My family started the Homestead Education Center to share what we were discovering about homesteading and natural living. Learning to get back-to-basics was our attempt to move away from a harried, stressful, and unhealthy life toward something that just felt better. Our passions include: natural solutions to health and wellness, a hunger for personal growth, and a love of art and culture. Mike and I have dozens of schooling years between us, but living well was not something we learned in school. It is a life-long quest that we want to share with others, and we definitely haven't perfected anything yet. We mess up a lot, flip out on our kids, do things we regret, and our van looks like a tornado ran through it half the time. However, it feels like our family is more aligned with our values. I think that is a good place to start.
Making a living and making a life are two very different things. The Homestead Education Center provides and avenue for teaching what we call "real living" in a warm and curious environment. Our logo is a rooster, designed by Marion Sansing. It represents our "wake up call" to live life well.
In our first three years of programming we have hosted some amazing presenters and welcomed over 1000 participants. Writers, thinkers, and doers we never dreamed would come to Mississippi have added to the magic of The Homestead from the band Rising Appalachia, to authors like Sandor Katz, Jonathan Odell, and Donna Jackson Nakazawa. This fall we host another best selling author and motivational inspiration, Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery. In addition, we have discovered a treasure trove of local talent who love to share their knowledge with enthusiastic audiences. If you would like to share your talent, please let us know! If you are ready to learn how to relish some of life's greatest gifts - welcome!
Mike, Alison, Max, Ben, and Cecelia Buehler
A "Picture" of the Homestead
The Homestead is a 5,000 sq/ft lodge on six acres of lakefront property 1.5 miles West of Wal-mart in Starkville. There is a big kitchen space with a walk out screened in porch for nutrition/cooking classes, a large meeting space with a view of the gardens and lake, an art space dedicated to all things messy in the walk-out basement with an attached greenhouse, and an outdoor classroom.
We want people to be able to stay from far away for activities, workshops, and events as needed. We turned the five bedrooms into various sleeping arrangements. If you are interested in alternative energy, the Homestead Center is partially powered by a solar array.
On the site we have over a mile of nature trails, chickens, bees, two teaching gardens, gray-water, rain catchment, and compost systems, and a fruit tree orchard. There is a salt water pool and plenty of comfortable outdoor seating. Wildlife is everywhere. Deer, beavers, cranes, turtles, rabbits, and the occasional fox all make appearances at the Homestead.
We call it Big House in the Little Woods. When we can reuse old materials to make something, we do. When we find technology that allows us to be more self-sufficient, we use it too. The goal is for the Homestead Center to be a closed system to some extent. For example, scraps from dinner go either to our chickens and become eggs that end up back in the kitchen, or in our compost pile which ends up feeding the plants that end up back in the kitchen. The water from the washing machine is filtered out into a garden to support the fruit trees, you get the idea.
Our goal is to provide a place where we can share important knowledge right here in Mississippi with the people and place we love.