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Homestead Supply Co. opens in Sellwood for do-it-yourselfers

by: Rita A. Leonard Ardenwald residents Kristl and Doug Bridge show a model of the GrainMaker bicycle grinder, used for making your own flour, in their new Sellwood store.

Have you ever hankered to make your own cheese, soap, cider, candles, sauerkraut, or sausage? Or needed directions for building a chicken coop, composter, or food dryer?

It was to answer that sort of need that Portland Homestead Supply Company was opened recently at 8012 S.E. 13th Avenue in Sellwood, a little north of Tacoma Street. Owners Doug and Kristl Bridge say they carry a wide array of equipment, pamphlets, books and other resources to help.

The pair have both worked many years as teachers; this is their first experiment selling homestead supplies. Their Internet website - www.homesteadsupplyco.com - offers class schedules and other information for folks eager to learn the fine points of old homesteading skills.

The couple lives in the Ardenwald neighborhood just east of McLoughlin Boulevard, and explain, of the resources they offer in their new store, 'These processes are all things that we've done at home.'

With interest currently high in do-it-yourself planning as a hedge against disaster, everyone should be able to find something interesting at Sellwood's new mercantile store.

In addition to pickle crocks, canning supplies, and hand-made brooms, the company even carries a GrainMaker brand 'bicycle grinder' - an attachment you can hook onto a stationary bicycle in order to grind grain into flour as you get your exercise. There's also information on making home-baked bread.

'It's good to see people getting back to nature, simplifying, and doing things for themselves,' comments Doug. 'We can help you find a lot of valuable resources, and we hope to continue offering more classes to those interested.'

Homestead Supply also carries supplies, equipment, and information for home-brewing beer, wine, and liqueurs; making cleaning and laundry supplies; and garden amendments and tools.

'Out in back of our store, which has 1,900 square feet of products, we also have a garage area for gardening supplies and animals,' says Kristl. 'Currently we're keeping two goats and some ducks and chickens back there. We also have books on raising farm animals, if you can manage that on your property. We enjoy showing people what they can do with animals.'