Nomadic and Yurt Living with Guests Joe and Fae Baker

In this episode of The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Rachel interviews Joe and Fae Baker about their journey into nomadic and yurt living.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 185 – January 23, 2023

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Embracing the Nomadic and Homesteading Lifestyle: The Journey of Joe and Faye Baker

Welcome to the Modern Homesteading Podcast with host Rachel Jamison. In this episode, we explore the unconventional yet inspiring journey of Joe and Faye Baker from Northern Michigan, who have successfully melded van life, nomadic living, and homesteading.

The Beginning of the Journey

Joe and Faye’s story began in a homesteading environment, with Joe growing up on a farmstead and Faye in a family engaged in beginning homesteading. Their meeting was serendipitous, rooted in their shared background and family connections through homeschooling and farming.

Transition to Van Life

Seeking a change from their routine life in Cleveland, Joe and Faye ventured into van life in 2019. They meticulously converted a van into a mobile home, intending to explore and enjoy a nomadic lifestyle. This phase marked a significant shift from their earlier lifestyle, emphasizing freedom and exploration.

Experience with Van Life

Van life brought a unique set of challenges and rewards. Living in a confined space taught them the value of simplicity and adaptability. It was an opportunity for self-growth and exploration, but it also had limitations, particularly when they desired more stability.

Settling Down in a Yurt

The decision to transition from van life to homesteading in a yurt was driven by a desire for a more grounded living experience. In December, amidst the cold Northern Michigan winter, they erected their yurt. Despite initial challenges such as running out of wood and adjusting to the new living conditions, they thrived in their new home.

Homesteading in Northern Michigan

Their homesteading journey includes raising chickens and Katahdin lambs, which have proved to be low-maintenance and efficient in land management. The Bakers emphasize the ease and effectiveness of raising sheep, particularly in controlling invasive blackberries.

The Birth of Their Child

Joe and Faye’s journey took a significant turn with the birth of their son. Initially planning a home birth in the yurt, unexpected circumstances led them to the hospital. Despite this, they continue to embrace their unique lifestyle with their new addition.

Living Off-Grid in a Yurt

Life in a yurt has its challenges, especially with a new baby. They’ve adapted to off-grid living, using a composting toilet, a hand pump for water, and propane for cooking. Despite the lack of traditional amenities, they find this lifestyle fulfilling.

Future Plans and Lifestyle Design

Joe and Faye are committed to continuing their journey in line with their values. They plan to travel occasionally using their van while expanding their homesteading efforts. Their businesses, Northwood Natural Solutions and Nomadic Media Co, allow them the flexibility to live according to their ideals.

Advice for Aspiring Homesteaders

For young individuals aspiring to a similar lifestyle, Joe and Faye advise investing in oneself, exploring passions, and acquiring skills relevant to homesteading. They emphasize the importance of avoiding debt and making intentional life choices.


Joe and Faye Baker are a testament to the philosophy of “grow where you’re planted.” Their journey from van life to homesteading in a yurt showcases their resilience, adaptability, and commitment to a lifestyle aligned with their values. They continue to inspire others with their story of self-sufficiency and intentional living.

Connect with Joe and Faye

To learn more about Joe and Faye’s journey and connect with them, follow Northwood Natural Solutions and Nomadic Media Co on social media. Their journey is a valuable resource for anyone interested in a similar path of homesteading and nomadic living.

Topics Discussed

  • Van Life
  • Yurt Living
  • Off Grid Toilets
  • Off Grid Water
  • Hand Drawn Well
  • Big Berkey Water Filter System
  • Hair Sheep
  • Chickens
  • Remote Self Employment
  • Lifestyle Design

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Vee

    What county in MIchigan allows yurts? I’ve been having a terrible time finding one!

  2. Rachel

    I know there are a few places in Michigan, one is in Joyfeild Township, northern Manistee County. My friend Craig Schaaf lives there in a yurt and has for years.

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