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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Advocating the Advocate

Katy Wolk-Stanley, a nurse in Portland, Oregon, knows how to suck all the marrow out of the bones of life while keeping her cash firmly in her wallet. Her blog, The Non-Consumer Advocate, has been generating no small amount of press as of late, and for good reason. Wolk-Stanley relays the experiences she and her family undergo trying to be conscientious consumers, or even non-consumers, when the occasion merits it. Her motto “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” is a credo I couldn’t support more fervently. 


She posted a sweet little “Small Measures” roll-call today on The Non-Consumer Advocate. I invite you to take a gander at it, and then check out the rest of her blog, as well. There’s a wealth of tips there that we could all benefit from. 

Image from here

Fruits ‘A Plenty



I’ve got a fruit tree crush. All I think about lately are fig, plum, apricot, peach, nectarine, apple, pear, and whatever other tree I might be able to grow out here. To that end, we have a modicum of progress this season.  The pear and apple trees planted by the previous owners have offered up a nice little bounty. Actually, it’s the first time since I moved out here in March ’07 that the pear tree has produced any fruit at all. The apple trees are considerably more scanty this year than last, though. Still, I’m pretty thrilled. I’ve got big plans for cooking up a whole mess of applesauce, apple butter, dried fruit rings, crisps, and pear brandy. Any other suggestions? 
*Don’t even get me started on my nut tree crush. Or my bramble and fruiting bushes crush. All of my crushes are edible, it would seem! 

Breathe Easy


My post this week is up over at Design Sponge. Come check it out and learn about growing fresh air. 


Have a lovely weekend! Mine will be spent whipping up homemade dairy recipes, playing host to my lovely and amazing Atlanta-based friends Jen and Jon (who I am stealthily working towards relocating next door to me), and celebrating the glorious birth of my dear, magical, gracious, and delightful editor and best bubby ever, Nicole

And the Jam Goes To…

This month’s Small Measure Can-Do Jam Giveaway is Cyn, over at River Dog Prints. Congratulations! 

Thanks to everyone who participated. Get ready to launch more comments next month, when I’ll be giving away a jar of Cardamom Apple Butter. SO good! 

Made From Scratch

Allow me to introduce you to Jenna Woginrich. Calling Vermont home, Jenna shares her successes, failures, triumphs, and travails on her highly recommended blog, Cold Antler Farm. It’s a rich, candid read, showcasing some incredible talent, vim, and vigor. It’s also pretty funny. I’m a big fan of funny. Here she is with her Huskies Jazz and Annie. And her very Annie Hall hat. 
Jenna’s book, Made From Scratch, is an honest account of one woman’s quest to seek out a more self-sufficient living. She moved to a remote setting in Idaho and got busy raising chickens, keeping bees, knitting, and so, so much more. Ultimately re-locating to Vermont, Jenna continues to gather up tools in her homesteading belt, chronicling them on Cold Antler Farm. She’s also a regular contributor to Mother Earth News.  Most recently, with the help of some blog readers (she put out a call for willing and able bodies on her blog and folks came! How cool is that?!), she erected some secure fencing for her sheep, bought a pick-up truck (in which she sings Iron & Wine songs, aloud), and ruminated on the physical and mental toll that homesteading can exact on a body. 
In many ways, we’re kindred spirits. I’d love to meet her in person someday, maybe sit around a fire pit and share a hard cider or two while she plays tunes on her guitar (or fiddle!). ‘Til then, I’m content to follow her on Cold Antler Farm, where she opens her life up to a loyal readership, and makes you feel like she’d be pleased to meet you, anytime. 


Images from here, here, and here

*Small Measure: Find inspiration from urban and rural homesteaders. While Jenna and I are both in rural settings, you needn’t be deep in the sticks to amass your own set of homesteading skills. Some books I’ve drawn inspiration, and instruction, from include: The Backyard Homestead; The Urban Homestead;  The Good Life;  Toolbox for Sustainable City Living; The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It;  and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle