About Realize Homestead

Realize Homestead is a family of humans, pigs, chickens, a lot of plants, and fungi all living on a happy patch of earth in Northern Michigan.

The little piggies love the expired organic produce from the local food Co-op!

  Hi!  I’m Levi.  Around 2011 I moved back to my family’s multi-generation farmland in Traverse City, Michigan, and began creating Realize Homestead with a whole heap of help and guidance from friends, family, and local farmers and teachers.    

You can hear more about my journey and the inspiration behind the project in my 10-year update video here:



And here’s a quick video tour of the farm during the 2022 season: 


  1. Jon Lawrence

    Well done Levi… While we miss you on ANW I strongly prefer the life and lifestyle you are pursuing. Bravo Young Man!

  2. Levi Meeuwenberg

    Thank you so much for the kind words! I do still have my trumpet, but it’s a bit rusty, although I do practice the piano on occasion. Hope you’re well. :)

    • Micaiah to

      Hi levi may you please just make a return and visut the anw course. You dont have to compete but just be there and many will ne happy to see you

  3. kshitij raj

    Hi Levi,i am a random fan of your.

    • Cameron

      hi Levi will u consider doing american ninja warrior because i am a big fan

    • Levi Meeuwenberg

      That looks great Eva! Best of luck to you and your family. The underground greenhouse sounds like a good idea. It would be nice to hear more about what you’re already doing, like a tour of your farm!

  4. Kdubrepublic

    Thank you:
    I appreciate being accepted to receive your e-mail updates, and am looking
    forward to learning more in days ahead. I think that in days ahead, being able to work in concert with the gracious gifts of Gods Earth could be the determining factor of making it or not. I am anxious to work with our ten acres here to live a more healthy and happy life. The best to you both. Kw

  5. Malou Nocedo

    Levi, no wonder you’re no longer active in ANW. After reading your blog, I thought to myself you made a very good choice. Live healthy, live long, love more and be happy. More blessings to the both of you.

  6. Donna Allgaier-Lamberti

    Greeting from the lower SW Michigan! I found your blog through Peter Banes/Utube blog post. I am so glad to see young people adopting this lifestyle. We are “senior” homesteaders on 5-acres in Allegan County, SW MI.
    I just attended a Peter Bane workshop with the Van/Kal Permies. A very knowledgeable guy!
    Good luck along your journey!!
    Donna at The Small House Homestead

  7. Carolyn Rames

    Hello Levi and Brenda,
    I am originally from Michigan and have deep loving connections with M22 friends, Neahatawanta, CACC, Orianna Food Coop, and Telford Farm in Cedar. Now living in Ohio, I hope to attend Akron’s Advanced Permaculture class. I look forward to meeting you and hearing more about your project.

  8. Brent Yalkut

    From the moment my son and I saw your performance on Ninja Warrior, we were fans. We miss seeing that talent you brought. You are very brave to put the notoriety aside and live clean and free.
    Congrats on being happy.

  9. Mike Ligouri

    Hey Levi,

    Just wanted to say that you’re a huge inspiration for me, both in parkour and life in general. You were my original inspiration to start doing parkour back in 2011 when I first saw you on Sasuke and Jump City Seattle. I think it’s awesome that you’re focusing on making the earth a better place, but there’s always going to be that nostalgic part of my memory when I first started doing parkour. Keep up the awesome work.

    • Levi Meeuwenberg

      Hi Mike!
      Thank you for your kind words. We do what we can, you know?
      Parkour will always be a part of me too, and in subtle ways it has helped my work on the farm as well.

  10. Jason

    Hi Levi, any plans of trying the course again? (ANW). Was a fan from the Philippines. Regards to Brenda

    • Levi Meeuwenberg

      Hi Jason. Thanks for the support. I don’t have any plans to try ANW again. I’m very happy with my life currently. :) Thanks for checking in!

      • Jason

        Yeah, I guess was just quite nostalgic since when I first watched ANW during the first couple of seasons that you we’re the one lording it out there with Brian then that injury u had and the early elimination on the 4th season if I’m not mistaken learning that I we’re here in the Philippines for the Bourne movie, well I must say that I admire the maturity and responsibility turning ur back to parkour and facing the reality of life and the future, read ur article there that u can only those stuffs for a number of years and better start early to think ahead. Sorry for this long read hehe. Good luck to u and Brenda, I already subscribed btw. Let me know if you guys visit the Philippines again.

      • Micaiah To

        May you at least just visit a course because many people moss you and you jist going to watch will help so much

  11. Hanna Sampoli

    Hi Levi.

