The New Pioneer #261

The New Pioneer is your guide to everything the land has to offer. Every issue is packed with useful how-to information for back-to-the-landers, plus spotlight pieces on couples and families that have actually “been there, and done that” with success! The New Pioneer is also chock full of expert advice on must-have tools and homestead gear, planting and farming, strategies for achieving energy independence and buying rural land, do-it-yourself projects and how to get the most out of living the rural life.

United States
Athlon Media Group
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min
adapt & overcome

When one of our contributors, Evin Galbraith, told me that his location was making it very difficult to proof his article in this issue, he ended by paraphrasing the unofficial Marine Corps mantra, “Don’t worry. I’ll improvise, adapt and overcome.” Those words struck home to me. That mindset helped the people featured in this issue make it through 2020. To our surprise, they are also making money doing what they love, despite the gloomy economy. As you look forward to spring and fulfilling your dreams for 2021, we thought you would enjoy reading how they achieved their goals this past chaotic year and pick up some useful information. In our cover story, you’ll learn how Anna and Jeff Boesch have defied conventional wisdom and are making a go of their small…

8 min
home and garden hacks

Spring is right around the corner and it’s time to celebrate a new season by finding new ways to make life easier. To jump-start the gardening year, try a few of these practical ideas, from making your own low-cost seed mats to being proactive against garden pests and invasive weeds. PLANT A TRAP CROP ONE METHOD TO DEAL with pests without resorting to the spray bottle is to plant a trap crop, drawing the offending insect away from the desired vegetables toward the decoy that can be destroyed. This might involve cutting and disposing of the trap-crop plants or using a less-harsh method of eliminating them, such as hand-picking or vacuuming up pests. Even if you don’t destroy the trap crop, chances are good that using this technique will reduce the pest…

10 min
wandering roots

FOR JEFF AND ANNA BOESCH, it took a journey to find their new home and life on a small southwestern Oregon farm. More specifically, it was an educational journey for Jeff, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Anna, who grew up in California and Washington State towns. But it was a journey with a vision. “I enjoy watching things grow,” Jeff says when asked to explain the root of his farming dream. “I wanted to do something that would bring a sustainable future.” To hone their farming skills, the couple worked at a few West Coast farms, learning the basics of growing and marketing food. While interning at a small farm south of San Francisco, they learned the ins and outs of producing food for a subscription-based food-box program. By their second year…

8 min
half-acre mini farmin’

“What do you plan to do with your life?” This was the question most people asked when I was nearing my college graduation. As a student about to finish a Master of Arts in English, I suspect that most people who asked me this question expected a goal related to English. However, I received more than one surprised look when I answered that my biggest goal was to raise sheep and grow my own food. I astonished more people when I said I was going to do it on half an acre. Society has drilled into millennials that to be successful we have to have a great education so that we can make good money. While I’m grateful for my education and making money doesn’t break my heart, I’ve noticed one…

1 min
rotational grazing 101

WE LET OUR SHEEP GRAZE one or two days at the most, preferring to move them once a day. The more they are rotated, the faster and stronger the grass grows back. However, if we leave for four or five days, they can manage well with a healthy patch of grass in a four-sided pen made from 16-foot cattle panels. The panels are braced by metal rods that keep the sheep from pushing on them and warping or breaking the panels. It takes two or three minutes for four people to move the pen and then I drive in the posts in about five minutes. (One person can move the pen, but that eventually bends the panels at the base.) We move the chicken tractor to where the sheep have grazed when…

5 min
good cabin fever

As a child JC Desclos dreamed of living in the woods and building a cabin much like the one at his dad’s hunting camp in New Hampshire. At the age of 18, he went against his family’s expectations and bought his first piece of property. He earned enough from various jobs to meet his expenses, including a $100 per month mortgage. When he started his cabin build, he had no carpentry skills and used a chainsaw and whatever lumber he could scrounge. JC moved into his unfinished cabin in 1984 at the age of 21, and got a job at a campground, where he learned to run a backhoe and drive a dump truck. He was able to use the showers and laundry facilities at the campground and bring home ice…