Building A Homestead From A Cornfield, Dairy Goats, and The Importance Of Community: Guest Ashley Burton

On Today’s Podcast Episode, Harold has a conversation with Ashley Burton from Mulberry Branch Farm about her homesteading journey, dairy goats, and her involvement in helping organize the Indiana Homesteading Conference.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 200 – May 1, 2023

Listen To The Podcast

Listen and Subscribe On Your Favorite Podcast Player

Spotify |  Apple Podcasts  |  Amazon Music  |  Pandora |  Pocket Casts  |  Castbox  | Anchor  | YouTube | RSS | Get Ad-Free On Patreon

Ashley and her Husband started their homesteading journey 13 years ago with raw land that came in the form of an overworked and retired cornfield. They are striving to live a simple and sustainable life on their 13 acres in growing zone 5b where they raise Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Chickens, Muscovy Ducks, and bees.

They embrace all types of gardening from in-ground to hugelkultur to grow as much of their own food as they can! They also share much of their experiences and knowledge through their YouTube Channel, Mulberry Branch Farm.

Nurturing a Homestead from Scratch: Ashley Burton’s 13-Year Journey

Welcome to a captivating episode of the “Modern Homesteading Podcast” where host Harold Thornbro is joined by Ashley Burton from Mulberry Branch Farm in Indiana. With over 13 years of homesteading experience, Ashley shares her insightful journey from starting on raw land to creating a thriving homestead.

The Beginning: From Raw Land to Flourishing Homestead

Ashley and her husband began their homesteading journey 13 years ago. They purchased 13 acres of retired cornfield, envisioning it as the perfect place to start their homestead. The initial challenge was learning about soil health and amending the depleted agricultural land. The journey included building a house and establishing a sustainable ecosystem with goats, chickens, ducks, and bees.

The Challenges and Rewards of Starting with Raw Land

Ashley discusses the pros and cons of starting a homestead from scratch. While it offers the freedom to design your dream space, it also requires immense patience and hard work. Despite the challenges, she finds the process of transforming raw land into a nurturing environment deeply rewarding.

Livestock as Cornerstones of the Homestead

The Burtons’ homestead primarily focuses on dairy goat farming. Ashley shares her passion for Nigerian dwarf goats and the importance of milk testing for herd management. The farm also hosts Muscovy ducks and chickens, utilizing their natural behaviors to benefit the land and provide for the family.

The Power of Community in Homesteading

Ashley emphasizes the importance of community in homesteading. Events like the Indiana Homesteading Conference, where she is an organizer, provide valuable opportunities for learning, sharing experiences, and fostering a supportive community. She highlights the need for homesteaders to connect, share wisdom, and learn from each other’s successes and failures.

The Homesteading Lifestyle: More Than Just Farming

Homesteading for Ashley goes beyond farming; it’s a lifestyle choice rooted in self-sufficiency, simplicity, and a deep connection with nature. She encourages new homesteaders to embrace the journey, including the inevitable challenges, and to find joy and growth in every step.

Conclusion: Keep Moving Forward

Ashley’s story is a testament to the resilience and fulfillment found in the homesteading life. Her journey from raw land to a flourishing homestead exemplifies the hard work, patience, and community spirit inherent in this lifestyle. Her advice to new homesteaders is simple yet profound: embrace your failures as learning opportunities and find joy in every step of your journey.


Listen On YouTube


  • User Avatar

    Author, blogger, podcaster, homesteading and permaculture enthusiast. I have a passion for sharing what I learn and helping others on their journey. If you're looking for me, you'll usually find me in the garden.

    View all posts