Living the pioneer or modern homesteader lifestyle is something that many of us are drawn to, but there are times in a family where only one person is on board. What can be done to encourage the rest of the family to take part in this self-sustainable way of life that gets them excited instead of dreading it? Join me for today’s podcast where I’m helping Stephanie, a member of the Pioneering Today Academy, with just that!
Today's Pioneering Today Podcast (episode #298) is another consult episode with Stephanie who is a member of the Academy. She's looking for advice on how to get your family on board when it comes to expanding your homesteading practices.
At the time of this publication, the Pioneering Today Academy is open for enrollment! If you've been wanting to increase your homesteading skills beyond just canning or raising chickens, or maybe growing a garden, and want to include all the components of this lifestyle, then sign up for the Pioneering Today Academy.
(If enrollment has closed by the time you're reading this, you can join the waitlist to be notified the next time we open the doors.)
Show Notes & Resources
- Stephanie is a modern homesteader living in the suburbs just outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- She gardens three seasons a year and is hoping to implement a winter garden this year.
- Her hope is to expand her homesteading lifestyle to be more self-sustainable by enlarging her garden and raising backyard chickens.
- She's looking for advice about how to get the rest of the family excited about homesteading.
- To become a member of the Pioneering Today Academy, and have a chance to get advice from fellow homesteaders, join today. If enrollment is closed, you can get on the waitlist to be notified next time the academy is open.
More Homesteading Articles
- How to Buy a Homestead – What to Look For
- The Norris Farmstead: Our 40-Acre Homestead Farm-Stay
- What to do When Homesteading Gets Tough
- What To Do FIRST On Your Homestead (Or What To Do NEXT)
- Self Sufficient Homesteading Tips for the Long Haul
- How to Earning a Living from Your Homestead
- Homesteading + Making Money (How to do it All)
- How to Get Everything Done in a Day Without Wasting Time or Getting Distracted
- Homesteading With Special Needs Children
- Avoid Overwhelm – Choosing What’s Right for Your Homestead
Melissa: Welcome to episode number 298. Today we are diving back into one of our consult episodes. And this is actually a subject that many of you have emailed me or messaged me about in the past and said you would love to have an episode on. So, when Stephanie, who is a member of the Pioneering Today Academy put in to have a consult episode when I saw her questions, I knew that this was one that I had to do, not only to help give Stephanie some ideas and guidance, as well as the rest of you who have asked me about this.
Melissa: Now I have to say right before we dive into this content, that right now the Pioneering Today Academy is open for membership. That is what Stephanie is a member of and people who are members have the option to fill out a form and have these consult episodes that you have been hearing on the Podcast, along with monthly lives from me, as well as the individual courses with the step-by-step videos that cover all of the different aspects of living a pioneering or modern homesteading lifestyle. Because, the interesting thing about homesteaders is we're not just gardeners. Yes, we do grow vegetables and fruit, but we're not just gardeners.
Melissa: We're not just backyard chicken keepers. We're not just people who focus on whole foods and cooking from scratch. We're not just canners and food preservers. We are all of these things, and it's so many different aspects of a lifestyle and components that make up modern homesteading, which makes it unique from just learning how to garden. It's how to make all of this work and flow together throughout the seasons. And that's what you get inside the Pioneering Today Academy. So it is definitely the how to, you will learn the very tactical step-by-step stuff, but it's how to also incorporate all of this into your life and with a community who understands it and can offer support and inspiration.
Melissa: So that we are open for open enrollment for the first time in 2021. Right now you can go to melissaknorris.com/pta and you will see the join now button where you can actually purchase and come into the membership. Now, if you happen to be listening to this at a later date, not when it first releases and we're already closed, then you'll see where it says, notify me. And you just pop in your name and email and you'll get on the wait list for the next time that we do open up for general enrollment. But if you're listening to this right around the release date, then you my friend can go ahead and get in right now. So without further ado, we are going jump right into this episode. And any of the links including to join the Pioneering Today Academy will always be at the blog post that accompanies the episode, and you can find that at melissaknorris.com/298, because this is episode number 298. Let's get to it. I am really excited to get to talk to you and have you on the Pioneering Today Podcast. So Stephanie, welcome.
