The Extraordinary Rural Folks We’ve Met Over 7 Years

Posted by Kristen Boye on July 22, 2022

Farmers, rural entrepreneurs and even a celebrity survivalist have helped Rethink:Rural tell the story of country living throughout our 7 years of publication.

In celebration of our seventh anniversary, we’re re-sharing some of the most popular stories of some of the most fascinating rural folks we’ve met.

From Our First Year: Colbert Sturgeon: Life As a Survivalist

Colbert Sturgeon lives a super-primitive life in Georgia’s swampland. He’s best known as one of the leads for National Geographic’s reality show, Live Free or Die. Our former editor, Tiffany Wilson, happened upon Colbert at an event and was lucky enough to score an interview.

In this article, Colbert tells us how he became a wilderness survival expert, and what made him leave his white collar job as an accountant to instead live off the land.


From Our Second Year:  Wes Moore Follows His Heart at Alabama's Alligator Alley

Most landowners in gator country don’t go out of their way to make their land more attractive to alligators…but Wes Moore is a unique individual.

In 2004, he took a family plot of land and opened a sanctuary to rescue alligators. Any local gator longer than 4 feet found on a person’s property is moved to his place. He called it: Alligator Alley.

While rescuing these “nuisance animals,” this Summerdale, Alabama, attraction also helps teach folks about gators. We talked to Wes to learn more about this unique rural place. 


From Our Third Year, Meet Art and Adriana Strahan in: How One Couple Built The Barn Event Venue Of Their Dreams

We’ve all seen the photos of those rustically elegant dreamy barn weddings (and if you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ve even attended one).

So, when Art Strahan’s daughter asked to have her wedding in their new barn, it ignited a dream the couple shared to start an event venue on their Texas land. There was just one problem: the barn wasn’t built yet!

With a lot of hard work and hands-on effort, the Strahans made sure their daughter had her dream venue in time for her wedding. Building the structure also quickly launched their ultimate vision for their land, as an event venue and winery.


From Our Fourth Year, Meet Beth and Steve Warner in: How To Start Your Own Multi-Family Compound

In one of our most-read articles to date you’ll meet Beth and Steve Warner. This enterprising couple always dreamed of buying land to share with their like-minded friends. They had visions of shared equipment and multiple sets of hands pitching in when it came time to harvest. 

In other words: they wanted to start a multi-family compound based on a communal living model. Sound like a pipe dream? Well, the Warner’s proved it can happen.

When a neighbor decided to sell his 30 acre property, they worked out a deal to divide up the land to sell to their friends.

And the arrangement has worked out well. Beth and Steve raise sheep and were able to expand their flock thanks to the extra pastureland. The five adults who live on the multifamily compound all work together on big chores like planting gardens, chopping firewood and canning. 

Learn all about how this unique group of friends are living the dream at their multi-family compound in Athens, GA.

From Our Fifth Year, Meet Christa and April Zuniga, in: Eat Your Greens! Organic Farm: Redefining Small-Scale Suburban Agriculture


This Texas couple never imagined they’d be sitting at a farmer’s market, in their 40s, on the weekends explaining how microgreens saved their lives. But, life rarely turns out how we expect.

In this article, we talked to Christa Zuniga about how her wife April’s mysterious illness propelled the couple into growing and selling microgreens from their suburban Texas home. 

Not only did the business offer a financial buffer during April’s recovery, but the couple believes that microgreens helped her heal her symptoms. It's also allowed the couple to share their newfound passion with the community.

If you’ve thought about growing superfoods as a side business or full-time job — or are just interested in learning more about microgreens, this article shows you what’s possible.

From Our Sixth Year, Meet Mother-Daughter Team Mary May and Allison Horseman, in: The Woodstock Lavender Co. --- A Mother-Daughter Herb Farm Thrives In Rural Kentucky

Banner The Woodstock Lavender Co

Lavender farms have long been popular throughout the Mediterranean and Western United States, due to the dry climate. However, the trend has started to move to South. Where farmers like Mary May and Allison Horseman are using their land to grow healthy lavender plants.

We caught up with this mother-daughter-duo at their farm in southern Kentucky, to learn more about growing lavender in the South and what it’s like working with family.

From Our Seventh Year, Meet Danielle Atkins in: Land and Ladies: Women Helping Women Manage Land And Timber

Danielle Atkins isn’t your typical mother-of-3. In addition to being a certified forester and educator, she’s the founder of Land and Ladies; an educational company that teaches women to manage timberland.

In this article, we learn what inspired Danielle to become one of the South’s leading women’s forestry educators (with 3 children under 5 in tow), the challenges facing female landowners and the top 6 most important things women need to know about managing timberland.

Finally, a BIG thank you to our readers, writers, interviewees and experts, social media masters, marketing team and all the other brilliant minds that have kept Rethink:Rural fresh and growing for over 7 years strong! 

We look forward to sharing more extraordinary stories from the country for years to come.

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Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is the editor of Rethink:Rural and the owner of Holistic Writing Concepts---a copy and content writing company specializing in the natural health and green living markets. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in beautiful rural Western North Carolina. Visit her online at:

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