The Ethics of Dinner, Joel Salatin and Genesis 2:23


As a writer, sometimes I pull my words like teeth, one-by-one, each painful and like enough to leave a scar. Other times, I build up an article or a post mechanically, like furniture. There is craft, yes, but also an established structure on which to hang my words. Like a table has four legs and [Continue Reading…]

Ancona Ducks, Modern Meat Ethics and Saving Endangered Breeds with Boondocker’s Farm


What the Wha? A Podcast? In this gig, I have the opportunity to talk to some amazingly cool people who are doing truly great things. Sometimes I even get to walk around with a Press Pass pinned to my boob so I seem all official. It’s all very surreal. Anyway, many of these conversations get [Continue Reading…]

Forced Molt: Starving Hens For Profit

Forced Molt

Lets’s talk about molting. Anyone who has ever kept chickens knows about the molt, that egg-production pause where hens shed old feathers and turn into tiny, ugly dinosaurs for a few weeks. During the molt, a natural response to reduced daylight, egg laying stops. Chicken’s can’t throw energy into making new feathers and eggs at the same [Continue Reading…]

Practical v. Political: People Who Give A Damn


As many of you know, I was at the Mother Earth News Fair all this past weekend. The MEN Fair is an interesting gathering place. Walking through the big, gravel parking lot across from the Puyallup Fairgrounds where the MEN Fair is held, you pass pick-up trucks and minivans festooned with Conservatarian bumper stickers that [Continue Reading…]

From Russia, With Vegetable Love


Part 1 Sometimes I go to the grocery store and get mad and start ranting about vegetables. Homebrew Husband thinks I’m silly when I do this, and pokes me if people start looking at me funny. The thing is, the cost of vegetables at the market is often far out of proportion to the difficulty [Continue Reading…]

Zombies vs. The Joy of Canning: Motivation in the Productive Home

Blanching Tomatoes

“Hey, we were planning on getting together later today, right?” I asked my friend. “Yeah, but after dinner.” “Can we push that back to later in the week?” I was exhausted from Can-o-Rama and the idea of a social commitment after dinner was more than I could handle. “Sure. What’s up?” “I’m pretty tired. I [Continue Reading…]

Would You Rub Pork Fat On Your Face?

Lard as Moisturizer

Do you love lard? Then this is the week for you. Make sure you come back tomorrow – I’ll be reviewing and giving away a copy of Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient and a one-year subscription to GRIT Magazine: Rural American Know-How, both courtesy of GRIT Magazine, the fabulous country-living focused [Continue Reading…]

Getting Out Of The Foodie Bubble

Are You In The Food Bubble?

Every girl should have a friend who’s witty, opinionated, drives really fast motorcycles and is equally comfortable cooking French food with hand-foraged mushrooms or drinking wine out of a half-pint canning jar. For me, that friend is chef and author Lisa Simpson. Lisa was kind enough to contribute her thoughts here on the perils of [Continue Reading…]

Wifery, Money And Not-Work


Urban homesteading, householdering, radical homemaking….call it what you will, the world of glorified housewifery seems, perhaps unsurprisingly, to be dominated by the wifery. Certainly the world of blogging about all this stuff tends to be the realm of the gentler sex (though I’m not sure how much gentler I looked as I slaughtered that chicken or shoveled that [Continue Reading…]

We Hang Together, Or We All Hang Separately

Hey you! Yeah, you – the 22 year old barista with the excessive facial hair and the Che Guevara tee-shirt, riding around Portland on your Marin Point Reyes, wondering if you can make it to both rallies for raw milk that are happening tonight and still get your winter cabbage starts planted in your Urban [Continue Reading…]

Taking Control in the Garden

Apparently we’ve been thinking about control a lot the last few weeks over here. Erica’s post about my employer’s likely buyout talked about what can prepare for and her reflection on gardening and kids discussed those things we just don’t have control over. Last Wednesday, after a day that felt completely out of control, something reminded me [Continue Reading…]

Failing Vegetarianism


I used to be a vegetarian. The best thing about being a vegetarian is how much you learn about industrialized meat production and animal welfare issues. The best thing about being a former vegetarian is bacon. I originally chose vegetarianism primarily for the purported health benefits. Unlike some vegetarians, I never had an intrinsic problem with the killing of animals [Continue Reading…]