Stephanie: Thank you so much. It is exciting to be here and be able to talk with someone that walks through some of the same struggles that we do when it comes to homesteading and the life that it creates for us. So thank you for having me.
Melissa: You're welcome. And I think that's one of the things I love about homesteading is the longer you've been doing it, of course you're going to feel more confident in certain skill sets, but really we all struggle even with homesteading with a lot of the same base things, no matter how long we've been doing it.
Melissa: And there's something I find, I always feel like all of us are a little bit [inaudible 00:04:08] but I'm like, I'm so glad someone else is dealing with this and it's not me and I don't feel alone. I think this is going to be a great conversation to have. For those, Oh my goodness. Talk about getting tongue tied. For those who don't already know you, if you give a little bit of background about your homesteading journey and where you're at, and then we'll dive in.
Stephanie: Sure. So, I have been gardening for a long time. I remember my grandmother always had a big garden growing up and when I was old enough to start creating that space for myself, it's something I started doing. I'm in Oklahoma, so typical gardening stuff was tomatoes, okra, watermelon. And then as I aged, I realized there's this whole other world, brassicas and greens, and that it's not just a single season.
Stephanie: I'm actually on a suburban homestead. I live in a small town outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma. So a little more space than some typical, but my garden is predominantly raised beds. And I do try to garden three seasons and sometimes I'll get to stretch and get a little bit of winter stuff in there, depending how nice winter is. But at the moment, it's mainly just gardening, preserving and figuring out a way to be more self-sustainable. And I'm looking forward to some point, hopefully in the near future, being able to add animals onto that and get into that aspect. But it's a little tricky and that's something we'll talk about today, because I'm the only person excited about that part.
Melissa: I actually, I love your honesty, dude I love that we're going to have this conversation. Because, it really is a real thing. So one that is phenomenal that you are gardening throughout at least three seasons. Sometimes I know what you mean on the winter. Sometimes I can grow lettuce year round in the high tunnel and other winters I can't, it'll kill it. It just depends on the severity. So you're already leaps and steps ahead of so many people, and that's really common too. In fact, when I was growing up that was all we had for our garden, was just the typical summer garden. Like you said, we can't do okra here, of course, we're too far North.
Melissa: But I think that's really common for a lot of gardeners is to just, you have that one big summer or main garden and so kudos to you for learning about and implementing and gardening throughout the seasons, because that's actually really impressive, and it's so nice as you're discovering to have some more of that fresh fruit all year round. But a lot of people just don't realize that they can do it, so you're doing great.
Melissa: Now, with where you guys are at, also, I know you're married and we're going to be talking about getting the family on board, but do you guys have children as well that are in the home?
Stephanie: Yes. We have two kids. I have a daughter that's about to be 15 and my son turns 10 at the end of this month.
Melissa: Okay, your kids are very close in age to mine. We just swap. My son is the oldest, and my daughter is the youngest. So as far as where you feel the workload is right now with keeping up with the preserving and the gardening, are you the one that's predominantly doing all of the gardening and the preserving or is the family coming in and helping at all?
Stephanie: No, that's predominantly me. In setup I will get a little bit of help as far as building beds or getting soil and my kids are good at the end of the season in trying to clean up the garden, and my son discovered last year how fun it is to harvest sweet potatoes. But for the most day-to-day stuff, that's all me.
Melissa: And that's actually very typical for our gardening situation. My husband will help with the larger infrastructure stuff that needs to go in. And then on planting day, everybody has to help plant. But then it's more my domain, unless we have some big things throughout the season. If we haven't stayed up on weeding and it's becoming more than I can handle, then everybody will come in and we'll do that.
