Monday, December 14, 2009

books and boys

Everything outside is wet, slushy, and yucky. The beautiful snow that fell Sunday afternoon turned into rain, which turned the already fallen snow into mush. Now the farm is in a muck of dirty white and chicken tracks. If a snow cone machine threw up on a pile of mud—you'd be in Vermont.

I match the weather. My cold turned into a cough and I actually left the office at noon to come home and sleep. Which is exactly what I did. A long rest in front of the fireplace and a quart of downed orange juice later and I already feel better. I won't be succumbing to scurvy, anyway.

I'm reading a book many of you may already be familiar with: MG Kain's Five Acres and Independence. It's a handbook for managing a small farm, written for folks before they actually acquire one. It starts out by saying there are two types of people with the small farm dream: those who are sure to fail and those who are destined to succeed. (A 50/50 chance is pretty good odds!) The point of the book is to help new farmers figure out the messy stuff and all the pitfalls that go into buying, starting, and living on a small plot of land. So far it's brilliant. And I'm looking forward to diving into the renting vs buying chapter. I also got a used copy of Joel Salatin's You Can Farm which I look at as part two in my winter small farm home study program. Reading and notes is something I can do to now. It's information I need and helps me feel like I'm working towards something, even if all I'm doing is sitting up in bed with a husky head on my stomach. With Finn, the rabbits, goslings, hive and garden gone I feel like I have so much time now. I fill it up of course. There's always something to do. It just feels emptier.

On a totally separate note....I have a question for you guys, and when I say that, I mean it literally. Are there any men out there? I feel like the overwhelming audience of this blog is female (which makes sense, so am I) but us farm girls can't be the only clicks around here? I feel like the things I write about: farming, livestock, trucks, music, electric fences, dogs, killing roosters, etc are pretty macho. There's got to be some dudes reading this and just not causing a ruckus on the blog. I'm just curious if you're out there gentlemen? If you are, you should comment and say hello. If you don't I'll assume it's just us girls and start writing about eyeliner and tights on sale at Banana Republic.

111 Comments:

Blogger ammamcp said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 14, 2009 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger carlz said...

Jenna,
Yes some of us reading are guys. I grew up on 10 acres of timber in oregon with water from a gravity fed spring, and canning on a wood cook stove, even though the house had a heat pump and electric range. I hav grown gardens, helped my father raise and butcher pigs and calves, milked goats,(watch out for milk from goats eating cedar in the winter), and generally carried on. It may be that the lurkers like me may not have the free time to contribute to the comments as much as the ladies, but I am sure that there are a number of us that have raised animals, grown and canned crops, built fence, and split enough wood to build the great wall of china. My parents house was orignally build in 1890, so for a long time, the only heat source was a large stone fireplace.

December 14, 2009 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Ick! No tights and eyeliner please!!!! LOl!

Hope you get to feeling better soon.

December 14, 2009 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger ammamcp said...

"If a snow cone machine threw up on a pile of mud" - your writing just gets better and better!

Hope you feel better soon.

Sorry I'm not a boy, but I was wondering the same thing.

Nancee in California

December 14, 2009 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I don't see you as an eyeliner and tights kind of girl, and I mean that as the highest possible compliment!! Feel better and enjoy your opportunity to learn and grow as you prepare for your next big adventure.

December 14, 2009 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I second Debi's comment. I have the impression that even if some of us occasionally wear eyeliner, we would say hell no to the tights. We're just not that kind of girl.

Stick to your regular macho subjects- that's why we read you.

December 14, 2009 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

fwiw, I've had similar questions about the blogosphere in general - both the readers and writers. I know there must be men out there, but the overwhelming majority of the blogs I read are by women, and it seems women mostly who read them. Few of the comments left on my blog are discernably from men. No idea what's up with that, because my blog isn't exactly girly-girl either. At least I don't think so.

December 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

"I'll assume it's just us girls and start writing about eyeliner and tights on sale at Banana Republic."

NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOO!

December 14, 2009 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Norts said...

Dude here!

Love the site! BTW... Some Chuck Klosterman and noodle soup might be just what you need to beat that cold. :)

December 14, 2009 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Matt B said...

Yes, am one of I'm positive many men who read your blog on a regular basis. I'm an aspiring homesteader in middle Tennessee who's currently fighting the debt battle so I can buy/build my little piece of freedom in the woods.

-Matt

December 14, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Another guy for the readership pile. I've commented here a few times, and I've been following you since the MEN article. I grew up on a 117 acre row crop farm with no chance of continuing the family farm, and even though I grew up on the farm, there were no real chores for me, so it was more like living with the biggest backyard of anyone I knew. I always wanted to garden, to have animals, to farm as my family has farmed for 135 years, but I was always told to go to college and make something of myself (in debt is what I've made myself). Now I read your work and live vicariously through you until I can somehow find a way to get my own place. Next spring I start my first garden, and my bookshelves are littered with manuals, histories, and every other manner of book about farming.

