any homesteaders in western pennsylvania : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Just curious how many reading this site are from the Western PA area and either homesteading full or part-time? Any information would be helpful. I'm in an agricultural community, homeschool, am a Christian, and am interested in small livestock, gardening, permaculture, and, well I could go on and on...

-- glory (, January 17, 2001


My husband and I have a homestead in Northcentral Pennsylvania, near Lock Haven in Clinton County. We're building our own house--round, earth sheltered, south facing (passive solar heated), cordwood masonry construction. We currently live in the country an hour south of our property, but hope to move to our new homestead full-time in a couple of years. We're organic gardeners, and love our simple country lifestyle.

-- Jan from Central PA (, January 18, 2001.

I'm in western PA!!:-) Now, am I a 'homesteader'? Well, depends on what your definition is! We have some chickens, 2 dogs, are planning on getting that barn built this year for some goats, a beef cow and maybe just throw in a horse for the kids! :-)

We also homeschool. We garden and try to raise most of our veggies each year. I quilt, knit, sew, love to bake....hmmmmmm....what was your definiton of a homesteader again? :-)

Above all, yes, we are Christians.

Where are you in PA? I'll give ya a hint where we are.....close to "Phil's" hometown (you know...his 'day' is coming up REAL soon!);-)


-- Tracey (, January 20, 2001.

Jan and Tracy, Thanks for your responses. This is all new to me (the internet). I,m very computer challenged! Jan--We ALMOST were going to build a cordwood house too, but lost the land deal last summer. We still can't decide whether or not to stay where we are. The reasons are varied and would take more space and time than I want to take here. Anyway, it sounds great what you are doing...I'd like to hear more if you are so inclined. Tracy-- I KNOW where you are from unless the little critter decides not to come out at all this season (HA HA). I am about 7 miles away from New Wilmington. I grew up here and we moved back in the area about 10 years ago. I can't define the word homesteader better than "Countryside". I just enjoy living in the country, trying to provide as much of our food as we can for ourselves, learning skills that were lost generations ago and trying for a more simple and contented mindset. My faith is first and formost important to me because I believe it is Biblical. So the homesteading philosophy has to fit into that not the other way around. I won't get into any more on this because I realize from reading this site that many out their would rather I didn't. I make no apologies either, however. I have a lot to learn about homesteading and read voraciously all I can. For both of you and anyone else out their who wants to communicate from the area--We live on only 4 acres (unfortunately), but are surrounded on three sides with farm fields. Our land is marginal at best, so I try to see that as a challenge and a chance to rebuild up what I can of the soil. I have planted many pines, spruce, maples, shrubs, flowers, etc. I get all the manure from my brother's horses (which I take care of) that I can. I have a raised bed garden that will be expanded again this year. I'm looking into building a solar heated greenhouse in the near future, which I hope will help to provide more for us year round as well as some extra income. At the moment we only have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 female rabbits. In a couple of months I am going to get a buck to raise meat rabbits for our family. I am hoping to get a couple of feeder pigs in early spring. I have raspberries and blackberries started, strawberries, young apple trees (6), and one hive of bees ,which may or may not have survived the winter. In the future I might add a couple of goats, but not yet for different reasons. I have homeschooled my 9th grader for four years and my 1st grader for two. I have three older daughters, one still at home and two married. I use the singular person when talking, as you all will note, only because when it comes to homesteading it's mostly just me. I have a very supportive, good husband, but he is only slightly interested in being involved in this venture himself. Ok, I can live with that as long as I can forge ahead...besides he's s-l-o-w-l-y getting more interested. Meanwhile, I have run on way longer than I intended. Feel free to e-mail me directly or return messages on this forum, Tracy or Jan. I'd like to hear from anyone else who is nearby too. Thanks!

-- glory (, January 20, 2001.


Oh! Your property sounds SO MUCH like ours! We own only about 3 acres, but all around us are hay fields and corn fields (in the summer of course!). My hubby would like to by more ground, but would rather not have to go in debt to do it... I would LOVE to own 50-100 acres...OR MORE, but our 3 acres provides for us pretty darn well right now. We started an orchard when we moved here (about 8 yrs. ago) with peaches, pears, plums and apples. Just last year we ventured into chickens and I LOVE having those fresh eggs! We hope to get more this summer for more eggs AND meat. And, as I said, really praying for that barn to get up! My dh is pretty supportive. I was born a 'country girl' and wouldn't want to live anywhere else....NO WHERE is *TOO* rural for me! The further away from 'society' the better! YES! Please feel free to email me! I pretty much know where you are, and it's not all that far from here...I mean, we ARE at least in the same STATE!:-)

As far as our faith, I KNOW what you are saying. However, to keep things to a dull 'roar', we'll save that for our private emails!:-)

Have a good day!


-- Tracey (, January 20, 2001.

