My New Article in The New Pioneer

Another one of my short “How to”articles was published this month in The New Pioneer, Spring 2017, Country Almanac #218. You can tell that as soon as the fall rush is over and we have moved inside for the long Michigan winter I get busy contacting my editors! I spend the summer months thinking up sellable ideas too.

new Pioneer front cover Spring 2017.jpg

The New Pioneer magazine runs a column in each issue called, “It Worked for Me!” This is an opportunity for freelancers like me to come up with a unique and targeted idea for their readership.

This is my second submission to this magazine (Psst, please don’t tell anyone but I am building my reputation with my editor and plan to make inroads to eventually pitch and submit a cover story for this publication. I know JUST the story too.)

This quarterly publication is geared to folks who wish to homestead, live off-grid and to become more self-sufficient. Readers are always looking for simple, healthy ways to live debt-free.


This is the photograph they choose to illustrate my written piece.  I took this photograph of our Cochin eggs last year.

As a long-time homesteader myself, I know the right hot button for many of these publications. One area of interest for nearly every homesteader is solid ideas of ways to earn some extra cash while on the homestead.

Many homesteaders, while rich in land and homegrown food, are all too often cash strapped in the short-term. So a good idea about how to market and earn some out-of-pocket cash is always welcome.

My piece is about how I found, marketed and sold our organic eggs to the five-star Yelton Manor B&B in South Haven, MI. See their website

I shared several of my tips and trade secrets to finding, pitching and selling my eggs and blackberries to this unique bed and breakfast establishment with readers and my editor gave me the place of honor, top billing on the inside back page, page 128.

Writing these articles is one more way I earn some out-of-pocket cash for our homestead needs!

The link to the publication can be found here:

Small House Big Sky Homesteader, Donna

The Art of Aging Gracefully on the Homestead-Mother Earth News

We are in the current issue of Mother Earth News!

My latest contribution to the current issue of Mother Earth News has hit the news stand. This magazine for those of you who might not know it; is a guide to living wisely while being self-sufficient on the homestead or farm.

The article is titled Aging Gracefully on the Homestead. This is a piece about the challenges of senior homesteading; a topic we know a little something about.


Although I pitched an ongoing column geared to senior homesteading they opted for a one time “how-to” article. Perhaps they know more about the age of their readership than I do! My contribution was four photographs (out of the eight published) and a part of the text.

Double click on this PDF and I believe that the article will open up. aging-gracefully-1

Homesteading is hard work, and Gene and I are not getting any younger. I doubt anyone will argue with that. There are definitely multiple challenges to continuing to do the physical work required by homesteading as one gets older.

We moved to the Small House Big Sky Homestead fifteen years ago. We started out getting as much done as we could and added additional outdoor projects like the chicken complex and the water containment system each summer. And worked on the house during the winter months. This was a good thing we got a lot done in those early years since even then we weren’t spring chickens. (We were 50 and 55 years old.)

Eventually we got the major items on our to-do list knocked down. Every year we try to accomplish a project or two more outside during the nice weather and a few more small indoor project in the house during the indoor winter months.

Now that we are 65 and 72, our age and our health is beginning to be a real consideration. Fortunately, I started thinking about this several years ago. I asked myself what will I do and how will we manage when it becomes more difficult to do the work we need to do?

This past season I hired hourly help in the garden and yard. We found a local young girl of fourteen who is strong and looking to make some money for school clothes. It’s not a perfect system as Olivia is only available on Sunday afternoons because she runs cross county and runs her daily miles every school night, but we have managed to make it work. And this past winter when Gene had his hernia operation we hired a local small business in the short-term to plow our driveway and another local boy to run the snow blower to clear our paths.The total cash out of pocket during Gene’s recovery was less than $100.00.

Some homesteaders find an apprentice or a farm worker and offer room and board in exchange for work. Others turn a spare bedroom or cabin into an Air B&B for extra cash income on the homestead.

Obviously, there is more than one way to make this work but this is what is woring for us.

The moral of this story is to plan ahead about how you might make your elder years’ on the homestead work for you and how you can turn your homestead into a property that will sustain you when you are older.

I hope to convince the editors at MEN that a monthly column written by me with interviews of senior homesteaders who ARE making it work will be both inspirtional and informative.

To help support this idea please send your letters/e-mails to:Rebecca Martin>

As always, thank you for following and if you are aging homesteaders and want to share tips with me about how you have made senior homesteading work for you, please contact me. I am always looking for new ideas on how you in the hometead trenches are making it work!

Small House Big Sky Homesteader, Donna

My Piece in The New Pioneer Magazine Is Published

My article and three photographs about our rainwater catchments system has been published in The New Pioneer magazine, Summer issue 2015. I wrote about it first on my blog here…

New Pioneer Cover Summer 2015

Although I have known about this since last winter when I received my acceptance, is always a thrill to open the magazine and find something you have created in it.

I like how they titled it Raincatcher System. Pretty cleaver huh?

This guide to self-reliant living is now available on newsstands everywhere. Since this is a niche market, I’d try Tractor Supply for a copy first. Or order it on-line at This is a quarterly publication and sells for $24.97 for one years subscription.

Small House homesteader and freelance writer, Donna


Published in Living the Country Life

Today I received a hard copy of the early Spring issue, Volume 14. No 1, of Living the County Life magazine.


Living the County Life Cover

This is the issue that published my photograph of our pool shack in the snow. The theme was “Homemade Sheds and Coops” and the magazine printed seven structures and one of them is ours. And, I received payment for it-yea!

The text I wrote reads, “Adding Elements: The back of our pool shack is a canvas I use to add color and visual interest to our garden. The round painted piece is a part of a back of a chair and the three brown items are rusty tool parts. The screen door was a roadside rescue I brought home, painted and hung of the cedar frame of the shack. I find this visually pleasing – a kind of junky funky corner. I am always happy when I walk by and see this display. Even in the snow of winter, this spot brightens my spirit!” 

Pool shack an long row of grasses

 The back of our pool shack with the funky junk I like so well.

This magazine is free and you can subscribe just by visiting its website You can select a printed and mailed copy or enjoy and submit even more pictures on-line.

It’s always a real thrill to see ones work published and it’s even better to get paid!

Small House Homestead, freelancer Donna