    I’m one of those who wondered what happened to one of the best ninjas? Glad to know that you are doing great and living a sustainable lifestyle. Wish I could do the same, being a self-professed treehugger.

    I will always be a fan.

    All the best to you and Brenda. :)

    • Levi Meeuwenberg

      Hello Hanna. Thanks for checking in! Glad you’re happy with the transition. We sure are!

  12. Shyam

    Hi Levi,

    Miss you at the ANW, you are an inspiration to many. Glad that you are happy.

    All the best.

  13. Andreas Kitzing

    Love to see what you’re building here! Will definitely come by if I ever come to Michigan. ;)

    PS: Matrix is awesome – but the first movie is the best. :)

  14. Christine Shafer

    Hello Levi,
    My name is Christine, and my maiden name is Meeuwenberg. I was born in Fremont, Michigan to Chris (A pharmacist) and Anita Meeuwenberg. As a family we would vacation every year in Traverse City and a couple times visited my Dad’s cousin, Dr Richard Meeuwenberg.
    I am just curious of we may be related?

    • Levi Meeuwenberg

      Hi Christine!
      Yes we are related! Dr. Rich Meeuwenberg is my Uncle, my Dad’s brother. My dad is Gene Meeuwenberg, who also lives up here in Traverse. Who’s your dad?
      Very cool to cross paths!

  15. Paul

    Hello Levi!

    Recently, I’ve been doing some reading about Sasuke and ANW, most especially about those ANW competitors who haven’t competed since, or retired. I’ve known you’ve retired, and became a farmer since (as this website is about). I also remember your early exit on the Quad Steps in ANW4, which led to your retirement. I was also saddened when I heard about retired competitors, and the most recent retiree on ANW11. When people asked if you have plans to return to or try ANW again, one of the things you said “I’m very happy with my life currently”, which is a good thing to know. You’ve also looked back on parkour and freerunning before, and it helped you on the farm. Maybe if you try ANW again, it might make you happier in your life, and help you in some ways. You don’t need to focus on the current grand prize, you can just do it for the fans, and maybe also, Brenda (regards to her BTW). I’ve seen a post about a year ago on your Facebook page that you also did a bit of Ninja stuff. I’ve also heard that there’s a new thing in the competition called “Mega Wall” in case you don’t know, and you could win either $1,000, $5,000, or even better, $10,000. It can be useful on the permaculture as well, in case you win it. You should at least try ANW again, or return to it, if you can and still can. It’s not too late for you to try again, maybe at some point, when you get older, the ability to do things can get less, so maybe it could be regretted that you didn’t try it again (no offense if it might). And the failure you had the last time you competed (which was really early) is the reason why you should get better, not the reason why you quit.

    Once again, regards to Brenda!

  16. Chris Law

    Hello Levi,

    It’s good to see you still active around after you’ve somehow retired from ANW and Sasuke. I’ve been doing some reading on people who haven’t competed on ANW, and I found you, now a farmer. You’ve done a good job on what you’re doing, and making the world a better place, which is very nice to see.

    Many people have also asked you here about returning to or trying ANW again, and it seems you are happy with your life, which is great to hear! I also remember watching you on TV, and you were very great. You were the most legendary American on the Japanese Sasuke. But, it seems like in ANW4, things did not go so well for you, as you made an early exit. I was really saddened when I saw that back then on TV. And then, you became a farmer now, and your progress is actually great! Maybe you should try ANW again, because it was your main passion on your parkour and freerunning, in which your parkour skills still help you in farming. We know you may be happy with your life currently, but if you try ANW again, perhaps it can make you happier that you were able to try something again. Don’t be afraid of failure (like the one in ANW4), it is the reason why you get better, not the reason why you quit. It’s not too late for you to return, because if you don’t think about returning soon (to be honest), you might end up regretting not doing it again when you’re older. And in my honest opinion, it was probably too early for you to retire from ANW. You don’t need to quit farming or fully return to parkour and freerunning just to return to ANW, when you make a choice. You should also try to remember the reason you started parkour, freerunning, ANW, it could make a change in your life, especially by trying again. The competition has changed a bit, probably with difficulty (that may depend), and that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t compete anymore. You can also make your wife (or other family members if you have) proud by trying ANW again, and doing your best. You don’t need to focus on the (new) grand prize just for the sake of trying ANW again.

    So, will you return to (or at least try again) ANW?

    P.S. I’m also aware of the COVID-19 pandemic, so stay safe as well! Regards to Brenda!


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