Melissa: But really the day to day and even the day-to-day harvest part of it, for the most part until we get to the fall and it's, hey, frost is coming this weekend, it's going to wipe everything out, we've got to harvest as much as possible, then everybody will come in. But really the garden I would say just the day-to-day maintenance of it falls on me. And I think it's normal to have one person be in charge of each area. But I am glad to hear that they're willing to help if forced or if really asked.
Stephanie: [Voluntold 00:09:04] is the word we like to use.
Melissa: I like that, I like that one. That's really good. So with the livestock, I know you're on a smaller, you don't have a ton of acreage and you're in a suburban environment, but what type of livestock are you hoping to be able to bring on?
Stephanie: In our current setting we are allowed to have chickens, and so that is something that I would like to add, and have actually been begging to add for a couple of years. But I do have my eyes set on being able to get a little more land and being able to incorporate goats and maybe a couple of pigs to become the more full picture of self-sustainable.
Melissa: I totally understand that. And I think if you can start out with a form of livestock, even where you're at now, then that'll set you up with some skill sets and just the management. And what it adds, one form of livestock, what that adds to your guys' day, your week, et cetera, it'll help prepare you for when you make the jump later down the road. With making it more of a family affair, where does your family, and especially your husband, because really, kids you can tell for the most part, hey, you need to come and help me do this and it's not an option, when it gets down to it. But that's a lot harder to do with a spouse, and didn't generally go over so well. So where is your husband at? Is he just, oh, if that's something you want to do, that's awesome. Or is he really, pushed back like I really don't want to do this? Where is that at for you guys?
Stephanie: So there's a couple levels. So when it comes to the gardening, he doesn't mind so much if I can stay on top of it. He doesn't really understand the point of the gardening or the preserving. He actually grew up in Dallas, and so he's always been a city boy. And I think the idea that you would do something other than just go to the grocery store just seems bizarre to him. And so I think just the gardening he's, it's just apathetic. He did grow up with chickens, but in a different point. My father-in-law actually fought roosters, and so that was the environment and the climate and everything. And so he was like, I know what it's to have them. I know they're messy and I know the work and he just doesn't want any of it.
Melissa: So he's pretty much like, I don't want the livestock, especially the chickens. He just doesn't want to deal with it from his past experience, got you. So honestly, when my husband are looking at something, and sometimes it's something that he wants to do, not just in a home setting itself, and I think everybody can relate to this. There's usually things that you had a marriage, or in a relationship with a significant other where you're really excited and you're really wanting to do something and you really have the drive and the other person really doesn't see the picture, or you're saying he doesn't see the point in it. Because he's like, well, we can go and get our food from the grocery store and that self-sufficiency, and maybe the health aspect and all of those reasons that most of us, when we turn to a homesteading is because of that. He's not seeing that. So because he isn't seeing that, it's a lot harder for him to get motivated, to get on board.
Melissa: So I know within my own family, which is of course where I'm talking from, because I am not a marriage counselor, or relationship counselors, I don't want anybody who's listening and if you're newer listener to the Podcast, I don't want to give that impression or to have you think that, but I do know that if I can really sit down and get across to, including my children about why it is so important to me, then even if it's not as important to them... They still don't have the passion for certain things that I do. My kids could care less if it's something is sourdough or not, as long as they can't taste it's sourdough, then they're happy. But they're never going to be at this point in their lives, I should say, I hope later as adults, they will.
Melissa: But they're never going to be as excited as I am when I turn out this beautiful, perfectly, completely fermented wild Levin sourdough loaf of bread that is just gorgeous and tastes good, and the crumb is perfect, and all of that, they're just going to like, we just want some good bread mom. However means you get there, that's fine. But when they understand how truly important it is to me, because they love me, then they're more willing to help, even if it's not something that they're super crazy about because it's that supporting. So I think sometimes it's finding a way to communicate to them, why really is so important to you and how having their support really means a lot to you. And I know that seems so fundamental, well, shouldn't they know that just by my saying that I want to do this? I think that a lot of the times.
