Sunday, April 8, 2012

Henry David Thoreau On Facebook

I read this last night on Jon Katz's blog. I just had to share it...

Thoreau finished his dinner soon after moving to his cabin on Walden Pond – fried rat, wild cat, roots, berries, raw fish, mushrooms – and he sat down to record the meal. He wanted to share the experience of living alone at Walden Pond, to demonstrate to himself and the world that he could live near nature, make his own decisions, shed some of the fears and restrictions of society, live a life of self-determination. He saw his page as a living “Walden.” When he finished eating, he clicked on the “Publish to Facebook” button and went outside to gaze at the stars, stretch and relieve himself in the woods.

Thoreau, committed to a life of simplicity and very little use of technology, was at first reluctant to bring a computer into his tiny cabin, or to get a Facebook Page. He didn’t like the Internet, and had refused to do his banking online. Of course, he had no money, so that wasn’t a huge sacrifice. But he really disliked social media, the idea of all these strangers coming into his life. Writers should work alone, be mysterious, he complained. He didn’t want to meet his friends from childhood, and he hated the idea of e-mail. His publisher persuaded him that would help him market “Walden Pond,” and sell more copies of this dubious project to people who did not want to live on a pond in the dark and hunt and cook for themselves. You know, his editor said, brand yourself.

When Thoreau came inside after swimming naked in the pond, and capturing a frog for dinner, he was surprised to see more than 100 comments on his Facebook posting. “Fried rat!,” said one comment, “you better get yourself to a doctor now. You will have parasites and worms in the morning.” There were more than 20 comments from animal lovers horrified that he had eaten a cat...

read the rest over at


Blogger Rane said...

What a great to go read the rest of it, thank you for sharing and posting it! *(happy Easter to you and you sweet little farm)*

April 8, 2012 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

Chaggogagog Manchoggagog Chebunnagungamog

April 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Rane said...

mmm... I am sorta shocked by the ending. Can I state my opinion as well since everyone in the story did? I cant help but feel he sold out, but then again he found himself and he used the wisdom that he was given. I guess that is modern day foraging, using what others post as a money maker, I for one prefer the old foraging berries n nuts versus thoughts opinions and arguments on the blogosphere... but if he is happy to each his own. I would love to hear what you thought of the story.

April 8, 2012 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger becky3086 said...

Interesting but some how I have missed the whole point of the story, I guess. I don't really understand what it was trying to say.

April 8, 2012 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Tora Consolo said...

I read it on his blog, first thing this morning. Really entertaining and an interesting view point. I love his sense of humor and his ability to rile people up!!!

April 8, 2012 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

His (meaning Jon's not henry's) point in writing that piece was to explain how differently HDT might have written and lived his life if he was constantly being scrutinized publicly the way blogs, facebook, and other social media allows us to be. In this story, Henry let fear and public opinion eat him alive until he did in fact, sell out, and move on to a more "secure" life.

April 8, 2012 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger J.D. said...

So, here's the question, Jenna, do you, as a writer want comments? Jon's article, while entertaining and well-written, gave me the impression that Walden served as a means to an end, aka the brand.

I enjoy comments on my blog. I don't want a soapbox, I want a dialogue. Guess I missed something. Hmmmm.

April 8, 2012 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

Good post by Katz. Kinda boils down to me hoping you don’t pay us commenters much mind. Had reservations about putting my life out there when my sister convinced me to blog to keep in touch because I really don’t want to know what people would do if they were me. I use my blog more as an album of sorts and like that it’s not very deep because I don’t want my deep stuff on the world wide web. You put a lot out there…I’m sure not everything, but a lot. And you invite a lot of people in. When you react to people who have their doubts about things you do I always cringe. So glad in real life there was no one {that we know of} to tell Henry not to eat frogs or take a piss in the woods.

April 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger jonkatz said...