I am formerly from northwestern Pennsylvania. I was born and raised out in the country near Oil City, a little area called Venus (yes, Venus!!!!) I now live in Northern West Virginia, on about 45 acres. I really miss the rolling hills of NW PA sometimes, because as everyone knows there is no place like home. All of my family still resides in the Oil City, Butler, Grove City area. Can never get home enough.

-- tammy (, January 20, 2001.

Oh Tammy! I go to Butler about once every couple months to stock up on some things! It's about an hour drive for us. Oil City is about the same!

45 acres?!? How wonderful for you!:-)


-- Tracey (, January 21, 2001.

Tammy--45 acres does sound wonderful. I don't think I need that much space to do what I want, but the buffer of privacy sure would be nice. Grove City is about 15 minutes from me, and Butler is about 20 minutes away. I am in both towns quite a lot. If either you or Tracey are ever coming through, it might be fun to meet. That goes for you too Jan. Jan, if I am ever up in that area, I would love to see your cordwood house sometime. Nice to hear from everyone!

-- glory (, January 21, 2001.

i was born and raised in lock haven and yes it is a beautiful place to live. i lived up on the bellefonte ave hill overlooking the town, now that was a trip in the snow. i haven't lived there in about 40 years as i now live in the ozark mountains of missouri another country place. you will like living in lh the people are friendly and helpful to their neighbors. to bad about the paper mill going out it will mean a lot of jobs going down the tube. my grandfather was a supervisor many, many years ago at the mill. many of the living skills i use in my life i learned from a neighbor or family member, knitting, quilting, sewing,canning, etc. oh the country life isn't it grand. have a great time. sally

-- sally stanton (, January 24, 2001.

Hi all,I live with my wife on 60 acres in Perry county Pa.(newport) it's about 23 miles from Harrisburg.So I guess it does not meet the western Pa. criteria.We have goats,chickens,emus,llamas.Not to mention a motley collection of indoor and outdoor pets. (possums,skunks,racoons that we feed along with the cats)I'm am responding because I have an interest in cordwood construction,biodiesle manufacture,home power generation etc. et al.In general any thing to do with homesteading and self sufficiency. I have some experince in construction.I am in fact a jack of all trades.What the peace corps used to call a generalist.Any way I am by no means an expert in much of any thing.I do have a rather interesting collection of tools and equipment and would like to offer them and myself in exchange for the experience that might be gained.Also it would be great to develope a relationship with country side type folks in the hopes the they may someday be available to help out on projects at my farm.Does the above make any sense?We all very likely have very extensive base of knowledge and experience that we might share with each other.We may be able to help each other come closer to realizing our goals at homesteading.If any one is intersested in the above please e-mail me. Greg

-- Gregory J Smith (, January 30, 2001.


I thought I would intoduce myself. My name is Marsha, I am a wife,, and mother of eleven children. We moved to PA nine years ago, when my husband came to pastor a church. We first lived up by Punxy, PA, but, we now live in the Indiana, PA area.

We homeschool our children and homestead here with goats, sheep, cows, chickens, rabbits, pigs, dogs & cats!!! We don't have all those animals right now, some went to the butchers the beginning of this winter.

We usually have a large garden. I have canned as much as 1200 quarts of stuff in one year. I buy in bulk at the Mennonite Bulk Food store around 2 miles from my house.

We also had our last three children at home with the help of our Amish midwife. Our children are a blessing, and, I truly love being a homemaker.

Seven years ago, when we bought our 3/4 of an acre and put two mobile homes added together on our property for our house several children from our town came back to our property and we calling us "dirt farmers". I felt kinda bad, at first, and ,then I saw my first issue of Countryside Magazine and found out that we were really just "Homesteaders". I didn't feel bad about the way we lived after that. I was glad to be part of the live simply and try to stay out of debt mode of thinking.

My husband isn't pastoring at the present time, but, we have a close church fellowship, which helps when you live away from family. We have been looking for different housing or a bigger piece of land in our area, and, we would love to be moved before gardening time comes around again.

Have a great day in the Lord!!!!

-- Marsha (, January 31, 2001.

Sally, Thanks for responding. How do you like Missouri compared to PA? Greg--You sound like you are interested in a lot of different things. Besides the animals, the most I know about is the cordwood construction. I have been studying about it for a few years but we haven't yet built anything using it. Marsha--I used to live in Indiana,PA. I'm about 1 1/2 hours from you now. I admire the patience and work involved with raising and homeschooling 11 children.. but it is also a blessing you probably wouldn't I right? I only have 5. My body wouldn't have agreed to anymore babies. I am glad I can homeschool. I noticed you posted on another thread. If you moved back to WV, are you aware that the homeschooling restrictions are stricter? I also homebirthed, but only my 4th child. I was in Washington Co. at the time and was attended by a lay midwife. Have you looked into cordwood construction if you move? It's relatively inexpensive if you build yourselves. Feel free to e-mail me directly if you want any more info. Thanks everyone for all the response. God bless. And Tracey...I Thess.4:11,12.

