Lee Marshall is a part-time writer, an online English teacher, and a full-time homesteader.
As a teenager, Lee used to spend the school year in the urban sprawl of Dallas, Texas. During his summers, he would visit family in Wyoming and spend his days wandering the woods and mountains. In college, he fell in love with the natural romantic poets and writers of western literature and pursued a double degree in English and Philosophy with an emphasis on Environmental Ethics and Literature.
As an adult, Lee became a high school educator and would vacation in Appalachia where a friend of the family operated an outdoor school that specialized in bushcraft, primitive skills, and tracking.
In 2020, he was given the opportunity to leave the big city, and move into an Appalachian holler to build up a homestead from scratch. This was a big change! Even though Lee could hunt, fish, track, and identify wild edibles, he knew absolutely nothing about carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, or any of the dozen handyman skills needed to create an off-grid homestead. Over the past several years, he went from an urbane city dweller who barely knew how to swing a hammer to living in a hand-built log cabin with a hand-dug well and eating from a hand-sown garden.
He approaches homesteading from the perspective of bushcraft, as opposed to modern farming or prepping viewpoints. He believes that human beings need four things to survive: water, shelter, fire (or power), and food. Off-grid homesteading starts with the most basic of those elements, and the larger your homestead the more sophisticated those elements can be. If built right, he believes, you can sustainably build circular systems that feed into each other and spiral out to create the life you want to live.
The most important aspect of homesteading, in Lee’s opinion, is the interdependence that is necessarily forged between the homestead, the land, and their human and non-human neighbors. Homesteading is about living slowly, in the right relationship with the land, animals, and other people. By creating sustainable systems that benefit everyone, we can model the way forward into a brighter, healthier future.