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Homesteading in the in-laws backyard: A healing journey for Susie Hernandez of @Home.Coop.Garden

Homesteader, Mother & Content Creator
Napa County, California

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I am excited to invite you to my conversation with Susie Hernandez. Susie is a stay-at-home mom, a homesteader, a content creator and a small scale flower, egg & veggie farmer. On her Instagram, @Home.Garden.Coop Susie shares tutorials, videos, creative projects and images from her homesteading journey.

Susie grew up in a multi-generational household on her grandmother’s farm in Sonoma Country. Her grandmother practiced homesteading and taught Susie how to grow food and raise chickens. At 12, Susie’s grandmother passed and her parents sold the farm to move to the city.

Susie married young, and worked for a couple of years before becoming a stay-at-home mom for her two kids. She did little jobs here and there - working in gardens and volunteering at the farmers market. She always knew she wanted to work outdoors and dreamed of someday having land to grow and raise food just like her grandma, but apartment living made that dream feel out of reach.

Chickens were Susie's gateway into homesteading. On a serendipitous shopping trip to Tractor Supply, Susie's daughter fell in love with the baby chicks and begged to take some home. Susie was quick to remind her daughter that they couldn't raise chickens in their second story apartment but her daughter asked if they could maybe use her grandparent's back yard to raise chickens. This thought had never crossed Susie's mind before and she contemplated posing the idea of using some of the unused backyard space at her in-laws to start her homesteading journey.

The question was asked and the grandparents were enthusiastic about offering some of their yard to grow and raise food. Susie and her husband got straight to work, building raised beds and a chicken coop. Learning through trial and error, she began to quickly reap the rewards of her micro-homestead - both the fresh food and the healing that came from reconnecting with the earth and its rhythms.

Susie began documenting her homesteading journey on Instagram - initially just to share her progress with friends and family and to create a digital diary of what she was learning, but it didn't take long before she amassed a large online following. Susie encourages people to start where they - sharing inexpensive DIY projects, from scratch cooking recipes, detailed information about raising chickens, and how to grow food and flowers.

Now Susie is a professional content creator who works with Tractor Supply and other brands to inspire others to follow in her homestead footsteps. Susie’s vision for the future is saving enough money through her content creation work to buy land to build a regenerative farm. She wants to create a place where she can host field trips and workshops and grow/raise food to sell and donate to her local community. Through her continued work, Susie wants to inspire people to start their homesteading journey, no matter where they are in their lives.

This is a story of listening to your inner voice and changing course, dreaming big but starting where you are at and the restorative, healing power of slowing doing and reconnecting




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