I normally don't comment much on here because as much I follow your writing very closely, I just don't feel that I have much to add to the conversation at times. I've chopped and carried my share of wood for heat and know the joy and the suckiness of it; the single worst smell on the face of the earth is canning tomatoes, a loathing I developed when my Grandma canned and I would run into the kitchen and hit a wall of hot tomato air. I play the fiddle, and that poorly, but it's the joy of the thing, isn't it? I've built and walked fence, driven off trespassers, dealt with nosy neighbors, and watched as the area I grew up in shook off the last mantle of rural life so that the subdivisions and McMansions could drive families into two job debt and a miserable existence.

You give me hope that I can do it all on my own someday.

December 14, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Tights and eyeliner, hmmm. Well, you could write about how to use tights to store onions or garlic, hanging from a beam in the cellar. Or how you can cut them into strips to use as plant ties in the garden. The eyeliner has me stumped.

Thanks for mentioning the books you're currently reading. I'm always interested in your reviews.

Hope you feel better soon!

December 14, 2009 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Eaglescout said...

Another guy here!

I love reading your blog - and have been saddened by the recent events in your life. However - there is a bright side - and that is that you are more focused than ever on getting your own place where you can what you want, when you want.

I grew up with a woodstove in the house and 40 acres about 1/2 hour away. We lived in the inner city, but grew up in the country. We had a garden - albeit small, but it was enough that we ate in the winter.

Great blog and a big "shout out" to all the guys out there!

December 14, 2009 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

Found your blog after reading your book this summer - vicariously living through your homesteading as grad school leaves very little room for chickens. Trust me, I've tried.

December 14, 2009 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Aydan said...

I'm not a guy, but I've been wondering the same thing about the eco-blogosphere in general. Though there are men reading and writing, it seems that they tend to write about different things than women write about.

I wear tights (rarely) more than I wear eyeliner (twice), but not from the Banana Republic!

December 14, 2009 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Another lurking guy here. I started a garden (for the first time, no less) this spring, and got hooked immediately. Started looking for information on living a little more off the earth and found your blog. If I lived about 5000 miles ESE from where I currently do (BC, Canada), I'd totally join you for the inaugural Antlerstock.

December 14, 2009 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger karental said...

My husband is a blog-in-law. I read your posts and the comments to him. His name is Greg. He grew up on a dairy and was responsible for a 1/2 acre garden that fed his family. He loathed it. Hot, miserable work for a teenaged boy. So now it is my dream and he follows along helping when he can and standing back and laughing when he can't or won't. He was sorry about Finn and laughed at the "In the Hot Middle" picture. On a separate note - PLEASE don't write about tights and eye liner - I wasn't born with that pink gene. Ugh! But I can change a clutch on a VW bus.

December 14, 2009 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger melaluca08 said...

Jenna, my girlfriend and I read your blog daily and often have conversations about whatever it is you may have posted. I'm from the south, I was raised around the "farm" and more often than not completely understand many of the things you blog about. It brings back memories I guess you could say. That sorda sounded old, but we are only 29, lol.
We live in SE Connecticut, due to her job. We've been here about a year and a half. I work a seasonal job in your neck of the woods..Bennington, Pownal, and N. Adams, MA. Beautiful country for sure. Route 9 from Bennington to Brattleboro offers some of the most breath taking views I've ever seen. Keep doing what you're doing and we'll keep reading. We hope to pay you a visit sometime:)

December 14, 2009 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Fallen Oak said...

Are there still Banana Republics?

December 14, 2009 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

Ronnie Wrote:
Just another guy whom reads your BLOG, and throughly enjoys it!!!
Chase your dream, & do not, I repeat do not give up on it until it is a reality!!!
This Thursday I will start work on my farm truck which is a 1942 Chevrolet Flatbed which they
only made 30 days because of WW2!!!
It will become my daily driver
daily reminding me of my dream!!!
Got the farm truck!!! Now I
need that small piece of heaven to
park it on, & get to being self reliant!!
GREAT BLOG WILL CONTINUE TO READ AS A BIG FAN OF A REALLY ORIGINAL BLOG!!!

December 14, 2009 at 7:51 PM  
OpenID 6p00d8351fcb0969e2 said...

Hey, I'm a card carrying member of the Tights & Eyeliner Guild and I thought I'd better speak up for the regular readers who can haul water, plow snow, chop wood and who also carry a big lipstick. I can't be the only one!

