Household-independent residing due to the self-sufficient homestead way of life

A family of five lives the dream of an electricity grid thanks to their self-sufficient lifestyle, which means they no longer have an electricity bills and eat what they produce on their farm while they home school their three children.

Amy Rae and her part-time assistant, Caleb, both 40, of Coalmont, Tennessee, bought their 90 acre land in 2007 and built a small house on it two years later to live in before starting a family a few years later.

Now the couple have three sons who they home-school, Liam eight, Malachi, 5, and Ewan, 2, and a slew of animals they raise to eat.

They own 30 highland cattle, 15 alpacas, 30 goats, 10 sheep, 40 ducks, other poultry and two beehives.

The family’s rural life means that they are left to their own devices and not on large supermarkets.

With the nearest major town over an hour away, her boys have never seen a Walmart supermarket before.

This family portrait shows Liam to the left of his father Caleb and mother Amy, who is holding Ewan with Malachi in front of him

The couple from Coalmont, Tennessee, bought their 90 acre land in 2007.  Two years later they built a small house on it to live in before starting a family

The couple from Coalmont, Tennessee, bought their 90 acre land in 2007. Two years later they built a small house on it to live in before starting a family

Malachi (left), Ewan (center) and Liam are sitting in the back of their tractor

Malachi (left), Ewan (center) and Liam are sitting in the back of their tractor

Ewan plays with a baby goat on the family farm

Ewan plays with a baby goat on the family farm

They have no utility bills as they get their electricity from solar panels with a gas generator as a backup, collect rainwater in a 22,000 gallon tank with a well as a backup, a propane tank for cooking, and a wood stove to provide them with heat. The family has cell phones but no landline.

There are many idyllic benefits to this way of life, but Amy explained how everything they eat sometimes needs to be planned months in advance.

“Right now, I spend most of my time making soap and balms, spinning and knitting alpaca yarn, cooking and preserving home grown groceries, doing a variety of household and farm chores, and most importantly studying at home, and three boys she said.

‘Caleb works as a doctor’s assistant one or two days a week and is otherwise here on the farm, helping with the boys, managing the cattle and gardens, building the yard and house and an endless list of different tasks.

“We’ve both always been very independent, interested in doing things for ourselves, ourselves and in a way that minimizes our use of resources. Raising our own meat, vegetables, wool, and children just seemed like what we should be doing.

‘It is much work. A lot of work. More than most people can imagine, and it’s constant. We rarely go on vacation and even less often as the whole family because someone always has to stay and take care of the farm.

“In the country, it’s hard to find simple things like a good babysitter, an Indian restaurant or a movie theater, and everything is at least an hour’s drive away.

“Being self-sufficient, even partially, means a much greater responsibility for your own care than many people have – if I want sauerkraut, then ideally I should start growing cabbage before I even make my own cabbage!

“If we really like to eat chicken, then we have to plan to raise enough chickens for a year in the summer and then process them and keep the freezer compartment ready. It takes a lot of planning and responsibility to maintain this lifestyle.

Amy, who makes and sells goods, wears one of her hand-spun hand-knitted butterfly scarves

Amy, who makes and sells goods, wears one of her hand-spun hand-knitted butterfly scarves

One photo shows a family dinner that was completely self-grown

One photo shows a family dinner that was completely self-grown

Homemade honey is shown.  Amy records her family's homesteading adventures on her Instagram and website

Homemade honey is shown. Amy records her family’s homesteading adventures on her Instagram and website

She shares her advice with others who wish to pursue this lifestyle.  Homemade sheep cheese is shown

She shares her advice with others who wish to pursue this lifestyle. Homemade sheep cheese is shown

Amy also makes her own handmade soaps, which she sells, among other things

Amy also makes her own handmade soaps, which she sells, among other things

“Second, homeschooling is incredibly rewarding, but also incredibly stressful psychologically and emotionally. It is almost all consuming to have three small children with you all the time. ‘

In addition to homeschooling the kids and keeping farm and family life running smoothly, Amy makes her own soaps, yarn, knitwear, and cheese, which she then sells.

Above all, this way of life offers the family a level of freedom that today’s consumer-oriented lifestyle does not offer.

“We don’t have an electricity bill and we never lose electricity in storms, we don’t feel guilty when we use electricity because ours doesn’t come from a power plant with a huge carbon footprint and emissions, we never wonder what’s in our water , or taught to our children, ”she said.

“We can grow food that is difficult or impossible to find in grocery stores, especially in rural areas, and we don’t have to worry about what was put in or on it. Above all, we can to a large extent do what we want, when we want.

“Our lives are not determined by a job or school system, a grocery store or the sales requirements of a global corporation, or so many other things that are generally beyond our control.”

Amy records her family’s homesteading adventures on her Instagram and website.

Finally, she shared her advice with others who wish to pursue this lifestyle.

Malachi is shown on the left with his brothers;  Liam, middle, and Ewan, right

Malachi is shown on the left with his brothers; Liam, middle, and Ewan, right

Caleb keeps his son Ewan in his truck.  The family's rural life means that they depend on themselves and not on large supermarkets for groceries

Caleb keeps his son Ewan in his truck. The family’s rural life means that they depend on themselves and not on large supermarkets for groceries

A happy Ewan wears hand-knitted overalls while playing outside

A happy Ewan wears hand-knitted overalls while playing outside

Malachi helps prepare food for the family in their kitchen

Malachi helps prepare food for the family in their kitchen

The children who were homeschooled by their mother play with their yarn

The children who were homeschooled by their mother play with their yarn

“Do what you really want before it’s too late,” she said.

“Read a lot of books, talk to a lot of people, do research, and then you just have to try it out for yourself. Conversely, you should be careful not to judge yourself according to an unreasonable standard or to stick to a standard – since we live in a troubled coal mine, for example, our soil is terrible.

“We just can’t follow many recommendations for gardening, fencing, etc.

“Or – with solar we can raise things like chicks because we can’t run heat lamps all night, so we have to find chickens to hatch eggs for us. Be creative, adaptable, and always think about your goals – they may be different from whoever wrote this book or made this YouTube video.

“Always be ready to adapt someone else’s” wisdom “to your own personal situation, and like with diet, there is nothing wrong with not following a particular” belief system “- permaculture, no-till, square foot gardening, mob grazing, Raised beds – they all have their pros and cons, depending on your specific lifestyle, property, and goals. ‘

The family has a number of animals that they raise for food.  They own 30 highland cattle, 15 alpacas, 30 goats, 10 sheep, 40 ducks, other poultry and two beehives

The family has a number of animals that they raise for food. They own 30 highland cattle, 15 alpacas, 30 goats, 10 sheep, 40 ducks, other poultry and two beehives

Her tractor is seen covered in snow.  The independent family says they are interested in doing things for themselves

Your tractor can be seen covered in snow. The independent family says they are interested in doing things for themselves

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