Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Community. The Whole Story.

So a reader emailed me today to tell me that she is no longer going to read or support Cold Antler. She felt I was expecting too much support from outside sources and wasn't a "homesteader" anymore, based on my lack of winter preparedness. I would like to address this here and now.

While it is none of my business if you do or do not read this blog, it is my business to explain why you don't hear about what I do for others. The reason: privacy and humility. I will never write about the things I do for others who do not want their lives public on the internet. Nor will I share the things I didn't write about because I was too tired from a day of moving 300 bales of hay, butchering someone else's chicken dinner, or was worried talking about helping others was bragging. I was told by a good friend in college "It's not charity if you tell everyone you did it so you can feel better about yourself, that's masturbation." I agree.

To write about the help I get, like in the last 2 vlogs, takes humility and a lack of fear of peer opinion. To write about helping others in a modern world means needing permission, and taking the risk of looking like an arrogant piece of crap.

The email seemed to think that my farm was constantly accepting charity from friends. The reason I have friends who are so kind is because I always do my level best to be as good a friend in return. These people do not have blogs (well, two of them do) and do not write about me buying a personal possession of theirs so they can purchase 20 bales of hay. They do not write about me watching their farms during a funeral, helping clean and cook, herding their turkeys, delivering shots or medicine to stock, sharing supplies and knowledge, or a whole afternoon of physical effort like putting up bales or butchering chickens. You might hear about it from me if I have been granted permission from the parties involved or if you are in our friend loop on Facebook, but besides that all you ever see publicly is my gratitude.

As for winter preparedness - I have never been as prepared for winter as I am now. I have 3 cords of wood outside (damp but there!). I have several "hay banks" where hay is stored for me since I don't have storage. While there are days I need to go an pick up more, it is there and my animals have NEVER missed a single meal. Ever. I did not ask for the gift of the firewood in the last videos posted, it was gifted by friends who had no fireplace or wood stove and wanted to visit/deliver it. Why? Because we are friends who share meals, games, and stories together.

I am a public person who shares a very, very, small part of this story. Unless you are a part of my life you do not know 80% of what happens here in the community, among friends, and on this farm. I am also a person who feels people should be thanked when they help me and the farm. But the reason I have this support to begin with is because of the cycle of support this community has built. I am a part of that community. Damned proud to be. And what I ask for as a blogger is some fair understanding that you only see the vulnerable writer who writes/vlogs only at her most emotional times in her life, good or bad, and not the entire picture of everyday life.

That said. Big plans for this summer. BIG PLANS. Poultry and pigs, workshops and books being published, stories and songs, camps and archery. There is a large story here and I will do my best to tell the whole of it better. Perhaps that email is my own fault, for only showing that side of it during this emotional time in my life? For that is something I remedy now.


photo by Tara Alan of goingslowly.com

58 Comments:

Blogger Cynthia Willard said...

While I am not a homesteader, I do have friends that I know I can call upon to give me a hand/support if I need it. I am sure they know they can call me as well if they need help (i.e. running a friend to the car repair shop, picking up a bag of cat food, keeping an eye on the dogs if something comes up with work etc) . It's what we do. You owe an explanation and apologies to no one. Sheesh..some people need to get a life.

February 4, 2015 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Matt in TEXAS said...

Helping people out is good for the soul and when you can help you do- or should. No one can do it all on their own and there should be no shame attached to receiving help or letting someone do something nice for you. That is how folks in the country act towards each other. It is sad that many people don't experience either side of neighbors helping neighbors.

February 4, 2015 at 3:35 PM  
OpenID natts121 said...

Please don't ever stop who you are! Your words are very uplifting. Sorry that we have haters in this world.
Natalie from KY

February 4, 2015 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

and I'm so happy for you that you have that community because none of us are without any help ... so why should you be?

February 4, 2015 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Dune Grass Designs said...

No one homesteads alone successfully and never really has. This is the reason there are communities, villages, towns, cities, countries and best of all friends. We need each other. Julie from Northern Michigan

February 4, 2015 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Andi said...

Goodness that makes me crazy. I'm so sorry she felt the need to stop reading but even more that she felt the need to be self-righteous and tell you she wouldn't be reading.

