Starting off as a young, single woman with a desk job and a city apartment, Jenna Woginrich set out to build a more self-sufficient lifestyle by learning homesteading skills. She didn't own land or have much practical experience beyond a few forays into knitting and soap making, but she did have a strong desire to opt out of what she saw as a consumer-driven culture. After moving across the country to a rented farmhouse in northern Idaho, she learned to raise chickens, keep bees, and grow her own food. This is the story of her joyful, dramatic, and sometimes sorrowful journey toward self-reliance. Along the way, she learned that an abundance of enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment could make up for a lack of knowledge, and that reaching out to others for mentoring and guidance could help her reconnect with her community. In any setting -- urban, suburban, or rural -- with any level of experience, it's possible to take small steps toward self-reliance. Windowbox vegetable gardens, a batch of homemade strawberry jam, a handknit sweater, or a small flock of backyard chickens all satisfy the craving to homestead. It's not about having a rustic cabin on five acres, complete with a pickup truck and a barn full of livestock. For Woginrich, it's about being more receptive to learning the simple skills most of us have forgotten, and finding joy in the process.
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