Melissa: But I've realized that if I can really show it to them and get them to understand why it's so important, it really is this deep down seated desire that I feel like it's a fire in my bones, then I feel I don't have as much push back and they are more willing to help when I ask them to. And I still usually do have to ask them to help, and they still don't just jump in. But it's a much more willing, instead of just digging the heels into the ground. And then another thing, I don't know about you and your husband, but with my husband, if I have this great, fabulous idea that he's not completely on board with, it doesn't really matter as far as me giving him, I can tell why it's super important to me and he will listen.
Melissa: But oftentimes if he can hear something from another source, especially I have found Podcasts. So if I can find a Podcast episode, because he listens to Podcasts at work, he works at a saw mill, and so they have to have headphones on, but he can listen to a Podcast on low, well, while they're running things. There've been so many times where I have told him something. And I don't know if he just does it, is it really listening? And my husband is, I hope I'm not giving a bad impression of him. He's very attentive and he's very supportive in a lot of ways, but he'll listen to a Podcast episode, and he'll come back and he'll be like, I heard on Joe Rogan today and he'll go off on whatever it is. And I'm sitting there and I'm biting my tongue and I'm like I told you that six months ago, I'm serious. I wonder if I can email Joe Rogan and be like, hey Joe, can you talk about this on an episode so my husband will listen?
Melissa: And I say [inaudible 00:16:17], and I tease him about it too. We tease back and forth about it. But the moral of that is if you can find maybe some documentaries, I don't know what your husband is into, he may not listen to Podcasts. But if you can find some different sources that talk about the health aspect, if that's one of the reasons that's important to you, or the self-sufficiency, or different things that, and even talk about the enjoyment in knowing where your food comes from. There's so many different elements. It's not necessarily just the self-sufficiency that's a big driver for a lot of us, but if you can find some different sources like that, that you could show him and even ideas of ways that you're wanting to do some of the things that he can see the difference between what he, in his mind and his context of chickens, because it was with rooster fighting, it sounds like a very different environment than if you have a flock of laying hens so that he can see that for himself.
Melissa: That's outside of what you're just telling him, but in a different context, from two different sources. I found that, that is really helpful. And even the same thing, if my husband's coming to me and he's wanting to do something and I'm like, oh, I'm just not really sure about that. And then if he could show me some different YouTube videos, well, hey, this is what I was watching, or this is what I was listening to and this is why I think this would work really well, look at how they're doing this. Then it's, oh, and you can see. I don't know why it opens our mind up. I don't know why our minds aren't open immediately.
Melissa: Maybe I need a therapy session here, myself and my husband, but I've often found that seems for both of us when we could see it, not coming from just the other person but it tends make both of us be open to doing some of those things where if it's just one of us bouncing this idea for saying, hey, I want to do this. We look at it like, man, I've got enough stuff to do on my plate. I don't really want to add this to it. I don't see that it's that super important, even though it is maybe important to our spouse and we should give it higher value. But I have found that, that has been really helpful for us in a variety of things, but homesteading including.
Stephanie: That's a great idea. And it's funny is we never think of these things ourselves, but I'll have to do some searching and see what I can find.
Melissa: And I hope, somebody when you're in a public environment, because this will obviously be airing as a Podcast episode. I've also found that oftentimes if I can find gardeners or Podcast channels that... My husband tends to relate to, like I said, like Joe Rogan, my husband doesn't listen to my Podcast though, I've tried. So if I can find someone that is more his style, he'll look at different things like that, but that's more his style and that he can really relate to that has the information, I found that, that's really helped too.
Melissa: So with the chickens, do you have enough space where you could do a coop, but I'm wondering because you say they're really messy and the work involved, do you guys feel, I don't know what his job is, I'm assuming it's outside the home. Does he feel that you guys don't have a lot of downtime already in the schedule? it's just going to add to it or he's just, I just don't want to deal with the mess?
Stephanie: I think he just doesn't want to deal with it at all. And it would be different than what the environment was when he was a kid, because all of those birds were kept, and lived in a bar and type setting and it wasn't free range and all of that thing. So having them, I think just walking around would give probably a better experience, but it's hard to get him to just open up his mind a little bit and be like, this is what I'm looking forward to.