Opinions are surely welcome on my short stories. This one lit up the place. The story is a rumination of whether Thoreau could have survived the scrutiny, panic-spreading and intrusion of the Internet, since Thoreau (I am a huge Thoreau admirer, his writing has changed my life)valued making his own decisions, as do I, and all sorts of people comment on the Web on people's decisions.
Jenna and I talk about this all the time, as it is sometimes difficult to handle. I think the challenge of social media is to share your life, but not surrender it to people who think they know more than you about what you should do. E.B. White begged his readers, before e-mail, to remember that there were 10,000 of them and one of him. Blogger/writers deal with much greater numbers.
The story explores how decision-making in public affects the decision-maker. It is not meant to be a celebration of integrity, though I have little doubt Thoreau would not be on Facebook. Metaphor.
As to the story, yes, absolutely, he sold out, unable to handle the public nature of his life on Facebook. That is absolutely the point.
In today's world, he would have been under great pressure to see Walden as a brand, something not imaginable in his time. It is not meant to be a happy story, it has a point and everyone here seems to have gotten it, even if they didn't like it. And thanks, Tora, I do believe it is a writer's job to stir things up, for sure. If people think about anything I write, I feel I have done my job. Thanks to all of you for reading it. If you have any comments for me, feel free to send them to
I knew Jenna would like this story.

April 8, 2012 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

Jon has more than riled feathers. Long before, I suspect, you knew Jon, Jenna, he completely alienated himself with the Border Collie community. He has a way of doing that. if one does not want scrutiny, don't make it public. It's quite simple, and I notice Jon does not accept comments on his blog...Perhaps that may be his message to you Jenna....

April 8, 2012 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

No trainer, instructor, or trial ever asked me if I was friends with Jon Katz before taking a lesson or watching a trial!

People can think whatever they like about me, I do not any club or scene's permission to follow my passions. Nor will they detract from them.

Someday Julie, I hope you find something positive to comment on here. No luck so far.

April 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Ah, yes...sometimes I wish my blog were more popular. Mostly, I'm glad it's not. :)

Hope you're having a beautiful Easter, Jenna. Bunnies and chicks, indeed!

April 8, 2012 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger jonkatz said...

I have two members of the border collie community at the farm right now, and they are shocked to hear the news that I have alienated the entire community - they didn't know there was one or that it had an official spokesperson. They are rushing to get back into their pickups with their border collies! Yoiks. I think this comment is precisely the point of my story, and thanks for it.

April 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I do want comments, i just want people to be polite and not assume the worst.

If you read this blog in anger, or resentment, or think I am daft, please stop. You're doing yourself a spiritual injury.

April 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Jon, thank you for your responses, comments, and sharing your life!

To all who join in this blog, thank you as well. I hope you keep reading, cheerleading, scoffing, praising, scolding, helping, and laughing with me. It is certainly making me stronger as a person to share things how I do.

April 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Some of the comments here illustrate perfectly just how genius Jon's piece is. I really enjoyed it--thanks for posting about it, Jenna!

April 8, 2012 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger jonkatz said...

This is an important subject, which I have dealt with for some time. I love my blog and my Facebook Page, and I think it has challenged me to be more spiritual, to sort out the anger in me and in others and to find an even, steady place to be in the face of so much challenge and second-guessing.
People seem to have the idea that if you share your life or feelings, then they have a license to be hostile or cruel, and I think my story - as well as Jenna's recent decisions about her blog - are an affirmation of retaining one's dignity and peace in the face of this kind of angry way of communicating. People seem to have lost the idea that we can disagree without hating the thing we disagree with it. We see it everywhere - in politics, media, the animal world. I do not relish riling people but if you are honest about what you feel and do, it will happen. That's what makes the whole subject important. How do you deal with it? I think Jenna is coming to terms with it very honestly and I would say, spiritually.

April 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

Isn't bogging voluntarily? If you don't want people to comment on your life, don't write about it or make it public. The whining hilarious. It's like a woman exposing her body, posing for Playboy, and crying over the people who don't think she's attractive. When you expose yourself be prepared and accept not just the fawning but the disagreement. It's ignorant to not expect or accept that.

April 8, 2012 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

Laugh, sigh, shake my head, laugh again. Well done, Jenna and Jon.

