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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rich Hill couple to be featured on RFD TV's "Tough Grit"

Jeff  and Jana Droz of Rich Hill have been chosen to appear on RFD TV feature "Tough Grit"

The Droz residence near Rich Hill, Mo.
GRIT magazine will feature them as one of three Homesteaders of the Year in the November-December issue, the publication hit the newsstands Oct. 23. The magazine specifically praised the Drozes for constructing everything from access roads and ponds to their home and outbuildings using wood on the property, a small sawmill and draft horses as labor. They live off-grid, using solar energy, a cistern to catch water, and wood-burning and propane stoves.

The Drozes win a five-year subscription to Grit, all of Grit’s 2012 special-interest magazines, a Grit hat and tote, plus their choice of four homesteading books from Storey Publishing.

But that’s not all! Jeff and Jana also will put their rural-living skills to the test on GRIT’s DIY TV show, “TOUGH GRIT” in the next few weeks. Jana competes in the Oct. 29 episode on horse-related challenges, and Jeff goes head-to-head against fellow Rich Hill resident Marc Bell in the Nov. 5 episode about fencing. “TOUGH GRIT” airs each Monday at 6 p.m. CT on national cable channel RFD-TV.

Jana, 29, & Jeff, 35, answered the following questions regarding their lifestyle:

How long have you been homesteading? I (Jeff) began my homesteading lifestyle in 2005; seven years. Jana joined me on this adventure one year ago.

What compels you to lead this lifestyle? A desire to live in a way that complements — rather than competes with — nature and leaves more resources for the generations that come after us.

What do you think sets your piece of property and operation apart from others? When I bought the property, there was no road, pond, buildings or utilities. It is now a comfortable place to call home. I used horses for leveling the ground for the house, dragging logs to the sawmill, and occasional trips to town. Having no monthly utility bills (no sewer, water, electric, cable) is a fairly unique position to be in (here) in the Midwest.

Biggest challenge of homesteading: Fixing everything that breaks. Being the plumber, electrician, builder, road maintainer, vet, gardener and manager every day is a challenge.

What do you estimate is the percent of food, supplies, shelter, etc., that you produce yourself? We built our barn from logs on the property that we dragged with horses to our own band-saw mill. We used a lot of local wood in our house that we cut, dragged, milled and dried on-site. Our water comes from either the pond or is guttered off the roof into a 6,000-gallon cistern, which we filter and use for all purposes. Ninety percent of our meat is venison. All electricity comes from solar power that is stored in a battery and then turned into AC power through two power inverters. Heat comes from a wood-burning stove. The firewood all comes from the property and is primarily drop-off limbs from the large pecan trees. We cook on the woodstove frequently in the winter and have a propane cookstove for summer use.

Final thoughts: Start practicing homesteading activities now. From conserving power to making the dream of going solar more affordable, to making a compost pile for your table scraps and coffee grinds, the little conscious tasks will go a long way toward making your dreams into reality. Dream big, but start small, and you will surely change the world for the better.

“TOUGH GRIT” airs Mondays at 6 p.m. CT on RFD-TV. Viewers can watch episodes at the Tuesday after they’ve aired on RFD-TV. RFD-TV airs on DirecTV (channel 345) and Dish Network (channel 231). Visit for other listings.

To apply to be a contestant on the show, go to or pick up a copy of GRIT magazine.

“TOUGH GRIT” ( is a weekly 30-minute television show produced by GRIT magazine and Tractor Supply Company. It combines expert information with humor to help viewers complete common rural-based DIY projects correctly and safely. To demonstrate the projects, contestants from Team GRIT and Team Tractor Supply compete in hands-on challenges to win up to $1,000 in Tractor Supply gift cards. “TOUGH GRIT” airs Mondays at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT, on RFD-TV. Find updates on Facebook (/toughgrit) and Twitter (@ToughGrit).

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