The Bartletts started out with 150 weed-covered acres, a pop-up camper and a thatched-roof outhouse where, to the sound of coyote howls her first night, Lynn Bartlett wept with fear and qualms about abandoning city life.
Lynn, her husband, Jim, and their four home-schooled sons moved from Fargo to a remote homestead in the Turtle Mountains four years ago. They didn’t make the transition easy on themselves: They plucked weeds by hand. They squished pesky potato bugs with their fingers. They let some chickens roam free.
Jim Bartlett, who heads the North Dakota Home School Association, half-jokingly calls his breed of Christian home-schooler “the new hippies” a growing group of converts to organic farming and the simple life that defies political labels.
“The hippies live like this because they’re trying to protect Mother Earth,” said the Bartletts’ friend, Sid Hughes. “We live like this because it gives us an opportunity to be in communion with God in nature.” Read more…