As a family that heats with firewood ourselves, for years we've modified or created tools and devices in our workshop to make that process easier. The professional grade products we now sell at LogOX have evolved from that experience and fuel our desire to make forestry and heating with firewood safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
This month for our BlogOX feature, we celebrate a rural way of life with Josh from Stoney Ridge Farmer in North Carolina. Josh is a veteran who served four and a half years in the Air Force. When he left the Air Force, he decided to start his first business, a contractor/handyman business. While running his business, Josh also attended college at this time and earned his bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
When Josh finished school, he started working with his degree, but he knew he wasn't quite where he wanted to be. He had a dream of getting back to the land. As Josh grew up in the country using chainsaws and gathering firewood he missed that aspect of life.
"When I got out of that life, it was about the furthest I wanted to be from it. So I moved to an apartment in a local town right smack in the middle of downtown. I lived about five minutes from my work as a registered nurse, I bought my first house near there too, and I started doing an urban farm."
Josh had about 1/3rd of an acre and started his own urban-type farm. He got some chickens and honeybees and then started selling his homegrown produce locally. He recalls though still wanting more in that sense. When Josh went on his first date with his former wife, he told her that he just wanted to get back to the country. Josh has an interesting perspective because of his background and different ventures. Watching his channel and following along with his journey is a great way to spend some time! He answers important questions like what people need for homesteading and shows the best tools for forestry and farm work.
The Beginning of the Farm & Production Company
Josh pursued his dream, and sure enough, eventually, he bought 150 acres out in the country. He moved and sold all of his stuff, sold the house in town, and started building the farm. About a year into that, he started the YouTube channel.
Thanks to his background in contracting and his childhood in the country he'd always been good with his hands so building the homestead was something he was comfortable with. Josh also knew his way around a computer and has a driven mindset to learn. He started teaching himself how to shoot and edit videos and dove into the community of others with similar interests.
Josh watched many people on YouTube and read various books by folks like Joel Salatin, and they were all a significant influence.
"You know, I just enjoyed watching these other people, and what they were doing, and I thought, I could do that, that'd be fun."
Now it’s Josh who is inspiring others through his content and teaching people about what farm tools are important, what they need for homesteading, what tools they need for cutting firewood, and much more.
Pursuing His Passion and Meeting Great People
Every day that Josh wasn't working as a nurse, he was building and filming what kind of work he was doing on the farm. He would work as a nurse for three days a week, and then the other four (though he jokes it seemed like the other seven because of how busy he was) he would build and film videos.
While most people were sitting on the couch at night, maybe watching a little bit of TV, Josh was sitting on the couch, with his headphones on, trying to figure out how to edit and make his footage look good.
"One day, I thought, you know, people would probably like to know how I'm doing this and what's going on here. So I started shooting videos. That was about six and a half years ago, and the rest is history. I'm close to 1100 videos at this point."
Fast forward from that, Josh just jumped in and followed in the footsteps of the people he was inspired by but gave it his own twist. Then suddenly he was traveling and meeting people in the community.
"The next thing you know, I met the LogOX family at the Homesteaders of America Conference. Soon, not only was I out meeting these people, I was on stage talking with them."
After Josh had established himself as a trusted content creator, homesteader, and outdoorsman, he started making friends with others in the industry. That's when he began working with brands he uses and trusts. Josh demonstrates how he uses quality tools and products on his YouTube channel and makes recommendations based on what he incorporates into his daily life and work.
The Best Tools for the Job
"It's absolutely important to have the best tools for the job. When the guys handed me the LogOX for the first time I looked at it and was like "What is this thing?
Now I know. If I want to keep my chainsaw out of the dirt, I use the LogOX. If I want to roll a big log, I use the LogOX. If I want to pick up logs and toss them in the back of my truck, I use the LogOX."
Josh talks a bit about the importance of having the right tools and preserving energy and your body when doing this demanding physical work. Josh doesn't just have one LogOX tool, he has a GenOX Knife, GripOX Premium Leather Gloves, and three different LogOX 3-in-1's.
Everybody that works with Josh also uses the LogOX, and whenever they are running the sawmill or doing work with firewood, it's a staple of the toolkit. As Josh says, it's not only a time-saver, but it's also a back saver.
