About Brunette Gardens

Instead of waiting until you can take off for the hinterlands, the best way to become a true steward of the Earth, increase your food security, and boost your independence is to homestead-in-place. For us, that means the Midwestern suburbs. For you, it could be anywhere!

Our suburban homestead, just steps from the St. Louis city line.

We’re convinced that creating a wildlife- and pollinator-friendly habitat and becoming more self-sufficient as homesteaders go hand-in-hand.

If this sounds like you, welcome. You’ve found your people. Feel free to subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website. That way, you’ll never miss an update.

A native bee, eastern carpenter, visiting a native herb, hyssop.

Lisa’s Background

Lisa Brunette has been at this writing thing full-time for three decades, publishing across a wide variety of media, from newsprint to online and both books and games, as well as museum exhibits. She’s won a fair share of awards, including three indieBRAG medallions and a Michener Fellowship. Through a lifetime of frequent moves—a military brat childhood and nomadic adulthood—gardening has been her one constant. Though entirely self-taught, she won a platinum award from the St. Louis Audubon Society, and the 1/4-acre garden she and her husband, Anthony, cultivate together has also been named a Monarch Way Station, a Wild Ones native plant habitat, and a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Lisa, tackling weeds.

Speaking of Anthony…

The other person with his hands in the dirt here is also known to bang out a few stories at his keyboard. While Anthony Valterra keeps insisting he’s not a writer, the readers who love his helpful hand with hugelkulturs and cool cast-iron tips beg to differ. He grew up with fond memories of visiting his grandfather’s Oregon dairy farm, and Anthony’s father is a never-seems-to-retire landscaper in the Walla Walla Valley. From him, he learned how to make a wreath, among other survival skills!

Anthony, fashioning a door wreath.

Guest Authors

We also regularly feature guest authors from here on Substack and elsewhere, such as Lynn Cady from Turtle Paradise and Erin Hanson from The Suburb Farm. Lisa’s been a guest writer for The Suburb Farm as well.

Stay Up-to-Date

You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox. We post 2-3 times per week.

The back forty… er, 1/4-acre.

Paid Subscribers

By supporting our work directly, you help ensure we can continue to devote the time and resources to researching, experimenting, and sharing our ‘homestead habitat’ content through written posts with original photography and recorded podcasts. You also allow us to remain independent in our work, only linking to products and services we’ve purchased ourselves and feel confident in recommending.

Paid subscribers make our world go ‘round. In return, they get:

  • Subscriber-only posts and podcasts on niche topics and in-depth takes

  • A chance to win free stuff (like gardening books) and invitations to in-person events

  • Access to discussion threads and full archives, plus the ability to comment on posts

  • Founding members also receive a free companion-planting guide

Paid subscribers = our daily bread.

Notices & Policies

We have a whole page for that right here.

Brought to You by the Fine Folks…

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.


Lisa Brunette
Award-winning writer who’s always had her hands at the keyboard, or in the dirt.
The Suburb Farm
Midwestern family growing food in the suburbs. Transforming the lawn into a mini-farm.
Anthony C Valterra
Anthony's mother once told Lisa, "Don't believe everything he says." That's sound advice.