Muscadines and Muscadine Jam

This past week I took a jar of our homemade muscadine jam to our son Joe and his wife Michelle in California. Everybody seemed to really enjoy it. Lee and I enjoy it too, and I am convinced that we should make a lot more of it next year. We know that muscadines grow well at Longleaf Breeze, so I have high hopes of cultivating them and not simply relying on gathering the ones that grow wild on vines around our land. Continue reading “Muscadines and Muscadine Jam”

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”

Staying Warm; Firewood

Amanda and I read a haunting piece on AlterNet recently entitled 5 Pieces of Advice for the New Paupers. The whole piece is worth reading, but the part that informs today’s post is about the necessity of finding a reliable way to keep warm: “You won’t even want food much after a while. You’ll want heat itself, not the chemical middleman. You are going to realize that cold is the most frightening thing in the world. In older English dialects, ‘to starve’ meant ‘to freeze.’ You will see why.” Ooh. Gets your attention, doesn’t it? It got ours, and consequently, we have been unusually attentive to finding ways to stay warm. Continue reading “Staying Warm; Firewood”

Clearing and Burning

We own 88 acres of land. Positioned at the junction of Tallapoosa River bottomland and the resumption of the craggy coastal plain, it’s gorgeous to us. The place where we are building the barn and plan one day to build our house is elevated enough to have a panoramic view of the valley to the south, particularly in the winter when the leaves are off the trees. It has a 1-acre +/- pond and a creek that runs diagonally across it that continued to flow even at the height of the drought in 2007. That’s the good news. Now let’s talk about the challenges. Continue reading “Clearing and Burning”

Why We Are Doing This

When our friends find out that we, a PhD in interpersonal communications and a divorce lawyer who have never successfully grown so much as a tomato, are preparing to become subsistence farmers, their reactions vary from incredulity through denial to (occasionally) fascinated approval. The most frequent response by far, though, is “Why?” Continue reading “Why We Are Doing This”