“You teach archery at a falconry school?” This is how our first conversation started, as I watched her change into a kilt after a sweaty TaeKwonDo session… I was instantly curious and wanted to learn more about her. She shared that she quit her corporate job with benefits to become a homesteader. The economy wasn’t great at the time, so I wondered what drives one to live on their own away from everyone they know, in what seemed (to me) like the middle of nowhere.

Leaving a job is what’s on the surface, but monumental life decisions fueled by intense passion come with all sorts of complexities and self-doubt: self-sufficiency is often far from simple.

Through sheer force of will and knowing nothing about farming at the time, she created a life that felt right, for her. She is brave enough to measure success by a different drum. It now includes the satisfaction of being as self-sufficient as possible, and raising animals ethically for food.

#HERsteading: Cold Antler Farm, is a photo project about the energy, life, love, and challenges of a young woman building her dream life on her own farm in upstate NY. Author of several books, consummate blogger, animal lover, archer, falconer, workshop leader, mentor, martial artist, sci-fi and board game geek, fiddler, equestrian and graphic designer – there is no one way to encompass her sense of adventure and curiosity for life. If there is something she wants to know more about, she’ll figure out how to do it. And that is an inspiration.

A renaissance woman, Jenna Woginrich not just a homesteader: she is a fierce believer in creating the life you want, even if others don’t understand. Photographer Miriam Romais has been documenting her life since 2013.

The book based on the exhibition “Hersteading” (Saratoga Arts, 2016) features an essay by Jan Nagle, artist and program manager at the Center for Photographer at Woodstock.

Jenna & Italics (still hungry), 2014. 10x15" archival pigment on Canson Baryta
“Traveling Butchers (Sam, his father and his son) make quick work of the harvesting; Jenna feels this is much more humane than having the animals taken to a slaughterhouse, scared and stressed until they are dispatched days later. She says her animals have only one bad moment in their lives (ie, when they are put down for harvesting)”
There's a Chance (Jenna's winter work table), with hawk.