"Having the right tools always pays off in the end, especially when you're at the end of the day, and you take that shower your back's not killing you."
Another point Josh makes is with the PickOX that came as part of the Forester Package and how it saved him from bending over, which is huge as he's 6'5. Being a tall person, Josh explains there often already is the worry of back trouble. So when considering what tools are the best for a sore back or to prevent an aching back, there isn't a better answer than the LogOX 3-in-1. Josh also mentions how it's been nice through LogOX to meet others in the community with the same focus on quality of life and quality American-made tools.
"You get a lot of people that roll their eyes at it. Maybe they think it's some kind of gimmick. I would say, give it a try. It's worth it. It's totally worth it to try the LogOX. It's just a well-thought-out piece of equipment that it's going to last forever. It's a forever tool, made in the USA. So I think once you give it a try, you won't go back."
It takes a lot of work to build and run a farm, not to mention maintaining and growing a channel for YouTube on top of all of that. Josh touched on the community that exists among those who love working outdoors, doing things with their hands, and enjoy forestry work, and while that is an incredibly rewarding aspect of this community, we always love to hear what the best part on the ground is for those who live it day in and day out.
For Josh, he says a big motivation is watching it all grow.
"A lot of folks will ask me, what do you farm? I'll say, I farm soil and grass, and they're usually confused by that. They want to know what it means to farm soil.
So I say, I'm building soil, the livestock and the chickens, and all that comes from building soil. So what I enjoy the most about it is building stuff, building the soil, building fences, building things to make the land better.
The place that I bought here was a very worn-out old tobacco farm with no nutrients in the soil, and I'm slowly bringing it back. I was walking through the field yesterday where I go up and feed the cows every day, and I saw that instead of the soil being rough and gritty, now it's black, it's rich, and it's growing grass better. It's amazing to watch that transformation of soil life."
Then on the content side of it, Josh says he looks to provide a bit of an escape from the hustle and bustle of life. His channel is meant to inspire and help people unwind and relax. He makes his videos not only because they are fun for him to make, but because he knows they are also fun for people to watch and provide wholesome entertainment that educates and creates connection.
"If you want to come to a family-friendly place and that will teach you how to take nothing and make something out of it, I think my channel is a great place to start. Basically, it's a lot of people that are starting out in this venture. They're tired of city life. They're tired of working for somebody else. They're tired of living three feet from their neighbor and their homeowner's association and all that mess. I think this is a breath of fresh air for a lot of people."
There are a lot of key takeaways from our conversation with Josh, which makes sense as he's a creator who dedicates his time to giving insight, inspiration, and information to those interested. From homesteading, farming, and even just those looking to save their back while doing manual labor like cutting firewood he is an incredible resource in this industry.
Josh makes content about homesteading tool must-haves like the LogOX 3-in-1, day-in-the-life videos featuring the ins and outs of farm life, DIY walkthroughs, and more. There is a lot that can be learned from Josh's channel. We asked him for his advice to those looking to make a change and spend more time outdoors, maybe even those thinking of starting a homestead of their own, and he had this to say.
"Jump in headfirst and come up swimming, and swim real hard. You've just got to work, don't expect that it's going to be handed to you. I think one of the main lessons that we learn here on the channel and on the farm is that sometimes farming means failing. Sometimes it means that you're not going to have the success that you thought you would have. You're going to have to adjust your techniques and your lifestyle to make that happen.
So live below your means and get ready when you jump in head first, because you're going to come up swimming and you're going to have to swim hard to get anywhere. But I'd encourage anybody to jump in and start the journey today. Don't wait. A lot of people are waiting for something, and there's no reason to wait. Just jump in and go for it."
Thank you so much, Josh, for talking with us and sharing your journey and thoughts on our products. We are so pleased to have you as a member of Team LogOX and strongly encourage anyone reading to subscribe to Josh's channel for some fantastic content.
Remember, if you're looking to improve efficiency and reduce strain on your back and body during your forestry tasks, check out our Forester Package.
Thank you all for reading, and we will see you next month with another awesome LogOX Customer Feature, be sure to give Josh a follow on Instagram too. We've got all the links below!