Living Large In Our Little House Blog

How to Make Money Homesteading Book Giveaway


Since many people are looking at New Year’s goals, I try to recommend a few books this time of year that could help Living Largers achieve their dreams. Many people have asked for ideas on how to make a living from home while living a simple, rural life.

Tim Young put together some of those ideas in his e-book, “How to Make Money Homesteading.”

Tim is also giving one Living Larger a chance to win a download of the book for free. Read the short Q&A, make a comment on this post on why you would like to read the boo and like Living Large on Facebook (if you haven’t already). Comments to this post must be made before 5 p.m. CST on Thursday, December 11. I will draw a winner and announce it on the blog on Friday. You must leave an email address where we can reach you if you win.


Living Large: How did you come up with the idea for the book, what  is the purpose?:

Tim: Like a growing number of people in the past decade, we are first-time farmers/homesteaders who moved from urban life to rural life. There’s a ton to learn when you make that kind of transition, much of it related to how to grow food, tend to livestock and develop skills that enable you to produce what you need rather than consuming and buying, as most people do. However, there’s another very real need that most new homesteaders realize when they take the leap, and that need isn’t written about as much. It’s the need to make money so that you can enjoy the freedom of living independently off the land. In the decade we’ve been homesteading and farming sustainably, we’ve explored numerous income producing areas that range from offering meats and dairy to classes and events and, of course, writing and online ventures. With How to Make Money Homesteading, I wanted to share some of our experiences, but really wanted the content to be broader than our own personal story. So I researched and sought out 18 other homesteaders/preppers/small-scale farmers, such as yourself, and shared their stories as well. Taking the leap from a world of suburban convenience and comfort is daunting for most people, so I wanted readers to see how many others have done that…and lived to tell about it. The primary aim of the book was to offer ideas of how income can be produced, rather than to show in step-by-step detail how to make money in any particular endeavor. In the end, each person has to consider their own markets, experiences, resources and desires to choose the best path for them. It is my hope that this book can give them the inspiration and ideas they need to get started.

Living Large: What is one of the most interesting stories of how a person is making a  living homesteading?:

Tim: I was surprised to see how many people, including yourself, are supporting their homesteading life through what many would refer to as “non-traditional” homesteading activities. These include freelance writing, consulting, blogging, e-commerce sites and DIY manuals, selling essential oils and so on. Sure, there are many examples in the book of folks selling wood crafts, cheese, soaps and more “normal” homestead products, but technology has bridged the gap between many people’s life experiences and distant markets, enabling them to take the leap with increased confidence.


Buy a Locally Farmed Free Roaming Turkey and it Benefits us All

When a friend posted on Facebook the other day about the recent controversy in New Jersey over gestation crates for pigs and her horror over the reality of factory farming, I thought, “How in the world can anyone not know about this?”

The post was a result of Jon Stewart’s reaction to NJ Gov. Chris Christie refusing to sign a bill passed by the state’s legislature to ban the diminutive crates, which keeps breeding pigs from being able to even turn around for most of their lives.

But then I remembered I didn’t always know these things. Like most Americans, I was happy pretending my meat originated in that plastic wrapped Styrofoam platter at the grocery store.

The fact is that unless you’re buying your meat – any of it – from local farmers who keep their animals on free range, you’re likely buying factory farmed meat.


Coming Soon: Living Large, the Book

Living Largers love books and that’s why I’m extra excited to announce that my book, Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480-square feet with Six Dogs, a Husband and One Remote, And How You Can Too will be published by Reader’s Digest Books and distributed by Penguin in Fall 2015.

Living Large, the book, will have a lot of new tips on how to live well in a small space and emphasize that Living Large is a State of Mind, no matter where you live.

The book will also contain stories of other Living Largers. Kent Griswold at the Tiny House Blog is writing the foreword.

I’m very excited and a little nervous. I’ll be working hard for the next four months getting this out to the publisher so our community will have it by next fall.

Thanks to all of our Living Large community for your continued support and yes, the book will be released in e-book form as well!

