Chatting with Homestead Heroes

Kelly and Erik of Root Simple. Image:

Kelly and Erik of Root Simple. Image:

Have you ever met one of your all-time favorite heroes? How did you feel? Giddy? Nervous? Terrified?

That’s exactly how I felt earlier this week, when Vince and I had the chance to meet – albeit virtually – two of our biggest heroes: Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, authors of the urban homestead and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World. They blog and podcast about all things homestead and DIY at Root Simple.

After reading their first book early in our homestead journey, we excitedly constructed a self-watering container, a bean teepee, designed a polycultural vegetable bed, and we even still follow their advice for rotating vegetable crops. Life is fun when you’re learning and tinkering with skills.

What Tenth Acre Farm and Root Simple have in common (if I had to sum it up) is the goal of transforming the home into a unit of production through skill development. If you like to master bite-sized skills, one at a time, their books and website content are exactly what you need to catapult your DIY confidence.

When Kelly and Erik invited us to be guests on the Root Simple podcast, I flipped out a little. On the one hand, it was serendipitous – I mean, how often do you get to meet your heroes? On the other hand, the thought of meeting them was terrifying – as a self-proclaimed homesteader, I’ve got nothin’ on these two pioneers of the modern homesteading movement!

I’m totally swooning. Yet chatting with Kelly and Erik was as easy as pie (if that were a thing). I felt like we were long-time neighbors, kicking back and sharing an adult beverage on the patio. Most of the time our heroes end up being regular ole’ honest folks who do amazing things. A reminder that all of us ordinary peeps can do great things if we set our minds to it!

We chatted about me quitting my job as a teacher, building a swale through our front yard and what the neighbors thought about it, planting fruit trees in our parking strip, pressure canners vs. water bath canners, the mason jar vacuum sealer, and why we don’t keep chickens. Listen to Episode 005 of the Root Simple Podcast!

Have you ever met your heroes?

Chatting with Homestead Heroes

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  1. says

    It was such a pleasure to speak to you both. And thanks for putting up with our first attempt at an interview. You guys are amazing and a real inspiration. You got me thinking about ways to improve our front yard and, of course, I’ve got to put together one of those vacuum sealer things. Looking forward to talking to you again sometime about your experiences setting up a community garden. Felt like we just scratched the surface.

    • says

      It was so fun to geek out about this homesteading lifestyle and all of the tinkering that goes along with it! You and Kelly were gracious podcast hosts and asked great questions. FYI, my next skill to tackle (per Root Simple) is making calendula oil infusion and salve. I’ve been growing calendula for years and haven’t ever gotten around to harvesting it. I look forward to all of us chatting again in the future!

  2. David Wilder says

    Found your website through Root Simple’s blog post and recent podcast episode. Really enjoying your blog – keep up the good work!

  3. Sydney says

    I also found your site via Root Simple. I love RS and have been following them for years. I look forward to following your blog for a good long time as well!

  4. says

    It’s good to know there’s another podcast on the block! Finally got to listen to it and to y’all. I miss the podcasts y’all were putting out last summer.

    And I totally agree about the chickens…I wanted them but local eggs are readily available around here so it didn’t make sense for me to have them currently. Though, the allure is still there!

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