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.
Stacy Lyn Harris is a best-selling cookbook author, blogger, speaker, wife, and mother of seven children. We like to call her the diva of the dinner table and the princess of wild game cooking Being the mother of seven children she has learned that the simpler life isn’t easy along with other misconceptions of what this phrase means. Tune in to find out what the simpler life is and what it isn’t from the southern charm of Stacy Lyn Harris.
Glenda: 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. Today we are talking with Stacy Lynn Harris. I like to call her, the diva of the dinner and the princess of– [laughter]
Stacy: We’ve got some names and they are awesome. I’ll take them, thank you.
Glenda: All right, well that sounds good. Well, today we’re going to talk about what the simpler life is and what the simpler life isn’t. People aspire to it, but we want them to have realistic expectations of what it really means to live a simpler life. So in your opinion and with your knowledge, what does a simpler life give you and what does it mean?
Stacy: So a simpler life is simple, but not easy. That’s the main thing that I would want to say because it’s hard work. But the simple life is happiness and purpose, participation, knowledge, independence, and ultimately freedom. So it is a motivator. Um, you have to be determined to do it, but if you are, you will be successful. Not just in home steading, but I feel like it goes into every other area of your life. And living simply gives you time to think. That’s a huge thing. And ask the question, why? Living a simple life does that for you. You’re able to think, why am I doing this? Why do we want to can? Why would I want fresh vegetables? And then you’re like in your mind, you get that… With all of the knowledge that you’re gaining with asking the question why you get conviction. And when you get conviction, you have passion and passionate people change the world. So to me, simple living ultimately goes to passion and change.
Glenda: I know that you have raised your family, seven children ranging in age from–
Glenda: Nine to 20…
Glenda: Five. With this philosophy, and I think those are great skills. I mean, who doesn’t want their children to be determined and courageous and knowledgeable? You’ve also talked about how innovative it’s made them because you don’t always have every piece or part you need to finish a task.
Stacy: Rarely do you.
Glenda: Right. And so innovation, because we’ve talked about this before, but the world doesn’t always work the way you think it will. So if you’re planning on going right and the world, weather, illness, goes left, you have to be innovative to deal with that.
Stacy: Absolutely. And there’s no better place than on the homestead to learn that. Because if you’re out in the garden and your tiller breaks, you’ve got to either put the back labor into it or come up with another ingenious idea that is somewhat like a tiller. So if you, you know, I know with the kids they were out there or somebody was on the tractor and the hydraulic hose broken, then they were like, “Hey, we have a boat plug we can use.” And it worked for the time being. And you find ways to make things happen. And so as humans, if you do that in the garden, and if you do that on your land and on your property, then you’ll do that in the community. And eventually in the world and in politics and, theater even, I mean, wherever you go, you will use that same determination.
Glenda: I find the simple life to be very participatory, you have to plant it, you have to harvest it, you have to cook it, you can share it. You could learn from other people. And I think in our culture today, we’re awfully isolated. You think of a little apartment complex as people move around too, and they don’t even know their neighbors. But if you’re in a farming co-op or a CSA, it’s really participatory. And you know, at Lehman’s here we stand for a simpler life. And one of the key pillars of that is satisfying. It’s satisfying to plant and grow and consume in addition to being healthy.
Stacy: Yes, yes it is. And oftentimes you run into failure, but if you’re innovative and if you’re creative, you can eventually come out of that. And from that failure, you can have the best success you’ve ever had or come up with a new way to do something and new inventions. And it’s just empowering.
Glenda: It is. I’ve actually read a lot of great inventions started out as a mistake.
Glenda: You know, everything from electricity, to post it notes started out as a mistake. So we’ve talked a lot about what the simpler life is. Tell me what you think it isn’t. We already said it’s not easier. What else is it not? That may be a common misperception.
Stacy: Well, it’s not orderly a lot of times. It’s not always cause and effect. Oftentimes it is, but sometimes it’s dependent on the rain. It’s dependent on other forces outside of yourself of why something failed or, it’s not always dependable. So if it isn’t and you’re trying to make your living off of this, then you need to have a backup plan. And even if it’s on the homestead, a backup plan. And so like, say for instance, you’re, you know, selling eggs. If your chickens are getting, you know, older, I mean, you may think about selling the chickens if something’s going wrong somewhere else or you know, if you’re not able to sell something else on your property or something.
Glenda: Right. And that’s again, being innovative, being knowledgeable, being able to plan ahead if you plan to go right and everyone else goes left. At Lehman’s too we often talk about it being a journey, not a destination. Just like parenting, right? You don’t get to a certain point and say, “There! All done!”
Stacy: And it is a journey. And if you look at it that way, your life will be so much better and so much simpler because you’re not trying to get to a particular place. And I find that homesteaders are often lifelong learners. So if you’re always learning, then you’re never ever going to reach your destination. I mean, it’s just this journey and it’s adding on to what you already know and the knowledge is amazing. And it goes into all areas of your life, every bit of knowledge that you learn about. And I mean even food is medicine. I mean, there’s so much to learn about that. A lifelong, you know, of learning about how to use natural foods as medicine.
Glenda: Right. So the journey is always ongoing. Perhaps the speed at which one takes it. For instance, I work full time but maybe at some point I’ll be able to go farther on my journey. I’ve made soap and I’ve made candles. Cheese is next on the list.
Stacy: Very good. Yes.
Glenda: So I definitely have an interest in that. Tell folks how to hear more about you and your books and tell us how to follow you.
Stacy: Okay. So at stacylynharris.com. You can go to my website and find all of my social links from there. Or you can look up Stacy Lyn Harris pretty much on every social network. So whatever people use, find me there and I will interact with you there. So I try to keep up with things, I will email you back. May be a while. If you email me but I will get to you and I look at all of my networks every day to make sure nobody has any questions.
Glenda: Okay, fantastic. Right before we sign off, you did a kind of a partial quick walk through the store never having been here before. What do you think?
Stacy: Oh this now I can say is a destination. You must come to this destination. The journey is beautiful too though by the way. On the way up here. It is absolutely beautiful and the destination is awesome. You could spend all day here. I mean they have a place to eat. They’ve got everything you could ever want to know and I’m interested in going back down there and get in some of those root beers and along with some of the kitchen equipment and some of the health care stuff, you have a whole room full of being healthy this way.
Glenda: All right. Well fantastic. Thank you so much for being with us and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks.
Stacy: Yay. Thank you.
Glenda: This is Glenda Lehman Ervin with Lehman’s, where we stand for a simpler life. Thanks for listening. For more visit lehmans.com.