Cooking with the Global Sun Oven

From our first conversation about learning to be subsistence farmers, we’ve had a shared fascination about cooking with a solar oven. So it surprised no one when my Christmas gift to Amanda this year was a Global Sun Oven. We were expecting it to be an expensive novelty, but it has surprised us . . . pleasantly. Continue reading “Cooking with the Global Sun Oven”

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.”

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”