Not a one of us do this life - whether we're homesteading or living in an apartment in Hong Kong - alone. We all need help.

Good on you for giving it, but also good on you for being humble and vulnerable enough to receive it . . .and to tell people when you do.

February 4, 2015 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Karen Talamantez said...

Carrying this through to its logical conclusion...A homesteader psychically knows when weather/layoffs/calamity will occur and plans for every eventuality. A homesteader never accepts help. So if others don't give you help, your animals suffer and starve, your house is damaged, you become ill/freeze. And that would make you a homesteader.

Bollocks.





February 4, 2015 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

oh for petes sake, some people are idiots. Homesteading doesn't mean you plop yourself down in the wilderness and do it all on your own. That person needs to read some history, the only way the early homesteaders survived was constantly working with and for each other. too many projects need more than 2 hands and greater strength than one woman may possess. I loved your comment about help, too funny! And right, we help and are generous with time and labor because it is in our nature. and some people don't have that.
I like to read your blog because I can relate as a self employed woman alone. I don't have a farm but grew up in the country so can relate to all the work. Only you can decide what to share and I am grateful for the glimpses into your reality that you do give. In general blogs are quite a gift, that window into a totally different life anywhere in the world that can give perspective, inspiration, gratitude, and motivation. So keep on keeping on Jenna and good riddance to the twits.

February 4, 2015 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Maralee Childs said...

I'm so sorry she felt the need to dump her load on you! But please don't stop showing us your vulnerable emotional side. Don't feel you have to show us the big picture all the time or act like you have it all together all the time because nobody does. It's your willingness to show me your vulnerability that makes me feel I'm not alone in mine :-)
Blessings to you,
Maralee

February 4, 2015 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Karen Kresge said...

You are a good woman, a good friend, and a good example to all of us. xo your old prof.

February 4, 2015 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Doranna said...

Good for you! For doing it all, and for saying this. (signed, a lurker)

February 4, 2015 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Mary Schroeder said...

So glad you have a great community around you! I feel a bit alone where I am even though I have several houses within sight of my 5 acre spread. They folks near me might have a chicken or two but don't have goats or turkeys. Keep up the good work.

February 4, 2015 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

You never owe anyone an explanation for simply being your whole and wonderful self! I admire you very much and am grateful for all you're willing to share here. Such a danger in this kind of medium - that people forget there is much more to the story!
-Jaime

February 4, 2015 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Wonderfully said, and this reminded me about something I read once about how letting someone help you is actually an act of charity on your part! It goes both ways...

February 4, 2015 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Hooves and Hounds Farm said...

I do support Cold Antler! By choice I give a SMALL amount every month. I own my own farm and could ( and some say should) by 1 more bale of hay.My money was NOT taken away from hay,
BUT I have chosen to skip 3 Med. take out coffees a month to help a like minded person with hurdles and goals

February 4, 2015 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Keep on keeping on, Jenna.

February 4, 2015 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

I grew up on a mini farm and when big jobs came along, we all pitched in. Sometimes my grandparents and even family friends came by to help to. Does that mean we weren't homesteaders. And for that matter, I don't think we cared if people called us homesteaders or farmers or whatever. I do know that my parents could not have done it with help from our community. My grandparents also accepted help from their community. Barn raising so were a big party. at one time, a great social moment as well as a work party. Quilting bees are another example. I truly believe that we are missing out on things as we are letting the community and families become less important.
I like your style, Jenna. Keep on doing what you are doing. And keep reminding the rest of us what community is all about!

February 4, 2015 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

I grew up on a mini farm and when big jobs came along, we all pitched in. Sometimes my grandparents and even family friends came by to help to. Does that mean we weren't homesteaders. And for that matter, I don't think we cared if people called us homesteaders or farmers or whatever. I do know that my parents could not have done it with help from our community. My grandparents also accepted help from their community. Barn raising so were a big party. at one time, a great social moment as well as a work party. Quilting bees are another example. I truly believe that we are missing out on things as we are letting the community and families become less important.
I like your style, Jenna. Keep on doing what you are doing. And keep reminding the rest of us what community is all about!

February 4, 2015 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Place Under The Pine said...