Melissa: And it can be hard. There's been some projects or some things that we've wanted to do or I've wanted to do where we've really, had to sit down, and sometimes I just had to make the concession that this might not be happen right now. And that's how I deal with it. I'm like, okay, this isn't going to be able to happen right now. We're going to put this on the table to do later, or there's been some things that I'm just like, okay, he is not going to be bored with this and that's okay. It's not like it's a deal breaker as far as, there's going to be some things that I'm not going to be able to convince him on and vice versa.
Melissa: There's going to be certain things that he's wanted to do that I'm like, no, that is not something that I want to do at all. And so I think sometimes we have to prepare ourselves for that. But then on the other side, sometimes there's things that are like, okay, well, if I want to do this and I am going to do it, I feel that strongly about it, even if he's not fully on board, but he's on board enough like, well, if you want to do it, you do it but it's your thing. And there's been things like that, that both of us have had on both sides of the marriage, not just one side or the other, because it's definitely a give and take. But then I'm like, okay. So I need to figure out how to do this on a scale where I can do this by myself, except when I need help with infrastructure, some of the big things, but it's not the day-to-day part of it.
Melissa: And then I'm okay with that and figuring that out on my own. And really that's how we still do. My husband takes care of the cattle predominantly, but on certain fence building days, or when we're getting the hay in for the winter and the summer, I'm definitely helping them on those. But the actual day-to-day feeding of them and caretaking of them really relies on him, and then the day-to-day taking of the chickens is totally in my realm. So he doesn't really deal with the chickens unless there's something with the coop, building the coop when we initially were doing it and that type of thing. But obviously he has to be on board with you at least bringing chickens on to the property, that definitely has to be there.
Melissa: But like you said, with the free range, it's going to depend on, especially if he's concerned about the mess factor is when you're free ranging them, even though then you don't have as much mess in the coop, but you still have wherever they roost at night and go in and say, which is going to, I'm assuming, going to be in a coop environment, you still will have to clean up underneath the roost because, that tends to be where they poop the most is when they're roosting during the night when they're sleeping. And you definitely will poop beneath there, but it's concentrated to underneath the roost area for the most part, if they have a large rent out or are in a free range environment.
Melissa: But when they are free ranging, you will have chicken poop around the yard, wherever they're free ranging. That's one thing is you don't have it concentrated into a really one small area, but it will be a spread out. So if you want to do the free range in your yard, one, knowing that you'll need to protect your crops during the summer, because they're not discerning and they will scratch it birds and eat fruit or vegetables, when you want them. They will try to beat you to them. We did free range for a while. We had issues with predators because we're so far out, we had coyote issues, but that was the one thing my husband was like, he would get irritated when they would poop on our back deck and or summit patio, I mean their chickens, it's just going to happen. But just knowing that ahead of time.
Melissa: And so there was multiple reasons, but we decided to do the chicken tractor where we can just move there around easily about the yard so that we're keeping the poop area contained and keeping them out of the plants. So that might be something that you consider, and you could let them out and let them free range and see how he feels about that and how much they do end up, pooping and stuff in the yard or on decks or walkways or whatnot, because they're not discerning that way. But if the mess is something that he really doesn't want, then free range might not be the best option.
Stephanie: So it may just take some more conversations and seeing maybe what give and take will each be willing to do.
Melissa: And I also know that if I sit down in my house, because sometimes I'll be like, I think this would be, telling him like, you really cool. I've been making a lot of cheese, I'm buying a lot of milk, it would be really nice to have a dairy animal. And he's like, aha. But he knows I'm not actually serious about it because I haven't sat down and been like, okay, well I found this cow and if we do this, we can get her here by here. And I'll have this detailed laid out plan, so he knows that, that means I'm saying, this sounds a great idea, but I'm not ready to move and I'm not serious about it, so he doesn't really have to worry about it.
