Even though she herself would probably frown at this title, it's true. She is a local celebrity on her way to small farm greatness and it was a real pleasure to have her and several of her farm friends down to our neck of the woods.(prairie)
Deb, owner (along with husband Mike) of Antiquity Oaks in Cornell, Illinois, tells an interesting story of how she manhandled her family onto a 32 acre plot of hard work and great joy. You can read that venture yourself by going to her farm web site Antiquity Oaks
Most recently Deb has become well known for her common sense approach in living the Good Life, Cornell Style, through the publication of two books. (A third is in the works). Her first, Homegrown and Handmade is an easily digestible how-to guide which covers all the basics of homesteading and includes many anecdotal stories and first hand experiences. It would make a fantastic gift for someone dreaming about a simpler, more sustainable life whether they lived in the boonies or in Boston.
Her second book Ecothrifty looks like a fantastic companion to her first book but I've yet to read it so can't give an honest review yet. I do know from her Face Book Updates that the book shows the reader HOW to save real money on the real necessities of life while avoiding the wasteful consumer jungle that surrounds all of us. Soon, I hope to have both books available for purchase in my little farm store. I also should mention she is working on book number three and travels frequently to various events teaching people in person to live more simply.
Deb brought with her other hardworking woman homesteader types, all of which were already selling products made with their own hands and who either had a small farm store or were planning to open one in the future.
From the left they are: Janet Jablonski, Melinda Barrett Cusak, Deborah Niemann, Kat Madreas and Cheryl Trhlik Zacek with her 4 children. (You all know Mad Max on the far right I believe) After doing the South Pork Ranch walk around, followed by tea/coffee/milk in our dining room, each of them were gracious enough to buy a few things from our store.
Never required, always appreciated. It's just like Forrest's mother always says:
"Local is as Local Does"