What Modern Homesteaders Really Want

The idea of homesteading is not a new one as many newly minted “modern homesteaders” will point out.  After all, as a species we humans seemingly mastered the art of living off the land long ago. We mastered fire, clothed ourselves, and even preserved the food we figured out how to grow so it could later nourish us.

These were remarkable advancements, but we didn’t stop there.

Mankind continually “evolved” to become more “leisurely.” We abandoned hunting skills, opting instead to crowd tens of thousands of animals into small yards and houses. Then, we dosed the animals’ feed with antibiotics so they would live long enough to reach slaughter weight.

We traded fire for HVAC systems to the point where most people today have trouble starting a fire. We abdicated growing and preserving food at home to mega-farms and large corporations. Those vital skills have become near extinct for most citizens.

If you don’t think so, ask yourself this: when was the last time you made soap or operated a pressure canner?

modern homesteaders

4 Reasons Why We Eat the Animals We Love

Sorry PETA, eating the "right" meat is best for people, the animals and the environment

Of all the decisions we contemplated when we began farming a decade ago, choosing to farm livestock was the easiest. That meant we would care for livestock, and then eat animals we cared for.

There were four reasons why this path was so clearly right for us then, and continues to be today.

Tim PollyThe first reason is that we love animals. All animals. One of the things we joked about when we first bought our sprawling acreage was that we could have as many pets as we wanted. Here I am holding one of our dogs back when we lived in a suburban HOA (when our clothes were always clean and I had an awesome head of hair) 🙂

My wife, Liz, is attracted to pet stores the way Winnie Mandela is attracted to shoes, so it was easy for us to dream of raising chickens, cows, pigs, sheep and any other animals we could get our hands on.

But if you love animals, you can’t eat them…can you?

eating animals

The Original Prep School

When kids were allowed to play outside

I recall playing outside as a youngster until dark, when mom would call me home—usually for the third time. My mother, like her mother before her, could recall the same memory from her youth.

Today’s children will have no such recollection, as childhood has transitioned from outdoors to indoors, and virtual reality has replaced the real world.

Whereas I spent hours each day playing outdoors, a recent study revealed that the typical American child spends only four to seven minutes per day playing outside. By contrast, digital screens hypnotize our children for more than seven hours each day.

prep school

How to Create a Farm Marketing Website that Converts

Let’s be honest. Marketing is a tough chore for owners of small farms and all food businesses.

Many websites are simply used as outdated online brochures, filled with distorted logos and images. They’re rarely updated and often use generic text that reads like every other farm or food website.

I get it…marketing isn’t your “thing” and you have lots of other stuff to do.

farm marketing websiteBut let’s be clear…nothing is more important to the success of your small farm or food business than marketing.


Because effective marketing brings in customers and, if you don’t have customers, what’s the point?

Where most websites fail (farm or otherwise) is that they are not designed with the most important goal in mind. And that is, conversion. Converting visitors to subscribers and converting subscribers to paying customers.

And conversion starts with having a website that attracts visitors. This guide will show you how to create a website that does just that for your farm and entices visitors into a relationship with you.

And, truth be told, this guide is a great tool regardless of what type of business you own, because 95% of farm and food marketing is the same as any other business to consumer marketing.

Get your free guide now by simply joining the Small Farm Nation list. That way we can update you when Small Farm Nation launches…exciting times ahead!


farm website

Season 1: Episode 30: Farming/Homesteading as a Retirement Strategy | Homesteading | Farming [PODCAST]

When people think of retirement, they often think of golf or travel. But what about homesteading or farming as a retirement strategy? In this final episode of season 1, I’ll share with you how we and many other farmsteaders are thinking very old-school about  retirement.

Listen to the Podcast

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Season 1: Episode 29: Farmstead Update: Shaking the Winter Blues | Homesteading | Farming [PODCAST]

Spring has sprung but the grass ain’t ris, and we can’t find where the flowers is. This week, Liz joins me as we shake the winter blues and share an update of what’s happening on the farm.

Listen to the Podcast

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farm update

Season 1: Episode 28: Why We Eat the Animals We Love | Homesteading | Farming [PODCAST]

We love animals, so farming livestock was an easy decision for us. So how can we eat the animals we love? Today, I’ll tell you why PETA is dead wrong and why eating the “right” meat is best for people, the environment AND the animals.

Listen to the Podcast

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Season 1: Episode 27: 23 Questions to Ask Before Buying Rural Land | Homesteading | Farming [PODCAST]

When you search for rural land you’ll find all sorts of places that look promising. But how do you know if you’ve found your dream property? Today, I’ll share what we’ve learned and cover the 23 questions you should answer before buying that rural property.

Listen to the Podcast

Subscribe to Self-Sufficient Life on iTunesStitcher RadioGoogle Play or TuneIn