Melissa: So sometimes I think, but he knows if we sit down and have this big conversation, I really want to make this happen. this is really important to me. I need your help to be on board to implement it, but I'll handle dealing with the milk in that instance, but for you being, I'll handle the day-to-day feeding and the coop and dealing with the chickens and stuff, but I am going to need your help to build, or to buy it, to move in, this and I want to do this method instead of this method so that they don't poop everywhere, if you decided to do a mobile chicken tractor type coop, that type of a thing.
Melissa: I found when I really moved the conversation like that he's like, oh man, you're really serious about this then that can oftentimes be helpful in having them realize this is really important to me. And also if I need your help not in like, I want you to do everything and I'm adding to your already really busy plate, but I do need your support on this, and it's really important to me, more of a thing. Then I feel they rise to the occasion. Now, how do the kids feel about chickens? They don't care one way or the other or would they be excited to have chickens on the property?
Stephanie: I think they would be very excited. My daughter has been asking for a duck. So I think this might be a nice compromise and I think she would actually be great help in taking care of them and feeding them and all the responsibilities that come with it.
Melissa: It's actually a really great learning experience. And I have to say that even if they're not so onboard with the big chickens, and there are pros and cons definitely to getting baby chicks versus getting some pullets that are already laying or are ready to start laying, but man, when you bring those little baby chicks home, it's hard for anybody to resist them. And then, I find, because when they're, itty bitty, obviously they're underneath heat lamps and we'll link in the blog post that accompanies this episode to some of the previous episodes that cover, especially baby chicks in their first six weeks and the type of care I want you to make sure that they have.
Melissa: But I found that my husband before work, he doesn't where they're the older chickens at all, but when they're the little ones, he'll go in and check the heat lamp and make sure that everything's as it should be, that they're doing good. And so it can be a fun way to get everybody excited when they're little and feel they've got some ownership and getting attached to them. And then as they grow versus just bringing in a full size adult chicken, whereas it's a little harder to get the warm, fuzzy. So some people do. Some people love their chickens at all stages and they don't care what age they are, but it is really easy to fall in love with those little puff balls when they're itty bitty little tiny chicks.
Stephanie: Although I don't know how he'd feel if I just showed up with a little baby check one day.
Melissa: Oh no, I wouldn't spring it as a surprise, but I would totally be like, hey, and work that into the plan, and then it is... Even my son who is my oldest, he's a teenager when the baby chicks are there, I still find him willing to come out and help feed and help water and check on them. And I'll even say, hey, I need you to go out and check the heat lamp, make sure that they're not getting too hot during the day. Go and check them and then I'll check them later today. And so he'll go out and I'll notice he'll stay out there much longer than is really required to check the temperature because he's having fun with them and interacting. So that can be a great way to get the whole family on board and eased into it. Of course, that level of excitement if they're not really into it doesn't last once they're totally grown, but I feel it's a good way to get everybody excited in the beginning.
Melissa: So now with the gardening and the preserving aspect, I'm assuming that they to eat the fresh food and, or the preserved part.
Stephanie: Yes, they do like the eating part.
Melissa: My family does too, that's one of the main things. And so the farm fresh eggs and all of that. What's really cool, and this would be of course once they were laying but also, I don't know, in your area, if anybody who has backyard chickens, that you could get some fresh farm eggs from, because just seeing the difference, when we first started getting chickens, because the first part of our marriage, we didn't chickens, we were renting and we just weren't that far into the self-sufficiency honestly, we've been married 20 plus years. But when we had the farm fresh eggs from our chickens and we could compare like side by side of the yolk color and the flavor and do a real taste like, here's a store-bought anemic looking egg compared to this farm fresh one.
Melissa: That was one of the things too where it's like, oh my goodness, this is a big difference and this is so much better. You could visually see it. I feel like you can taste it. I feel like my baked goods had better texture even, all of those things. So sometimes you might not even have to have the chickens yet, but it could be fun if you have someone where you could get some really good farm fresh eggs that are on either, a chicken tractor or free range, so they have that really nice dark yolk and do a side by side and be like, see if we have our chicken. It's like, look at this difference type of a thing. I don't know if it'll work or not, but it was something that we would often comment about in the beginning and it was fun.
