By Kristi Cook
Kristi has lived in the country her entire life, but a distaste for commercial food production led her and her family to turn their country property into a more self-sufficient homestead. Kristi defines a homesteader as “anyone striving to reduce their dependence on commercialism, whether it’s through gardening, raising meat animals and/or bees, going off-grid, or buying locally sourced goods.” Kristi believes that it’s not the degree of self-reliance that defines a homesteader, but instead the mindset and the simple reduction of dependence.
At Tender Hearts Homestead, you’ll find two horses, a large flock of (mostly) heritage breed chickens, two rescue dogs, and one tabby cat. There is also a full garden of tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, and much, much more. Kristi says, “We’ve always gardened; however, the cost of commercial organic produce (and the lack of true organic guidelines) keeps us increasing our own garden as a means to afford healthy, organic food. And fresh food just plain tastes better!”
Kristi has acquired a long list of homesteading skills, including canning, animal husbandry, soap making, and more. She’s currently in the process of learning the ins and outs of beekeeping, and is excited to pass her on her homesteading knowledge and help empower those pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle.