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a modern missouri homesteader

This blog is dedicated to traditional country skills, as lived and shared by Sherry Leverich Tucker. Who: Lover and practicer of everything related to self-reliance and modern homesteading, from sorghum processing and market gardening to home schooling and cake decorating. Where: Western edge of the Ozark Mountains in Missouri What: My blog discusses the daily goings-on at my family’s farm and homestead. I share what I’ve learned over the years and talk about skills I’m still trying to master.

5 Skills on My Bucket List • Growing and harvesting grain • Making hominy • Preparing and using red clay for pottery • Fermenting vinegar • Slaughtering and curing a hog

4 Must-Read Books • Putting Food By by Ruth Hertzberg • Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book • The Foxfire book series • The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

1 Life Goal To live a life of loving and sharing — I would like to utilize all that is given to me (time, skills, opportunities, food, land) to its fullest potential.

Makin’ It All Happen Mother: One of the major projects your family does every year is process sorghum. What are the basic steps? Sherry: It starts with ground preparation in June, acquiring good sorghum seed, then planting and fertilizing. The sorghum cane will grow all summer, then

3 Favorite Places • My farm • Farmers market • Flea markets

As busy as she is on her homestead, Sherry still finds time to relax, laugh and enjoy the scenery. we top, strip and cut down the stalks. We haul the cane to the sorghum mill, then the cane is sent through the mill to squeeze out the juice. We cook the juice in a large pan over a fire all day until it becomes a thick, dark syrup. Good stuff! Mother: Did you grow up on a family farm? Sherry: The dairy farm I was raised on was completely run by my parents, with the help of my two siblings and me. Growing up amid this kind of self-sufficiency taught me the importance of learning, trying and maintaining. Some of these values are hard to enact unless you work to put yourself into this kind of lifestyle. Mother: What does a basic day’s schedule look like? Sherry: Every day starts with a pot of coffee and a walk around the yard,

Read the Modern Missouri Homesteader Blog

2 Fond Memories • After we finished hay hauling in the summer, my family would spend a whole day at the creek swimming, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, and catching crawdads. • I loved late-night frog hunting with my brothers in summer.

through the pasture or out to the garden. All the animals have to be fed and assessed daily. I like my days to be flexible so we can take advantage of opportunities, or be there if needed by others. There are priorities, though, and they rule over a majority of my schedule. After school starts in fall we have a weekly routine, which includes some home schooling groups and music lessons. When I have cakes to decorate for big weddings, I spend a good deal of time in the kitchen. Mom and I always make time to harvest from the garden and do garden planting and maintenance on the evenings before the farmers market. All the other things that we love get stuffed in between, including 4-H activities, get-togethers with friends and family, taking care of our animals, cooking, writing and crafting.

www.MotherEarthNews.com/ Missouri-Homesteader Some of Sherry’s best posts: • Summertime Hay Hauling Memories • Pigs for the Summer • Watermelon Thumping: How to Pick a Ripe Melon

Sherry tops a row of sorghum stalks.

108 Mother Earth News December 2011/January 2012


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