About ModernStead

ModernStead is a guide for small-scale homesteaders who want to live a simple, more self-sufficient life that nourishes both the body and the soul. Contrary to popular belief, the homesteading lifestyle is not only for those who live in rural areas. Even city dwellers can enjoy the rewards of living a simple, earth-based life. Please visit ModernStead often to learn more.

This blog is my way of sharing my passion for simplicity. I spent the first years of my life on a small family farm in Wisconsin. During that time, I learned about gardening, making the most of what I had, raising animals, farming, exploring woods and creeks, cooking with fresh produce, building tree houses and snow forts, whining about chores, preserving food, fashioning objects from other objects, pulling weeds, sucking it up, and working shoulder to shoulder with my parents and four siblings. After college, I moved away from the farm to pursue my new career as a graphic artist. Now, many years later, I live in the country once again and find myself practicing many of the things I learned during my life on the farm.

It’s so good to be home.

That’s me pushing my little sister down a gravel road in the country.

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34 thoughts on “About ModernStead

  1. I am very impressed! Beautiful site, interesting topic, as always lovely writing, and with your sense, wit, and down-home, farm-girl, wisdom, I wish you all the best with your blog!


  2. Julie,

    I love your new blog. It gives me at least one chuckle everytime I read a new entry.
    Thanks for sharing your wit and insight.


  3. I love this idea Jules – we country girls have to stick together! I look forward to your ideas and info. I hope to have a small garden this year – and I was thinking of planting it in an english format – where there are small plots that can be mannaged from either side. Do you have any suggestions for our red clay? Thanks!

  4. Amending clay soil takes many years and layer upon layer of compost. How about avoiding the clay completely and planting raised beds? I’m thinking about doing that again this year myself because of a runoff problem I had last year. I used to have raised beds and always had good luck with them. Because I wanted a larger garden, I got rid of them. Now I wish I hadn’t! The best part about raised beds is that weeding is a breeze. They don’t get as many weeds as traditional gardens… and if they do, the weeds are easy to pull. Good luck!

    • great suggestion. I would love to have raised beds. I would also like to have cold frames in the winter for lettuce. I can dream the dream!! I will just have to hop to it. How are your garden plans going? I would love to steal your ideas! 🙂

  5. Julie I love your blog. I have to sheepishly admit the first time I saw it I didn’t realize this was your blog because I was looking at it on my Touch and these eyes are not what they used to be – plus the fact that I don’t pay close enough attention sometimes :). Anyway you caught my attention with your pizza article! Great job on your blog. The comments on spot on – you write beautifully and your wit reminds me of someone we both know. Green thumbs up!

    • I haven’t tried either but I would love to someday. I’m thinking about getting a morel habitat kit and planting it on the edge of the woods. The only problem… dogs. I think you know what I’m saying.

  6. Julie, you’re such a multi-talented woman. I’m glad I came across your blog and can’t wait to try your recipes. Do you know any creative ways to build a chicken house using recycled materials? I would love to raise my own chickens and have good fresh eggs.

    • Thanks, Dawn! Creative ways to build a chicken house using recycled materials? Well, I’ve heard of people converting old storage sheds and outbuildings. Others use scrap lumber and other odds & ends building materials. I bet you could even use a kids playhouse. Just build in a couple of roosting boxes and you’re set. The main thing to keep in mind is the safety of your chickens. Be sure the coop is predator-proof (especially at night). I’m thinking about building my own coop too. I might raise the coop off the ground (on stilts) and have a chicken wire bottom for the poop to drop through. Instead of wood, I’m considering using Trex decking… it will be easy to hose off and will never rot.

  7. Love the site. I’ve purchased heritage veggie seeds for this year, and would love building tips for raised beds. What the best materials are, if they need any footings, types of soil, etc! What about beds with wheels?

  8. Hi, Julie.

    Have you whipped up some more Garlic Pickled Eggs yet? Attach some slices of pimento olives to them before pickling. I still think they would be great to have around for Halloween while they are marinating. Get a little black light going, etc….

    Nice comments on my blog… Im sure my daughter liked them as well. Thanks!


  9. Julie, I was very impressed with your comments and knowledge. Reading Grandma’s Apron and watcing the video brought many tears. It seemed as though she never left us. Indeed, she was a wonderful person. I was very fortunate to have her for my mother. Good Luck with your blog. I learned many things from your comments, and I’m so old.

  10. Hi Julie,

    Just read about your round chicken coop linked from Community Chickens. Enjoyed that and your door/shelf project. Very inspiring and I was hoping to find out how your flock is doing in their round home. I hope you are still posting. Keep up the good work.


    • Thanks Jim! The girls seem to be very happy in their round home 🙂 We’ve had two incidents of black snakes stealing eggs. Other than that, it’s been predator free.

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