Stephanie: We actually, I do try to source farm fresh eggs pretty regularly, so I haven't done that. So we will try that and see what they think and do a little taste test and see if I can get them a little excited about the difference.
Melissa: I geek out about stuff. I like to do comparisons and tests, and all of that, so I think that part's fun. And even if not for your husband, the kids might enjoy it too. It will never hurt, it can only help in the cause for backyard chickens. Do you have any other questions or things that you would like to talk about or do you feel like you've got some ideas that you can take back to the table so to speak?
Stephanie: I think I have some really great ideas, just try to start working on. And maybe if I were to come up with a small scale plan and get the kids on board first, he might relent a little bit. But as far as I know that all sounds great, and I'm excited to see where we can go next.
Melissa: I'm excited for you too. And like I said, I really love that you are looking for ways to do as much as you can with where you're at now. Because so many of us myself included, when we were renting, I just didn't even, oh, well it's not our land, and I know you're not in a renting situation, but it's not the acreage that you would like, but I'm glad that you're like, no, whatever we can do now. I'm going to try and move forward with that and do that now. So kudos to you.
Stephanie: Thank you. I like to grow just a little bit every year. And so, trying a couple of new things this year, so it'll be exciting too.
Melissa: Now my curiosity is peaked, what are you trying as you new things for this year?
Stephanie: So I'm actually going try some straw bale gardening with my sweet potatoes and my tomatoes and peppers. That way I add space to my garden without actually having to build beds. And then doing some trellising with that, I've actually installed some trellising this year and doing a lot more vertical gardening than I have in the past. And then we bought some new variety, so I'll have some yard long beans. And actually got a lot of different purple fruiting plants that I'm really excited about just to make it a little more colorful.
Melissa: That's a lot of fun stuff. I know you're going to love the trellising or at least I should say anytime I add extra vertical gardening, I'm like, oh, this was so great. You want to see more, but I like you, I do it in stages. And I try to add just a couple of new things a year so that it's not overwhelming. And I have not tried the straw bale gardening and I can't grow sweet potatoes here because we're too cold, but you will have to let me know and share with us inside the community of the membership, how that works for you. Because, I know a lot of people are really curious about the straw bale gardening, and so I'll be really excited to see how it works, especially with the sweet potatoes.
Stephanie: Yes. Because digging them up, we had lots of problems in bruising and so the straw bale and just being able to cut it and then fall open. Although I know it's not that simple. I'm very excited about, so yes, we'll have some pictures along the way and see how it grows.
Melissa: Okay, awesome. It'll be like getting the report at the end of the year. I'm looking forward to it and hearing about you guys' experience, because I know a lot of people are very curious about that. So that'll be a fun one to have and, I can't remember if in the community I'm trying to remember. I don't know if it was in star bells. I know that they did a lot of potatoes in the grow bags. I don't remember if there was any straw bells. I'll have to go back through there and if I can find it I'll tag you in there, if there was that.
Stephanie: Yes, please.
Melissa: Anyways, well, this was a lot of fun. I'm glad that it was helpful. I wish that I had the magic answer. That's like, oh, just do this, and he will be on board or vice versa. But unfortunately, I don't. So I wish you the best. And I hope that he comes around and that it works out well for you guys.
Stephanie: Thanks so much, Melissa. I appreciate it.
Melissa: Thank you so much for joining us in this consult and episode. I hope that you got some nuggets that you can use within your different relationships and getting more people on board, of course with doing the self-sufficiency and homesteading lifestyle, but maybe it's some aspects in your life as well, but I hope those tips will be very helpful for you. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode, and I hope to see you inside the Pioneering Today Academy. I will be back here with you next week with a really awesome episode, talking about companion planting in a way that I haven't covered before on the Podcast, you are not going to want to miss it.
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