Episode-1238- Jenna Woginrich from The One Woman Farm

Jenna Woginrich - Of The One Woman Farm

Jenna Woginrich – Of The One Woman Farm

Jenna Woginrich is an author, homesteader, archer, and falconer-in-training. Two summers ago she left her corporate office gig to focus on the farm full-time and now runs a 6.5 acre homestead by herself south of the Adirondacks in Washington County, NY.

There she grows most of her own food; raises her own meat, dairy, veggies and eggs with the aid of animal power. Horses pull firewood from the forest, a sheepdog manages the livestock, hawks are trained to take small game, and carts and saddles are used as much as her dented pickup truck.

She’s passionate about self-reliance, martial arts, hunting, tracking, horses, and traditional and country skills. She’s also the business owner of Cold Antler Farm, an educational homestead where people travel from all over the world to take classes in everything from beginner fiddle to herbalism.

Her new book, One Woman Farm, has been described as follows by Joel Salatin, “Read this book to learn why farmsteads need to be loved.  Jenna’s One-Woman Farm is a jewel: small and lustrous.”

Resources for today’s show…

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50 Responses to Episode-1238- Jenna Woginrich from The One Woman Farm

  1. Thanks for having me, Jack! If anyone has any questions, ask away. I’ll check back here and do my level best to anwser them all.

    • Great stuff Jenna! Could you recommend an OK/inexpensive beginner bow for my 7 year old daughter? I’ve made myself a couple pretty craptastic self-bows in the past but want to get her something she’ll enjoy etc…outside of the big-box cheepo’s, unless that really is the best option. Thanks for a great blog and book.

      • Sure can. I suggest G.I. Bow – it’s a veteran’s online bowyer shop. His “taz” selfbow is around 15-20 pounds, handmade here in the US, and I think is around fifty bucks. Such a beautiful begginner bow. I actually ordered one to use as a horsebow, and you can see a picture of me shooting it on my horse’s back my blog in the recent post. I’d get her a lower poundage Taz bow from G.I. Bow, and she’ll use it for a long time. I also suggest looking into your local SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism) chapter for FREE archery lessons for children and adults, weekly practices, and awesome people passionate about traditional archery. – I’ll get you a link to that bow.

        • You rock, thanks for the link and the info. I’ll be stoked to get her shooting something decent and unique she can work with going forward that won’t put her life in jeapordy like one of my creations…thanks again!

    • Hi Jenna, I just wanted to say you’re a true inspiration! We live in the suburbs in a big city, and dream of having our own homestead one day. I just discovered your blog and can’t wait to learn more about your journey! Awesome stuff, and congrats on your courage in following your dreams :).

  2. Haven’t listened yet, but took a quick look at her blog. A 31-year-old single woman who owns and runs her own farm? How awesome is that? We need more people like this in the world! How inspiring. Thanks!

  3. Great episode Jack.

    Jenna,
    I’m just scratching the surface on your blog. You are inspiring, Way to go. I have land and not much in the way of debt but still have a hard time detaching from the corporate teat. I’m looking forward to reading your blog and your books.

  4. Jenna, best to ya. Sounds like you have it going on. I really enjoyed the podcast, very encouraging to hear from someone who took the “Big Step”.

  5. This was a great and HUMBLING episode.
    I have been building a homestead, under the guise of what one man can do with one acre. Ha! Not as much as you….
    Nice to know your out there Jenna.

    • I’m out here all right. And don’t be hard on yourself, as I do a lot here but I made a lot of mistakes. Right now I am learning to heal land I ruined by over-grazing. Too much stock, too many goals, but you learn as you go. I know you didn’t ask for any advice, but I will say to jump into one thing you are excited about. You can always turn around.

  6. As someone who has followed Jenna’s blog for many years now I was so excited to hear her on The Survival Podcast. We have all her books and my girls just love her. My oldest is taking up archer and she credits Jenna as her inspiration. Keep up the great work Jenna.

  7. Wow, fantastic episode! I can’t wait to start reading your blog. And a big thumbs up for mentioning the SCA – it’s too bad you’re anchored to your homestead, I’d have loved to meet you next Pennsic.

    • Thanks! I think the prepper community and the SCA scene are a perfect fit. Think SM Stirling’s Dies the Fire series (which I hope you all know and read! – it’s what got me into archery) but in plain – the SCA teaches skills in a mentor-based and friendly environment with people who aren’t scared to live a little on the edge. You probably will get more conversations about battles axes and long bows than semi-automatic firearms but hey, there’s a time and place for everything right?!

  8. Did she mention that she regularly begs her readership for money? Not very self sufficient.

    • Modern Survival

      So providing content, information, etc for 100% free and then asking those who choose willingly to spend their money equals begging. I am always surprised at how bitter some people can be.

