Photographer Eric Valli has spent the last four years talking with people who are trying to reduce their impact on the planet by living off the grid. They hunt, they fish, they forage — they don’t use cars or buy many materials, and they look like people trapped in time.
We moved into our homestead back in 2006 when it was just a blank canvas of lawn, with a couple old rose bushes here and there. After six years of major landscape changes, it’s about time I got around to making a decent planting plan of the homestead. Using AutoCAD and Illustrator, I came up with a pretty rad (and full-color!) homesteading map.
When I was in Seattle for the Offbeat-empire-weekend-of-awesome, I commented to Ariel about how impressed I was at the public compost bins. I’m a big believer that one of the best things we can do for the earth is to compost. Then I casually mentioned that I had ordered a Bokashi composter to try out and she was all “Offbeat Home post?” Then I told Cat and she was all “Yes! Please!” Then we became adults again. I swear.
When it came time to butcher the rabbits he’s raised this summer, he invited me over.
I had ideas of producing pounds upon pounds of produce to put away for the winter after I’d enjoyed them all summer long. Well, I have enjoyed peas, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and basil, but definitely not enough to “put up.” I kept waiting to get enough of one thing to can, freeze, or dry — but it just never happened.
This week I finally learned the most amazing thing about gardening as a grocery supplement:
You need a whole lot less of one thing to can than you might think.
I’m freshly showered, wearing my bathrobe, sipping my coffee on the back steps, when the turkey tom decides it’s time for some lovin’ on an injured hen.
I grab a badminton racket and run barefoot across the yard to swat the 45-pound Kentucky Bourbon Red tom off her, bathrobe flapping to reveal all. This is what I call a “farm moment.”