April 8, 2012 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

Oh Meredith, you couldn't have said it better. They love to stir the controversy, as long as they can control it. At the end of the day, the controlled controversy and PR is what sells their books. But at the end of the week, people will get tired of it and put their attention (and money) elsewhere. I notice that "jonkatz" has no profile when one clicks on his name, yet his comments, recently those that included references to p*ckerheads and midgets, continue to be allowed. One has to wonder if the allowance of warm and fuzzy comments only, and I do mean only, and in the case of Katz, who "loves discussion, but blocks out the comments" (okay)fill some sort of void. I would expect my comments to be deleted, usually with the excuse that I don't have a profile, but I sure hope Katz's are as well.

April 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

I like this Henry David Thoreau on Facebook bringing it into the twenty first century. Very Creative.
Another reason to read the Cold Antler Farm journey by Jenna.
"Happy Easter" to you, & all of the friends of CAF.
CHEERS with a health drink, or the drink of your choice.
A Very Happy X Seat Weaver Rommie

April 8, 2012 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

This story is wonderful! The whole notion that "you shouldn't put yourself out there if you you don't want advice and criticism" is absurd. If that were true, no one would ever say anything to anyone. I haven't kept up my blog in a long time, but I find this happens to me all the time anyway, on Facebook and even in conversations. I think the problem, at its core, is that no one is allowed to make a statement for its own sake anymore. Just because I share my feelings about something, that does not mean I'm trying to solicit advice or opinions about it. My meaning is often misconstrued as well - things I say are assumed to be complaints when they're not, etc. Can we not just say something and have it be taken at face value? I'm pretty sure I could log on to Facebook right now and post "I don't like spaghetti" and it would start an all-day debate. If I instead said, "I don't like spaghetti. How about you?" the all-day debate would actually be warranted. In the original comment, I'm merely stating a fact. The end.

Sorry for the rant! This very thing came up in my house this morning for the umpteenth time, so this post was quite timely.

April 8, 2012 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

Elaine, I tested that theory in the post and with a profile and email used the same words he did, and jenna deleted it while jons remains. The use of the term midget in his context is akin to racism and it remaining is seriously telling of his character and jennas. Turns out vulgarity and stereotying are readily allowed, when you support the author, while clean comments of opposite opinions are deleted. It's all very interesting, in a sad amusing way.

April 8, 2012 at 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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April 8, 2012 at 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 8, 2012 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

@Julie - this comment:

"If I invited someone to come in my house, I expect a certain respect and behavior from that person. They are not free to do as they please. It should be the same with blogs, letters, etc."

said essentially what I was trying to get across. Thank you for saying it so much better than I did! Anyone is free to disagree with me. What they're not free to do is expect me to tailor my life to suit them.

@Meredith A - why do you continue to come here if it upsets you so much? Although it sounds like it, I do not ask this to be snarky. I'm genuinely curious to know what you hope to get out of these exchanges.

April 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

…I cringe because I don’t want Jenna to do as Thoreau did in Jon’s piece—change the plan drastically based on others’ input {that kind of reaction, if that makes sense}, but honestly I don’t think that will happen—Jenna’s got it together, and I think decisions lately have pointed towards this.
@Julie…with you—there’s a lot more to get inspired about around here than getting chickens!
@Tara— :-) !!

*Hey Jenna, that being said, getting some chickens!!

April 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Meredith, jon is my friend. You called my farm a glorified factory farm. Be polite or leave.

April 8, 2012 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thanks for posting.

April 8, 2012 at 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

Jenna- I have posted many postive comments, but I do not, as a rule fawn. I remember back in the day when you wrote from the heart- before you wrote about needing money, and started asking for donations to obtain well, luxuries. I remember when I could identify with you- and I remember when you wanted to get further with Gibson. I still come here because I remember those days, and could identify with your struggle to get by. Now, I continue my struggle to keep my flock going, and maybe even grow, and pay my hay bill, and heating bill, and such, but I do not have the wherewithall to ask for donations. So, I am left struggling and from where I stand, you are flush. Maybe it's sour grapes, but I really did identify with you before the $$ became so integral to this blog, and maybe just maybe, I hope that you will return to those days. It's your blog and I respect that, I just miss the old Jenna.

April 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Did it ever occur to you that there might be many personal reasons I can not write about that would have something to do with those changes? With changes in me? that there are things happening in my life I do not write about that are probably a lot to do with changes in tone or need than anything else?

I am not flush. I have a few hundred dollars in my checking account and no savings. But I always keep this place floating, through stubborness alone sometimes.

April 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I can promise you the tone will never stay the same on this blog, just like none of our lives stay the same.

I get it, some people hate the donation button. I get it. It isn't coming down. If you do not believe in asking for donations, don't. I do.

April 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger jonkatz said...

Hey, Jenna, I wanted to just thank you for linking to my story. Very great and interesting comments on my Facebook Page and elsewhere, and I also wanted to wish you and others here a Happy, compassionate and peaceful Easter. As you know, I don't argue my beliefs and writings - it's a poison, I think. But I love feedback and I thank you all for it and wish you well, Jenna, in your struggle to create an honest and loving and gentle community.
You will get there, I believe. You can't argue people out of hate and anger, I think, you can only be true to what you believe and as I know you, you are.
Good holiday to you all. I'm working on my next short story, called

April 8, 2012 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Once again the CAF blog sees a firestorm. Not interested.

I completely agree with Jon & Jenna about commentors' demands. I'm living a very unusual life. One that commentors have prognosticated my impending nervous collapse and others who have thanked me for raising their awareness regarding end of life caregiving. The bottom line: I'm not going to justify their raison d'etre by caving or so that they can wear a "smug coat."

Back in high school such comments would have been labeled as "peer pressure." Now, they are referred to as "bullying" and considered criminal.

I posted my comment to Jenna as a former broadcast writer to get her professional opinion. I'm honored that both she & Jon responded. Many writers whom I have known really could care less what the public thinks as long as the book sells (Jenna, I have ALL of yours and plan to add Jon's to my bookshelf as well); others enjoy the comments, good or bad. It gives them a sense of audience for future books.

And, that's the part that threw me in Jon's article when he referred to branding. I could not wrap my head around Jenna sacrificing authenticity for a commercial brand. Her essence has to be the brand that lives within her, otherwise, well, it's just entertainment IMHO.

Thank you Jenna & Jon for being strong writers who write your truth without waivering or pandering to a marketing ploy.

April 8, 2012 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Elaine, did you & Meredith get together to throw some Easter eggs this morning? Honestly, it doesn't serve you well.

April 8, 2012 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger The Sprouting Acorn said...

I liked the piece, "HDT on Facebook." It's thought provoking--a cool twist to a historical figure under the "what if" umbrella of today's society. Imagination, creativity and the wherewithal to get it done: it's what writers and farmers are all about! Now, to find a pond and build a cabin....

April 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

@J.D. This is the comical irony of social media. If one disagrees, they're a "hater." Criminal and bullying, J.D? Please. The exact thing that seemingly everyone is bashing some of us who disagree over -- judging, "hating," offering unsolicited advice -- is the exact thing you just did: "it doesn't serve you well." I didn't ask for your advice or judgment on my comment, J.D. See how it works both ways? Many of Jenna's very thoughtful and inspiring posts contain questions that she throws out to the readers; ie: her recent technology post. The donations are a request for assistance and and invitation towards helping her reach a goal.

I don't agree with some of that ideology. But for the record, I do admire Jenna because she's fearless, a tireless hard-worker, and she never says "never." Being a single mother, who owns her own paid-off home (yes, Jenna, I identify with alot of your work ethic, not all, but alot.....I know what's it like to mow my own lawn, paint and fix my own porch, all while helping my son with homework)has the callouses to show for it, a good job, college degree, and now helping my son through college (oh, and I take care of my disbled father while my siblings are off living their good lives)I grow my own veggies (did the lettuce and herbs today) volunteer, and am very active in community affairs. I admire Jenna as a woman who works from sun-up til sundown on the homestead and still maintains a professional career, like myself.

Shocked, J.D? I have more in common with Jenna that you know, but how quick you were to judge and dismiss me (and Meredith) simply because I disagree. I am very, very involved in community and civic affairs, and one thing is certain, is that we can't please everyone. I've learned more from those that disagree with some of my decisions (what would I learn if everyone was is complete agreement with me) especially when the right decision may not be the popular decision.

Jenna maintains a blog on the internet in which she has chosen to share her life. A fearless thing, yes. The fact of the matter is that some will agree, some won't. Comments should be welcome or should be closed down. That's just my feeling in the interest of parity.