Being a blogger myself I can relate. You only share a small part of your life. I really only share the interesting stuff I do with my kids...so, I get the comment 'you are a super parent' all the time. But, I'm not. I just write up blog posts about doing a craft with my kid. I post about the exciting things, that Gramma wants to see (I picture her as my audience). Not the hustle and bustle Thursday night where I'm cranky with the kids.
I'm still going to read you blog Jenna and enjoy the stuff you put up.

February 4, 2015 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Christine Marble said...

Hi Jenna,
I'm so sorry that you were put in this position, where you felt like you had to explain or clarify. The world can be cruel, can't it? The people who matter will "get it", and those who don't, won't. As other commenters have said, please don't stop being who you are and doing what you do. I need you to keep showing me that it can be done - that it is possible to live my life doing the things that I love.

February 4, 2015 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Dani said...

It's hard to hear critique when you are busting your butt. This person could have just stopped reading without sharing her misguided opinion. Too bad. Good thing you have nothing to prove to this person or anyone else! Cheers, stay warm and I really enjoyed your last vlog.

February 4, 2015 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Hey, just keep doing your thang. You're the one with boots in the mud and hands on the fur.

(For what it's worth...I thought your preparations this fall showed how much you'd learned from experience about what you need to get through winter.)

February 4, 2015 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Hi Jenna, I feel badly for you...that some nosy, mean-spirited person, who is judging you and your ways....has caused you to defend yourself in this post. The world is full of these people, who will judge and tell you that you are bad and evil. This is the truth. Run from these terrible people. Do not allow them to make you unhappy. My sister sent me an email last week, in that message she told me that I am evil and mean. Then she ordered me, bullied me, and proclaimed that I had to do certain things to be back in her good graces. The accusals were all lies, twisted and made up in her mind. I am not going to respond in any way, and I am not going to do as she ordered.

February 4, 2015 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Kristi Phipps said...

Jenna you are a shining light...keep on keeping on. ..

Kristi

February 4, 2015 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Chris Fenwick said...

It takes almost as much work to build a community that supports one another as it does to take care of the farm!

In any event, what others think of you is none of your business! Stay true to yourself and thank you for sharing some of your life with the rest of us!!

February 4, 2015 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger deodar said...

To have good neighbors/friends you have to BE one. Friends and neighbors help when they can and accept help when they need it. Period.

February 4, 2015 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

A quote from dear Dr. Seuss ... "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"

February 4, 2015 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Maria Manemann said...

After your last two blog posts, I had been contemplating commenting on how they moved me by illustrating in a most eloquent way both the differences and the interconnectedness of independence and interdependence. Which made this email you got all the more befuddling to me. I've long struggled with an over-developed sense of self-reliance, with the belief that I can't rely on others, on the one hand and that I don't deserve to ask for help on the other. I know this is both illogical and untrue but beliefs can be harder than johnson grass to uproot. Relying on no one but myself has limited me in so many ways and I don't want to be that way any more.

Your sharing of the ups and downs of dealing with this winter has shown, me at least, both the benefits of balancing doing for myself and doing with others and an example how to achieve it. For that I'm grateful.

As for being a 'real homesteader' or not - to steal and paraphrase another's quote "Homesteader is as Homesteader does". Semantic quibbles are a waste of breath.

February 4, 2015 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger A.N said...

"It is better to be hated for what you are, than loved for what you are not." --Andre Gide

A quote I first read when I was thirteen, which seventeen years later has shaped my life. Someone will always find the time to judge you but my clock does not turn for naysayers. Nor does my heart. Your words are the flame to ignite the candles of hope. You gave me and my family hope that a homestead was possible, that if we banded together we could reach a sustainable, authentic life. Thank you for sharing your life, for allowing yourself to be vulnerable so that we in turn can reach for our dreams.

Cold Antler Farm is a treasure. Thank you for sharing your dream with the dreamers.

February 4, 2015 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Cully said...

Keep up your fabulous work, Jenna.

Who really cares if people have to judge your intentions!!!!! That is not the purpose of your Blog!!!! Which I think is fabulous to a Tri State Gal in Suffolk County. Who really cares she removed herself from the blog!!!!!! Self Indulgent and Narrcistic!!!!!!

