Jean Silver

Jean Silver

Old Chicago Gal in the Northwoods

By Jean Silver

On Capering Pines Farm, in Wisconsin, Jean Silver is learning the ropes of living independently and off the land, which she hopes to share with readers through her blog. She likes writing how-to articles on handcrafts, animal husbandry, putting up food and other country skills, too.

Her current project is growing spinach in a cold frame she built last fall, a little too late for growing plants late, but she’s seen sprouting greens through the snow on the lid and is waiting eagerly to see how much she can stretch the growing season. She’s also planning to build an apiary, expand the grape arbor, improve her weaving skills and start raising angora goats.

Jean and her family moved to the country after realizing that they didn’t like feeling dependent on government assistance and services for every little thing; instead, they are seeking greater self-sufficiency in the country. It helps that grubbing in the dirt has been a passion of hers since childhood, even as a city dweller.

Jean describes a homesteader as “someone who lives, to the greatest degree possible, in a self-sufficient manner, independent of the grocery and the grid for survival.”

She shares her homestead with a golden retriever, a cat, Rhode Island Red and Redstar chickens, guinea fowl, and Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. In the garden there are green beans, peas, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, spinach, lettuces, three kinds of squash, pumpkins, kidney beans, cucumbers,  apples, blueberries and grapes.

Canning, hide tanning, weaving, spinning, knitting, milking, goat breeding, meat smoking, gardening and herbalism are all among Jean’s country skills.

Find more about Jean’s adventures at her personal blog, Naked Under Carhartts.