Nominate Homesteaders of the Year

Homesteaders of the year will be named in September for annual Homesteading Education Month.

International Homesteading Education Month logo

September is International Homesteading Education Month.

Illustration By Darin Schroeder

Content Tools

I’m thrilled to report that GRIT has once again teamed up with Mother Earth News to celebrate International Homesteading Education Month, which occurs this September.

Knowing how to provide food and shelter for you and your family is as important today as it has ever been, and, as so many of you report to us, self-reliance offers a modicum of security and considerable personal satisfaction in these times.

The GRIT and CAPPER’s communities have always led the way when it comes to embracing responsibility and helping one another out, so we want to make a big deal about it, do our part to facilitate the conversation, and help you all share the good information.

So once again, we’d like you to think about some of the skills you recently learned that have been particularly useful, or those that you know well and share with other folks in your region by inviting them over for a demonstration of some kind. Alternatively, you can post the information on your blog, or post it on our website. Any way you do it, we’d like to help publicize your knowledge and accomplishments using our extensive print and online resources.

Whether you’re an expert gardener or you just learned how to control squash bugs in your area, folks need — and want — that information. Likewise, if you have had good success using pigs to work ground around your place, there’s nothing quite like turning others on to 21st-century homestead solutions.

A National Homesteading Education Month page is up on our website.

Through this page we’ll publicize your event in the magazine, on our homepage, and through our electronic newsletter, GRIT eNews (sign up for our electronic newsletter).

Now comes the really exciting stuff: We intend to identify several outstanding families from the GRIT and CAPPER’s community to honor as Homesteaders of the Year in our September/October 2013 issue. To nominate your family, friend, neighbor or someone else you know, please submit a brief nomination (500 words maximum), along with up to three compelling photos (high-resolution color images). This is a real chance to put some deserving folks in the spotlight and to help us get the word out on the fine work our community accomplishes every day. Please submit these by email to me at All entries submitted by July 1, 2013, will be considered.

I’m a little late with this announcement, but I wanted you all to start thinking about how we can collectively redefine the “American Dream” as something that is attainable, enjoyable, healthful and just plain old fun. Please check our website for up-to-date details as they become available. If you have ideas or questions related to this project, please don’t hesitate to send me an email.

Whether you’re preparing for this year’s tomato harvest or planning a new chicken tractor, we’d like to know what you’re up to this season. And if you have any interesting homesteading experiences to share, I’d sure love to hear about them (

See you in May,


Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .