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In 2016, an unfamiliar concept began sneaking its way through our daily living and thinking that shaped more than we ever thought imaginable.  Our lives had already looked peculiar to many of our friends, family, and neighbors.  We raised backyard chickens, tried having a beehive, gardened organically, ate fermented things, and bought many of our foods from local farms just to name a few.  Most of these related to food, which played, and continues to play, a significant role in our journey.  But as we pondered this new concept, we quickly came to see it encapsulated so much more than food.  Rather, all of life… culture, work, play, time, sleep, movement, eating, habits, money, studying the past, and taking responsibility for the future.


Our basic definition is…

Sustainability:  Responsibly using as minimal, natural, and local resources as possible.

We began asking ourselves questions like:  Where did our clothes come from?  Who made them?  Are their wages fair?  What did parents do before strollers existed?  What foods did our great grandparents eat?  How did they prepare it?  How is that different than what we eat now?  What’s the difference between shopping local and shopping at Target?  How many miles did this banana travel to get to my home and how does that impact the environment?  How big should our home be?  How much stuff should we own?

What we found was that living sustainably and not just conveniently impacted all these things and so much more.  Our time, passions, and money were continually being challenged, torn to pieces, shaped, and then reshaped to reflect a new set of values that were being developed for our family.

So, what do you do when your life takes a massive shift toward the unconventional?  You start a website, blog, and hop on social media 😉

What is Creating Sustainable Roots?

In November 2016 we sat down and wrote a Family Mission Statement.

We are followers of Jesus Christ and because of His sacrifice for us desire to compassionately serve others.  We produce with our hands and not outsource, live with our basic needs being met and not abundance, and live freely from what’s conventional and not comfortably.  We live intentionally, work toward what we value, and enjoy playing together in nature.”

So this is us!  It fully embodies us, who we want to be, and the journey we are on.  Creating Sustainable Roots is us living this mission statement each day and inviting all to follow along and learn with us.  If you think we’re weird, that’s ok… we think we are weird too!  For us it’s about living simply and living sustainably.

A snippet of us…


Joelle is a wife, mother, and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.  She loves cooking, listening to podcasts, and ice cream.


Jim is a husband, father, and Construction Manager.  He loves biking, home projects, and trying to be a farmer.

Our Family

We live in the suburbs of Chicago on 1/3 acre of land in a 1200 sf house.  We have been married 9 years with our 2 little ones, the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet, and 12 backyard chickens.