Not all people work away from home. I think some of the most beautiful, passionate, hard-working and driven people are the moms that stay at home to working to provide the type of life they want for their family. Take a minute to peek into the beautiful life this “Mom-preneur” (mom entrepreneur) is making for their family at home on their homestead in southwest Iowa.
Interview with Audrey about mom-preneurship
- Where are you located? What does your family look like? Humans and not.
We live by Honey Creek, Iowa in the Loess Hills. We’ve been very blessed with 5 children, Gabrielle, Dimitri, Alice, Anselm, and Liesl.
- Iowa State Cyclones or Iowa Hawkeyes? (Or favorite team?)
We’re not big into collegiate sports, but if I’m pretending it’s WI Badgers!
- Why do you feel like natural living is important?
Natural living is so important because it’s what used to be *just living.* Unfortunately in todays world, ignorance is anything but bliss, and you have to jump off the conveyor belt to live a wholesome, natural life in which you can thrive. Even more important to give this to our children and the next generations.
- If you could choose one treat what would it be?
If I had to choose one treat, I’d probably never tire of ice cream. ( but I also believe that “treats” made with wholesome ingredients can be a regular part of a healthy lifestyle!) We make ice cream and sourdough cookies and have the best ice cream sandwiches!
- What have been some struggles with living on a homestead?
Our biggest struggles have been pretty basic, mismanaging our time and energy and not enough funds, haha. But it’s made it real and very rewarding as well. Not letting the mistakes discourage you is a struggle long term, I’ve learned to embrace them and keep growing!
- What has been the most rewarding part of holistic living?
When I was pregnant with our first baby, I started digging. I wanted to be and give the best in every aspect of my life to give that to my child. That took me down many rabbit holes. Honestly the biggest reward of living holistically, is the robust health and wholesome life our children have.
They rarely catch the seasonal bugs, because their terrain/immune system is THRIVING. Doing just what it should do, when the body is given what it needs, and God willing they will always have that.
- Beach or mountain? Why?
I don’t know if I can choose! If I had to live there, it would be Mountains. For the seclusion, beauty, air, streams, and forests. But I love sunning and swimming in the ocean. They’re both so healing and lifegiving in their own ways.
- What hasn’t worked?
Not too sure how to answer this one… Many things haven’t worked, so we adapt and try again. One year I grew 40 tomato plants and had about 5 tomatoes to show for it. I’m not the most natural green thumb but I’ve come a long way in the last 12 years! Lol
- What else are you doing that is awesome?
We live on a 7 acre Homestead called La Esperanza Homestead (meaning Hope.) From old residents and neighbors stopping by these last three years, we discovered amazing stories about our property and that it had a name! So we wanted to honor its history and keep the name.
We have a milk cow named Mocha, our newest venture since last Fall, ‘22. Around 30 chickens, our Livestock Guard Dog (LGD), Bepi, and our newest protector and German Shepherd Dog (GSD) puppy, Almanzo.
My biggest goal for this trip around the sun is to get good at making 3 different cheeses. We’re doing all the things with the milk, and though I’ve been making yoghurt and kefir for years, cheese was daunting to step into.
We make sourdough bread and all kinds of goodies with the starter and preserve our modest harvest with canning and fermenting, which is the traditional and probiotic rich form of pickling vegetables.
My other biggest time consumer, especially in Spring and early Summer is our orchard and gardens. For the last three years especially, I’ve been trying to learn about soil health and regenerative agriculture. My favorite authors being Gabe Brown, Ben Falk and Michael Phillips. Using what I’ve learned/am learning from them and many others, we don’t till, but also utilize fruit tree guilds to keep our orchard pest free, and companion planting, mulching and homegrown fertilizer and composting to build a robust and varied garden. Always a work in progress, but I am feeling happy enough about the turn out this year!
We make our own soap from tallow as the main base with other oils depending on what qualities I’m looking for in that batch. As of last year I’ve gotten to utilize some of the medicinal herbs and flowers (I grew *successfully *lol, yay!) into my soaps. Soap making is honestly probably one of my favorite things to do. You have to put on your safety glasses and long gloves and aprons and you just feel so empowered turning out beautiful and nourishing bars of soap.
- What have you learned now that you didn’t know before?
