Hi!  I'm Rebecca, and I want to be a producer instead of a consumer.  “A producer of what?” you ask. Many things.  Of the things that we are told that we can only purchase at the store.  Of the food and other goods that we have been told that we must get from gigantic companies.  Of ideas that are my own instead of those ideas that the media tells us that we must adopt by subscribing to the status quo.  

A Little About Me  

I have always been environmentally- and simple-living aware, which I can thank my parents for.  They served as a great examples to me with their values such as recycling, making due with less, and living a more simplified life.  They taught me that there are many people around us and around the world that have so much less than we do, and that they are our brothers and sisters.  They taught me the value of hard work, and the value of a dollar earned and saved.  They taught me to have compassion for the poor, and that the world belongs to the Creator, and we are to be its caretakers.  They also taught me to respect and value every life, be it a neighbor, a dolphin in the ocean, or an unborn child.  For these and many other values, I have my parents to thank, as they have helped to shape the woman that I have become today.

I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology, a Masters Degree in Environmental Science  (with a specialization in Applied Ecology) and a Master of Public Affairs Degree (with a specialization in Sustainable Development).  I also hold a Permaculture Design Course Certificate from June 2012 (more on permaculture below).  I am keen to seek out solutions that meet human needs, but also preserve the environment as much as possible.  I have wide interests in ecology, sustainability, green living, sustainable agriculture, herbalism, alternative health & nutrition, and all things nature. 

I have done work in habitat restoration and prescribed burning projects as an AmeriCorps member, worked on a project surveying streams in the North Dakota Badlands, and served a second AmeriCorps term as a Local Government Energy Conservation Specialist to help establish energy use baselines for the county-owned properties of two local counties, as well as work on employee energy-use reduction educational campaigns.  I am currently involved in a community garden coordinating committee at my church, with our newly established garden having had it’s first growing season in 2013.

Among my many interests, I enjoy gardening, cooking, creative writing, hiking, crafts, reading, an eclectic variety of music styles (from classical music, to folk, to alternative rock), yoga, movies, travel, and art.  I consider myself to be a lifelong learner, and I love to learn new things and gain new skills.

My Work and Journey Toward Greater Personal Resiliency

Due to the Great Recession that began at the end of 2008 (the same time that I graduated from gradschool with my Masters Degrees), it has been difficult to find permanent work in my field and I have held mostly temporary work and internships since graduating. 

In between the various temporary jobs and internships that I have had, I took a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in June of 2012, and it absolutely rocked my world!  I began to see environmental challenges in a much more hopeful light.   If you listen to nearly any media channel or read most web pages, you are likely to become depressed, particularly when environmental issues are discussed.  In stark contrast, permaculture, a design system based upon principles found in nature, has positive solutions for many of the problems that we face today, including issues in agriculture, ecology, economy, and community.    The perspective of permaculture is one of abundance and restoration, in contrast to the larger culture, where the focus on scarcity is the norm.  I will likely touch upon permaculture quite a bit in this blog, so hold onto your hat, open your mind, and prepare to have some hope!

Ultimately, my goal in writing to you, Dear Reader, is to empower you to start doing things for yourself, when you can, however you can, even if it is only baby steps, little by little.  Many of us lead excruciatingly busy lives- I know that I certainly do.  I have experience, like many of you deal with on a daily basis, working outside the home full-time, coming home in the evening to cook dinner, gardening as I’m able to on the side, and somehow fitting in homesteading projects like growing and preserving food, as well as trying to balance it all with being married and family life.

In addition to having parents who emphasized simple living in the home that I grew up in, having been previously unemployed between the temporary jobs that I’ve held over the last several years has forced me to become even more resourceful and learn how to creatively get by on a limited budget.  It has also served to remind me of what is most important in life.  I am now resolved to become more of a producer of things at home, as store-purchased goods can become quite expensive, and when food is prepared from scratch at home, it is also usually much tastier and much more nutritious.

I am on a journey to become more resilient in my own life and to do as much as I can myself so that I don't need to be as reliant on a system that is proving to be more and more shaky and unreliable everyday.   The more that we can do for ourselves as well as do together with our neighbors and communities, the more resilient we will become as individuals and as people when difficult times come. 

Where I Live

I currently live in a house on the outer ring of a metropolitan area in the upper Midwest- just on the edge of an urban, but not quite suburban area.  I don’t have a very large yard (~1/4 acre), but there is still a lot of things that can be done to make efficient use of the space available to me.   I have a good amount of shade in my backyard, but there is still enough sun that I can take advantage of to grow a number of things.

