About Us

Karl Crystal 1
Hi, I’m Crystal and this is Karl.

I’ve always thought I was born in the wrong time period. Give me a wood-burning oven, a butter churn and a spinning wheel, please.

Now, I’m not giving up my indoor toilet or Pinterest account anytime soon, but I have always desired for a life close to the land. A quaint home, an orchard, a barn, a root cellar, and a garden bigger than most homes; this is the stuff of which dreams are made.

Mine anyways…

I grew up in the woods- building forts and catching bugs with my cousins. No dolls or dresses for this girl! We climbed big pine trees to get up on the chicken coop roof, picked wild blackberries, and carried a stick when we walked down to grandma’s house to fend off her crazy goose. I had always helped my parents in the garden, but it wasn’t until I learned to cook in college that I really started to appreciate the incredible produce coming from our own backyard.

Being a responsible and conventional child I never really considered being a steward of the land, a “homesteader,” as a possible life choice. Figuring that someday I would probably need a “real job,” I pursued Chiropractic. I am so grateful that I made this choice, as I am who I am because of it.

I have practiced Chiropractic with an emphasis on natural medicine for over five years. I have had many patients who came to me in tears because they had already been to seven different doctors- only to have them come back to me in tears again because after two weeks the symptoms they had wrestled with for years were starting go away. What an incredible gift; to help someone struggling to live, full of despair and feeling defeated, to become well again.

Almost all of the life-altering, miraculous improvement I saw in my office came largely in part from eliminating an allergen from the person’s diet, usually gluten or dairy, or from the Paleo or full-fledged Autoimmune Diet. Seeing on a daily basis how soy, corn, wheat and other grains were affecting people’s health so horribly- I had to jump into it myself!

Being a Chiropractor, I used my hands and arms intensely every day and I came to realize over the past years that this profession was very hard on them. Not willing to give anyone less than 100%, I knew something had to change. I reduced my Chiropractic practice to part-time and with the purchase of our first home, a 19-acre homestead in Western Wisconsin, finally realized my long-time dream of becoming a homesteader.

We live off the land as much as we can: growing a large garden, canning, dehydrating and storing produce in our root cellar. We forage for wild mushrooms, butternuts, hazelnuts, wild blueberries, black raspberries, and anything else we can get our hands on. We hunt deer and rabbits. We raise chickens, ducks and honey bees, and have dreams and plans of hogs and sheep.

We still go to the grocery store, usually twice per month. We buy pastured beef and pork from local farms, as we need it. Some things we order online or pick up when we go to “the big city,” things like oils, some nuts, spices, chocolate and coffee. You know, the necessities of life!

The brawn around the homestead is Karl. I have a hard time describing him in words because they just never seem to do him justice. To sum him up, he’s extraordinary. He’s my fiancé, my best friend, and together we make this life possible.

If I could bottle up Karl’s will power and sell it, I’d be a billionaire. In May of 2012 I recommended he give the Paleo diet a try, so…he tried it, felt better than he ever has before, and hasn’t looked back…not even once. And he makes it look easy. He’ll tell you that Paleo is easy because I cook all his meals and keep him “full of meat.”

We’re quite the pair.

And by the way, Karl has lost and maintained 70lbs following living a real food lifestyle. His co-workers call him the incredible shrinking man.

Karl grew up spending summers on his grandparent’s farm where he canned peaches with his grandmother, buried cow skulls back in the woods, and worked the fields with his grandpa. He has homesteading in his blood! He is now a software nerd by day and small-time farmer by night!

We follow a Paleo Diet, which you can read more about here! To sum it up, we try to eat whole foods that are more nourishing than harmful to our bodies. Happy plants and animals = healthy us. We eat gluten-free, grain-free and only consume the highest quality, pastured dairy products and natural sugars on occasion.

And please note: we don’t intend to be preach-y or convert anyone to the way that we eat. Everyone is welcome. No judging here. We just hope that you find something interesting or inspirational.

We love our 100-year-old home, our farm, our “homestead” and all the history that came with it. We love the small town we live in- where everyone waves, people hold doors for each other, and the cute old man working at the hardware helps you find exactly what you are looking for.

There is a real contentment that comes with this lifestyle, and we hope to share that with you.


  1. Beverly Elaine says

    Can I get an AMEN!? If I may provide a couple of supporting antidotal stories…

    We had heard of chiropractors. You know, those “witch doctors” that do stuff to your bones. Yeah, whatever. We’re too sensible to believe in all that hocus pocus. Then, one day the veil of darkness was lifted. I overheard two coworkers talking. One was telling the other how he had been released of all his sinus issues since he had started seeing a chiropractor. What’s this you stay? I prodded him for details. I strapped him to the chair, shined a bright light in his face and made him tell me everything. For you see, my husband was one walking sinus problem, constantly complaining of headaches, congestion, all the symptoms listed on the front of every box of sinus medication. I was very good friends with this coworker and knew for certain he was mentally stable, so I was a bit taken back to discover he regularly sees a chiropractor. I went straight home and told my husband every word of what my colleague had said. Husband’s best friend at work also regularly sees a chiropractor, so husband, still quite skeptical but willing to do anything at this point to get some relief, made an appointment with the same doctor. Husband starting getting relief within weeks. Fifteen years later, he is still 100% symptom free. I jumped on the band wagon as well and now if we ever have any sort of issue, the first place we go is to the chiropractor.

    Second supporting story (and I’ll make this one short, I promise)…. After having read Dr. Perlmutter’s book, The Grain Brain, husband and I started following a gluten-free diet. As well, we eat very few foods that come in a package with a label. We sleep better. He no longer snores. We’ve both shed a few pounds, but that was not the reason for the change. Our memories are better. We feel better. The low grade aches of beginning arthritis in my hands has gone away. My periods are no longer insane. Our bodies just work better. Gosh, I wish we had had this wisdom in our younger years.

    So, bravo to you both! You’re definitely on the right track. Oh, and we are right behind you looking for our own little homestead as well. I’ll enjoy very much following your story.

    • crystal@wholefedhomestead says

      Great stories- thanks for sharing them Beverly! I am continually amazed at what eating gluten-free, or even just whole, unprocessed foods for that matter, can do for people. You are a great example!


    Thanks for sharing your story…it brings us back to our beginnings in 1989 when we were part time homesteaders in West Virginia – the most blessed time of our lives. Chiropractic has always been my preferred health intervention but not until now, have I found a Chiropractor that had the wisdom, understanding and careful diagnosis to reverse the degenerative condition that has existed in my body for over 25 years. Dr. Crystal, your suggestion on the 1st visit to try an AIP diet has been a “life saver” and at my age I don’t use that term lightly. In just 6 short weeks, the pain and stiffness are 95% gone and each week is better than the next. I look forward to the day when I hang up the cane and walker to being independent once again. Thank you for removing the barriers to living life fully and for being the encouragement needed to continue on. I love this website as I can re-live my youth and healthy experiences through your life stories! May your life be filled with abundant blessings and health!

    • crystal@wholefedhomestead says

      Wow, thanks so much for your kind words Sandi. You’ve done a great job putting in the time and effort it takes to heal- you are an inspiration! I’m excited to celebrate with you when you hang up your cane for good! :)

  3. says

    I love your blog.
    We have a lot in common (we are Crystals after all)

    I was wondering if you would review my book when it comes out.

    It is being published by New Society Publishers in the fall. I could feature your blog on my website as well!


    In the meantime, my facebook account is growcreateinspire

    Thanks so much!

    • crystal@wholefedhomestead says

      Hi Crystal- it looks like we DO have a lot in common! Thanks for reading! I sent you an email :)

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