About Us



Our primary aim is to connect with and honor the land while surrounded by the people that we love. We aim to adopt and develop methods of land stewardship, food production, and living that give back to the land and our community. We aim to foster diverse, healthy, resilient ecosystems and strong community ties.

A Quick Primer

When we first told both of our sets of parents about our plan to quit stable, well-paying jobs and basically become some back to the land hippies, they were incredibly supportive (if perhaps a bit skeptical that we could pull it off). When we next told them that we would love for them to join us on this adventure as well, they smiled politely and said they would think about it. I am not sure if any of us ever thought it would actually happen. Fast forward quite a few years, quite a few trips around the western US to look at potential locations, quite a bit of serendipity that landed us within an hour of where we graduated from high school, and the dream is becoming reality. We purchased the property in 2016, while we continued to work in Portland, OR to pay off the mortgage and save a nest egg in preparation for the move (since South Dakota’s wages are so much lower than Oregon’s that it is still less expensive to pay Portland rent/living expenses and a mortgage than to take a SD pay cut.) Kristy’s parents Cindy and Les sold their house in Hill City and have been living on the homestead since 2018. Nathan’s parents Pat and Alan bought a house literally down the street and we hope to move back to South Dakota in 2024 or 2025. Our siblings and friends have supported us along the way in a multitude of ways.

While Kristy may have been the original driving force behind this crazy dream, it has become quite the family affair.

The People

Kristy and Nathan

Kristy and Nathan first met in Hill City, South Dakota while in high school together. They started dating in 2004 and have been married since 2010 (with a baby on the way in 2024). They currently live and work in Portland, Oregon and have been saving up to make the leap baxk to South Dakota. They travel to the homestead about twice a year in two week spurts to cram in as many projects as possible.

Kristy has been gardening with her parents since she was toddler. Those early sown seeds bloomed into a obsession with gardening and nature.

Nathan came to gardening later in life (once he started dating Kristy). Now he is a plant nerd and is most happy when working and playing outdoors

Cindy and Les

Toad Hollow is what it is today because of these two. Even before they moved to the land in 2018, they visited most weekends to work on different projects. They have gardened, built infrastructure, hauled tons of sheet mulching materials, and kept plants alive through diligent watering. They currently live in the farm house but are planning on building their own home on the south end of the property.

Cindy: Despite the fact that she claimed that she wasn’t really interested in the farming part of the homestead she sure seems to be choosing to spend a lot of time doing suspiciously farm like activities these days (and even claims that she enjoys it)! She has an artist’s eye and is responsible for making the homestead aesthetically pleasing. She is our self-proclaimed fluffinator extraordinaire.

Les: Has a background as a Forest Service hydrologist and brings many practical skills and nearly endless energy to the farm.


Grilla is the farm cat who found us. In 2020, at the beginning of one of our visits, she wandered onto the property and insisted that she wasn’t leaving. Nathan gave her the moniker in honor of his beloved childhood cat Cricket (Grilla, pronounced gree-ya, is Spanish for cricket). At the end of the trip we (or maybe Grilla’s charm did it all by herself) somehow convinced Cindy and Les to adopt her fulltime and she has made her way into all of our hearts. Now, she is the real boss.

By the way, the collar may look silly but it is actually scientifically proven to reduce predation of birds.

Shoutouts and Gratitude

All of these projects have only been possible with the support of our wonderful family and friends and the countless hours they have contributed to our dream. Here is a non-exhaustive list of those who have helped and the projects they have worked on.

  • Alan Schulte – Nathan’s dad: moving tanks, moving materials uphill into the orchard, weeding, building the cabin, pretty much everything
  • Pat Schulte – Nathan’s mom: de-taping cardboard for sheet mulching
  • Scott Schulte -Nathan’s brother: building the solar shower
  • Ryan Schulte – Nathan’s brother: Caretaking the house, digging ditches, moving materials into the orchard, building the cabin, weeding, pretty much everything
  • Jenny Gonyer – Kristy’s sister: terraces, de-taping, hauling materials
  • Jeff Schkelebir sp. – terraces, helping relocate the cabin, and being a role model that has definitely informed our vision of this dream.
  • Rob and Tom – fencing, fruit tree advice, tree planting, and starts for the garden
  • Larry – Kristy’s uncle: building the cabin, and helping out with whatever projects we are working on when he visits.
  • Matt – building the cabin
  • Suzanne Moum – Nathan’s cousin: moving materials into the orchard
  • Susan Sheirbeck – helping mix cement for the tanks