Looking at the world from my small rural acres in the Blue Ridge.

raising food

Taking care of ourselves and each other: Learning and doing in the Piedmont

Taking care of ourselves and each other: Learning and doing in the Piedmont

To top off settling in a new place shortly after I got here I decided to go to college for an endless number of years sometimes living far from home to do the history thing I have been doing as a scholar for almost three […]

‘Back in the day’ the Sorensen’s on the farm

‘Back in the day’ the Sorensen’s on the farm

For many years while my husband and I were farming in South Dakota the buzz word in the counter culture back-to-the-land press was self-sufficiency and many a ‘back to the lander” busted their butts trying to raise it all themselves, and even worse to presume […]

Where are we today?

Where are we today?

Today rather than judge ourselves by some illusory benchmark of historical rural American self ‘sufficiency’ we might do better for each of us to make the effort to be more self-reliant. By self-reliant I mean making the goal to do as much as possible for […]

Self–reliance versus Self-sufficiency: An ongoing series of meditations

Self–reliance versus Self-sufficiency: An ongoing series of meditations

None of us are self-sufficient. We all need somebody! Despite the often nostalgic retro-interpretations (our national idealization of Little House on the Prairie comes to mind!) Americans weren’t self-sufficient in the Colonial past, the Revolutionary Era nor the long 19th century. Few people or families, […]

Organic Hen Feed?  Sorry, Not Interested.

Organic Hen Feed? Sorry, Not Interested.

I’ve just heard on NPR this morning that the current price for organic soy beans (mostly imported from China) has risen to $800 a ton – roughly twice what it was last year.  This has put commercial organic chicken raisers and their customers in a […]