:)

December 14, 2009 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Al said...

I wear tights and eyeliner. And flannel shirts and long underwear and hiking boots. And dresses and mascara. I curl my hair sometimes. And then it gets tied up with a bandana the following morning. Goddamn you Saratoga for making me into a double feature. (actually...I kind of secretly enjoy being able to dress up one day and down the next...it keeps 'em guessing...)

December 14, 2009 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

This guy has been reading your blog since last spring after I discovered it from the pages of Mother Earth News. I live in a 1920's farmhouse on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. My fiance' and I have a small but growing garden, 3 dogs, and we're thinking seriously about chickens.

December 14, 2009 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger smacdonn said...

There's at least one guy reading from the suburbs of Detroit, I can tell you that much. For all I know there are a lot more, but I can only account for myself.

I found the blog after reading your book (and making your bread actually (and later, the tomato sauce). I found the book after reading an article (or excerpt maybe) in Mother Earth News.

Right now (well, not RIGHT now, it's wintery out) I have a balcony with a garden that I experiment with. Someday, I hope to find myself with a little bit of land to expand my garden experimentation and maybe end up with a chicken or two. Maybe a goat. I don't know.

December 14, 2009 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Spring Lake Farm said...

There's nothing wrong with enjoying the macho topics and knowing where to get a good pair of tights or the best eyeliner. :)

Of course, Banana Republic would not be the reason that I read your blog.

December 14, 2009 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Hi Jenna,
I am a guy from NY and I love your site, I check it everyday. I am in your area often and would love to meet and jam over coffee. I play a lousy harmonica. Keep writing. Bill

December 14, 2009 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Hi Jenna,
I am a guy from NY and I love your site, I check it everyday. I am in your area often and would love to meet and jam over coffee. I play a lousy harmonica. Keep writing. Bill

December 14, 2009 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Canadian Eh! said...

Hi Jenna,

Another nice picture of yourself.

Just like Vermont we to will look like that in the next 24 hours as we will be receiving 6in of snow, and then start to rain. We here in southwestern B.C. are the slush capital.

I came a cross your blog from an article in MOTHER (yes the best mag) and saw you had a book,enjoyed
reading it and could not put it down.Started reading your entire blog to get up today.

I'm guessing other guys like myself are just very slow at typing,
my one finger can only go so fast and tring to find those letter sometimes is hard.

Its ok to talk about girl stuff as I really need to learn a few things about that.

More later as this has taken 30 minutes to find about 98% of the letters on this key board,big reason I do not comment alot.

December 14, 2009 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I am one of those guys, who read you religiously... You are my celebrity crush (and I think my lady approves since she is just like you... I had thought girls like you didn't exist until I left the city and found some mountain girls down here.
Keep up the great work at inspiring many of us in many different ways to find what we are looking for in the world, to have the courage to try new (to us at least) and scary things, and to not settle when it comes to our dreams. Thank You.

December 14, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger me said...

I can say that I have used tights in the way the 4bushel farmgal wrote...plant ties, especially. As for the eyeliner...when you need to mark eggs that a broody hen is setting on, that just might come in handy!

Keep up the good work, Jenna! I've got a garden and some chickens, but reading your blog every day has inspired me to take the next step and get some goats. And maybe raise a pig for meat. I'm not sure I can do that, yet. I'll raise broiler chickens next spring and see how it goes.

December 14, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Jenna,

Eyeliner and tights? Come on we women are so much more than that! But good buys on farm things would be appreciated.

December 14, 2009 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger laluna said...

Wow - look at all these guys coming out of lurkerdom! ;-)

And while I've never set foot in a Banana Republic, I happen to love me a good pair of warm woolen tights - there's nothing like them when you're a little dressed up for work and still need to brush the snow off your car at the end of the day!

December 14, 2009 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I'm a cop in Arlington Texas (home of the new, ridiculously expensive, Dallas Cowboys Stadium) and I enjoy reading your blog all the time. I read your book a while back and thought it was great. Thanks for the bread recipe - I make a couple of loaves every week. Reading about your life and work helps me relax after a stressful day at my job.

December 14, 2009 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

Yes Jenna, we're out there. And some of us post on your blog regularly. I guess you didn't notice us. I try to stay low key and not tell you your business. I've been doing the mini farm thing for over thirty years now. Even the 10 I spent in Los Angeles. You'd be surprised at the livestock enterprises that go daily there, in spite of all the repressive laws and silly code enforcement officers!

December 14, 2009 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Yes still here from Texas, I've commented a few times. I just can't see you getting all passionate about eyeliner and tights as I do about the farm and the ones that depend on you.