Quite frankly, I've got a whole other take now that Katz has been popping in and out of here all day. For a guy who doesn't like commentary, he's had alot to chat about on this blog. Why doesn't he open his blog up for comments rather than exploit this forum? Okay, sure, Jon.

Jenna, like I said, you've deleted alot of my comments prior simply because I disagreed with the donation ethic. Having kept all the posts, I never, ever used any disrespectful verbiage (I still maintain those comments by Katz were completely disgusting, but I understand he's your friend and neighbor)towards you. Now that you know a little about me, I hope you'll see that I do empathize and admire much of your life. I don't have an issue with the donation thing even -- it's that if someone expresses disagreement, they're branded a "hater." I do hope you're having a peaceful holiday.

Oh, and J.D -- I dyed eggs and put them on the Easter table.

April 8, 2012 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My husband and I both read Jon's blog as well as Jenna's.We draw inspiration from both.I can't imagine putting our life out there on a blog to draw the kind of hate mail comments we've seen come across Jenna's blog since she made the decision to get Merlin.Our response to such attacks wouldn't have been nearly as gracious. Reading Jenna's blog (&Jon's) is a privilege.There is enough ugliness in the world today.If you don't like what you read - stop reading.Want to run a farm in different manner - go do it.Give credit at least where credit is do - not many in todays world could do what Jenna is doing at 29. Go Jenna go.

April 8, 2012 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

I second that, mehileman. Jenna is one of the most courageous people I have ever met. I feel honored to be allowed to participate in her life, even in this peripheral way.

Jenna, be strong, be yourself, and know that you inspire us to do likewise every day.


April 8, 2012 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

Yes, J.D. you're right, since you know me so well. I threw Easter eggs this morning. Amazingly ironic, but not surprising, that for all the lambashing done at anyone who has a different opinion (now we're haters and criminals) I don't recall asking for your advice ("it doesn't serve me well")....I imagine it's fine for you, or anyone of the majority opinion, to toss out unsolicited advice to others, yes?

For the record, I happen to admire Jenna Woginrich for alot of reasons. She never says never, she's tireless and fearless, and she works from sun-up til sundown with grace. I identify with her life, because it has alot of parallels to my own -- a single mother whose husband died too early; I raised my son who's now in college; I paid off my own home; (with the callouses on my hands as my badge of hard work) I maintain a professional career while taking care of a huge old Victorian on my own and I took my disabled father in while my siblings live the good life. I plant my own veggies (did the lettuce and herbs today in between making a huge Easter meal for the family)and also stay active in community and civic issues - the current passion being trying to get a chicken ordinance passed in our city. Similar to Jenna, I am no stranger to hard work and love the good, tired feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

But because I don't agree with the donation ethic, or the fact that some posters can post salty and disparraging verbiage -- sorry, I know Katz is a friend and neighbor, but his reference to midgets crosses the line--and others post a dissenting opinion, and are not treated equally, makes me a criminal, J.D.? Please.

Many business people possess different business ethics and strategies. I posted my disagreement to spending money on buying a tack, while requesting donations for the horse. My comment was deleted, but that's fine. That is Jenna's right to do so, both buying whatever she wants however she wants and her right to delete my comment; as a savvy businesswoman (I say savvy because she wouldn't be where she is today if she wasn't) she knows full well that she doesn't need anyone's approval to do as she pleases. Approval and accord are two completely different things, and I think those two definitions are getting mixed up and interchanged in these threads, but that's just my opinion.

As far as Katz, well that's a whole other issue, and I'm not going to give him too much attention here because I think he's trying to exploit this thread for his own personal use....for a guy who refuses to take comment on his own blog, he spent an awful lot of chatty time here today;, Jon? LOL.

April 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

This is the last thing I'll say on the topic. Yes, a blog is choosing to share your life publicly. So is going to the supermarket and letting other people see what you put in your cart, or stopping at a red light and other people seeing what you are driving. We are all public people, our lives are on display everyday for everyone else we encounter.

Imagine if someone came up to you while placing cereal on your cart and made a comment about how you pulled up in a Prius with a Greenie bumper sticker and just bought GMO cornflakes, called you out on it infront of everyone in the aisle? Or if at a stoplight, someone saw you in your new Tacoma pickup and rolled down their window just to tell you how your choice is hurting their family and an affront to American Auto Workers trying to survive....

