During the cold, gloomy days here in the urban jungle, it’s rather difficult to envision having a rural, self-sufficient homestead in the coming years.
And it’s just as hard finding motivation to work towards such a goal.
I like to get my inspiration from a number of places, including the latest material from Living the Country Life magazine, “Ideas and Inspiration for Your Place in the Country.”
When my girlfriend and I first got satellite TV, I noticed a show on called Living the Country Life- which I later found out was an offshoot of a magazine by the same name. I put it on once, and even though I’m a city-dweller, I really liked it. I mean really liked it. Perhaps it was because the neighbors were being especially loud that day. Or jumbo jets from nearby O’Hare Airport had been routed over my home. Or City Hall had gotten the City of Chicago into another fine mess. I can’t say for sure. But the show really inspired me to look into rural living, which I eventually decided to pursue.
From the website’s “Media Kit” section:
Living the Country Life inspires affluent rural homeowners to maximize their enjoyment of their place in the country.
The Living the Country Life brand includes a magazine, Web site, radio show, video solutions and database.
About that “affluent” part- that’s not really the case. I don’t think you have to be a rural property owner “of means” to appreciate, and more importantly, utilize the information provided in the quarterly magazine or by the other offerings of the “brand.” Although, be prepared for a healthy dose of ads in the print publication.
To give you an idea of what’s inside each issue of the magazine, here’s the table of contents from the Fall 2012 edition:
• From My Place To Yours
• Comments From The Country
• Saving Barns One Piece At A Time
• Cover Story: 5 Steps To Beautiful Fall Containers
• Top 10 Tools For Fall Cleanup
• Wheat By Design
• Product Guide: Utility Vehicles
• Feeding And Housing Birds
• 10 Fall Chores
• A Bit About Minis
• Recipes: Canning Pears
• Brent Olson: Settle In, Cherish Fall
Total number of pages: 40.
As each issue is typically around this size, don’t expect anything too in-depth about a particular topic. I often find myself jumping on the Internet to do more supplemental research into something interesting I’ve come across.
Another offering from Living the Country Life I take advantage of is their “Weekly Update Newsletter,” another great resource for information about rural living. From the latest e-mail, “26 mistakes to avoid on your acreage:”
• 6 acreage blunders
• 12 reasons electric fences fail
• 7 landscaping mistakes to avoid
• Step up security
• Mini-Course: Garden planning (Week 3: Build a raised bed cloche in 8 steps)
• Betsy’s Blog: What’s your sign?
• Recipes: 10 sweets for your sweetheart
• Country Homes: 11 mudroom organizational tips
Another offshoot of the magazine is the radio show. Living the Country Life is the largest rural radio network in the country, with 350 stations airing the show twice a day. It’s hosted by Editor/Host Jodi Henke and Editor-In-Chief Betsy Freese, and they share tips from experts across the U.S. “to help you around your acreage.” To give you an idea of the subject matter discussed, the last three radio shows were:
• Bovine respiratory disease
• Feeding piglets
• Country View: Keith Yearout- Bison Farming- Lake City, KS
Now, did I mention that all of this material is free? Yep. Even the magazine.
Even though I’m still a few years away from acquiring that homestead I want, I’m already starting to compile research. This includes information I’ve obtained from the Living the Country Life magazine and other offerings. I feel it will prove to be handy down the road. Hopefully, it might be of some use to you too.
Stop by the Living the Country Life website here for more information.
By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
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