Welcome to Rebuilding Traditions.  I hope that you feel at home here and participate in the discussions with comments and questions.  

To start with, let me introduce myself.  My name is Janolyn Keller.

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During the years that my children were growing up I started a lifelong love of learning the practical life of our ancestors. 

To start with, my family and I lived off the power grid and have learned to do without conveniences that most consider essential.   The land clearing and building has been mostly accomplished with hand tools; some of them even the right tool for the job. 

I used a wringer washer powered by a generator.  I am skilled with a treadle sewing machine and sad iron.  We lived with gravity fed water and now have a ram pump.  We heated with wood.   There was a time when the wood cook stove was the only way I cooked for my family and I loved it.  I cooked, refrigerated, and heated water with propane….when I had it.  I am now learning to use solar panels to power my lights and a few newer essentials.  But most things are still done in a traditional way.

After a couple of miscarriages between child #2 and #3 due to “standard medical procedures,” I consulted a midwife and my last 3 children were born safely at home.  That was when I first came to the realization that doctors did not know everything, nor would they have the time to share it with their patients if they did.  I have not been to a doctor in years and I have no intention of ever going back.  Using Kombucha tea, I reversed massive liver failure in one of my goats.  I made an eye tincture that healed pink eye in 45 minutes.  It hurt like &%^^, but it was gone.

As I learned the basic principles of heath-through-nutrition from my midwife, I learned alternative gardening practices from her husband.  With wheelbarrows we have hauled tons of wood chips and manure to our large vegetable garden, over 20 fruit trees and several types of berry patches.  I grew flowers for the joy in it.  The pleasure of playing in the dirt is still attractive to me. 

I woke up in the morning to the crowing of the rooster.  Then we milked up to 11 goats by hand……twice a day.  We raised and butchered our own beef, pork, rabbit, and chicken. We gathered eggs and learned to protect the chickens from predators.  I learned to make a variety of cheeses from the abundance of milk, hand separated and churned butter, harvested and canned produce, made sourdough breads and fermented foods.  I also made our own health products like soaps, hand creams, lip balm, and herbal tinctures.

I want to share what I have been learning with you and learn from those who are also living a sustainable life. Read more as I guide you through what has, and hasn’t worked throughout my life here on this farm.

Join me as I rebuild the traditions that sustained generations before us.   


About — 3 Comments

  1. I have lived many years in the “Traditional way”. I would very much like to read about your adventures! Add me to the list.

    • Thank you Kim. I know that you have a lot to contribute also. Please feel free to make suggestions and contribute to the discussions.