Want to raise your own food but don’t have a farming background? Desire trumps experience, according to Andrew and Suzanne Cox of Smithville.
Although they only began homesteading three years ago, the Coxes have been named runners-up on Grit’s 2013 Homesteaders of the Year list. Grit will profile the couple in its September-October issue, on newsstands Aug. 27.
The Coxes now raise most of their meat, with chickens, sheep, pigs, a steer and two milk heifers roaming their 24 acres. The family plans to add milk goats next year. They also grow fruits and three large heritage-crop gardens. Bartering helps them acquire equipment and animals without going into debt.
“Andrew and Suzanne embody the Grit spirit: ‘stick-to-it-iveness,’ a strong sense of family and community, and a desire to be self-sufficient,” says Hank Will, editor in chief of Grit.
The magazine names Danielle Figel, Ocean County, N.J.; Lewis and Eleanore Janetos, Rollinsford, N.H.; and Eric and Wendy Slatt, Kershaw, S.C., Homesteaders of the Year. Other runners-up are Mike and Alison Buehler, Starkville, Miss., and Robert Reid and Britnee Atnip, Gastonia, N.C.
Grit sought Homesteaders of the Year nominations from its readers, online audience and through social media.
The Homesteaders of the Year kick off International Homesteading Education Month in September. Grit, Capper’s and Mother Earth News magazines sponsor this celebration of modern homesteading. Their online hub enables anyone to register tours, workshops, open houses or other events, and the titles have promoted Homesteading Education Month throughout the summer. Everyone is welcome to participate — individuals, organizations and companies offering products for self-reliant living — both by signing up to host an event and by using the online listings to find nearby events to attend. Current and would-be homesteaders can also enter the Holy Hee-Haw! Homesteader Giveaway.
To nominate a 2014 Homesteader of the Year, email information and photos, if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Homesteader of the Year.”
Grit magazine (www.Grit.com) has celebrated rural American lifestyles since 1882. Each bimonthly issue combines practical articles, product reviews, do-it-yourself building plans, beautiful photos, reader advice, humor and a healthy dose of fresh attitude to offer a complete guide to life outside the city limits.
About Ogden Publications Inc.
Ogden Publications Inc. (www.OgdenPubs.com) is the leading information resource serving the sustainable living, rural lifestyle, farm memorabilia and classic motorcycle communities. Key brands include Mother Earth News, Mother Earth Living, Utne Reader, Capper’s and Grit. Ogden Publications also produces environmentally friendly housewares through Natural Home Products LLC, and provides insurance and financial services through its Capper’s Insurance Service division.