See what I mean? You wouldn't do that in person. But online, suddenly not only am I (and other bloggers) accountable for everything they ever said or wrote, but for what pictures we show, what we share, and you start cringing in advance of some posts.

If I delete a post it is because I am reading it here, alone in my house with three dogs and it made me feel sad, or upset. Because my family is 5 hours away. Because there are no friends close by. Because there is no one to shout across the kitchen and bounce it off of. I just sit here and stare at a screen and know someone is going out of their way to make me feel bad. Which is unsettling. Because most people who leave angry posts aren't just saying "Jenna, I disagree" They are jabbing character traits, leaving sly digs, standing on soapboxes about how I am wronging people or just speaking their mind because they can. They are yelling at me about my cornflakes in front of the whole store. They could never raise the courage to actually do it in a store, so they make up a blank profile with no identity and yell at me through the supermarket speakers, like the Wizard of Oz. My only defense is the delete button. I will start choosing it over arguing here. Because this is such a drain on creativity and light.

I can not imagine taking the time to read a blog of a person I do not respect or value, and then taking the time to argue with her? I can't imagine making that a part of my day. That is choosing to engage in an action that makes you either upset or angry. That is spending energy on negativity for recreation? Why would you ever do that to yourself?

For my own sanity, and because I can't afford that much alcohol, I delete posts that upset me. Just like you would ask a person to leave your dinner party if they started making you feel bad for hosting the party differently then they would.

How you see the world is your choice. If you think I am a jerk, stop reading. You don't have to fawn over me, I don't only want positive comments. I simply want people to not use this section of the blog as a morality play. this is not an ethics, christian values, politics, or food regulation blog. It is my actual life as much as I can share it. So try to be kind, and if you really think I am a monster, then close your browser and send an email.

Stop choosing to make a scared person feel bad.

April 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

Jenna, I had no intention of clogging your thread....I posted a second time, because my first post went who knows where, but just popped up. Feel free to delete either one, or both.

April 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Carissa Kennedy said...

That was a really awesome story. My buddy (who is studying for his PHD in Philosophy) got quite a kick out of it as well.

Stop defending yourself! Some people will never understand, or just prefer the drama/shit starting.

April 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

People do indeed do that in person. They voice their opinions at city council meetings, they write letters to the editors, union workers strike and hold signs publicly that their jobs are being outsourced to foreign countries, Occupy Wall Street was represented by thousands of faces and names for a cause (they didn't agree with the status quo of corporate wealth)and I know the Huffington, for example, takes commentary.

Haters, criminals, now making a scared person feel bad. Got it.

April 8, 2012 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

There is love here... Take strength and take heart

April 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Harmony Hill said...

Hi Jenna,
I am always impressed with your core self in terms of values, humor, passion and the energizer bunny DNA you possess. I have told many that I'd love to have had a little sister like you! You are mindful and have vision; delete away!

April 8, 2012 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Elaine: your first post was stuck in the spam filter, I had to click it to release it. I do not know what puts comments in there.

I am not City Council. I am not the Editor of a paper. I'm not Wallstreet. I am not the authority on anything. I have no say over your life, money, choices, or time. I am a form of your chosen entertainment.

What I am is a 29-year-old single woman in the middle of nowhere with a small farm, a day job, a blog, some books and a dream trying to make it happen and sharing her personal story online.

Thank you Elizabeth. My love to you and Weez.

April 8, 2012 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Carissa Kennedy said...

Wow. Actually reading the entire chain of posts is a bit shocking. People are so judgmental and aggressive about what they think is correct is the only way to live!

I read blogs that inspire me and satiate my voyeuristic tendencies. Other than that... I have a hard time imagining reading for the sake of arguing.

April 8, 2012 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

Jenna, I'm aware of who you are and aren't. I was simply pointing out, in contrast to your comment that people don't say certain things in person, that in fact they do.

April 8, 2012 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Em said...

