Your family garden has finally eeked out a few herbs and veggies this season, hooray! It’s no easy feat to make things grow; we give major props to the folks who go full-fledge farmer and spend their days in the dirt. Take a peek at eight families whose life on the land is a labor of love.
Prairie Homestead – Wyoming
Jill Winger, owner and content creator of the popular blog The Prairie Homestead, which follows one family's journey of owning a homestead in southern Wyoming, wasn’t raised in a rural setting. She has, however, been obsessed with country living since she was a young girl and after meeting and marrying a born-and-raised Wyoming boy, she knew she wanted to purchase land and start growing food as soon as possible.
Their hard work paid off. Jill says “The satisfaction of eating a meal you’ve raised entirely on your own land, with your two hands, is pure exhilaration. Not only does it taste better than anything you’ll ever buy at the store, it’s one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.” But she recognizes that homesteading and farming can be a gamble. “You can prepare and do your research as much as humanly possible, but you can’t avoid everything. Animals die, weather patterns change, and sometimes you are just at the mercy of the elements. This year is a good example of that—we are dealing with a variety of issues in our garden, which is resulting in extremely low yields. You just have to roll with the punches.”
Being able to raise their family in the homesteading lifestyle was a primary motivator for the Wingers. Their three kids are involved and enthusiastic about every aspect of the farm and Jill loves the confidence, responsibility, and understanding of nature’s rhythms they’ve gained from the experience. Their favorite thing about the farm is Oakley, the Brown Swiss milk cow who provides all of the family's milk supply, a new calf every year and manure for the pastures and gardens. A close second? Being able to eat fresh veggies straight from the plant.
The Winger homestead is a work-in-progress so tours aren’t currently available. You can follow their journey at theprairiehomestead.com
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