One of my goals for this blog is to share with you my experiences with growing food in limited spaces, and hopefully you can learn from my trials and tribulations, and my successes as well.  I certainly don’t know everything, and I am learning more all of the time.  My plan for this blog is to include a wide range of homesteading-related topics, such as gardening, food preservation, permaculture info and techniques, recipes and cooking tips (including gluten- and dairy-free foods), making and using herbal medicines, sustainability and simple living.

Why “Day by Day” Homesteading?

Homesteading- "a lifestyle of self-sufficiency"- Wikipedia

The art of learning homesteading skills, for the majority of us, is a step-by-step process.  Many of us who have been living in the culture of the Western world within the last several generations grew up in homes with modern conveniences and processed foods, and we lead extremely busy lives.  The skills and knowledge that our ancestors once knew and used for their daily tasks of living have, in most cases, been long lost.  Most of us weren't taught these skills that our ancestors relied on every day to survive, and now we have to relearn how to do most of these things ourselves. 

Our food is produced and grown in far off places, even from the other side of the world.  We rarely think about where our food comes from, the resources that it took to get it to us, or the people who grew and produced it so that we could eat.  "Cheap" food has been the cultural norm, and what is cheap, quick, and easy often gets the priority regarding what ends up on our plates.  Unfortunately, this “cheap” food has come at a price nutritionally, environmentally, and socially, and is increasingly reflected in the declining health of the United States.  Sadly, this is also occurring around the world in places where the Standard American Diet has been emulated.  We have also, in many cases, lost the community and family aspects of sitting down and having a meal together that was lovingly prepared, requiring both time and effort. 

My vision for Day to Day Homesteading is to recapture some of the simplicity and balance back into my own life.  I want to share this journey with you, my Dear Reader.  I offer you an opportunity to learn along with me.   This blog will be a diary of sorts where I share my journey toward a more simplified and resilient life, and I plan to include both my successes and many of my failures, so that you can learn from my experiences.  To me, Day by Day Homesteading means on a daily basis taking small steps toward independence, increased skill levels, and hopefully increased resiliency during difficult times.    

Because of my personal beliefs in the Creator, Day by Day Homesteading also means to me that by faith, I am going where God leads me on a daily basis, and to become more and more of who I was created to be.  I am called to rely on Him daily to provide for myself, the needs of my family, and to serve Him and others while I am present here on the Earth.  My views regarding our crucial responsibility of environmental stewardship also come from this faith.  I believe that “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1), and that we must seek to pass things on to future generations in a better condition than when we received them.  This is because the resources we have available to us do not belong to us; they are on loan only, and we are but caretakers.  Our actions have a real connection to others around the world, and what we do can positively or negatively affect the quality of life of someone far away, or in the case of other living creatures, something.

This will not be a religiously-focused blog, and I certainly welcome readers of all beliefs to become a part of this community, but Dear Reader, my faith is who I am, and this is part of what makes me, me.


While this blog will focus primarily on homesteading topics like gardening, I may from time to time share health information that I have learned along the way in dealing with a number of personal health challenges.  I do not have any official medical training, but I do enjoy sharing what I have learned about health, wellness, and nutrition with others, in the hopes that they might also be helped by what I have learned.

Please note that any health info presented in this blog is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be a substitute for any medical advice that you may receive from a qualified health care practitioner.  Please discuss any changes in your diet, supplement use, medications, or exercise with your chosen health care practitioner.   While I encourage you to learn as much as you can about nutrition, health, and wellness, any health information that I present is to be used solely at your own risk.

My Dietary Philosophy

In addition to my needs for gluten-free and mostly milk-free foods (I am not sensitive to butter, but I cannot tolerate any other milk products.), I believe in eating and cooking nourishing whole foods. However, although I try to eat as healthfully as possible, admittedly due to a busy lifestyle, I sometimes find it difficult to completely avoid all packaged and processed foods.  When eating processed foods becomes necessary due to time crunches, I try to choose processed foods that are as close to healthy whole foods as you can get, such as grass-fed beef hot dogs.

In general, I subscribe to the dietary principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and the guidelines in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, which emphasize dietary principles that have nourished robust humans for generations until the advent of our modern food system of bankrupt nutrition.  Examples of foods that abide by the Weston A. Price dietary principles include:  bone broths, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, and the importance of high-quality saturated fats for health and fertility.

In Closing

I want to encourage you: Don’t be afraid to try new things just because you haven’t done something before.  This blog will be a testimony of my experiments in the homesteading lifestyle, and I encourage you to experiment as well.  Your life will become so much richer, and you will feel empowered when you can provide more for yourself and your family than you could before, step by step.  What have you really got to lose?

October 2013

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