My vote is for the banhammer to come out. Some of these consistently negative commenters would have long ago been permabanned from an online forum. And it seems to me that that's kind of the function the comments here at CAF serve--a forum for folks to share their own experiences in response to Jenna's posts, talk amongst themselves, etc. But there are just so many trolls these days lowering the tone. I feel as if they've browbeaten Jenna into a corner, constantly berating her while she tries valiantly to offer a noble response to their vitriol. It's not fun to watch. Kick 'em out, Jenna--it's your living room, and the rest of us guests certainly won't miss them. I have a feeling the ones with positive outlooks wouldn't at all mind seeing a more heavily moderated comments section. The trolls complain about "all views not being welcome"--well, why should they be? Seriously. Why should unproductive, bitter, jealous, hateful, and sometimes downright nasty views be welcome? I can't think of a good reason, to be honest. There is a large gulf between polite disagreement and personal attacks, and it's pretty obvious which side of that gulf most of the trolls are on.

April 8, 2012 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger Bella said...

Spoken from true troll authority, Em.

April 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Quoth the sockpuppet, only a few days old. ;)

April 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

There's an old saying about the internet, Elaine, "one cannot discern tone by what is written." Interestingly, I've learned more about who you are by posting directly to you with an observation as you and MeredithA. post at the same time, roughly conveying the same message.

Ironically, by your response, I admire you for every challenge you've met; however, it appears you come back swinging, which doesn't make sense. One would think you would be in accord with Jenna because you understand the strength it takes to struggle and make it work.

Just for the universal record, I did not judge your post; I rendered an opinion. You expressed your feelings and I reserved the right to disagree with it. Feel free to characterize as you see fit, but my intention didn't sit in judgment.

Glad you dyed the eggs, thank you for sharing you're background and I wish you a glorious Eastertide.

April 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Elaine P said...

You are so right, J.D. about discerning tone on the's a constant, challenging battle in this technologically-advanced world of ours. My boss and I are joined at the hip by our Blackberries (and not by choice, I assure you, lol!) and we both are forever misinterpreting our texts to each other due to difficulty in discerning tone via the typed word.

Thanks for clarifying your post and I really do appreciate your sincerity.

April 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger PattyW said...

Some of you people are nasty and have way too much time on your hands. Some one of you has been commenting and lurking all day. Go take a walk and work on
Being kind.

April 8, 2012 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Melina said...

I think you are awesome Jenna. Anyone that spends time with you would feel that way. Love and thanks are really the most valuable things in this world. And I'm so glad I found you blog and I enjoy how it evolves. Thankful that you write and share what's on your mind.

April 8, 2012 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

I was looking forward to blogging about my farm, but really this looks more like a meat grinder to me. Jenna, I like your ideas and adventures, I don't know how you do it with the Monday morning quarterbacks. If anyone on here thinks they farm perfectly, I have news for them. Farming is embarrassing, often full of missteps, "wish I hadn'ta done that" moments, times when nature conspires against you, and raving success to go along with it. It is the success and profound beauty that makes you keep going.

I think part of the problem is that electronic media is soooo easy. Had any of the nay sayers the obligation to put pen to real paper and affix a postage stamp to an envelope, they would not do it. Just think if they had to write a letter to you and then wait for you to write a letter in response? How powerless is that position?

They would mutter to themselves as they went about their personal business. Likewise your supporters would say "good for you" and go about their business as well. They would probably put cash on the barrelhead and buy your books. But, I speak of them-olden-days, 25years ago when this was our lives.

Seems to me that some folks need to just go out and hoe the garden and muck out their stalls and quit worryin' what a gal up north is doing with her money, horses and hens. Nothing like good old fashioned physical labor to help one pinpoint the true priorities in life.

Plus, I expect that your writing change over time. Who stands still, may I ask?

And in writing this I am myself guilty of the crime I discuss.

PS: I bush hogged 2 acres this weekend,and planted 200 White Spruce Christmas trees. I await the backlash from this statement of fact.

April 8, 2012 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Just want to say a few things.. 1) I love this blog, and admire you greatly (thanks for all your inspiration!) 2) I happen to think Jon Katz is brilliant (btw he does allow comments-through Facebook...ever wonder why he even wrote the story which started this whole topic?) 3) Jenna, you hit that delete button anytime a comment makes you feel not-so-good! Your blog, your choice. Besides, I could almost guarantee most of us love the positive posts/discussions and are just as bothered as you are by the Negative Nancys pecking at you! Hell, it's like being on your favorite sports team blog and having "other" team fans popping on to heckle. Why are you on this blog? Go back to your team!

