August 17, 2013 2:29:32 PM
Passion pays off for Starkville residents Mike and Alison Buehler. First, they turned their homesteading hobby into a lifestyle. Now, the Buehlers have been named runners-up on Grit's 2013 Homesteaders of the Year list. Grit will profile them in its September-October issue, on newsstands Aug. 27.
The Buehlers raise bees, chickens and heritage-breed pigs, plus an acre of fruits and vegetables at their Mississippi Modern Homestead. They also generate one-third of their energy from solar arrays, serve as an electric car charging station, and use greywater and rain catchment systems to water their orchard.
"Mike and Alison embody the Grit spirit: 'stick-to-it-iveness,' a strong sense of family and community, and a desire to be self-sufficient," says Hank Will, editor in chief of Grit.
The magazine names Danielle Figel, Ocean County, N.J.; Lewis and Eleanore Janetos, Rollinsford, N.H.; and Eric and Wendy Slatt, Kershaw, S.C., Homesteaders of the Year. Other runners-up are Andrew and Suzanne Cox, Smithville, Tenn., and Robert Reid and Britnee Atnip, Gastonia, N.C.
Grit sought Homesteaders of the Year nominations from its readers, online audience and through social media.
The Homesteaders of the Year kick off International Homesteading Education Month in September. Grit, Capper's and Mother Earth News magazines sponsor this celebration of modern homesteading. Their online hub enables anyone to register tours, workshops, open houses or other events, and the titles have promoted Homesteading Education Month throughout the summer. Everyone is welcome to participate -- individuals, organizations and companies offering products for self-reliant living -- both by signing up to host an event and by using the online listings to find nearby events to attend. Current and would-be homesteaders can also enter the Holy Hee-Haw! Homesteader Giveaway.
To nominate a 2014 Homesteader of the Year, email information and photos, if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Homesteader of the Year."