Nature's dramatic beauty frames daily life on the historic Kilcher homestead, located on the shores of Kachemak Bay near Homer, Alaska. Otto was born to this wild place in the 1950's; Charlotte joined him in 1990 when they fell in love working together on clean up after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Blending their families, Otto with sons Levi and Eivin and Charlotte with son Torrey built their lives together. Several years after they married, Otto's and Charlotte's son, August, was born, adding another lad to the tribe.
Growing up on what was then an isolated homestead, Otto learned survival skills at an early age, and living off the land was the only lifestyle he knew. As a youngster, he became a mechanical wizard and recycling genius out of necessity. By age 10, Otto could figure out how to fix most things with very few resources, and his family depended on him to keep all the farm equipment and machines operating.
Sharing a love for salvaging, both Charlotte and Otto see value in practically everything. Otto's trademark is his brilliance for recycling, reusing, and re-purposing everything possible. Inventing a new use for something old or restoring it and keeping it useful are always considered first before buying something new.
Where Otto is the brains and brawn of homestead operations, Charlotte is the heart, sharing a lifelong love for critters and nature. A tireless nurturer, her work is cut out for her between the humans, animals, and plants she cares for on the homestead. Also an artist, Charlotte creates all the artwork and designs for their products. Charlotte found her happy home in Otto's world of wilderness, farming, and rusted things.
Receiving hands-on lessons throughout life in all practical matters, their boys started driving tractors at such an early age a mother would gasp. Hay trucks were next when their feet could almost reach the brakes. Gathering and splitting firewood was a constant task, as was fixing streams of broken things side-by-side with Dad.
Growing up while their Grandfather Yule was alive, the older boys learned many useful things from his wealth of old school knowledge. Yule taught them how to play chess, the Latin roots for words, the secrets of collecting birch sap, and the art of making sourdough bread, to name a few skills Grandpa was well known for.
Many cows and winters have come and gone, and over the years the boys have grown and gone out into the world. Luckily for the otherwise empty nest, Eivin settled "next door" through the woods with wife Eve and children, Findlay and Sparrow Rose. Thankfully the other boys also come home often and look forward to jumping back into homestead life with the family.
Charlotte and Otto are delighted to be blessed with grandchildren. A new generation of homesteaders now sets out on bright-eyed adventures in Kilcher country. Each youngster brings his or her own mix of knowledge gained from grandparents and parents, along with new energies, skills, and technologies, to enhance today's experience of living off the land.