Author Interview with The Frugal Homesteader - John Moody!

by: EJ on 10/01/2018

In today's author interview we push John Moody, "The Frugal Homesteader", to try and choose just one tool!  And we get some very no nonsense advice on kids and devices. John Moody is the author of The Frugal Homesteader: Living the Good Life on Less, which he does with his family of 7 on 35 acres in Kentucky.


1) What was the biggest challenge for your family when you first moved to the homestead?

Too many projects and problems to deal with at the start, especially with the house. We ended up with 35 acres in the rolling hills an hour southwest of Louisville, Kentucky. We had no idea what we were looking for homestead-wise other than, “This is what we can afford, and this is how far from town we can be.” We couldn’t afford much.
So we ended up with a run-down, rock-solid-clay, no-top-soil, 35 acres of semi-isolated beauty. In the first two years, we removed dumpster load after dumpster load of rubbish left by the previous owners and inhabitants. We went to put in a garden. The ground broke the tiller before the tiller broke the ground. We adjusted to living 30 minutes or more from everything instead of three.

2) If you could keep just one tool, what would it be?


Tools are like Lay's Potato chips, no one can have just one.  Seriously, I can't think of any "one tool" that would suffice for homesteading.  In a pinch, a good pocket multi-tool and pocket knife are non-negotiable.  Same with a basic shovel, pitchfork, and rake. It doesn’t matter how low cost a project is if you have to purchase expensive tools to make it happen.

3) It seems so hard to get kids to turn away from their devices.  Do you have any helpful hints for getting kids involved?

Don't give them devices :)  You don't have to take away/restrict what they don't already have. 

4) How can people find sources of discarded or unwanted material that can be used on the homestead?

 See my book for the full breakdown! Click here to download Chapter 6 "Sourcing and Resource" from The Frugal Homesteader


5) What is your approach when funding (monetarily or with your labor) new homestead projects such as a hoop house, chickens, kitchen garden, etc? Do you think of long term value and do it right the first time or short term quick setup and tweak things from there?

Well, chickens, small garden, etc., shouldn't take you that much time. For putting in a garden, you can sheet mulch in the fall, and by spring it is ready to go, save maybe needing more mulch. Chickens you just need to build a coop. That should take max 4-8 hours and under $200. Hoop houses totally different ball game. You can buy a bender and bend your own - I have a few friends that do that. You can go for the NRCS grant program for larger ones depending on your views on those programs.
Always, always, always, DO IT RIGHT from the start. It isn't easy to fix/tweak most larger projects later, despite how much you think you will be able to, especially building projects. Once stuff is driven into the ground, framed, etc. it is a PAIN to undo, redo. So differentiate between small, flexible projects, and more permanent, high value (time + money) projects.

Order your copy of John Moody's The Frugal Homesteader  today!  



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