Common Sense Homesteading is about using sound judgement to be more self-reliant. We’ll share stories, recipes, ideas and hopefully a few laughs. Your homestead can be anything from acreage in the country to an apartment in the city – it’s a mindset, not a location. It’s an attitude that says, “I can do that!”
Welcome to our homestead! We look forward to getting to know you. Let’s roll up those sleeves and get to work.
|Me, at around age one, out in the garden.|
I was raised on a Northwest Wisconsin dairy farm where frugality and providing food for the family were a way a life. My mom was a great inspiration to me. She always cooked and baked from scratch, gardened extensively, and kept the pantry well-stocked with home preserved foods.
I earned my BS in Mathematics at UW Superior, and attended graduate school at UW Madison, where I studied renewable energy. After graduation, I moved to Green Bay, married my college sweetheart, August, and began work at Public Energy Systems (PES).
PES provided repair and installation of solar hot water and solar heating systems for homes and businesses, and operated the world’s largest flat plate collector solar thermal array. Unfortunately, circumstances change, natural gas was cheap for a time, and the giant collector array was torn down. At this point I was also expecting my first child, and so I came home to be a fulltime mom. Baby one was followed by baby two, my beautiful boys, August and Duncan, whom I now homeschool.
We spent nine years in the suburbs of Green Bay where we cultivated large vegetable and flower gardens as well as fruits and culinary herbs. The boys were able to graze their way around the yard.
In 2005, we relocated to 35 acres in Kewaunee County, where we designed and built our Wisconsin Green Built and Energy Star certified home. The home has an array of “green” features, including:
- Solar Water Heating and Passive Solar Design
- Insulated Concrete Form construction
- An Attached Greenhouse
- A Root Cellar
- Handicap Accessibility
- Environmentally Friendly Materials
The large organic gardens contain over 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables, most of which are heirlooms. We freeze, water bath can, pressure can, dry, and ferment to preserve food, and use the root cellar, cool storage, cold frames, and green house to extend the harvest without additional energy inputs. I am also interested in natural health and wellness, including herbalism, wildcrafting, homebrew probiotics and ferments. When I’m not busy with all of that, I enjoy ancient history, science fiction and the LOTR trilogy. (Best movies ever!) I never want to stop learning.
Like many people, we went through some ups and downs when the economy tanked. My husband is now working two hours away, and I say a little prayer each day that he can find a job closer to home soon.
I have written for a number of local and national publications including Taste of Home and Countryside magazines, The Healthy Independent and Healthy Thoughts.
Questions? Contact me at laurie at commonsensehome dot com.