Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen

Our Small House Homestead

By Ben Cohen

“In July of 2013, my wife and I bought the 3.5-acre little homestead (near Sanford, Michigan) that we have come to call Small House. Here in our small home we strive to live a simple life in tune with the land and its seasons. We have two young children and take pride in knowing that they will grow up understanding where their food comes from and the importance of healthy sustainable living.

“I work from home, running a cottage business we call Small House Farm. I attend farmers’ markets and art and food events to sell our handcrafted home and body products that we make with our own freshly pressed oils.”

Ben plans to use his GRIT blog to share the many adventures of life on the family’s homestead.

His current project is harvest: “It’s harvest season here so we are very busy picking, canning, drying, and storing the abundant bounty of this year’s crops.” On the to-do list are adding a chicken coop in the spring and expanding their maple syrup evaporator set-up before next year.

The family’s move to the country, Ben says, was prompted by the need for space and privacy. “We needed more … in order to live the sustainable and healthy lifestyles that we wished to have, not only for us, bur for our children as well.”

Ben says the family garden was planted because of “hunger. We strive to eat fresh healthy food that comes from a source that we trust and believe in. There was no better option than to simply grown our own.”

The garden at Small House Farm includes tomatoes, peppers, peas, green beans, dry beans, gooseberries, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, garlic, carrots, pumpkins, melons, squash, spinach, lettuce, chard, herbs, even quinoa and more. While the farm is not yet home to any animals, they plan to add a small flock of chickens come spring.

Ben lists the family’s “country” skills as gardening, canning, drying, wildcrafting, cooking, hunting, wood cutting, fire building and dancing.

To Ben, the modern homesteader is “someone who puts forth the time and effort to build, grow and create the things needed for life without having to rely on the grocery store and mega marts providing it for him.”

And his philosophy of country life is pretty simple, yet it says it all.

“Country Life > City Life”

Read more about Small House Farm on Ben’s blog, or follow them on Facebook