start here

Start Here

Hello first time visitor!

I’m so glad the powers of the internet have landed you on my site. In a world where thousands of blogs are started every day it’s no small miracle that you’ve made it here. And now that I have your attention I’m going to do the best I can to keep it.


I’m Lydia. The INFJ, 4-wing-3 Enneagram type that usually prefers to face the world through a format I can control, like a blog. I’m a vegetable grower, long distance runner and a chicken lover (though my dogs and husband are a very close second). I live for the times I can be outside, whether that be hiking up a mountain, hoeing a row of potatoes, or hammocking under a shade tree with a book I just can’t put down.

There’s no love like chicken love.

A simple three week course my freshman year of college about the perils of the global food system changed the trajectory of my life. As I delved into a deeper understanding of this broken system, I knew with certainty that I wanted to be involved with a restorative food movement. I latched onto the topic of food security with ferocious tenacity and pursued every opportunity to immerse myself in sustainable agriculture.

This has lead me to some unusual places, from backpacking through villages in Northern Thailand to living in a yurt on a ‘beyond organic’ farm in rural Michigan. I even eschewed the responsibility of wedding planning to spend four months WWOOFing on a tropical botanical sanctuary and coffee plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii. (My now-husband can’t be too mad at me- he got a trip to the tropics out of it!)

Just weeks before we moved to our homestead

I’m a free spirit but one special guy was able to tie me down.  Ian, (whom I married in August 2015) is even more of an environmentalist than I am and never stops encouraging me to pursue what I love. If I’m the dreamer, he’s the doer, and he provides the stability I need to have the time to pursue creative outlets like this. Together we can make a powerful combination.

And that brings me to the inspiration of this blog. Two weeks after our wedding, we moved to the mountains of West Virginia to become caretakers of a historic Appalachian homestead. We live half an hour away from reliable cell service, on a 450 acre land trust, with two nuns. It’s a unique experience to say the least.

Definitely the first post you should read.

moving to the mountains


Maybe I’m an old fashioned blogger, but it seems to me that if you were interested in dry “how to” articles you’d just be checking Google and would skip my site altogether. I can’t compete with every How to Raise Chickens Properly homesteading article on the internet and think it would a little foolish to try. Instead, I will write about what I AM an expert on, which is why this site can give you perspectives of homesteading topics through my voice and from our personal experiences. Want to know about silkie chickens? Raising Meat Rabbits? Baking in an earth oven? I’ve got you covered.

This blog is my baby. It’s my creative outlet and largely experimental. It may change wildly from week to week. Frankly I’m still a little shocked that my readership has ballooned beyond my mother. But readers keep coming so I must be doing something right.

Finally, a one sided conversation is meaningless. Please engage with me: subscribe, comment, maybe share what I write. A paradigm shift of our inept modern food system will take far more than one voice. It’s going to take a community, a national, even global consensus to reject the status quo.

But it’s always going to start with a conversation.

11 thoughts on “Start Here

  1. Lydia it is so nice to meet you and see the blog that you work so hard on… It is also great to find another transplanted hillbilly. I just wanted to let you know that their is a small group of other WV bloggers on Facebook who try to keep in touch and share posts and problems so if you have time add me as a friend on Face Book and I will get you the info you need to join. We try not to be to formal but share links and information when we all have time. I hope to be reading a lot and maybe we can share the things we love and hate more.. .thank you for stopping in and I am following along too! Jolynn

    1. Hi! Thanks so much for checking in! And thanks for the tip about the Facebook group- that sounds like a community I absolutely want to join. I will definitely be finding you on facebook. Keep on writing. 🙂

  2. Hi Lydia, I just read your article in Mother Earth online and it was great. Rabbits for meat? Have these people ever eaten squirrel? have they raised their own beef? Pork? Goats? drunk goats milk or made goat’s milk cheese? These people need to come back down to earth. I like the way the native Americans thank the spirit of the animal sacrificed it’s life to sustain them. Caring for your own animals is a gift to them, in that they have good care, good food, medical attention as needed and because, if for no other reason, they are fun to have around. Now I can’t say that I truly enjoyed getting out at 11 pm to chase our cows out of the neighbor’s alfalfa field and find where the deer broke the electric fence connection and string it all together and then back to bed, but I appreciated our food a whole lot more when I knew that “Charlotte” the sow gave us incredible roasts, etc. As a side note, my sister was visiting and would not eat Charlotte. She went to the supermarket and made us a “homemade” dinner that night.

  3. Hi Lydia, I just found your site and enjoyed your rabbit story and the freelance writing article. I jotted down the sites and plan to check them out for myself. I am a displaced country girl who had chickens, ducks, pigs and chickens but now sadly live in AZ in an HOA (Ugh!) My husband is getting established in a business that will allow us to move in the next couple of years and we are looking east to buy a small home and land that will allow us to live with all the critters that I miss. Today, I have a large garden started from seed, an avid canner, and also have planted several fruit trees-just harvested my first apricots yesterday-heaven on earth!

  4. Hi Lydia. It’s nice to meet you! I just discovered you today and so look forward to knowing what you are up to. I live all by myself so things get a bit more complex without an immediate support system, but I have wanted to be a “homesteader” for quite awhile. Unfortunately, I live in a large city but would love to get back to the life I had as a child–in the country with the animals and birds, living off the land. Do you have back issues to when you started the blog? I’d love to “start at the beginning” with you.
    Wishing you much success and happiness!


  5. Hi, Lydia: I have just read your article on jellyfish diapers. Assuming they take on in the market, sounds like a great step forward for our landfills. The only thing I don’t like the sound of, is that the manufacturers use antibiotics to destroy the jellyfish sting. Judging by the number of baby and elder diapers used in our world, even nano-antibiotics could cause a problem. Dis your research address this issue?

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