Homesteaders of the Year

Homesteaders of the Year

Homesteaders of the Year. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

When you hear the word homesteaders you typically think of the old west and the sodbusters trying to eke out a living from a desolate landscape. You don’t typically think of a couple homesteading inside the city limits of a place like Corvallis, Oregon. But that is what Charlyn Ellis and Mark Boyd have done.

ELLIS: I’ve got a large vegetable garden in the back. We live on an urban lot right in the center of town. It’s about a tenth of an acre but we have a tiny house, 625 square feet, and so we have a really big back yard. So we’ve just over time put in a whole series of raised beds and we’ve got vegetables growing there. I’ve got a couple of chickens and I’ve got a couple of bee hives in the back.

Ellis and Boyd have been named Homesteaders of the Year by Mother Earth News magazine. Jennifer Kongs, associate editor of Mother Earth News talks about the Homesteader award.

KONGS: It’s a brand new idea. We were talking about how we could reach out to people who weren’t quite sure what modern homesteading really meant. And one thing we thought was it’s always best to learn by example. It’s good to follow someone who’s done it, who’s made it and is willing to share their experiences with others.

The magazine asked for people to volunteer themselves or others for the award and have chosen 3 recipients for the inaugural award. Ellis says the choice to devote so much time and space to homesteading really boiled down to one thing.

ELLIS: It tastes better. I mean fundamentally a fresh vegetable tastes better than a dead old vegetable. I mean seriously, after eating really fresh produce until December and I looked at this head of broccoli one night and I was chopping it up and I thought it looks dead and we just shifted because we felt better eating the local produce.

Mother Earth News has always been a big advocate for the do-it-yourself life and according to Kongs they received over a hundred nominations the first year.

KONGS: It was a real cool experience reading through all the nominations for that exact reason because everybody applied the skills they had learned to their lives in different ways. Everyone had different passions. Some people were really into building, some people were into energy, some people were into just producing as much of their own food and eating as well as they possibly could and some people were a mix of all of those things.

Nominations are open for the 2013 Homesteader of the Year award at

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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