Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet the Homestead and Preparedness Writers Julie from Home Ready Home

If you haven't stopped by Home Ready Home. You really should. Julie a self professed soccer mom and suburbanite has begun to make her family more self-reliant. Something we could all work on. She is a mixture of homesteader and prepper. Her site is really well rounded with information. She covers a wide range of topics. I am honored that she allowed me this opportunity to let you get to know her.

How old are you? 
Older than I'd like to be. :)

Do you consider yourself a prepper, a homesteader, or a mixture of both? 

Funny you should ask because lately I've been trying to figure out where I fit in. Honestly, I don't really identify with either group but I guess you could say I have some prepping tendencies and some homesteading tendencies. I am someone who sees change happening in the world and I want to be ready for it. The way I was living isn't sustainable so I'm trying to become a little less dependent on other people and things.

What do you think is the greatest challenge our society faces? 

Changes to our environment, economy and energy. I began to think differently about how my family was living after I read a book called The Crash Course, by Chris Martenson. Chris gave words to the feelings I had been having as I read the news stories on honey bee colony collapse disorder, rising gas prices, frequent natural disasters, the current economy, etc. Where we are headed is going to be a lot different from where we have been.

On your site you stated that you have really undergone major changes in your lifestyle. How difficult was it to change the way you do things? 

The most drastic or difficult change was definitely changing my outlook. My family was living the way so many families live today. Pretty much everything we needed we bought, plus plenty of stuff we didn't need. We had no interest in developing any back-to-basics skills because why would we need to do that? But once our mindset changed, things actually got easier. My free time is spent on learning skills that support sustainability. Some are harder than others. For example, gardening presents plenty of challenges. (We are no where near ready to eat solely from our garden so thank goodness for the farmer's market!) But at the same time, I was surprised at how easy it is to can and make bread.
Did any of your family members try to discourage your lifestyle change? 

No, thankfully, they are all behind it. Yes, we've made changes but in many ways we are still the same. The kids still go to their schools, run in the same social circles and do the activities they love. If anything we've added more to our lives than we have taken away and they are discovering they like the additions we've made so far.

If you are a prepper what preparations have you made or do you feel everyone should make? 

What my family has done and what I suggest everyone should do is figure out what they need to be prepared for. What type of emergencies—big and small—may your family face? Figure that out and then make a plan for how you would deal with these emergencies. Once you've done that, the next steps will fall in line.

IF you are a homesteader tell me a little about your homestead. 

Most of the time, we live in a suburban neighborhood in North Carolina. We own a house on about a third of an acre and the house takes up most of that. I have several raised beds and containers for gardening but the homeowner's association limits what we can do with the property. After our "awakening", part of our lifestyle change was purchasing a 13-acre rural property in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We spend as much time there as we can but employment keeps us from living there full time. I think that's a good thing though. It would have been too stressful to go from city living to country living without a transition. Tractor mechanics, hunting season, cutting hay...these things weren't even on my radar before and so many things we have run into have turned into challenges just because lack experience and knowledge. Thankfully, we have great neighbors who generously share their knowledge with us and show us the way. We are also experimenting with permaculture there, which is something that I'm excited about. Early this summer, we finished implementing the first phase of our permaculture homestead design, a food forest.

How long have you been homesteading, prepping or both? 

Coming up on three years.

If you could tell every person one thing what would it be? 

You don't need completely overhaul your life to make it more sustainable. Yes, we've made some drastic changes in ours, like the mountain property, but you can learn to be more self-reliant where ever you are. Start with little steps. Any change is good.

What do you think your best asset is in helping others achieve self sustainability? 

Gosh Gregg, this one is difficult for me. I've always struggled with identifying my best assets. :) What I hope I will be to others is inspiration. If this suburban soccer mom can change the way she does some things in her life, maybe someone else will think they could make a few changes too. And if enough people make changes then we will have a brighter future ahead.
If you could talk to every parent out there how would you encourage them to become more self reliant? 

I don't know any parent who doesn't love their family and want a good life for their children. If you really look at what's going on in the world, it becomes more and more difficult to ignore the fact that if we don't do things differently in our lives, our children may not have the life we want for them. 

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Julie from Home Ready Home. When you swing by her site please remember to tell her The Rural Economist sent you.

Working together we can all achieve our 
Rural Dreams and Homestead Wishes.

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