Meet Teri Page, homesteader, mama of two, yoga and fitness instructor, blogger, and author. When it comes to homesteading, balancing it all, and self care this woman knows her priorities!
Join us for this episode all about her new life in Vermont, her homesteading journey, and the importance of balance in life.
Teri has been homesteading and a one of the prominent homesteading bloggers for almost 20 years, starting in Missouri working at a sustainability education center with her husband. Since then they built an off grid homestead from scratch in Missouri until just two months ago they decided to make a move to Vermont. They now rent 60 beautiful acres on which they have a garden, chickens for eggs and meat, as well as a forest to forage from. When she’s not homesteading you’ll find her working at a location chocolate and confectionary company, teaching yoga, or coaching women one on one and in groups about how to get into homesteading themselves.
Balancing it All
Teri doesn’t necessarily have the formula to how to find balance in life and work since that implies that life events, deadlines, and being a business owner and mom all happen neat and orderly. For her it’s more about aligning your life with your priorities and values. Knowing she wants to provide healthy meals for her children is what drives her passion for homesteading, she realizes that is an important value of her life therefore a high priority. As various commitments come up she strikes balance by staying within her priorities and values.
Her advice when striking your own balance is to take a good, hard look at your life and have the conversations with the people you share your life with so you can be really clear about where your priorities lie. The next is to be sure that you take time and make it a priority to care for yourself. There’s no perfect recipe for satisfying self care because it’s going to look different for everyone. It may be reading a book, walking in the woods, gardening, yoga, lifting weights, it’s whatever helps reenergize and rejuvenate you.
Another tidbit? Learn to say no. Avoiding burn out can be so hard but the first line of defense is to say gracefully say no. This is where your priorities and values come directly into play. If a situation, request, or commitment comes up that doesn’t align with your priorities or values at the time then gracefully bow out when you can.
Obstacles Teri Has Overcome
Moving from Missouri to Vermont has been a major life change. In fact Teri and her family have moved twice in the last six years, which is unusual for homesteaders. However when the opportunity arose Teri and her husband knew that the move would best benefit their children, which are their number one priority. Even still they gave themselves two years to make that decision and work through all of the “whys” behind it.
Best Advice Teri Received
When she was 22 she worked at a marine biology center and was about to share with her boss about a situation between her and her coworker. He stopped her and told her that she needed to be very sure she wanted to share with him because once she did there would be ramifications that happen directly from that conversation.
That tidbit has struck with her throughout these years. It made her really understand that the words she says truly impacts people’s lives. So she focuses her blogging and writing to be extremely positive and encouraging. She isn’t one to sugar coat things but her desire is that those who enter her online space feel encouragement and acceptance.
What Teri Looks Forward To
She is excited about all the possibilities that Vermont holds for her and her family. As scary as it is getting to experience a new place and new activities is really exciting for her. She is also so excited about her book.
The way it happened was so amazing. She started roughing out the book, knowing she wanted to make it about homesteading with kids. Her coach encouraged her to get this story out into the world and she started reaching out to publishers when an editor wrote to her and said that she had seen Teri’s work on Pinterest and was interested in having someone write a book about homesteading with kids.
All About the Book “Family Homesteading”
Teri’s book is all about the various aspects of homesteading and ways to share it with all of the children in your life. Whether it’s your children, grandchildren, or students she shares projects, recipes, and guidance in each chapter. The goal of the book is for people to really connect with nature and where their food comes from. It shows you different ways to teach children about the homesteading lifestyle.
The Writing Process
Since her book includes so many step by step projects and recipes she went about designing the book with a multilayered approach. Deciding first the table of contents, exactly what recipes and projects she wanted to share, going through each of them and taking the photos of the different steps and the end product.
There was plenty of sitting down and writing as well and it took the bulk of four months to really get the meat of the book written down. Which sounds easier than it actually is. Some days you don’t want to write or aren’t inspired but you have to sit down and do the work regardless.
She shares there was a lot of really fun, wonderful moments of creating the book but also some days where 500 words was all she could manage. In the end she was really happy with the end product and it was absolutely worth it to challenge herself to get the words on paper. However as much as she loved it she strongly recommends doing something physical to help offset sitting down and writing so much. Which is why she teaches fitness classes, not only does it help keep her in shape but also keeps her sane.
Tools Teri Can’t Live Without
Her number one? Her computer, not only is it her livelihood but it allows her to connect with other homesteaders across the world. Before her move to Vermont her answer would be their Berkley Water filter. On their homestead in Missouri they collected rain water and snow melt as their source for drinking water. In Vermont things are a little different and they’re back to having running water.
When she first got started in homesteading her number one go to book was Carla Emory’s “Encyclopedia of Country Living.” Another is “Nourishing Homestead” by Ben Hewitt, “Weekend Homesteader,” authors like Jan Berry and Shannon Stronger. For cheesemaking David Asher and Cleese Caldwell. She has a hard time narrowing down one or two favorites but each author has their own speciality in homesteading. Her biggest recommendations for books and homesteading? Check out your local library and pour over the books that interest you the most.
Teri’s Advice for You
When you’re talking about homesteading for beginners her biggest tip is to just get started. Don’t look at the entire picture all at once, break it down into smaller and smaller goals until you can find one that you can achieve in five minutes. Breaking it down into the tiniest of tasks that you can do one day at a time to achieve your big goals is the best and easiest ways to fulfill your life. That may be ordering some cultures for cheesemaking or going out to read for five minutes, stopping at the store to buy herbs to grow on your counter. There’s so many things that you can fit into your life when you do it strategically. Once those habits are in place you no longer have to think about it they are just integrated into your daily routine.
However, if you don’t start, if you don’t take those first steps then it’s never going to happen. Once you start it will be easier to keep going and feeding into the positive feedback loop. It’s imperative to feel fulfilled with this lifestyle.
Keep in Touch with Teri
Book website: FamilyHomesteadingBook.com
As always we so appreciate you joining us for this week’s episode where we got a chance to talk to Teri Page all about homesteading and balancing life. If you enjoyed it we would love for you to leave a review and subscribe to us on iTunes. See you next week!