Together Erin and her husband from Blue Yurt Farms have come up with a BRILLIANT idea! A online homesteading community. For you, for me, for our neighbors, your neighbors, even great Uncle Joe.. all of us! A website for all to gather online and share knowledge, barter, ask questions and connect with other homesteaders in your local community. (ever need someone to milk your cow for you, so you can sneak away for vacate? I do!!) Enter.. The Homesteader HUB. I recently got the opportunity to pick Erin’s brain on homesteading and find out what the Hub-bub is all about?
1.) What is the Homesteader Hub?.
My husband and I came up with the idea for Homesteader hub after experiencing just how hard it is to build a local homestead network. We’ve been slowly finding likeminded people near us through randomly meeting people at farmers markets, or local potlucks and on Facebook or Craigslist over the past four years of homesteading, and while that’s pretty amazing…we realized it would be nice if it didn’t take YEARS. Added to that, we’re moving down to NC this month, and just for our own selfish homestead needs, we want a tool like Homesteader hub to speed up that networking process!
Finding other homesteaders near you via an interactive, searchable map will be so amazing, not to mention animal processors, hatcheries, livestock breeders, community kitchens and farmers markets!
Which is why we launched a homestead focused Kickstarter project called Homesteader Hub. We are experienced web developers and homesteaders — and can’t wait to create a super user friendly site that you can pop onto from your phone, tablet or computer, find people near you and then pop back off to go milk that goat, pick those tomatoes or just enjoy a quiet moment. There are enough time wasters online, we don’t want to add another.
But what we DO need is a way to bring this amazing nationwide homesteading community together. And that is how the Homesteader Hub idea was born. Now we need people to share, contribute and share again to make sure the project gets funded!
2.) As a homesteader, what has been your favorite act of community.
Building our pallet barn with friends that were visiting from the city was a lot of fun, but I think the most empowering act of community was participating in the crop mob at Tiny House Family’s homestead while doing research for Homesteader hub. It was just SO cool to see how involved they all were with each other’s homesteads, not to mention how much we got done in a day and how much knowledge was shared in a casual, offhand way.
It literally gave me goosebumps to be a part of it, and envision enabling OTHER people to organize these in their own regions. Really, really cool.
3.). What’s your thoughts on raising kids on the homestead? And I’m not talking goat babies.
We don’t have kids yet, but I think it’s a fantastic way to raise children. I grew up in a homesteading/foraging family, and loved my childhood. There’s just something about getting your hands dirty, collecting eggs from your own chickens and eating fresh food that is hard to beat.
That said, I have serious respect for homesteading parents. This is a hard thing to do even without distractions…if you’re also managing an exploring toddler, whew, I wish I could hand you a cold beer and gift you some nap time!
4.). What do you believe is the list useful tool on a homestead?
That sort of depends on the day, but I think top of my list are zip ties, baling twine, tarps, an extra pair of hands, straw and of course, wooden pallets!
5.) What has been your favorite barter?
Probably the time we moved from our rental house to our yurt, and bartered our TV for use of a white moving van and help from a few friends. Except we weren’t moving BOXES in that van…we were moving sheep, goats and a livestock guardian puppy. I rode in the van with them and ended up covered in unmentionables, but I had to make sure everyone was as stress free as possible. My husband was NOT sure about trading a flat screen TV for animal moving, but it made sense to me!
6.) suggestions or advice for folks that would like to move towards a self sufficient lifestyle.
Take it one step at a time, and don’t compare yourself to other people’s “highlight reel” — it can really skew how you feel about your own achievements, when in reality we are ALL struggling day-by-day to get to our dream picture of how life should/can be.
7.) what is your favorite current homestead resource?
Believe it or not, probably Facebook! I have friends all over the country that I can message with questions about fermenting, why one of my chickens is acting a certain way or what I should ask before buying a dairy cow. Now, the problem with that is when I need an actual helping hand…most of my really solid, serious online homesteading friends live in the Northwest. Not sure how that happened, but they are on the entire other side of the country from me! No good!
8.) if you could start over, what would you do differently.
Hmm, that’s a tough question. I think overall, if I could start over with our homesteading experiences…I’d rush myself less. The past four years have been a mad dash of trying to DO IT ALL. Like the time I had a sourdough starter, milk kefir grains, water kefir grains AND a kombucha scoby going all at the same time. And that’s not counting all of our animal chores outside. It was beyond overwhelming.
And I’m not entirely sure I’d get dairy goats again. Wait, strike that. I KNOW I wouldn’t get dairy goats again! That’s a year of my life I’m not getting back. 😉
9.). Once the Hub is up and running, are you going to discontinue Blue yurt blog?
Since we’re selling our yurt, and taking over farm stewardship responsibilities of Chestnut Ridge Farm in NC for the next few years, I’m thinking I’ll be putting most of my blog energy into growing Homesteader hub into an awesome resource site. Regardless the Blue Yurt Farms blog will always stay up and running for all of the years of resources packed into it!
Sound good? Want to know how to help make Homesteader hub happen?
Help us share the Homesteader hub project far and wide by first sharing this post with friends, family and fellow homesteaders. Then visit the Homesteader hub kickstarter project page. Even if you contribute just $2 towards building the site, you’re helping us create a collaborative online space where we can ALL build our own local “hubs” of like-minded homesteaders. The sky is the limit!
And a big thank you to Katie for sharing your online community with us! We absolutely love what you’re doing here.