Keep growing, breaking through homesteading blues
Staff Writer | January 26, 2023 1:00 AM
BOUNDARY COUNTY — The trend of returning to the homestead and a simpler time is now romanticized, but what steps need to be taken to live this natural lifestyle? Local homesteader Kody Hanner might have some answers.
Hanner is a homesteader and educator in Boundary County. She started a blog, Homemade Revelation, originally to vent and process her husband's health and from there she has become a resource for moving back to the homestead.
“The Homestead Education is here to help you and your kids grow your own food with homestead education,” Hanner said on her website.
Hanner grew up on a cattle ranch and has gone from homeschool mom, to homesteader, now homestead educator. She has experience in 4-H and education in agriculture, but it wasn’t until she moved with her family to Boundary County four years ago that she dove into the world of homesteading.
When the Hanners first moved to the farm, they filled the stalls with animals and wanted to do everything, produce livestock, grow produce, the works, she said.
One of the earliest challenges the Hanners faced was maintaining infrastructure, which constantly needed to be repaired, since the property hadn’t been farmed in five years.
When transferring to living on a homestead, she said there can be pressure to get everything done at once or to gain all these skills at once. In her blog, Hanner said a big lesson to learn that the best way is to add — and master — one thing at a time.
“Everyone thinks they are gonna be a cattle rancher, but it is OK to start small,” she said.
For some that could mean starting with raising only one type of animal and developing the skills and habits necessary to care for other livestock, she said.
For the Hanners, a daily habit they have formed is morning chores. The boys wake up and do animal chores, the girls get the babies up and Kody starts making bread for sandwiches at lunchtime.
“If you don’t like the animal, or maybe you’re not a chicken person, you don’t have to stick with it,” she said.
“The big thing is to learn what you're good at, adapt and find ways to make profit off your skills,” she said.
For many people, the homestead doesn’t bring in added revenue, rather it covers other costs. Hanner said that their hogs pay for much of the other homesteading costs and the food that they grow, keeps them out of the grocery store.
She said some homesteaders have made money through YouTube and other videos, but that’s not what she’s skilled in, rather her skill is educating.
One way she has turned her homestead and skills to profit is by writing homeschool education that teaches the ins and out of homesteading, covering the science to the economics behind running your own homestead.
“Another key is monetizing trade wherever you can. For some that may be taking eggs off the monthly grocery list by keeping your own chickens,” Hanner said.
What first started out as a blog to release stress has turned into a blooming business, The Homestead Education. In addition to her homesteading curriculum, Hanner manages a blog and podcast focused on helping new homesteaders set goals and interviews experts in the agriculture field.
As Hanner says, in homesteading and life, the main thing is to “keep growing.”