Weeks Don’t Get Any Better Than This

Inside The Belle Writer’s Studio.

Well, for the most part.

Our beloved Kansas City Royals lost the World Series on Wednesday night. After a 29 year wait to see them in another Series, it came down to a very heartbreaking Game 7, bottom of the 9th, two out, man-stranded-on-3rd base-90 feet-away-from- the- tying-run-loss. I’m not a sports nut (and Dale doesn’t like sports at all, but even he didn’t resist the hometown enthusiasm for the Royals), my history with baseball goes back to my grandparents who were die-hard Cubby fans in Chicago (this should tell you something about how resilient my family is when it comes to losing).

My mom was even at a Kansas City A’s game (before the A’s were moved to Oakland) on opening day when she realized she was pregnant with me. I have a lot of great memories of Royals baseball with my family at Kauffman Stadium. This team reignited my love for it. A lot of good things happened in the city because of this team and for that, we are grateful.

On a better note, Living Large the book is a few more steps closer to reality. I hope to have an announcement about that very soon.

Finally, the week is ending with Halloween, which means two things at Our Little House. It is our traditional first pot of chili night, which goes back to when my mom would warm our bellies before we headed out trick or treating.


Gray Stove: A Company with a Good Wood Stove for Tiny Homes

We had a lovely Indian Summer weekend and it was made even more special because my good friend, a woman I call my soul sister, came and visited. Kathy and her husband came down Memorial Day weekend to help us kick off our summer of fun and it was great to have her back for probably one of the last truly warm weekends of the year.

It’s the end of October and soon we will be firing up our woodstove.

A company called Gray Stove was recently brought to my attention. They are a veteran owned company and make stoves custom to order, which includes little stoves for tiny homes.

When we built Our Little House, this stove wasn’t around, but if it had been, I would have definitely checked it out.

We try, when we can, to support American made and that this company is owned by talented veterans who have found a niche for their craft is great.

Check out their story here and if you’re in the market for a woodstove for a new tiny or a home you already own, check out their website.

Finding the Right Size to Live Large

Tammy and Logan's small winter bungalow in town


I know that some of our Living Large’s community also reads Tammy Strobel’s blog over at Rowdy Kittens. I’ve been following her and Logan’s adventures for years, before they even moved into their tiny on wheels three years ago.

Tammy shared some news on her blog this past week that they rented a small, 700-square foot bungalow in town rather than live in their tiny home for the winter.

As I have for several years, I admire Tammy’s honesty on her blog. I think sometimes that tiny house living looks “picture-perfect, romantic and glamorous,” as she says, but as she points out, living a “simpler” lifestyle in a tiny isn’t always that way. It has its good points and downsides, just like living anywhere.

Like Dale and I, it sounds as though Tammy and Logan had a hard time dealing with the terrible winter the country experienced last year. While our pipes didn’t freeze and we always had running water, we did have plenty of snow, which kept Dale home (and unpaid) from work for a day and me feeling a little trapped (I don’t do well driving on snow) sometimes for weeks on end. It wasn’t as bad as the year we had the ice storm, but it was pretty bad.


There is Reason to Report on the Small House Movement, or My Math is Better Than Your Math

Ah, here I am again, blogging about the tiny/small house movement in an effort to try to explain it to someone who obviously will never get it.

I ran across an article yesterday on Housing Wire, intelligently entitled, “Nope, Tiny Houses are not the Next Big Thing: Sorry man – size matters.”

In the article, author Trey Garrison lambasts journalists for not being good with numbers. He goes on with his argument that the media coverage on the tiny/small house movement is unwarranted because the statistics show that homes are, in fact, getting bigger.

He then goes on by taking barbs at tiny house dwellers as “a few hipsters and other assorted folks who make bad decisions.”


Finding Stuff we Forgot we Even Have

Cleaning the clutter from a home, garage, basement, attic or storage area has many benefits, including ridding our lives of the unnecessary.

Last week, I wrote about cleaning out our closets and the laundry/pantry area off our kitchen and just feeling like we had so much more space.

The other main benefit, of course, is finding things you don’t even remember you have.