Although I don't live on a farm yet, you have been such an inspiration. It is because of you and the article you wrote for M.E.N. that I decided to finally get chickens (going on a year and a half now) and have become involved in helping others in the city become chicken owners.

December 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger flaswampman said...

Jenna,
Just another guy checking in. I enjoy following your posts. I am a country boy born and bred and love to hear people are continuing the skills of our grandparents that are slowly disappearing.

December 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

I'm a guy and an over 40 victim of fate. And I check this site out daily.

Hey all you other dudes! Go over to CAF Locals. There's a bunch more over there ya just can't get over here

December 14, 2009 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Robj98168 said...

Does that make me a buck or a sire or a gelding? LOL I may not be as manly as the guys around Vermont But my plumbing is correct.
I come from a long line of grain farmers in ND, luckily for me my parents moved out here(Seattle) for their only boy's education (that's the story I am told)... Joke is on them cause Junior dropped out of high school 4 weeks into my senior year! I have never dreamed of living on a farm, but do dream of turning my little Urban lot into an urban farm. LOL I like things like tractors and chickens but only have the former. I ride on my tractor humming the green acres theme. Then reality hits and I go to work (as a plumber at a major airplane builder here in Seattle)Anyway yes Virginia, Guys read your blog.

December 14, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger andrewodom said...

Not only a man here but a couple. Yep, we are a 30-something married couple and we both read you. We both have our personal reasons (she for your display of feminine determination and willpower) and me for our love of simplistic lifestyle. We live on a small hobby farm in middle Georgia and while I am sure your take on eyeliner would be most interesting, I respect you far more than Perez Hilton! hahahahahah

December 14, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Robj98168 said...

PS I would wear eyeliner (or Guyliner) but when I have I look like Judy Garland on a bad downer.

December 14, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger MXQ said...

What kind of ruckus do you want me to cause? LOL. Fingerlakes NY area man here.

December 14, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger Seafish said...

I believe this is one of the most outstanding blogs I've every came across and the only one I check daily. As for the amount of guys here, I guess its about the type of guy that would have the needed mindset. Once before I stated that alot of the choices I make on a daily basis meet with odd looks. Here in the deep south, an ecological outlook is almost heresey.


And,just maybe, theres the off chance some of us may have a blog crush on the author?

December 14, 2009 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Kevin T. Keith said...

I'm one!

I stumbled across your book in a bookstore awhile back, and couldn't put it down. Bought it and finished it almost in one reading. I came to the blog from there and I really appreciate all you have to say.

You've been an inspiration, and proof it's possible to do some of the things I've daydreamed (and, slowly, more seriously dreamed) of doing - and at a much younger age than me! Because of you I feel I have no excuses left - which is a good thing!

Keep up the great work! I'm sure lots of us are listening, and learning, and cheering you on.

December 14, 2009 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Me Man. Me Farm. Love Blog.

December 14, 2009 at 10:59 PM  
Blogger Canadian Eh! said...

I'm TWO

We should start a Blog crush club for Jenna

December 14, 2009 at 11:04 PM  
Blogger mySavioReigns said...

Ha, Jenna, that's crazy! I had JUST picked up Five Acres and Independence yesterday and was skimming through it at the bookstore, though I didn't buy it. I wasn't quite sure. Glad to hear it is good.



And I am a guy :D

December 14, 2009 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger chris said...

And another guy reader here. Currently leading a bit of a different life in Brooklyn, NY. I find your blog incredibly inspiring, and full of the quirky travails that I can only hope for from small-town/country living. It's a great antidote to the stress and craziness of the city!

The closest I get to farming right now is the herb garden slowly dying on my windowsill. There are quite a few urban agriculture projects starting up in NYC though, and it's been great to see so many aspects of farming and small community reinterpreted to fit in a city environment.

And uh, I have been known (in the past) to wear eyeliner...

December 14, 2009 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I'm another eyeliner, tight wearing farm girl. I enjoy dressing up and love dressing down. I too like to keep my hubby guessing. I have done most "manly" chores but do enjoy some girly stuff too. But please, please, please don't change your blog. I love it just as it is (and it being the extension of you..... you as well).

December 14, 2009 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Tony C. said...

Jenna,

I'm still reading and posting.

Tony in Asheville

December 14, 2009 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Frugal David said...

Hi Jenna,
Another guy here. Been reading your blog since the article in MEN. I am in my early 40's, married w/ 3 children. Been dreaming of homesteading since I found 3 old(1979) issues of MEN in a laundromat in 2002. I really enjoy you sharing your experiences since my better half doesn't really understand my desire to live in the woods. It's nice to know there are women out there that think like me!! Good luck on finding your dream property.
Frugal David

December 15, 2009 at 12:20 AM  
OpenID norcalrn said...

