Take the next step on your journey
Informal interviews with homesteaders, cooks, gardeners and employees will help you take the next step on your journey to a simpler life. Escape the chaotic, stressful world for about seven minutes and learn how to live a satisfying life, enjoying time with family and friends.
Jill Winger: Being Old-Fashioned on Purpose
In this episode you’ll hear from Jill Winger author of the Prairie Homestead cookbook whom we were lucky enough to have visit Lehman’s this summer. Jill lives out on the wide-open Wyoming prairie with her husband and three “free-range” prairie children.
They have been living the homestead lifestyle for 10 years and as you’ll hear she loves to help those who feel uninspired with conventional living to master old-fashioned skills and learn how to grow their own food. Tune in and learn about her journey to the simpler life.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: Welcome to Solutions for a Simpler Life. This is Glenda Lehman Ervin with Lehman’s on the square in Kidron, Ohio. We’re glad you’ve joined us. I hope you all are having a good week. You know I was thinking the other day. Maya Angelou once said, “We get the life we choose.” And are you choosing to live a simpler life? If that is of interest to you I invite you to listen to Jill Winger of the Prairie Homestead here in Kidron all the way from Wyoming. Welcome Jill.
Jill Winger: Thank you Glenda. I am so excited to be here.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: Well good. Well tell me a little bit about your journey to the simpler life. How did it start and where are you now?
Jill Winger: So I started a little bit unconventionally. I was raised like a typical suburban kid in town, you know nothing special. But from day one I always had this strange attraction to the rural way of life. And so as I got older you know the ripe old age of 18, I packed up my little truck and I moved to Wyoming. Initially the goal was to pursue a career in the horse industry and that eventually, long story short, resulted in meeting my husband and we started this little homestead. And so our homestead is on 67 acres of prairie lands and we grow a lot of our own food and it’s really become a passion for us just even beyond mere food production in that it has changed how we see life and how we run our businesses and how we raise our children. And so it’s really been a full transformation really moving towards that simpler way of living.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: And how many children do you have?
Jill Winger: We have three kids. We have 9, 6, and 3.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: And you homeschool?
Jill Winger: Homeschool yes.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: All right. Do they get involved in the chores on the farm?
Jill Winger: Absolutely yes. They have their morning chores, they do all the chickens. They’re actually pretty handy for their ages.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: Oh good good. What kind of livestock do you have any property?
Jill Winger: So we do dairy cattle. We have a milk cow just for our family, beef cattle, occasionally we raise hogs, chickens and then horses and dogs and cats which are more pets.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: Right. And now you have a very popular Web site, theprairiehomestead.com. Tell me how that started.
Jill Winger: It really started as more of an outlet for myself. I was home alone with a baby as a new mom and I just needed a way to express myself and then it pretty quickly started morphing into a way I could connect to other people. And fast forward to today we have quite the tribe and we offer a lot of support of other people starting their homestead journey and it’s been just an amazing experience for us all the way around.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: And we carry your cookbook. The first one, which has been very popular and tell us a little bit about that. And then the new heritage cooking series.
Jill Winger: Absolutely. So the cookbook is really helping people start cooking with whole foods. It’s focused on from scratch cooking. No boxes or processed ingredients. Just basic ingredients that you could probably grow yourself. And then the Heritage Cooking Crash Course goes a little bit deeper. So if you’re wanting to learn the arts of old fashioned cooking, sour dough, fermentation, canning, we’re going to take you on a deep dive and give you the tools you really need to get started.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: What is the most asked question or one of the most asked questions you get from your audience, your tribe as you call them?
Jill Winger: I would say they they say, “Jill where do I start? Where do I start with this homestead life?” And my answer is usually start with the food because even if you live in an apartment in New York City you can change what you’re eating and you can find better ingredients and source better options and that will translate down the road if you do get your hundred acres and your milk cow someday you’re going to be well-equipped once you get to that point.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: That makes perfect sense. We hear from a lot of people who are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and I think we’ve gotten away from the fact that food is the fuel of our body. And you know all the chemicals in the preservatives in it that just can’t be good for us.
Jill Winger: Absolutely. Yes.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: So what is the next step for you? What would what would you like to do say in the next 10 years, what is your goal?
Jill Winger: I want to help as many people as I possibly can learn this way of being old fashioned on purpose. And so we have lots of products and videos in the works to help people get the tools they need. And just however I can inspire people to move forward. That’s my goal.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: Well that’s fantastic because that’s one of our passions too is teaching people. We talk a lot about the journey to a simpler life and just taking the next step like I myself I’ve made soap and candles and I haven’t made cheese and I don’t have a chicken of course I work full time but the whole point is you can incorporate some aspect into your life that hopefully makes you a happier person. All right. Final question just off the cuff if you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Jill Winger: I think I would probably be training horses somewhere on a ranch full time. That was the original path and yeah that’s probably where I would head to instead of homesteading.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: Well good luck with everything and we’re so happy you’re here today. Thank you.
Jill Winger: Thank you it’s been my pleasure.
Glenda Lehman Ervin: This is Glenda Lehman Ervin with Lehman’s where we stand for a simpler life. Thanks for listening. For more visit lehmans.com.