Check out these podcasts to learn new homesteading skills while doing simple tasks like cooking dinner, prepping your garden or collecting eggs. We think there’s something for everyone on this list!
Wherever you are in your journey to rural living, whether early in the process of research and planning or knee-deep in farm chores on the homestead, one thing is certain: there is always more to learn. We here at ReThink:Rural are on a mission to share what we know about rural living which is why we're bringing you this collection of homesteading podcasts.
We believe that learning from real people with real-world experience is one of the best ways to truly understand what country life is all about. Every podcaster on this list has hands-on experience with some aspects of rural living. Some of them come from five generations of homesteading families, while others just got started from scratch in the past ten years.
You're bound to get inspiration, motivation and hard-won wisdom from these homesteaders and gardeners. They talk about everything from practical how-to's on the farm to the more philosophical aspects of rural living. So without further ado, here are the shows we recommend:
Pioneering Today with Melissa K. Norris
Melissa and her family live on 15 acres in Washington state where they raise animals including cows, pigs and chickens, supplying all of their meat. They also garden, growing about fifty percent of the family's yearly veggie intake.
Melissa has been podcasting since 2013 and has well over 300 episodes in her archives. As an author, blogger, and YouTube channel hostess, she is both a full-time business owner and a homesteader. Her unique perspective on the realities of raising animals and gardening while also building and running a business is invaluable for would-be homesteaders.
The podcast is a mix of solo shows and interviews, including an episode with regenerative agriculture expert Joel Salatin, in which they chat about methods for improving yields on small acreage homesteads. In the solo shows, Melissa shares her perspective on a range of topics, including the lessons she's learned about keeping chickens over the years. She also opens up about parenting on the homestead and recently had an episode dedicated to this topic.
Living Free in Tennessee with Nicole Sauce
Though Nicole has a passion for rural, land-based living, she never shies away from telling her listeners about the more challenging aspects of the lifestyle. In an episode on winter chores on the farm, she responds in real-time to listener questions about cold weather and life on the homestead. She's candid about her struggles with frozen water pipes and the realities of making sure her animals have water to drink despite freezing temperatures.
There seems to be no veneer to Nicole's approach, which can be refreshing when trying to figure out what daily life is truly like on a homestead. None of this detracts from Nicole's love of country living, but rather, it's clear that despite the struggles, it's worth it to live a life of freedom as an entrepreneur and homesteader. Nicole's topics run the gamut from philosophical questions from a homesteader's perspective to the more nitty-gritty details of daily life, such as her recent episodes about starting seeds on a budget.
Old Fashioned on Purpose with Jill Winger
In Jill's first episode, "How 2 City Kids Became Homesteaders," she talks about how as a young girl living in the suburbs she was drawn to country life. She always wanted a horse and she would push her parents' wheelbarrow around their small yard, pretending to muck out stalls. Years later when she met her husband and found out that his lifelong dream was to own a ranch, they didn't waste time and started saving money for a down payment on what would become their 67-acre Wyoming homestead.
Jill talks about the daily life of a homesteader as well as the entrepreneurial side of things. In season 5 of her podcast, Jill focuses almost exclusively on the businesses that support their homestead and interviews several business mentors and coaches. She and her guests explain the nuts-and-bolts of online businesses in episodes such as "Monetize Your Blog or Website the Evergreen Way with Julie Blanner," and "How to Grow Your Homestead Business on YouTube with Tim Schmoyer."
A Farmish Kind of Life with Amy Dingmann
Amy and her husband bought their 5 acre Minnesota homestead over ten years ago, but getting to that point wasn't easy. In her episode "10+ Lessons From 10 Years on the Farm," Amy shares that she and her husband sold their house with plans to buy land and move to the country, only to be forced to move back in with family members during an economic downturn. It was several more years before they could finally buy land and start homesteading.
Amy is quick to talk about the realities of farm life with her listeners but says the lifestyle is ultimately worth any of the challenges that come along with it.
While they originally planned to keep horses and goats, after a couple of years they realized that other animals (including pigs!) suited them better, much to their surprise. Her advice to new homesteaders? "I’ve learned that what animals work for you won’t be revealed until you try them out at your homestead. So when people ask me about the best animal for a new homesteader, my real answer is pick one and see how it goes." Amy is also a big advocate for creating community and has an episode dedicated to just that.
Homesteady with Austin and Kendra Martin
Austin ("Aust") and his wife Kendra decided to get back to the land when they had their first child. He says they were living in an apartment building and eating lots of fast food at the time, a lifestyle that just didn't suit them anymore. Now they have a 10-acre homestead, raise and hunt all of their meat, and teach people how to do the same.
In their episode "How to Design the Perfect Homestead For You," Aust and his wife talk about the process of starting from scratch with raw land, including how to decide where to build a house and barn.
They caution new homesteaders against getting all the animals at the beginning and recommend starting with one or two projects, like a garden or a small flock of chickens, letting things grow from there. The key, they say, is to avoid overwhelm in the beginning and to build skills over time. Now that they've grown their skill sets, they're teaching people what they've learned, including how to raise pigs and chickens.
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach
Margaret's is the longest-running podcast on the list with episodes going back to 2010 (it started as an NPR show). This one is a garden-focused podcast for those who are looking to go a little deeper into the topic of growing. Margaret talks about all different types of gardening, including vegetables, fruits, herbs, native plants... and the list goes on.
An award-winning and critically acclaimed author and radio show hostess, Margaret has been writing about gardening for years. Her hit "A Way to Garden," was published in 1998 and chosen as the best book of the year by the Garden Writers of America. Margaret interviews experts who generously share their knowledge with listeners.
She recently had an episode on composting with Cary Oshins from the U.S. Composting Council, an episode on vegetable diseases with Cornell University's Dr. Margaret McGrath and an episode on growing brassicas with Steve Bellavia of Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This podcast is a trusted source of reliable, science-backed gardening info.
The Homestead Journey with Brian Wells
Brian and his wife have been homesteading on their 2-acre parcel in upstate New York since 2008. Though Brian recently decided to take a break from podcasting after two years and more than 100 episodes, his archives are full of helpful how-to information as well as homesteading stories and advice.
Brian is passionate about encouraging others to pursue self-reliance and sustainability, and he does this by teaching useful skills on his farm in hands-on workshops and on his podcast. In the episode, "Three Mistakes People Make when Winterizing Their Chicken Coop," Brian breaks down all of the beginner mistakes he's heard over the years and explains how to support hens and how to encourage winter egg-laying through the harshest months. Brian also talks about parenting and the homesteading life and recently had a guest on to talk about this in his episode, "Homesteading With Special Needs Children."
So there you have it!
This list is by no means exhaustive; there are dozens of homesteading and gardening podcasts out there. But we wanted to share these with you in the hopes that they would inspire you on your homesteading journey, wherever you are in the process.
Let us know which ones are your favorites? And happy listening!