-- glory (, January 31, 2001.

glory, missouri and pennsylvania are very much alike in many ways thay have the city and the country, but more country then city. it is a layed back life where you can work and earn as much as your capable of or not, no one minds your business if you don't give them anything to mind. the ozark mountains like the bald eagle mountains have people whose family goes back for many generations and they stick to the old ways and are quite happy doing so. i have learned many old crafts from the local people and feel excepted into their inner circle. i like living in missouri but sometimes long for "home" eventhough i haven't lived in pennsylvania for 40 years (yesterday was my 40th anniversary). i am a art/gifted teacher and really like the school that i teach in, the kids are so country no foolishness on their part as they all have chores to do after school or have a job. i am a knitter and i just got a floor loom and have started weaving in a big way.

i like to cook, bake, and can from our garden. my children are all grown and i have 4 grands whom i love dearly. we have sleepovers and it seems like my children have never left home. 3 more years to retirement seems like forever but i know it will be here before i know it. like you say i could go on and on but free hour is about gone......... sally

-- sally stanton (, February 15, 2001.

a homesteader down here in s.w PA. am I . 36 acres with 20 in woodlot, 10 in intensive grazeland. i'm 20 miles south of pittsburgh, but you sure cannot tell it's that close. i work a reasonable garden every year and put up some stuff, raise a few beef ( as organic as possible, but not perfectly ) and i am trying to improve this place bit by bit. i have always enjoyed the thought of homesteading, but many years in the defense industry made it hard to bring to fruition. i love being on the tractor more than pretty much anything else. i do have a small machine shop here, and a windmill and small waterpowered generating plant are in the works. though not truly in the homesteading tradition, i also love my overpowered harley drag bike. if any homesteaders in s.w. pa. are doing any alternative power projects, i like to barter machine work and precision welding for whatever. have a nice day!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- NICK WUKOVICH (, March 19, 2001.

Glory, you remarked "If you moved back to WV, are you aware that the homeschooling restrictions are stricter?" Can you tell me how-so? What are the differences? Thank you in advance, for your response. T.A.D. in N.J.

-- Action Dude (, March 20, 2001.

Action Dude,

First of all to everyone reading this, my E-mail ends with (net not com). I'm just learning to use this computer --had since Christmas, but I'm apparently slow to do it right! LOL Never used one before... Anyway, in response to your question--I confess that the most recent information I have on WV homeschooling law is as of 1994. I put in a call to HSLDA in VA this morning after reading your post, but they have not yet returned my call. If anything I tell you is wrong, I apologize in advance. I will update you as soon as I hear from them. The information I have is that the mandatory age for registration in the state of WV is 6 years old. It is, as of today, still 8 years old in PA. Also, where PA only requires a high school diploma to teach your children through high school, WV requires you to have an education at least 4 years higher than your most academically advanced student. Therefore, a high school graduate, with no post high school credit,, could not legally teach a child past the 8th grade. These two differences in the laws were mostly what I was referring to in my post. Other differences, I am not familiar with. Hope this clears things up for you, and as I said I will update as soon as my call is returned.

To everyone else who has posted here recently, thanks for your responses!!! It is really great to know that someone nearby has some of the same interests in homesteading, and won't look at you like your crazy.

-- glory (, March 21, 2001.

Hello well my wife and I are not full time homesteaders but we do enjoy the Lord and raising critters and gardens. We have around 200 to 300 rabbits at any given time. We have turkeys, chickens, guineas, and 2 bull calfs. We are just outside os Sandy Lake Pa.

-- Don Amon (, October 17, 2001.

Hi!! We live in a very small rural village (population 30-50, if that!). Our little homestead is made up of 26 acres....half field, half wooded...right on top of the mountain! We can stand at the top of one of our fields and see about 5 mountains over without seeing another house or car....there is one barn though..about the 3rd set of mountains over.....but oh how we love it here! I have been looking through many of these posts and find it hard to believe that Pennsylvania isn't one of the top choices for homesteaders. Properties are reasonable, the land is fertile and well..I could go on and on and on. I absolutely love it here! We aren't full time homesteaders....YET..LOL!!! We have 9 dogs, 5 cats, lots of chickens, pigs and soon we hope to get 2 cows. :) I'm glad to hear that there are others out there that love PA as much as we do!!!! ~Michelle

-- Michelle (, February 28, 2002.

OK we are looking to maybe relocate to PA .Can anyone email me about land prices in there areas .We would be looking for 50-100 ac.With or with out a house.Thanks ~ Patty

-- Patty {NY State} (, February 28, 2002.

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