'Karla’s Wild-Shops’ teaching people to live off the land
In the heart of the Bald Hills area, Karla and Thomas Broschinski have carved a little piece of off-grid heaven into the wilderness.
For 12 years, the Yelm couple has steadily grown ever more self-sufficient on a 35-acre homestead, growing produce, raising livestock and producing electricity from the sun and wind.
The couple has failed and succeeded at numerous projects over the years, and Karla decided to take that hard-earned knowledge and use it to teach workshops so she could help would-be homesteaders learn from her own mistakes.
One of the Broschinski’s main goals when they embarked on their homesteading journey was to grow their own food. They’re now at the point where they live off their garden for the entire year, Karla said.
“We hardly go to Safeway or other stores anymore, at least for my fresh food,” she said. “I love that.
“For me, it’s also a kind of craft,” she added. “Every food I prepare has to be unique and new. I’m constantly experimenting.”
Tomatoes, comfrey, corn, peas, carrots and lettuce are just a small sampling of the produce the couple grows on their property. On the other side of the homestead, the couple raises goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits. Thomas specializes as a beekeeper.
Karla said she tries to incorporate “permaculture” principles into her gardening, which includes the principle that you don’t do “just one thing for one reason; the things you do help each other.”
For example, the couple’s orchard is fenced to protect against deer, but the fencing doubles as a chicken range. The chickens help control pests that may target the trees. The trees’ canopy protects the chickens from birds of prey.
In order to share their knowledge and learn from other people, the Broschinskis have also gotten involved in local groups for seed saving, beekeeping, mushroom picking and more.
Homesteading life has allowed the Broschinskis to live a life without utility or shopping bills, Karla said. Yet, they eat “gourmet” food like duck breast, filet mignon from goats, rabbit stew and homemade cheeses, she said.
“That is our way of living. That’s our lifestyle. And I love it,” she said. “You’re your own boss.”
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Black Blade: The ultimate goal being self-suffiency and not paying one cent more than required to the government that would only squander the money anyway.