February 4, 2015 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Karen from CT said...

Your online community knows exactly what kind of person you are. We know this because you have shared yourself with us in good times and bad. To think that someone would not know you give as much as you receive from your friends and neighbors is disconcerting. We all know you have a huge heart and that you are deserving of all the gifts of friendship you choose to share with us. Unfortunately the world is full of unhappy people who believe it is their duty to tell other people what to do. Thankfully we can choose not to listen and turn to the people who love us and support us for better or worse. Keep being you Jenna, we love you just as you are.

February 4, 2015 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

People these days have this weird idea that the only way to live properly is to do it ALL BY YOURSELF!!! especially homesteading. I just learned about the pioneers today in school and that was not how they did it, and it was not how 99.9999999999999999% of humanity has done it. People can piss off. Jenna, you rule.

February 4, 2015 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Lisa Nigro said...

Oh Jenna, people like to put others into their own personal "box" because they are uncomfortable in with their own world and I am sure they feel they need to control something.
You can not be contained my dear. You are a shining light. Definitions are meaningless because you my friend are living a life with integrity and taking care of the environment and the creatures and really that is enough.
Be Your Bad Ass self! Your community has your back.

February 4, 2015 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

"I am a public person who shares a very, very, small part of this story. Unless you are a part of my life you do not know 80% of what happens here..."

I couldn't have said it better myself! People who read someone's blog and think they know the person or are their friend or know the whole story have zero clue about what someone's life is really about.

Keep doing you. Your tribe loves you!

February 5, 2015 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Kitty Dilatush said...

It is a sad day when someone feels the need to critique others and their life. No one knows what someone else really does or does not do in their life. Instead of being judgmental about others that time would be much better spent doing something nice for someone else. It only takes a little common sense to realize that people don't continually help someone out if they are not giving back in some way. True friendship and being a good neighbor is always give and take. Now this of course is my opinion and Jenna I don't think you owe anyone any explanations. You share a lot of your daily life and thoughts with all of us and it is really fun to read each day what is happening at Cold Antler Farm. It is your story and you get to write it and we get to hear a lot of funny heartfelt stories and also what it takes to really keep a small homestead going. Thanks for the entertainment and keep up the good work.

February 5, 2015 at 1:23 AM  
Blogger Diane Munson said...

You go girl! Well said!

February 5, 2015 at 2:26 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

I grew up on a Dairy Farm, and I remember going over to the neighbor farm to help put up a greenhouse, and borrowing equipment from them when one of our tractors broke and we could not get the part between milkings. The back and forth of neighbors is at the heart of rural tradition.

You can't explain it to folks who don't "get it"

Best

February 5, 2015 at 6:11 AM  
Blogger Christina S said...

A very large part of being a successful homesteader is having the ability to barter with those around you, and knowing what you can offer, and what others can offer you! Without the "skill" of understanding this, your homestead is doomed for failure!!! Maybe not now, or in the near future, but eventually it will fail (unless you win the lottery, but then you are not really a homesteader;) One of the main reasons I married my husbend is because he was soooo good at this skill. It is a very admirable skill!!! Lots of love and respect coming you way from the Saunders. ;). WINTER IS ALMOST OVER!!!!! Whooot, whoot!!!

February 5, 2015 at 6:42 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Haters gonna hate! It's so annoying when people have "expectations" from bloggers. I love this place - it's a perfect balance of storytelling and practical, useful information. About homesteading. Because that is what you do.

February 5, 2015 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger NancyJeff O'Brien said...

Hi Jenna

Keep up the great work, and I have learned so much from your books and blogs

Thank you
Nancy O'Brien
Canada

February 5, 2015 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Teresa A Hearth And Home Goddess Wannabe said...

I really appreciate this post of explanation. Some people don't understand the true extent of community, the give and take, if no one tells them. Especially if they don't have that for themselves. And mentioning in general the things you do for your community as you did in this post just encourages people like me to evaluate my actions and do better in my own community. Thank you for sharing.

February 5, 2015 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Kathye McCarthy said...