Yay for all the guys posting!! :) Good to see, for sure. And while I have nothing against the occasional tights and or eyeliner... I much prefer for your blog to stay the way it is, because the way you write about the things you write about is perfect the way it is. :)

Erica

December 15, 2009 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

No eyeliner & tghts please!!
Get well soon, I have been mighty ill & I know how hard it is to be laid up when you are normally a gerrron with it type of person
GTM x x x

December 15, 2009 at 2:17 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

yes, there are men here reading your blog.

Joel's book You Can Farm is fantastic. He is so impassioned. I am currently reading Successful Small Scale farming.

http://www.amazon.com/Successful-Small-Scale-Farming-Down-Earth/dp/0882666428

It is a solid no-nonsense read.

December 15, 2009 at 2:38 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Hi - I read your blog every day you post if possible - and I'm a bloke. We don't have a small holding but we have a sizeable veggie patch in a lovely walled garden, three hens, a collie dog, an aged cat, and a young doe rabbit that thinks she is a cat. We live in north east Scotland and love the wilder side of life. Your blog is an inspiration for me. All the very best, Nick

December 15, 2009 at 3:59 AM  
Blogger Drew Shiel said...

Bloke here. I don't comment often, but I do read everything.

December 15, 2009 at 5:09 AM  
Blogger jhazen said...

Hey Jenna-

Another lurking guy here. I read via RSS, and find your struggles and triumphs very inspiring. I'm going to get a bit of a garden and some chickens (and a dog, finally) going this spring.

Thanks for showing the way!

-John

December 15, 2009 at 5:27 AM  
OpenID chickadeeworkshop said...

Yay for the guys on here! And I wear eyeliner and tights, but don't want to read about them here.

"If a snow cone machine threw up on a pile of mud—you'd be in Vermont."---just might be be your best line ever!

December 15, 2009 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Member of the XY club here.

I ordered a copy of your book, Made from Scratch, recently, and read through it in a weekend. It's a great read and a great introduction to farming. I liked it so much that I bought another copy for a female friend who has dreams of owning her own farm in the future.

I have a small farm with chickens and turkeys. I just butchered two turkeys myself last night for Christmas next week -- one for us; one for a client.

I understand exactly what you're going through about your farm troubles. We have neighbors, who hate the chickens and have complained. I own my property, so there is nothing they can do about them, though.

I hope you get your your own farm soon. I wish you the best of luck. So long as you keep writing, I'll keep reading.

December 15, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Will said...

Hi Jenna,
Yes I read your blog everyday and look forward to hear of your adventures.I live in Ky,in the suburbs.I'm 59 and caught up in the rat race.I do raised bed gardening that I enjoy.I do dream of getting out and your blog helps me keep my dream alive.
Thanks....

December 15, 2009 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

I'm thinking about a little get together last weekend. the 4 guys were perfectly content to turn on the TV and watch the heisman award show..conversation:"Beer?" "Yep, Yep, no" The 'hens' were in the kitchen, throwing some crackers on a plate and some M&M's in a bowl, even though we had just finished eating and were pretty stuffed...much, much clucking going on and then"Would you like a beer?"" Sure what do you have?" "I have Railbender, Blue Moon, and...or we also have Pepsi, Diet Coke, and ...."
Just a difference in what the guys and gals do. We were both content and then we ended up in the same room again and played a game that was fun...just sometimes I think guys don't feel the need to fill the space and I'm a 'cheerleader' so I take every opportunity to encourage and boost people! You're doing a great job Jenna!
Gee, I didn't mean that to sound sexist or anything. Not that guys can't talk, but I don't think I've ever been in a group of women where comfortable means you don't talk..

December 15, 2009 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

"If you don't I'll assume it's just us girls and start writing about eyeliner and tights on sale at Banana Republic."

Hahaha! No you won't!

Another guy reader, and I have at times thrown in a comment. Most of the great blogs I read are written by ladies, but I'm not complaining... they are all great writers. (And if they wear eyeliner and tights, they are not writing about it.) My wife also reads, and we discuss your adventures and mishaps. My twin two-year-old boys pretend to mail you letters and call you "My Friend Jenna" and talk about "her animals".

We have chickens and bees, heat with wood, and enjoy drying and canning our own food. Just moved to a place permanent and big enough to plant fruit trees, vines, and asparagus! Lots of winter planning to do. Big ideas for spring.

It would take some forethought, but I could see us piling in the family car for a road trip to the farm for your first Antlerstock! We're near Cleveland, OH.

December 15, 2009 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Special K said...

