Toward a Resilient Personal Food Strategy – Part 1 – Introduction and Overview

This is prime time for Veg Hill. Each day the Farmer-in-Chief hauls in big baskets of cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, peas, okra, cabbage, squash, and zucchini (see the picture below). We are delighted, of course, and grateful for our blessings. But what do we do with all this food now, and what will we eat in January? Continue reading “Toward a Resilient Personal Food Strategy – Part 1 – Introduction and Overview”

Slurping Petroleum Now So We Can Sip It Later

Amanda and I head down to Friendship today. We will work this afternoon and most of the day tomorrow before heading back up to Birmingham. We know it’s extravagant to drive 1 1/2 tons of vehicle and passengers 240 miles round trip so two people can put in maybe 11 hours of work, and we know we won’t be able to do this for long. That doesn’t mean we don’t do it, though; just that we do it with a deep sense of appreciation and wonder. Continue reading “Slurping Petroleum Now So We Can Sip It Later”

Why We Need (Real) Family Farms

Amanda and I had to miss the Southern SAWG (Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) meeting in Chattanooga this year, and we regret that. I regret it more after reading this morning the keynote address to the conference from John Ikerd. He stated in clear and articulate language what many of us have been thinking, and I’m grateful for that. Continue reading “Why We Need (Real) Family Farms”

One of Many Reasons We’re In the Mess We’re In

Amanda got a Global Sun Oven for Christmas. I say that not because this post is about her oven (we’ll do that later when we have pics), but because the Sun Oven was the reason we went to Target in Montgomery a couple of weeks ago to buy a frozen pizza. Continue reading “One of Many Reasons We’re In the Mess We’re In”

Preparing for 100 Million Farmers in the U.S.

It’s becoming increasingly clear to those who care that the world’s flow of crude oil has already peaked. From now on, even as we humans continue seeding the world with more and more hungry babies, and even as we continue to dream that things are going to get back to “normal” soon, from now on the world will have less and less access to the high quality and energy-dense fuel it has quickly come to see as its birthright. Those of us who follow and understand peak oil know some (but by no means all) of what that means for humanity; those who don’t will be finding out within the next 2-5 years. Welcome to the post-peak oil age, where the women better be strong, it doesn’t matter so much how the men look, and average is a pretty sucky place to be. Continue reading “Preparing for 100 Million Farmers in the U.S.”

Planning to Live With Climate Change, Not Die From It

We’ve posted a new page on the main site about how all our efforts so far to deal with catastrophic climate change have been futile. As are many of us, we’re digesting the global ramifications of what appears to be an inevitable and pernicious change in our global climate, and then plotting strategy for acting locally. That is, it’s time to stop warning about what could happen and start planning for what will happen. What will catastrophic climate change mean for subsistence farmers in Alabama? Continue reading “Planning to Live With Climate Change, Not Die From It”

Managing a Non-Farm Business on the Farm

Our original vision for Longleaf Breeze was that both of us would be full-time subsistence farmers. That was before. That was before the brutal shakeout in market performance depleted the value of our investments, leaving us at once both poorer and more humble. So now we know that, at least for the time being, I will need to continue working with people going through divorce, even as Amanda focuses exclusively on the farm. Continue reading “Managing a Non-Farm Business on the Farm”

From Birmingham to Los Angeles in Seven Hours

Today Amanda and I fly to Los Angeles from Birmingham to see our brand new (and first) grandchild. If you do not yet have a grandchild of your very own, I apologize for oohing and cooing incessantly. If you do, you understand. We are, to put it mildly, fired up. Continue reading “From Birmingham to Los Angeles in Seven Hours”