Happy Easter Jenna & all the rest of ya's who are HAPPY to be here! : )

April 8, 2012 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks for posting Jon Katz story, I found it most enjoyable. Wouldnt have seen it if it wasnt for your Blog. Also love checking in every few days. Keep telling us of your adventures!

April 9, 2012 at 5:58 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks for posting Jon Katz story, I found it most enjoyable. Wouldnt have seen it if it wasnt for your Blog. Also love checking in every few days. Keep telling us of your adventures!

April 9, 2012 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger laurie said...

Blogging is voluntary but so is offering up mean-spirited "comment". Just because someone is sharing themselves doesn't mean they are required to allow comment. Why do people who disagree with other's choices feel they get to have a say? Often in the most negative vociferous manner? If a person would honestly get in front of someone they disagree with and say it to their face, that's one thing, but most of the bile I read in comments I don't believe is something the commenter would say to someone. I know *this* is something I would say, so I'm comfortable leaving it here. Honestly, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything. Think about how you might feel if someone said to you what you're about to say by hitting the "publish" button.

In the larger scheme of things you won't be changing anyone's mind by sharing your nasty opinion but you will color how others see you. (In the larger scheme of things even this is pointless but it has touched a nerve...)

April 9, 2012 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

If my memory serves me right, Thoreau's big moment, his going to jail to protest a tax that subsidized slave owners, was ruined by a meddlesome aunt who paid the tax after he only spent one night in jail. Social media have changed; people haven't.

April 9, 2012 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thank you for sharing this, Jenna, and for all the things you share with your readers. I have a conflicted relationship with social media and the internet in general and use very little of it as I find the chatter so overwhelming. I had never thought about how a modern-day Thoreau woould view this technology and found Mr. Katz's story fascinating. I love his and your blog because I want to hear how others are working toward an authentic life even if (and, sometimes, especially if) it is a different path than I have chosen. That is completly counter to those who criticize you and question your every decision. Why does someone read your blog or comment if they think they have a better way? No one has anything to gain from engaing in these kind of arguments with others though it seems many people feed on just that. I admire you, Jenna, for continuing to share with us despite the negativity. I used to want to be a writer but thought it would be hard to live your life and write about it, too. You manage to do both so fully - something I deeply respect.

April 9, 2012 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I never comment, but I feel like I should leave a little more love to balance out the scales. Keep on keepin' on, Jenna. Your awesomeness and sheer audacity in doing everything you do astounds me. Seriously. :)

April 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

Jenna, I have been reading your blog for a few years now, and have found such inspiration. In my house I refer to you as "farm girl Jenna", when I share with them what you are up to. I happened upon Made From Scratch in a time when my family was needing to make some hard decisions about the way we wanted to live. I have a hubby and four young kids and your book was like some kind of serendipity. We have moved to the country, started chickens (silkies!) and two honey hives, and are building an acre and a quarter of 16 foot tall trellising for a hop yard. I am continually inspired by you and your work to swim against the current and blaze a trail, if just in leadership and support for the rest of us with similar paths in mind. I wish for you strength, trust and confidence in your wonderful vision, and thank you with teary eyes for helping those of us you have never met but might be kindred spirits. Thank you Jenna, I will continue to look your way for updates and inspiration! We love you here in Wisconsin!!!

April 9, 2012 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Weez said...

wow. I don't read for a few days to get ready for my 3 month adventure and all hell breaks loose again.

In my church youth group we make a Covenant every year. Just a list in writing on how we all agree to treat each other. One of the agreements I always insist on puting in is "We agree to disagree respectfully"

This is a bunch of Junior and Senior High School kids. They work hard at keeping our covenant and will call each other on breaches of it. Elizabeth and I usually don't have to say a thing.

Too bad more adults can't agree to disagree respectfully. A good example from the kids!

Hey Jenna, sorry I missed you at the workshop on Saturday but I had comittments and responsibilities to keep. It's your Blog... delete away as you see fit.

April 9, 2012 at 8:41 PM  

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