Glenn Maresca and Kelly McCormick made their backyard homestead a reality. Congratulations!

Every year, our friends at Mother Earth News honor individuals and families living sustainable lifestyles with a Homesteaders of the Year award. The award winners — gardeners and beekeepers, homebuilders and green energy innovators among them — have committed to living more simply and gently on the land, and their stories are unique and always inspirational. Storey is delighted to contribute a selection of books to all the award recipients.

Glenn with first steer

Glenn, with their first steer. Photo courtesy of Glenn Mareska and Kelly McCormick.

Glenn Maresca and Kelly McCormick, who are among the winners for 2014, grow 80 percent of their food on their five-acre farm in Duette, Florida, where they also raise poultry, cows, and bees. Kelly generously sent along a little peek into their homesteading lives, and shares how The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals has helped them to navigate unknown territory with confidence.

Says Kelly:

“We started reading The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals when we first began our Florida homestead, and it has been invaluable as a source of information and inspiration. Our chickens have been using plastic storage crates for nests with great success due to the enhanced ventilation, which works well in our hot climate.

Glenn with first jars of honey

A successful first honey harvest! Photo courtesy of Glenn Mareska and Kelly McCormick

“The section on bees really helped us to position our hive and to choose the right way to get started. Without this book we would not have known to get heritage turkeys for easy breeding. Even as we moved into larger livestock, The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals was a significant help in doing things like weaning our first two rescue calves.

Kelly and cow

Photo courtesy of Glenn Mareska and Kelly McCormick

“After reading the section on choosing a dairy cow, we knew a Jersey was exactly what we were looking for. We’re counting on using the book to advise us on calving in the upcoming year.

Glenn the steer

Norman, Glenn and Kelly’s steer. Photo courtesy of Glenn Mareska and Kelly McCormick.

“Thank you so much for all the knowledge and books you’ve given us. We look forward to learning even more.”

Tending to Norman the steer

Tending to Norman. Photo courtesy of Glenn Mareska and Kelly McCormick.

Congratulations, Glenn and Kelly, and thanks for sharing your story with us! We hope the books continue to serve you well in all your homesteading endeavors.

Storey Digital Editors

We are the staff at Storey Publishing — the crafters, cooks, brewers, builders, homesteaders, gardeners, and all-around DIY-ers who make Storey books.

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