Jenna-
Like others mentioned before. I read you blog daily and relay items to my husband. He is not a blog-guy. He just doesn't read yours, he reads none. I only read a few, but that has expanded thanks to your wonderful readers. So you are special. Most importantly, my husband read your book after I recommended it. And just like myself, he was more inspired and committed to our plan than ever. Thank you for all you do.

December 15, 2009 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Tad said...

Hey Jenna,

I'm a guy! And really love your site! I've never gotten the vibe that you're site was over-ridden with lady readers but then again I've only focused on the content and not so much the interaction below it.

So feel free to write about whatever you'd like, it's your blog after all! But if you could give an update on the homesteading aspects every once and while that'd be great! ;)

All the best to you and please keep fighting the good fight!

-Tad Hunt

December 15, 2009 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

I have never left a comment... but read on a daily basis ... Stumbled on your book in Make magazine and have been hooked ever since .. your a daily insparation.

jason

December 15, 2009 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger billinfl said...

Hey Jenna, I read your blog daily i have your book an really enjoy both I live in fla but really miss the northeast where i am from . I found your blog fom mother earth and really enjoy all of the things your involed with on your farm an makes me wish i was back up north out of the city with a few chickens an some sheep but i guess my poodles will have to do for now .hope you have a great holiday an good luck with everything . Bill Phelps

December 15, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Jenna,
Another guy here who enjoys your blog on a regular basis, I live to the northeast of you in New Brunswick, Canada.

We have a garden and chickens here(pasture raised in a Salatin-inspired pen), my favourite crop that we grow here is hops (for the homebrew of course). Next year I'd really like to try geese.

Good luck in your quest for your own place.

December 15, 2009 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

another guy here. i check in a few times each week. i always enjoy reading what you write, and i'm sure i could even find enjoyment in an odd banana republic tights post or two.

i own a few acres in the foothills of the berkshires, and i'm working on building my homestead.

good luck on your search for a permanent (or less temporary) home of your own.

December 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

100% guy here, I seen your blog on Mother Earth News a few months back,an check in from time to time. It's interesting to read about your animals. I have a small farm (Orchard and Large Garden)in N.C. I have found out my place is a Lifelong project so start Now. Find you a place that you can call yours, you won't regret it.

December 15, 2009 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann said...

Offtopic, Jenna, but do you ever plan to get bees again?

December 15, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Dom said...

Jenna,

I'm here. 3 acres in rural washington with 30 chickens, 10 ducks, icelandic sheep and goats and pigs next door, and next year we're starting bees along with our orchards and gardens.

Boys just aren't all about the ruckus.

:)

December 15, 2009 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Woohoo! Boys! :D

December 15, 2009 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Amandy said...

Good morning fellow farm dreamer!

Yes-there are men out here. Hell, I I troduced my wife and her friends to your blog. Currently we are growing our veggies, raising our ducks, laying hens and meat turkeys and chickens all on a city lot. Making plans for a small herd of galloways, goats and large black hogs on our own farm someday. Keep up the good work, I promise good things come to those that make their own luck. It's just hard to recognize it when it's covered in mud and poo and sometimes breaks your heart revealing itself.

I struggle everyday reconciling our new life, dreams, ideals about farming, food and health when I run a corporate grocery store. The things I watch people feed their families ... Sad. If I could give one note of caution, don't let yourself disconnect from real people too much. My wife and I have been having to make a concerted effort of late to be social, or less anti-social anyway. It becomes easy to not be around people that don't share our vision...but that isn't healthy either.

Can you post your publisher's contact info? I would like to see an active campaign among your fans (you are quite the homestead celebrity) to get them to put you on a publicity tour for your new book. We are here in Humboldt county in the very top corner of California. We have a gigantic farming/organic community here. You would be extremely well received.

I know this is long but one more thing: I think you should revive a lost literary business model. The serial short story. People subscribe with a monthly payment, like a magazine, and you publish chapters in an ongoing story o homestead life. Or any other subject given your talents. Stephen king did this with the green mile series with tremendous success. It divides your writing into manageable chunks and keeps your audience coming back for more. Even better, it doesn't require a paper publisher if you don't want it to. There is a serious dearth of homesteader fiction out there. Sometimes you just want a little escapism instead of Storey's guide to raising pigs! Just a thought.

Toby and Amandy

December 15, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

It's a co-ed blog! Yay! Congrats on this response, Jenna. We're all out here cheering you on.

December 15, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger The MO Farmers Daughter said...

hi jena,you never did answer my post,what about that web site to meet male farmers for dateing?I am too old now,I have met a few farmers down on there luck,alcoholics ect,but,at your age there is still hope to meet someone young that is just as excited about haveing a future in farming.Good luck,carol,please read my blog,the mofarmersdaughter@blogspot.com

December 15, 2009 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Amigo van Helical said...