One is either a bully or a peacemaker. We all know that you are a peacemaker, Jenna. Your blog, your community, your readers and fans, are better off without one who chooses to cyberbully rather than to see/cheer on the hard work, commitment, love, dreams, passion, humor, fun, talent, friendship that you bring and give to Life. Shine on Jenna!

February 5, 2015 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Critics are tools. You rock. Nuf said.

February 5, 2015 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

so you don't fit her definition of homesteadng. well, there are many other blogs she can visit. Martha Stewart has a barn, some gardens and doesn't ask for help, at least I don't think she does, who knows. You are doing a nice job finding your way out here, putting your brand on your place and being a good neighbor. Getting back to important stuff: I have a few bags of frozen elderberries in my freezer. How are you set for jam? Howard is fixing tractors and such (good trades)and selling this and thats. It seems we get out to Cambridge way at least one a week. Let me know.

February 5, 2015 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

Thanks for clarifying that. I do have a question though. I thought the Kickstarter project was supposed to take care of the mortgage problems. What happened? You write quite a bit about being behind. Thanks.

February 5, 2015 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

thanks all! But don't be harsh towards the email sender, she probably had a horrible day.

As per molly's question: the Kickstarter saved this farm, for sure, back in late summer. I am still behind on the mortgage but no longer in risk of foreclosure.

But every month there is a new set of bills from the mortgage to the farm insurance, truck payment and truck insurance, feed, utilities, student loans, gas, etc... you guys know how a home budget works. While that was a saving grace it was also a one time event. Bills are NOT a one time event. :) My head is above water, but I am still in hot water.

I won't always be that's for sure and debts are being paid off much as possible.

I will do another kickstarter for another project (a calendar) when this one is wrapped up and everyone has their books in hand.

February 5, 2015 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

You can't please everyone. And people who go out of their way to attack others will always find fault in others.
Homesteading is a personal definition. I am an aspiring homesteader on a .15 acre lot in a urban area. I still consider myself a homesteader because I make decisions to use the resources I do have to the best of my ability. In my opinion, doing what you can with what you have makes one a homesteader.
I even had chickens for a short time and built the coop myself from mostly scraps. But my third pregnancy came around and with two children under 5yrs already, chicken owning became too much. That's when my community stepped in and a friend took my chickens of my hands to help me out. Self reliance, as in being Solely dependent on ones self, is a joke. We all need friends. There's just too much work to be done to do everything ones self. And helping others and receiving help is a good thing.

February 5, 2015 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Cara Dunn said...

Helping neighbors and friends is the basis of a community. Especially if you live in the country or farm or homestead. Things are traded, borrowed, and you help one another out. That is just how it is. If you had not helped others then they probably would not have helped you in the first place.

February 5, 2015 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

So Jenna, this has all made me start to wonder just what we all think homesteading is. What is homesteading vs farming vs simply buying a home and having a barn and a few animals? It seems to me that these overlap each other and have fuzzy boundaries. For instance, I have just under 4 acres and earn a living as a market gardener. I have 5 sheep, somewhere around 30 chickens, a pair of geese and two dogs. I also have a greenhouse, a barn, a wood shop, and a studio in my garage. I can, freeze, and dry excess food, but by no means produce most of what I eat. I start my own seedlings in my kitchen on a rack under grow lights. I buy hay, poultry feed and firewood. If asked to explain myself, I say I am a micro-eco farmer and artist. Others in the same situation might call themselves homesteaders.

So what makes one a homesteader and not simply a farmer? Is it semantics or something more? Does it perhaps have anything to do with the area one lives in? I have a hard time picturing anyone in Lancaster County, PA telling locals that they are a homesteader and not getting, at best, puzzled looks.

I'd be interested in a post about the "blurred lines" of these definitions and the comment discussions that would follow.

February 5, 2015 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I have no problem with anyone calling themselves whatever they like. If you have four tomato plants and want to call yourself a farmer, go ahead. I don't think it matters, what matters is are YOU content with what you call yourself? I have a lot more respect for people who know who they are and don't care about raised eyebrows then those who live their lives hoping for approval and permission.