Something important and universal I’ve learned is that you don’t need to rush. Pick one thing to improve on in your life, a new skill, and just start doing it. Until it’s just part of your normal living. And then take on something new. You’re almost out of soap? Time to make a new batch, instead of running to the store.
I like to quote a tea bag from some proverb I had years ago: “Nature never hurries, yet all is accomplished.” Or something close to that. (Caleb gives me the eye roll when I quote it.haha) Be industrious, use your time well, but don’t rush things. Stress is the biggest killer in my opinion, and if you follow the science. 😉
- Favorite thing to do in your free time?
Most of my free time is spent reading or walks/hikes. We live really close to Hitchcock Park, which is probably one of best places to hike in IA.
- Do you homeschool, why?
We do homeschool our children. Why we homeschool is for many reasons. The most important to me would be the following…
Critical thinking. In today’s world if you can’t think for yourself you’ll walk off the cliff with the masses with out thinking twice. I want to teach them to have the hard conversations and ask the tough questions, to be able to decide what’s right and wrong, just and immoral, for themselves! I want to spread a wide and varied feast before them, off all things good, true, and beautiful. I want to give them classic and beautiful art and composers to be old and life long friends. I want them to read all the books. If I can present them with a little knowledge of all things, they will not only have that gift their whole life, but that will also enable them to discover their own passions, careers, and skills they want to pursue and dive deeper into. And most importantly I want their education, full of truth and beauty, to lead them always closer and point them to the Author of all Truth.
- What is the next thing you are wanting to pursue?
Next thing I plan to pursue is getting good at violin. I’ve always wanted to learn it.
I want my children be musical and to play an instrument. If we want a great education for our children, I truly believe we should be the example and they’ll naturally follow suit.
Education isn’t something you can finish!
- Favorite thing to make for dinner?
Favorite thing for dinner definitely depends on the season. BLTs (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches) are a Summer favorite with homemade sourdough and mayo. Caprese salad, fresh salsa, paired with fresh fruit and grilled chicken are another Summer go to/personal favorite.
- How do we find out more about you? Facebook, Instagram, etc. Give me all of the details.
My IG is audreyhockel, I’ve honestly taken a huge social media break. I’ve considered a La Esperanza Homestead Ig in the future to share our ventures, but for right now, it’s really nice doing things with out the need and pressure to keep up with the online world
A word for those “just” stay at home moms
Wow, what a beautiful life that Audrey and her family are living! Am I right?! The pictures I see often get me envious of all of the things they have, but then I am reminded to take a step back and see the good that is in our family’s life as well. AND I also have to remind myself that they didn’t move onto the homestead and “have it all.” To get here has taken time, sacrifice, and commitment. I feel so fortunate to be able to share a bit about Audrey’s story, and will be sharing more stories of “mom-preneurs” in the future. The fact of the matter is, as Audrey mentioned, as I am trying to glamorous this mom-preneur life, this is just the way it was in the past. Typically moms stayed at home with the family to raise children, tend to every day life tasks-making bread, milking the cow, figuring out what to do with produce from the garden, tending to that garden and so much more, and that’s just the way it was.
So, here’s a little food for thought. Those moms staying home, you aren’t “just” a stay at home mom. And to those going to work, you are not defined by how good you are at your job. However, this past month at home after resigning from my job due to a budget cut, after pouring my heart and soul into every facet of my job for the past seven years has showed me how important it is to be a parent and what a blessing our children are. It took having something good taken away from me to realize how good other things are in my life. I am thankful for this transition, even though it has been difficult.
Read Psalm 112:1-10
Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever. Even in the darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. They have freely scatted their gifts to the poor, the righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor. The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
What stands out to me about Psalm 112
Verse 3: Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
I’m no Bible scholar, however, I feel like this is telling me that there is wealth and riches in our homes, and that will be good forever. I think Audrey’s story, and what we are trying to do on our homestead show the goodness that God has promised us. Sometimes you don’t need to strive for the next big promotion at work, but rather focus on the prosperity in your own home.
Follow along with the Iowa Family Gardening Homestead
I’m so thankful you’re here, and part of our story. You can follow us on Facebook for an up to date list of hands-on classes being offered in Humboldt, Iowa. You can see us on Pinterest, and YouTube and we’d love for you to join the “Dirty Fingernail Club” newsletter list. Check out other entrepreneur friends HERE! We’re excited for where this journey will lead us. Thank you for being here!
This is the start of something GOOD!