On this episode of the Modern Homesteading Podcast, Harold talks with Steve Rice about his journey into homesteading and his farm business growing flowers, elderberry, and fodder trees.
The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 231 – January 1, 2024
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Steve’s journey into homesteading began about ten years ago in a regular neighborhood subdivision. The catalyst for his venture was a pallet garden, a simple project his family undertook. This marked the beginning of his homesteading journey, igniting a passion for growing and nurturing life from the soil.
The First Steps: Pallet Gardening
The first project, a pallet garden, was a family affair, integrating their young son into the process and serving as an educational tool. This experience sparked an interest in growing plants, despite Steve’s lack of prior experience in gardening.
Expanding Horizons: Chickens and Gardens
The journey progressed with the introduction of three chickens, adhering to local residential guidelines. The family’s gardening aspirations also grew, leading to the development of a larger garden complete with wood chip paths and the planting of their first flowers, which later became a significant aspect of their homesteading business.
Relocating to the Countryside
As their passion for homesteading grew, so did their ambitions. This led to the decision to move to the countryside, an endeavor that culminated in the acquisition of a 10-acre property with an old farmhouse, surrounded by nature’s bounty including maple trees, a stream, and a pond.
Challenges and Adaptations
The new environment presented its challenges, such as dealing with clay soil, leading to innovative solutions like raised beds filled with composted cow manure. The family also explored different farming aspects, including an elderberry orchard and expanded flower gardening.
Building a Sustainable Homestead
Steve’s approach to homesteading is deeply rooted in sustainability and self-sufficiency. He emphasizes the importance of using what one already possesses, drawing inspiration from biblical teachings.
The philosophy at Sonshine Acres Farm is guided by Psalm 113:3 and a story from 2 Kings 4. These passages inspire the family to honor the glory of the Lord in their work and to utilize existing resources effectively.
Passion for Self-Sufficiency
A key driving force for Steve is the desire to help others achieve financial savings, profit maximization, and reduced reliance on external resources, fostering a sense of resilience and sustainability in their homesteading endeavors.
The Present and Future of Sonshine Acres Farm
Today, Sonshine Acres Farm is a hub of diverse activities, with a focus on flower farming as the main commercial venture. The farm has established various local business connections, selling flowers to restaurants, markets, and stores.
A Diverse Homesteading Business
Aside from flowers, the farm also deals with elderberries, sold fresh locally. They are also expanding into a nursery business specializing in fodder trees for silvopasture, aimed at providing sustainable feed solutions for livestock.
Steve is also dedicated to sharing his knowledge and experiences through social media and YouTube, intending to inspire and educate fellow homesteaders.
Steve’s story is a testament to the power of starting small in homesteading and gradually expanding based on passion, resourcefulness, and a deep connection to the land. His journey from a simple pallet garden to a thriving homestead and farm business serves as an inspiration for aspiring homesteaders everywhere.
- Steve’s Website – https://www.sonshineacres.farm/
- Sonshine Acres on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SonshineAcres10
- Steve’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/@TheGratefulGrow
- Silvopasture, Tree Hay, and Tree Fodder for beginners – https://www.facebook.com/groups/treefodder