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About Us


We’re a small collective of real gardeners dedicated to sharing our hands-on experience growing things and creating a simpler life for ourselves. Our little family of writers come from all walks of life with one thing in common – we love playing in the dirt.

Here at Rural Sprout, we’re committed to sharing our knowledge and expertise because we believe everyone can garden.

Whether you’re looking to grow and preserve your own food, tend to a lush indoor jungle, grow a few veggies in your apartment, or create an outdoor space filled with beautiful plants, we’ve got you covered.

Between all of us, we’ve got some pretty impressive self-sufficiency skills that we’re more than happy to pass on to you, too.

From time to time, we will welcome guest writers who can offer their personal experience on a particular topic. With our combined knowledge and expertise, you’re sure to learn something new, find the answers to your gardening questions and become just a little more self-reliant.

We’re happy to have you as part of the Rural Sprout family.

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Meet the Rural Sprout Family of Gardeners

Editor in Chief

Tracey Besemer

Hey there, my name is Tracey. I’m the editor in chief and lead writer here at Rural Sprout.

Many of our readers already know me as the “voice” of Rural Sprout from our popular Sunday newsletters. (You are signed up for our newsletters, right?) Each Sunday, I send a friendly missive from my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. It’s a bit like sitting on the front porch with a friend, discussing our gardens over a cup of tea.

Originally from upstate NY, I’m now an honorary Pennsylvanian, having lived here for the past 18 years with my family.

I grew up spending weekends on my dad’s off-the-grid homestead. I spent much of my childhood roaming the woods and getting my hands dirty in the garden.

As an adult, I continue to draw on the skills I learned as a kid. But these days, I tend to be almost a homesteader. I love my Wi-Fi and knowing pizza is only a phone call away. And I’m okay with never revisiting the adventure that is using an outhouse in the middle of January.

I’m a firm believer in self-sufficiency, no matter where you live, and the power and pride that comes from doing something for yourself.

I’ve always had a garden, even when the only space available was the roof of my apartment building or a windowsill. I’ve been knitting since age seven, and I spin and dye my own wool as well. If you can ferment it, it’s probably in my pantry. My sweetie and I are constantly amused by our seven goofy chickens and my three kiddos. And I can’t go more than a week without a trip into the woods looking for mushrooms, edible plants, or the sound of the wind in the trees.

You can follow my crazy homesteading adventures at Almost a Homesteader and on Instagram as @aahomesteader.

View Tracey’s articles here >>>


Cheryl Magyar

Cheryl Magyar is a sustainable life designer and environmental freelance writer with more than twenty years experience of living a simple life close to nature.

It all started at a young age with a love for the outdoors, followed by a keen interest in goats, which turned into a love for raising ducks and mangalica pigs on the Plains of Hungary.

Currently, she is homesteading in northern Romania, amidst charming haystacks, with her husband and homeschooled daughter. Their land and their life’s work is aptly named ForestCreekMeadows.

She is an avid organic gardener who can often be found eating nourishing “weeds” and making herbal infusions, just as she can be seen planting native trees to help others around the world to lower their carbon footprints.

Follow on Instagram and sign up for their newsletter for more inspirations on living a sustainable life.

View Cheryl’s articles here >>>

Lydia Noyes

Lydia Noyes is a homesteader and freelance writer who specializes in content creation related to health and wellness, fitness, natural living, homesteading, and organic gardening.

When not brainstorming new writing topics, you can find Lydia outdoors, where she attempts to bring order to her 33-acre hobby farm in West Michigan filled with fruit trees, Nigerian dwarf goats, American guinea hogs, a multi-fruit orchard, and an organic garden that somehow manages to get bigger every year.

View Lydia’s articles here >>>

Mickey Gast

I like to think of myself as a writer who gardens and a gardener who writes. I’ve been writing about houseplants for years on It was a humble peace lily that gave me the houseplant bug, so I have her to thank for over a decade of plant obsession. I get a kick out of saving and reviving houseplants that others write off, although my greatest sin is still overwatering.
Over the course of the same decade, I set up three gardens from scratch in three different climates. Nowadays, when I’m not writing, you’ll probably find me pottering around my suburban backyard where I’m creating a pollinator paradise, complete with herbs, veggies and flowers. If you’re nosy like me, you can follow my plant experiments on Instagram @greenwithpurpose.

View Mickey’s articles here >>>

Lindsay Sheehan

I am a writer, lifelong plant lover, permaculture gardener, and unabashed nature nerd. I’m endlessly fascinated by the natural world and its curious inner workings – from the invisible microbes in soil that help our plants grow, to the hidden (and often misunderstood) life of insects, to the astonishing interconnectedness that lies at the heart of our forests. And everything in between.

My gardening philosophy is simple – work with the forces of nature to foster balanced ecosystems in the landscape. By taking advantage of 470 million years of evolutionary wisdom, suddenly the garden is more resilient and self-sustaining. By restoring biodiversity, we get built-in nutrient cycling, pest control, climate regulation, and widespread pollination. By building healthy soil and supporting the food web, we can have lush gardens and do a small part in healing our local biomes, too.

On my own humble patch of earth in zone 5b, I’m slowly reclaiming the land and planting it densely with native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. I also tend a food forest, herb garden, and an ever-expanding plot of fruits and vegetables, where I abide by the old adage, ‘One for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, and one to grow’.

View Lindsay’s articles here >>>

Fawn Neun

My childhood was spent on family farms and the edges of forests and orchards, raised by parents who instilled in me a love of the outdoors, wholesome fresh food, and the natural healing qualities of plants. We grew tomatoes, foraged for wild strawberries, and kept chickens. We camped and fished and made the outdoor world the center of our family life.

After a career in the U.S. Air Force and corporate world, I’ve opted to return to the outdoors to watch the wildlife and play in the mud.

Since then, I’ve gardened wherever I’ve lived, whether they were tiny courtyard container gardens in the city or larger suburban homesteads. I now revel in a slower life spent managing a licensed backyard nursery on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Here, I can garden and grow — from bananas and pineapples to more mundane crops like tomatoes and cucumbers.

I also tend to a few chickens and rabbits, some wild ducks, a dog, a half-feral cat, and a few family members.

Our constantly evolving garden combines permaculture, biointensive planting, and regenerative techniques, as well as experiments with exotic crops that flourish in our hot and humid climate.

Nothing is wasted, and nothing toxic is used, neither in the garden nor in my plant nursery.

My mission is to do my small part to heal the planet by using regenerative techniques and promoting plant diversity. I want to help others to do the same.

You can visit my gardening blog, Southern Garden, which focuses on subtropical and tropical gardening.

Meredith Skyer

Meredith Skyer is a writer, artist, and homesteader residing in Western New York with her husband and menagerie of farm critters.

She has spent the last 12 years learning and implementing a myriad of homesteading skills, specializing in growing food and animal husbandry. Her biggest passion is working in conjunction with the natural world to harvest healthy, organic food from her own backyard.

Meredith is a freelance writer and founder of Backyard Chicken Project, a place for crazy chicken people to gather, learn, and share in their love of chickens. She also contributes articles to Mother Earth News Online, From Scratch Magazine, and Grit.

Meredith works from her woodland homestead where she spends her days writing, creating animal-inspired art, and chasing after her flock of chickens.

You can visit her at Backyard Chicken Project.

View Meredith’s articles here >>>

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