Homesteading Leads Individuals Closer to Self-Sufficiency

Homesteaders of the year share their triumphs and struggles of becoming more self-sufficient.

| November/December 2012

  • Homesteading
    Positioning a homestead near a body of water is smart for irrigation and personal use.
    Photo By
  • Droz Homestead
    Jeff used horses to level the ground where his hand-built house now stands.
    Photo By Jeff Droz
  • Beache Homestead
    Tristan Beache homesteads in urban Chicago where he raises chickens, ducks, rabbits, and grows a number of vegetables.
    Photo By A.J. Viola
  • Burrows Homestead
    Heidi Burrows and her family built this house on their Maine homestead.
    Photo By Heidi Burrows
  • Luethje Homestead
    Jennifer and her husband homestead off-grid in a solar- and wood-powered home.
    Photo By Jennifer Luethje
  • Pierce-McDonald Homestead
    Tauna calls an old farmhouse home where she uses natural resources for her every day needs.
    Photo By Tauna Pierce-McDonald
  • Miller Homestead
    Horses and goats are just a few of the animals Renee keeps at her homestead.
    Photo By Renee Miller

  • Homesteading
  • Droz Homestead
  • Beache Homestead
  • Burrows Homestead
  • Luethje Homestead
  • Pierce-McDonald Homestead
  • Miller Homestead

GRIT teamed with its sister publication, Mother Earth News, to celebrate International Homesteading Education Month in September. We asked readers to tell us why they deserve GRIT’s recognition as our Homesteaders of the Year. These are their stories.

Jana & Jeff Droz (Winner)

Age: Jana, 29; Jeff, 35

City/Town and State: Rich Hill, Missouri

How long have you been homesteading? I (Jeff) began my homesteading lifestyle in 2005; seven years. Jana joined me on this adventure one year ago.

What compels you to lead this lifestyle? A desire to live in a way that complements — rather than competes with — nature and leaves more resources for the generations that come after us. 

What do you think sets your piece of property and operation apart from others? When I bought the property, there was no road, pond, buildings or utilities. It is now a comfortable place to call home. I used horses for leveling the ground for the house, dragging logs to the sawmill, and occasional trips to town. Having no monthly utility bills (no sewer, water, electric, cable) is a fairly unique position to be in (here) in the Midwest. 

Sunny Dae
12/1/2012 4:28:47 PM

Is there any information on the acreage of land they are homesteading?

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