Hello, Jenna,

Another male reader here. I enjoy your blog. It's one of the few that I follow, and I have it pasted right there in the Google Reader pane of my home page. When something new pops up, I often pause in what I'm doing to read about your latest adventure.

Keep up the good work.

Michael

December 15, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Seafish said...

Again, I do believe theres a lot of Jenna crushes here...

I,for one, keep telling my wife I'm going to run away to Vermont.

December 15, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger gooddogboy said...

Please don't write about eyeliner. I read everyday, and this is one of the best homesteading blogs I read. It's for everyone. Yes, Ive hunted and fished and had poultry rabbits etc ... and gardened in maine. Stupidly, I thought being a lawyer in Chicago was for me. It's not.

You did have a great entry once about fishing. Are you still fishing? Plenty of guys read your blog. Mark

December 15, 2009 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Obviously, Jenna, from reading all these comments, there are plenty of men on line!!!! Congrats on having such a co-educational blog! Please don't write about eyeliner and tights at Banana Republic - I'm a woman and I have never even been in a Banana Republic store! I'd much rather read about chickens and homesteading. Thank you and keep up your wonderful work!

December 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Betty in CA said...

Hi Jenna -

This broadcast may interest you (it was to me, as I am looking to buy my own farm too): http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R912030850

I don't know what the equivalent of farmlink is in Vermont, but you may want to contact these people to see if they might know.

http://californiafarmlink.org

Good luck!

December 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Yep - you have some guy readers. Getting ready to purchase 16 acres in WNC.

December 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Sharyl said...

I wear tights (with cute wool skirts and boots), and eyeliner (every workday, even!), but I still like to get my hands dirty--this life is for lots of folks, Folks!

But...like others, I don't want to read about them here.

December 15, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger troy said...

Jenna,
Please don't write about eyeliner and stuff. There are plenty of guys who read your blog.

Troy
York, PA

December 15, 2009 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Mountain Man said...

I'm here - I'm male! :)

December 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Dude here.

Totally love to read your site. My wife and I live in South East Tennessee and have family land that we plan on moving to soon to live the dream.

This spring we are getting into the chickens and live stock. But for now we focus on organic veggies.

Keep up the wonderful writing, I like the different approach from a female without all the eye liner and tights.

December 15, 2009 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

Hey Jenna,

I second Tara's reply...wooohoo! Boys! Boys are great! and hey that Dom over there in Washington looks cute, pop him an email, you never know, maybe Vermont might be for him :>) ~Vonnie, NH

December 15, 2009 at 5:52 PM  
OpenID theavidpenguin said...

Another lurking male checking in...I think I've commented a couple times. I'm an analyst for Boeing up here in Washington. Started reading after one of your articles in Mother Earth. I like to think I'm living vicariously through you until I can move further out into the sticks and get some land. Hope you enjoyed the donation last week. Happy Holidays!!!

December 15, 2009 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I have been instructed by emails and comments to look for a man in this lot, however, it appears you are all taken by your own delightful farm gals.

I'm pretty sure my guy doesn't even know what a pullet is yet. Or thinks it's a guitar move.

December 15, 2009 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger paul said...

Guy here

December 15, 2009 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger rebecca said...

yeah! More like long johns and ski mask - !

December 15, 2009 at 9:48 PM  
OpenID bodhifox said...

Boy here. *waves*

I'm aiming for land with friends who are already living in Vermont. Grew up on ten acres, raised chicks from eggs and all. I tell everyone I can about you and what you've been doing. Everyone.

December 16, 2009 at 2:42 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

Hi Jenna,
Another guy down here in Atlanta. I'm on the last few pages of your book and have enjoyed every minute of it. There aren't many books that make me burst out in laughter like yours does. Your blog is equally engaging and entertaining.

My parents were both raised on farms in Tennessee, but when they got married, they abandoned that lifestyle, so I grew up in city life mostly, but with glimpses of the agrarian life through my grandparents and uncles. I've always thought about living out in the country in a little cottage with a small farm, and lately I've been reading all I can about getting started. My favorite author on the subject (besides you of course) is John Seymour. Two of his books are 'the Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It' and 'The Forgotten Arts and Crafts'. Both are incredible, fascinating resources.

Anyway, you really inspire me with the experiences you share. I'd love to share a coffee and some hopes and dreams if you're ever in east Tennessee or Atlanta.

-Barry

December 16, 2009 at 3:21 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

ps - What is a pullet? Is that a guitar move?

:P

December 16, 2009 at 3:25 AM  
Blogger エリック said...

Hi Jenna,
I just found your blog a week or so ago, but I love it! I really feel connected to it already, since I have two cats, a dog, two goats, and 8 beehives scattered around my property here in Japan. I also love to grow things, but still have a day job... well, more of an afternoon and evening one.

