The Homestead Oven is run primarily by myself, Ryan Lee, from my home kitchen here in Charlottesville, VA. The Homestead Oven was created to share my love of gluten-free sourdough, fermentation, gardening, beekeeping, nature and kitchen craft, and also as a way to help others bring these essential traditions and connections to life within their own hands and homes.
I began eating a gluten free diet in my late teens, after I started experiencing an unexplained lethargy, mental fogginess and depression. After eliminating gluten from my diet for a few weeks, my symptoms completely vanished. From that point, life guided me toward a career in holistic wellness, where I opened and ran a private wellness practice for over 10 years in Chicago, Illinois.
Continuing on this path, I was called to study beekeeping, and soon found myself in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, living and learning at Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary in Floyd, VA. While deepening my relationship with the land and the bees, I was also introduced to the art and craft of traditional sourdough baking, fermentation and biodynamic gardening. Applying what I learned at the farm to my gluten-free lifestyle, I began to explore the wonderful world of naturally leavened bread and fermentation of all kinds.
After some years of baking and creating, starting my own family, and a move from Chicago, IL to Charlottesville, VA, I was encouraged by friends and family to begin sharing some of the breads, recipes, insights and techniques I had learned. The Homestead Oven was born from this encouragement and support, and may it help you cultivate more of what really matters in your life.