Learn about how our family has reprioritized, made healthy-living a priority to return to our roots by moving out of the Silicon Valley and into the mountain country-life.


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March 30, 2023

Finding and Building Community Through Food and Farming

Connecting with others who share your love for homesteading and good food can enrich your life and create a strong sense of community.

When I speak at tech conferences, it’s relatively “easy.” The audience is primarily interested in data-driven insights and the latest technological advancements. My presentations are on my innovative Silicon Valley growth strategies to the heads of top startups and Fortune 500 companies, where I can hide behind the numbers and remain relatively anonymous.

This past weekend, I stepped off of the Big Tech stage and into the Small Ag stage speaking at the Women’s Homesteading Society conference with over 200 women from all over the country to connect and learn from each other. It was an entirely different experience.

I shared my heart. I shared my family values, my failures, and my personal journey in building our community after 2020.

On the drive over to the conference with my husband Tim, he asked me how prepared I was. I told him that I wasn’t too worried. The day before, I had just spent girl time with my partner in crime, Dani, to run through my entire outline. I could just wing it. Also, no one was coming to listen to me. In the tech world, the last person to speak is the main reason why people come. That’s why they save them for last. That person at this conference was my fellow Chelsea Green author, Beth Dougherty!

Tim turned to me and gave me a look while he was driving, followed by a 2-hour lecture on how like a comedy act, the opener has the hardest job. They set the stage for the event, no matter what “level” the comedian is at when they’re performing in that critical opening spot. That wasn’t enough, he said, “you do realize that you’re opening for Ann, A Farm Girl in the Making!” I pulled out my laptop and scrapped everything I had previously worked on, to speak to the hearts of the women homesteaders.

Thank you Angela, the founder of the Women’s Homesteading Society for creating a beautiful space and community, and for inviting me to share our family’s story.

As I began to share my story, I realized that the women in the audience were hungry for something more than just data-driven insights. They were looking for connection and community, and they were willing to open up and be vulnerable to find it.

I shared the story of how I got into homesteading and the struggles I faced along the way. I talked about how it was finding a community of like-minded individuals that helped me to keep going. I shared the lessons I learned along the way, including the importance of staying true to yourself and your values, and the power of finding a supportive community.

One of the most surprising moments of my talk was when I shared how much I had paid for my chickens. The room got loud with gasps and laughter, and it was a moment of connection that brought everyone together. It was a reminder that we were all there to learn and connect, and that sometimes the smallest things can bring us together.

After sharing our family’s story at the conference, countless women approached me and messaged me on Instagram to express how deeply inspired they were by our journey. Hearing that our story resonated with them and helped them find renewed strength in their own struggles was truly humbling. To be honest, I never realized that our story could be considered inspiring. Our story was born out of pain, loss of many friendships, and loneliness. However, it fills my heart with joy to see how God has used our journey to bring healing and redemption.

Looking out at the audience of over 200 homesteading women, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude. This community is exactly what I prayed for during those lonely nights in California, never truly believing it existed.

Speaking at the Women’s Homesteading Society conference was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The power of community can truly help us to overcome even the greatest of challenges. I’m so grateful the women welcomed my message and I felt safe sharing my heart for food and farming.

I left the conference feeling inspired by Ann who spoke about the Proverbs 31 woman, Sara who shared about extending your vegetable harvest with high tunnels, and Beth Dougherty who inspired me to continue to work with the land how God intended, and connected to a group of women who shared my values and my passion for homesteading. I met so many of the women I follow and admire on Instagram, and I look forward to meeting more at the Women’s Homesteading Society Conference in 2024!

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