2014 Homesteaders of the Year

Five families display their self-sufficiency skills in hopes of inspiring the next generation of homesteaders.

  • Fence and red house on a homestead.
    Photo by iStockphoto.com/aimintang
  • Lou and Nell Fletcher enjoying their garden.
    Photo courtesy Lou and Nell Fletcher
  • Taking care of the animals at Heritage Meadows Farm.
    Photo courtesy Amy McKamey
  • The homestead of Jennifer Ulman and family.
    Photo courtesy Jennifer Ulman
  • Jennifer Ulman and family in the garden.
    Photo courtesy Jennifer Ulman
  • The homestead of Jasen and Lindsey Brown.
    Photo courtesy Jasen and Lindsey Brown
  • A modern day homestead.
    Photo by iStockphoto.com/JenniferPhotographyImaging

This year we received a mountain of nominations for the 2014 GRIT and CAPPER’S Homesteaders of the Year recognition. Sorting, mulling, discussing and narrowing them was torture of the best kind. In the end, we selected three winners and two runners-up who embody, to us, the real spirit of a gritty homesteading tradition. Here we offer you a glimpse into the lives of our five Homesteaders of the Year.

Lou & Nell Fletcher (Winners)

City/State: Sedalia, Colorado

How many acres do you have? 240 acres

Ages: Ages 82 and 81

Additional info: Married 61 years with 3 children, 12 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Quote: “We began working toward self-sufficiency on our honeymoon, coming home with two bushels each of peaches and tomatoes. We stopped at my mother's, asking for her canning equipment, which she no longer used, and, at Lou's home ranch — then deserted — canned everything on a two-burner kerosene stove. We were still in college.”

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