      • Michigander….

        Frankly, you embarrass me to say I’m also a Michigander. Please don’t tell me how to donate my money. If I choose to help a start up entrepreneur, that’s my business. If I want to chip in for pig replacement, I will because I can’t have pigs here. The writing provides a constant source of entertainment reading about some who is ON THE WAY to self sufficiency. Self sufficiency is a never-ending journey, not a set destination.

        I think the blog provides a valuable source of information to those who wishfully hope to have a homestead of their own. Jenna did not start this with a silver spoon by any means. Takes a lot of grit, determination and brass to make that leap. Lotta armchair wannabes out there that talk and plan, but never step off the edge and actually get it done. Reading her blog will give you a non-sugar coated experience…its not all about collecting an egg or two out of the coop in the mornings. Contributing a few dollars for that wisdom could save a few folks some ulcers down the road.

        The girl’s got ponies (both kinds) and I support that.

        claybustinprincess

    • I would agree with everything mdoe said, I also would say she has a very sharp eye for photography and her video’s are amazing. Please keep on keepn on Jenna!!

    • Thank you for the reminder, Michigander! If you would like to support the blog you can do so through a small monthly sponsorship. It’s anywhere from 5 – 25 bucks a month as a voluntary payment for the free content – much like Jack’s MSB (of which I am also a member). You can call that begging if you like, Ma’am. Details on the website – barnheart.com.

      Or you can read it for free, either way is just fine by me. I sent an email to Jack as well offering half-priced workshops at my farm for MSB members, looking forward to meeting some of you!

    • I guess I should add that the MSB isn’t a voluntary compensation program, since you get so many deals and offers and added-value. It’s more of an investment. My subscriptions don’t come with discounts but they do come with my appreciation and continued content. So that’s something.

    • Tell me again how you’re 100% self sufficient without any inputs or trade with anyone else…

    • I’m not self sufficient at all. There’s no such thing as self-sufficientcy. It is as make beleive as one-horned ponies that fly through the air. I’m a homesteader, and learning to grow MORE sufficient through skills, neighbors, friends, community and my faith. I live with electricity from the grid, buy feed for my animals at the feed store, and I ride a horse with a saddle I didn’t make. But the point isn’t to become an island, it’s to learn these skills to be a better human being and to meet people along the way to learn with and from. I have so much to learn, and someday as I continue on this path I may have solar power, hay fields, and a patch of ground set aside for mangle roots to feed me pigs. But that’s not today. I depend on my readers, my community, my books, my ad sales, pork sales, and anything else that keeps me going. So I’m not sure where you got the claim I was “self sufficient”. I never said I was. I work towards it, but please remember. I’m just a person and I don’t farm unicorns.

    • Un-grump Michigander. : )

      No one who lives much above the subsistence level is entirely self-sufficient. You must interact with others and adopt some level of economic specialization. If you enjoy Jenna’s blog and have the means, make a contribution. Think of it as crowd funded entertainment/education by means of Jenna’s blog. If not, don’t.

      That is part of what a certain podcast we all obviously visit provides as well. And why, now that our family has made some significant progress on our own specialized economic front we have put a TSP membership on the list of things we need to get caught up on. Because my wife and I (the kids too actually, but they do not get a vote) think Jack deserves recomp for the content and contacts provided.

  9. Nice interview, I’ve been a reader of Jenna’s blog for awhile so it was nice to hear her speak and learn even more about how she’s living her life.
    Good for you girl, I hope to have my own homestead soon I’ve got ‘BarnHeart’ pretty bad!

  10. I think it is hilarious that there is a dislike button. People clicked “dislike” on Jack’s show about his plans for his own backyard. I am trying to imagine what is going on in people’s heads when they click that…

    :What! You are talking about geese and sheep dreams in your yard. You brute! You Cad! I DISLIKE this topic. I dislike it so much I shall click on this affirmation of disatisfaction! *angry click click clicking* Okay, time to kick a puppy.

    • Modern Survival

      LMAO, it doesn’t bother me, I do wish I had a plug in to rate ONLY comments though. I don’t need a button to know when people really dislike something I do. This was a feature asked for by many who just wanted a way to pat great commenters on the back.

    • And we’re glad you put it up Jack. Great conversation to both of you. I’ve already listened to the podcast twice and ordered Barnheart. As a person who’s looking to get out of the city soon, it’s inspiring to hear from someone else my age who’s done the same!

