they don’t have what it takes to get a job done. That’s a spirit that I learned without realizing it, and it is an attitude that has served me very well as my husband and I work more and more towards good living and self-sufficiency. I did learn many, many real skills from my mother and my father, but most importantly I learned that you can always learn something new, and to not be afraid to give it a tray.

Today in my own family my husband and I work to impart the same skills and lessons to our own kids, and to give them some real, actual life skills for the future. Whether they end up going the same route as we have to be primarily self-sustaining or not, I take comfort in knowing that in this uncertain world my children will at least have the exposure and some knowledge to get them by if they so choose or if the time comes when that really becomes a necessity, rather than a lifestyle choice.

Just A Bit About Our Lifestyle and Our Daily Lives

Not to bore you with every detail, but I would like to give you an idea of who we are and the lifestyle we live. We are not fanatics, not off-the-gridders without phone, electronics, or Internet (although I don’t see that would be a bad choice, either!), and we are not what some people might call “crunchy” or “granolas” (for lack of better terms to get the point across).

We are actually pretty typical in a lot of ways, and pretty atypical in a lot of others. I think we are pretty normal; but then I am sure there are plenty who do not think that of us, and that’s fine for them, it’s their opinion. It does not define me.

Basically I am a country girl who believes in eating real, wholesome foods and fats, and believes in our bodies’ ability and affinity for real living and eating. I have a bit of a paranoia about mass-market foods, which probably gets a bit deeper every year but we are not completely off or against it. I still enjoy the occasional indulgence in Lay’s chips and dip. Largely, though, the foods that we eat here are home-grown and homemade. We take great pride and comfort in this fact, and it’s something we truly enjoy doing. We milk a small, friendly Jersey cow, grow a variety of meat animals and have a huge garden that takes us from one year to the next.

As I mentioned I work and write as a freelance writer, although the intention is to move more into self-publishing and information-sharing this year. My husband and I both have worked “real” jobs and he owns his own logging business. We do not try to make money off our homesteading ventures, simply to support ourselves and our family in a meaningful way that we enjoy.

That’s it in a nutshell but as time goes on no doubt you’ll be hearing more about the specifics of how this is done and how we are able to marry life in these crazy modern times with our more traditional choice of living. I hope to be a source of learning, confidence, and inspiration to my readers and hope to help others find their own level of reward in similar living.

Contact, question, and comments are always welcome here. I welcome you to my site and hope to get to know more about you who are visiting here, and share what knowledge I can.


5 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Pingback: Welcome! Here’s A Bit About Me…. | the Homemade Homestead

    • I don’t keep up much on Facebook…it becomes one more unwieldy task and I find this site is an easier place for people to find information. I am on Instagram @maryellward

  2. Dear Mary
    Many thanks Wine Making Made Easy is well written, enjoyable and enlightening, My wines have been ;speriments” in off the shelf stuff and you have inspired me to explore the real deal. A couple of questions about wines.; 1/ Have you ever tried to make wines from apple cider. In South Central MA we have two (maybee more) orchards that produce all natural cider. I have tried and failed using cider BUT that was before you explained yeast to me. 2/ (if toilet paper can be in short supply ,maybee yeast is next) have you experimented with the natural yeasts in grapes to make your must? Obviously Noah did not have yeast to make his first wine after the flood. again , thank you for an enjoyable read. You have a good sense of humor, a necessary trait to survive in todays
    political atmosphere.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback, and your compliments!

      I have not tried to make wine from apple cider. I believe that would only give you hard cider (not such a bad thing, though!). I have made an apple mead before, but from fresh apples and honey. If you wanted an apple wine I would suggest starting with apple juice or apples.

      I have not experimented with wild yeast but yes, of course that is a thing. It’s just that it’s something of a crap shoot. I do recall an aunt trying it with the wild yeast on the grapes when I was young. No one was too awfully impressed. LOL It’s just that there’s no control over whether a good yeast or a not-so-great yeast gets the jump. But yes, if yeast gets scarce again (and you’re right—last year it definitely did!), I would not be opposed to trying.

      Thanks again for the comments and questions, it’s very much appreciated!

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