December 16, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
OpenID safirasilv said...

Thank you, 6p00d8351fcb0969e2 .

I often tend my big-ass garden in a dress. (I'll pass on the tights as a rule, but that's because I prefer ridiculous thigh-high woolly socks.) I got the pink gene in spades, but I can knit or grow lots of fine pink things.

December 16, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Sharyl said...

I love how the tights and eyeliner-wearing crowd is just as frank and unapologetic about doing so as those who don't. But, I wouldn't expect anything else from this crowd. :)

December 16, 2009 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger pgrass101 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 16, 2009 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger pgrass101 said...

One more guy here who is trying to move to Vermont.

I know what a pullet is (grew up on a farm in very rural Alabama) and I have a wife

December 16, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger John Taylor said...

Yes, we guys do read your blog. For heaven's sake pleaseeeeeee don't start writing about eyeliner and the like :-).
I have commented from time to time and say Hi either here or on your facebook page. Your blog is a daily read for me an often brings a smile to my face. My dream of a small farm in Virginia is something I am working towards and always find your stories encouraging, amusing (most of the time), and a good learning tool. Thank you for everything you post. It means more than you know.

John T.

December 16, 2009 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger Rachel P said...

There's a young farmer mixer next month in Saratoga, NY

http://www.smallfarms.cornell.edu/pages/news/monthlyupdates/65_dec2009.cfm

December 17, 2009 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Snowman said...

I enjoy reading you blog and hope to find a way of living similar to yours sometime soon.

December 17, 2009 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger MR. BOOGSLEY said...

Jenna,
Here's a guy who enjoys reading your blog. I suspect there are many men who read your journal and look forward to the next installment as much as I do.
I have been in the process of trying to find a farm for some time now. All of my plans are ready and as soon as I find the right place,I'm gone.
It's quite encouraging to watch a woman with as much grit as you have take on the challenges of the life you are living. Don't ever give up because you're on the right track and I'm confidant you'll find the right place at the right time just as I will!

December 19, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Luster said...

Another guy here. Bought your book for my wife. Read it myself and decided to tune into what else you had to say, tell, do.

December 19, 2009 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Big John said...

Jenna, Hello from Kansas City, Ive been following your blog about 6 months, I was forewarded from another blog called Hickory Hollow Homestead. I am a male also. Just had to say Good Luck with your future micro farm, sounds to me like it is almost a done deal..
If you ever need to bounce some ideas off a midwestern perspective dont be afraid to drop a line.
Merry Christmas and Warmest Wishes for the New Year in Vermont.

December 19, 2009 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger Big John said...

Jenna, Hello from Kansas City, Ive been following your blog about 6 months, I was forewarded from another blog called Hickory Hollow Homestead. I am a male also. Just had to say Good Luck with your future micro farm, sounds to me like it is almost a done deal..
If you ever need to bounce some ideas off a midwestern perspective dont be afraid to drop a line.
Merry Christmas and Warmest Wishes for the New Year in Vermont.

December 19, 2009 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger willyh said...

Hi Jenna. Also a male reader who drops by from time to time. Keep it up.

December 22, 2009 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger kerrick said...

I'm a guy and a new reader--and I'll hang around for the tights and eyeliner discussion, especially if it's how to make 'em ourselves from local stuff! I often wonder if there are many other rural queers doing this sustainable farming thing...

December 22, 2009 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger Spenser said...

I'm a male reader. Subscribed to the RSS and love it.

Keep up the great work!

December 23, 2009 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger denny said...

Another guy here. I've only commented once or twice though. I live in a little cabin on a permaculture homestead in Missouri. I'm a regular reader but have no home internet so my online time is limited to once or twice a week so I rarely comment at the blogs I read though I'd often like to!!

December 28, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Richard P said...

I'm yet another guy reading your blog.

I just purchased your book also and it's next on the list to read. I'm trying to do all of my small farm reading during the winter also. Right now I'm on You Can Farm and The Omnivores Dilemma.

My wife and I are starting with a small garden and some chickens this year.

Richard
http://parsonsfarmstead.com

January 31, 2010 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Damn The Broccoli said...

Damn the Broccoli standing up to be counted as a genuine pocket watch beard cultivating bloke.
m'Lady put me on to your blog and I am loving every minute of it.
I am commited to the farm and my dream is still in the planning stage.

I am quite envious because in the UK land is much more rare, so prices are much higher and the countryside is also protected so it is hard to get out there and start a homestead, but like the Ovation 'it will be mine'.

Oh yes. Keep it up and can't wait to see how the story goes.

February 8, 2010 at 4:36 PM  
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