      A question, though, for Jenna since she’s responding so frequently. What were some of the books that you found really useful starting out. Like a top 5 or top 10. Since I’m won’t be in a position to move to a homestead for a few years, I’m working on gaining knowledge and improving skills like canning, cooking, financial thrift, small-scale gardening, and I’m hoping to hunt this fall for the first time in my life (as a Michigander a little embarrassed to say I didn’t do it till now). What resources were the best, most inspiring, most useful, most eye-opening, most dream expanding for you?? Thanks!

    • I think this is a little odd, but the most inspiring stuff you can read now it’s how-to books – it’s memoir and fiction. It’s been an amazing journey over the years but what got me where I am is legend, stories, folklore, and fiction. I got into archery because of SM STirling. I wanted a cart horse because of Tolkien. I learned more about sheep and farming mistakes from Catherine Friend and Kristin Kimball than I did from any actual advice-giving books. I think when you are in the dreaming phase its great to build up a resource library but what you need is a kick in the ass to make things happen – and that means stories that put a fire in your belly. ASo read the books where your heroes live. And if fiction isn’t your cup of tea, read books by new farmers starting out – like Mrs Kimball’s Dirty Life. I think you’ll get a lot of good stuff out of that.

      If you think that’s a daft response. No problem. Here are books EVERYONE in homesteading/farming as a beginner should have.

      Carla Emery’s Encyclopedia of Country Living
      5 acres to independence (classic!)
      Joel Salatin’s YOU CAN FARM
      Storey’s Guide to (insert animal of choice here, they are amazing livestock references and guides, the new editions are the best ever)

      that’s a mighty fine start.

    • Excellent. That resonates with me because I’ve been reading some How-to’s but I can’t make a grazing schedule for cattle when I’m renting an apartment. I’ve been digging into a couple memoirs lately that have been great. So, not a daft response at all. Thank you very much!

  11. Jenna, how many times did Jack bust your balls on air about still having a .blogspot.com domain ;)

  12. Hi Jenna,

    What a great show! Your story is really inspiring. Keep up the great work. I look forward to getting caught up on your blog. I think it is cool that you use a draft horse in place of farm equipment (where possible of course). I’ve always liked draft horses. This year I happened to attend a draft horse show at the Georgia National Fair. They are amazing animals. Really something to see them up close (here’s one from the show https://www.dropbox.com/s/g3ubt6lfkok9bap/20131012_113303.jpg). Also wanted to say good luck with falconry. I had never really considered it as a possible activity but after hearing you talk about it, made me want to give it a try. Finally, I think your dog Gibson is really cute! Border Collies have always been my favorite breed. I’m still in the suburbs where it isn’t convenient at the moment to own a dog but my plan is to ultimately get a couple of acres in the country and a Border Collie will be one of the first additions to my homestead. :-)

    And Jack, thanks for all that you do!

  13. Jenna, I’ve read a couple of your books in the past, and it was great to have you on TSP. I’m also a former SCAdian and a big fan of S.M. Stirling’s Emberverse. Too bad we’re all in the “Eastern Death Zone” eh?

    In the podcast you mentioned having some friends come over for board games. Which games did you end up playing? I’m a big fan of European-style board games like Settlers of Catan, Agricola, Carcassonne, and other such nonsense. I’d love to take one of your workshops sometime, but living in the Southeast I kind of doubt it’ll happen anytime soon. Best wishes!

    • Oh man David, we could hang out! I play all those, and lately we are on a Lords of Waterdeep, Agricola, and Libertalia kick. I run a Pathfinder game, too. Same type of games. I learned about most of them on TableTop, Wil Wheaton’s awesome show. It’s on Youtube and free to watch, google it!

      And remember not all the east was a dead zone, Maine had those Asatru folks? Right?

  14. Oh believe me, I’m quite familiar with TableTop, I’ve been a fan of Wil and Felicia for quite some time. I even got to hang out with them briefly at Dragon*Con a few years back.

    I’ve not yet played Libertalia, but the others are old friends. Right now I’m really into 7 Wonders and Power Grid. I haven’t played Pathfinder in a bit, my group went from 3.5 to Pathfinder to 4.0 but with small kids, two jobs, and the homestead we don’t get together very often these days. That’s why I like board games – less preparation time. There should be some kind of community for homesteaders who are also gamer geeks.

    Yes, Rudi found the Astaru in Maine (called themselves Nordheim, right?) but not a lot else was still kicking. I blame that mostly from Mr. Stirling’s Pacific Northwest and Midwest-centric focus. Believe you me there are some folk here in the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Georgia that would do just fine. Atlanta and Charlotte would burn just like NYC and Rochester, but once you get out in the country you’ll find plenty of TSPers getting by just fine.

  15. I just started reading your book! I haven’t listen yet, hopefully it won’t ruin the book for me, but I can’t help myself.

  16. I’m a bit late to the party here – just finished listening to the show. It was awesome! I love hearing from do-ers. :)