Chelsea Green Publishing

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Radical Homemaking: It’s Not a Competition

As publishers of a book about ecological, values-centered living, my husband Bob and I have experienced many moments of guilty squeamishness. Because I spent so much time studying the subject, and because we believed in the ideas strongly enough to pony up the cash and take Radical Homemakers to the printer, we feel we’re supposed to be some kind of paragon of the lifestyle. That is an ideal that is impossible to attain. I write and research to learn more about something I feel is important, not because Bob and I are experts at implementing all the concepts. We published Radical Homemakers as a result of being on that path, not because we have mastered the lifestyle. Looking around our home, there are plenty of signs that we haven’t. Most of the blueberry bushes limped through the winter, but I lost two of them owing to my imperfect stewardship from prior years. One of Bob’s beehives died out because we divided the colony at the wrong time last year. This year’s mistakes are already forthcoming: Sitting cozy by the fire in February, we decided to plant a small orchard and mail ordered eleven trees. That’s a stupid thing to do. It is fine to decide to plant an orchard, but that decision means the next growing season should be devoted to preparing the soil for the following year, not to planting and watering baby trees. In our zeal, we skipped an all-important step, and now those poor trees must struggle to survive in soil that is nutrient-poor and nearly devoid of microbial life. Continue reading this article at Yes! Magazine.
rawmilkrevolution Shannon Hayes is the author of Radical Homemakers.


What Bullies Can Teach Our Kids—And Us

Saoirse and Ula have a favorite story they are forever asking me to retell. It is about my first encounter with bullies in my kindergarten year. It goes like this: At the end of each day, my older brother and his best friend would pick me up from my classroom, and together we’d walk to […] Read More..

Radical Homemaking … With Houseguests?

I wouldn’t say I’m a slob. The toilets get scrubbed, I’m a champion when it comes to de-cluttering, and the sheets get changed. But I do possess a certain, ummm … blindness to grime. Since most cobwebs are above my sightline, I don’t notice them. The windows were last washed in 2008. Dusting really only […] Read More..

The Downsides of Upselling: 4 Tips from the Farm

A few weeks ago Bob and I had the delight of sharing the day at our farmers market with a young man who is preparing to go into grassfed farming. He worked closely with my mom and dad to understand the production end of the farm, then chose to spend a day with Bob and […] Read More..

What We Learned From Swimming With Leeches

We don’t go away much in the summer. Highways and traffic grate at our nerves, we fixate too much on what could be getting done on the farm, we get grouchy filling up at the pump. That is not to say our summers are without bliss. But once things are growing in the soil and […] Read More..

The Audacity of Acting Out: What Our Kids Can Teach Us

Originally published by Yes! magazine. Saoirse and Ula are three years apart. Saoirse, 8, is unusually tall, slender, well-spoken, and comes across to grown-ups as particularly well-behaved and extraordinarily poised. Ula isn’t any of those things. At 5, she’s about a foot shorter than her sister, demonstrates an ability to move exceptionally heavy objects for […] Read More..