Happy New Year! Not sure why, but I’m super excited about 2017. Maybe it’s partly because 17 is a prime number – prime, unique, stands out from the majority, is not easily divided… Just like Ladies Homestead Gathering and the amazing women who make up our communities across the country!
I’m excited about this new year because I sincerely believe this incredible organization will reach a lot more women, women who are seeking to find what we already have in LHG – relationships with other like-minded women who live in community with one another, providing support and encouragement along the homesteading journey.
My #1 goal and focus this year for LHG is COMMUNICATION. In a society where we are constantly bombarded with “things” that steal our time and attention, I’d like to bring our focus and communication back to the front porch swing. That place where friends and family sit down, slow down, and share hearts, dreams, struggles and accomplishments. And sometimes there is silence. Being together and soaking in the comfort of just being very “present” at that moment.
And what’s my favorite while swinging or rocking with others on the front porch? Listening to stories!!
Cyndi Ball Founder & President
Photo by Linda Oliveira
Photo taken in the north Georgia mountains after the snow storm this January.
Your history in homesteading?
This year, we want to hear YOUR stories. YOUR stories are the history account, the inspiration, the fuel that ignites the Ladies Homestead Gathering and we want to share them with others on our Facebook page, in publications, or in presentations we give about LHG!
Every month, we will ask a question and we’d love to hear, read, listen, to your story. Email us, send us a video, audio recording, or whatever means you have, to answer our question! Here is the link for your submission: firstname.lastname@example.org.
January's Question: Tell us about one of your Homestead Goals for 2017 and why you chose that particular goal.
If some of you are feeling ambitious, how about writing your Homestead Story? How and why did you begin homesteading? What does homesteading look like for you? Where did you learn how to homestead? Where are you headed on your journey?
This month, Amanda Stephens of the National Board, shares her story….
I never wanted a homestead. I was exposed to one growing up - my mother was raised on a farm and we visited my grandparents’ farm a couple of weeks a year. I loved my grandparents and the animals, couldn’t care less about the garden, and was horrified of the bugs and manure. Farms, I thought, were nice to visit, but I certainly wouldn’t want to live near or on one.
In the seventh grade, we chose our future professions. I don’t remember any counseling or testing, just getting a worksheet and writing “lawyer” in the blank space. Why? ....Read the rest of the HERSTORY here! http://www.ladieshomesteadgathering.org/blog/4513849
Around The Homestead
Photos submitted by Angie Moss
Pictured is the family of Angie Moss. She is a member in the Dawson/Forsyth Gathering and their homestead is in northern Georgia. Pictured top are: Tim, Kinsley, Angie, Karissa, and Joy.Top right: Kinsley feeds her goat Goldie. Above: Tim, Kinsley and Karissa riding the tractor.
A Thankful Heart
When my children were young, I taught them to say “thank you” to those who served us when we were out and about. It’s quite comical now when we are all at a restaurant together. The server brings our food to the table and is immediately flooded with "Thank You’s"!
Two simple words that can bring a smile to a face, encouragement for a job well done, a recognition of a human being who is serving another. I make it a point to thank janitors who clean the public restrooms that I’m using. Let’s face it – it’s a yucky job and I’m truly grateful/thankful that they’re keeping the facility neat and tidy! My children thank the store cashiers, teachers, instructors, customers, and anyone who may need a “Thank You!” for a kindness or a deed they’ve done.
It’s a contagious habit and can make such a difference to those around you. Maybe this month or the next, give a “Thank You” to your local LHG board for all they do for you each month.
Your board members do what they do because they’re committed to you and the LHG mission.
What does your “Thank you” do for them? It’s the bow that makes the package complete.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. As LHG continues to grow, we want to SEE what’s happening in your part of the country! We want to SEE what happens on your homestead, SEE what’s unique about your area, SEE the animals or plants or products that make up your homestead!
Each month, we will choose a category and we’d love for you to send us your best picture or pictures of that particular category. We will look at all the submissions and choose a first and second place winner. And YES!, we’ll be awarding a small prize for First and Second place.
January’s category is Animals! (domestic, pets of all kinds, farm animals, etc).
If you are using a mobile device, please send the pics to us at “full size.” If you’re using a digital camera, they must be emailed at less than 10 Mb.
All submissions must be received by February 5. Winners will be notified by the February 10 and winning pictures will be posted on the National Facebook page and in the February National Newsletter.
*** Your submission to our contest gives us permission to use your photo/photos all over the place within the LHG organization. We will do our best to give credit to your amazing skills whenever possible. ***
Annual Membership Drive
Why should you join the National Ladies Homestead Gathering?
• Your membership supports the growth of LHG, giving LHG the ability to start Chapters all over the United States, which allows even more women to receive these opportunities and benefits and participate in the amazing community!
• Automatic entry into the annual Member Appreciation Giveaway to win prizes. This year’s main prize is an Instant Pot!
• Members can vote for officers of the Local Board of Directors and vote on issues brought before the membership of the local Chapter.
• Members receive a Welcome Letter and a Membership ID, which can be used to receive discounts at various vendor partners in your area.
• Members can request that either the National Ladies Homestead Gathering (NLHG) or their local Chapter participate in fundraisers or community activities.
• Members receive discounts on classes, retreats, workshops, etc.
• Members can register first for events with limited seating.
• Members can participate in Member-Only events in their local Chapters.
• Members have access to Members-Only material on the NLHG website.
• Local Chapters annually receive 20% of each membership fee to be used by the Local Board to grow their Gathering.
• Members may post items for sale on our Chapters’ Facebook Groups, according to the guidelines of each Chapter.
• Individual Memberships are $35 per year.
• Family Memberships are $50 per year (all female family members over the age of 16 living in your home).
“Community, to me, is one of the largest draws of LHG for two reasons: 1. Most of us women tend to keep our heads down and keep working. We have our busy lives that we do love. However, it can make it hard to meet other like minded women in our sisterhood. LHG gets us out, gets us together and celebrates what each of us can offer another. We are a diverse community helping each other learn and grow. 2. I started my farm journey four years ago. I left every neighbor and friend I had cultivated for twenty years to follow this crazy passion. It has been very difficult to meet like minded ladies, admittedly because of reason #1, too. Being on LHG on Facebook and attending the meetings in the last six months has given me a feeling of community and friendship between fellow ag-minded ladies that I love!” - Laura Jensen of Jensen Reserve, Loganville, GA
**Event information is pulled from the national LHG website**
The National Ladies Homestead Gathering exists to provide a welcoming environment, where women can share new ideas, celebrate victories, address challenges and cultivate community with like-minded women. All women are welcome who have a dream, calling or desire to be more self-sufficient. Single or married, in the planning phase or a veteran homesteader – every woman has something to contribute or gain from coming together.