That is in no way a rant at you Kathleen. I just wish my readers all had the conviction to call themselves the thing they want to be already. Instead we think we need to quit our jobs, buy land, raise 70 animals, and wear overalls to be a farmer. You are a farmer if you want to be a farmer and grow something to eat. The people angry enough to argue that point have bigger problems than the label you gave yourself. they have to deal with whatever scares them enough to point fingers.

February 5, 2015 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Elle Cashen said...

The haters are gonna hate. Personally, I like you with your warts and all and find that you inspire me to do things like plant kale--either caterpillars or bunnies ate it to the ground--no matter, at least something got a good meal!
Keep on keepin on!
Elle

February 5, 2015 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

Okay, just pondering. My curiosity gets the better of me sometimes.

February 5, 2015 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I call myself a farmer because I am. I also work in an office but my heart and soul is in farming. Some people here in the UK call themselves homesteaders, and that is a bit odd as there was never a homestead deal here, but hey, if they want to. Better to call yourself a smallholder, to my mind, but it doesn't matter. Homesteading technically was surely a deal where you got land off the govt in the US for surviving against the odds on it for five years (I have the vast and inclusive knowledge of having read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder to call on here) so unless that's how you got your land, you're not *technically* a homesteader. In which case call yourself what you like and live up to it.
Which you more than do Jenna, so really ... what is their problem?

February 6, 2015 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Honestly your vlogs of thanking your friends has stayed on my mind long after I read them. It was honest, raw, emotion and it took a lot of trust to put that out there. Shame on that person for her email.
Also, I can't imagine asking about your mortgage or what you did with so and so advance/money, kickstarter. You don't answer to any of us.
And last, to Kathleen Stoltzfus. I wonder if sometimes we think about what we are because we don't want to diminish what we think are "true" homesteaders, farmers, etc. I think from now on we need to, as Jenna said, call ourselves anything that describes what's in our hearts. I'm a farmer. We work hard on this small farm, and I'm proud of everything we have accomplish, either for real, or in my dreams :)

February 6, 2015 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Honestly your vlogs of thanking your friends has stayed on my mind long after I read them. It was honest, raw, emotion and it took a lot of trust to put that out there. Shame on that person for her email.
Also, I can't imagine asking about your mortgage or what you did with so and so advance/money, kickstarter. You don't answer to any of us.
And last, to Kathleen Stoltzfus. I wonder if sometimes we think about what we are because we don't want to diminish what we think are "true" homesteaders, farmers, etc. I think from now on we need to, as Jenna said, call ourselves anything that describes what's in our hearts. I'm a farmer. We work hard on this small farm, and I'm proud of everything we have accomplish, either for real, or in my dreams :)

February 6, 2015 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Lilac Hill said...

I believe that the note from the former supporter of CAF, is due to the difficulty of communicating electronically. Relationships that are not bolstered by eye to eye, human to human contact seem limited and challenging.
That said, I do enjoy your notes and vlogs from the farm. I also know that you respect your friends' privacy and do not share the intimacies of community life.
You have lived on CAF long enough to share in the exchange of support, to be part of that community, part of the sharing.

February 7, 2015 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Vermonster said...

As much as I hate to say it, I agree with the person who emailed up to a point. You do ask for a lot of support and often. It does seem at times that you are in dire need of finances. Perhaps you took on too much to do on your own, and gave up a perfectly good job, to try to make this dream and goal come to pass. Perhaps you should seek out employment. I was born and raised on a farm. My Grandfather, Grandmother, Father, Mother, Uncle and Aunt all had other jobs to make their lives successful, as well as the farm. The farm as your soul source of income is just not doable for a single person, however for a community, it is doable.

May 31, 2015 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger cjbstar said...

Hi Jenna, I discovered your blog a few months ago. I started reading from the first post and I am up to this one so I am almost current. I absolutely love your blog, and I appreciate you sharing a small part of your life.

Please don't let the naysayers and negative opinions bring you down. You are quite simply, an amazing, strong woman for everything you have accomplished. Your writing style is heartwarming. I'm in Texas, but maybe one day I'll have the opportunity to attend one of your workshops. They all sound great, so it would be hard to choose.

Don't change anything - you are doing just fine.

June 2, 2015 at 4:24 PM  

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