Welcome, I’m Lesa (it sounds like Lisa) and I write Better Hens and Gardens to help rural-minded folks transition to more self-sufficient, sustainable, lifestyles. It’s meant to share all the “stuff” we learned while building homesteads striving for a simpler life.
How We Learned
The Early Years – As an engineer and manager for a large corporation, I was relocated ten times over a span of twenty years. Over time, I became increasingly concerned about our food supply; so, with each move, I tried to shift closer to my vision of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and real foods.
During this period, my partner (Randy) and I built homes, patios, and decks; and grew vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees at multiple locations. All while living in suburbia and being employed full-time.
Bramblestone Farm – In 2000, we purchased ten acres that we named Bramblestone Farm and started a true rural journey. There, we experienced the full range of beautiful Northeast Ohio seasons and built a passive solar homestead complete with deck, patio, barn, livestock fencing, chicken coops, and apiary.
We grew a large garden, raised Buckeye and Golden Buff chickens, bred award-winning Nigerian Dwarf goats, and became beekeepers. In 2013, I retired from the corporate world and in 2014, started sharing farm knowledge by writing for national magazines such as Urban Farm, Chickens Magazine, and Hobby Farms. You can see some of my highlighted publication credits HERE.
We believe that food grown without antibiotics, hormones, artificial fertilizers, insecticides, or herbicides is important; so, while at Bramblestone Farm, we tried to produce our own without those additives. The chickens supplied meat and eggs, the goats provided milk, the honey bees supplied honey, and the garden supplied fruits and vegetables. You can read more about Bramblestone Farm HERE.
Bramblestone South – In 2020, we decided to sell Bramblestone Farm and move to a more temperate climate. So, in the midst of the Covid pandemic, we left the goats, chickens, honey bees, and farm and moved to sunny Hilton Head Island.
We loved Bramblestone Farm and definitely miss it (I particularly miss my beloved goats); however, back health issues made it impossible for me to care for it properly anymore. So, I will continue to write about our adventures on the farm and all that we learned, as well as adventures at our new location.
The property at Bramblestone South is much smaller, but we plan on having gardens and honey bees. We’ll continue our efforts in self-sufficiency, sustainability, and real foods but perhaps with more of a focus on how to accomplish these goals as older folks. As you can see below, the property includes a pool with spa to encourage us to keep moving and stay fit.
We hope you enjoy Better Hens and Gardens, learn something useful, and share your insights or comments back with us!