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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Gritching

I just received my copy of a certain homesteading magazine. And I find myself mildly disappointed.

By no means am I the expert homesteader, I am still a novice at many things, and tend to relay on these magazines for not only help and tips, but inspiration. This time it fell flat. I realize, that possibly, I am at a different stage of homesteading now, but the articles presented to me where very beginner, all of them. There wasn't anything available for, let's call it, 2nd level homesteaders. The magazine seem to only be reissuing the same stories from a few years back. Then some of those articles of how-to's are not feasible in some areas of the country, like those counties with certain laws. One article ticked me off with it's misleading statements and inaccuracies. It's enough that one is willing to publisher their own magazine, one that does include different stages of learning.

And then there is the preachy feeling that the writers give off when discussing the environment and going green. I now skip the articles that say "going green" in title or description. Most the time these DIY project would not pass inspection. Once again something not feasible for most people because of laws.

There is also a trend of focusing the articles to the more social urban homesteader. Predominately seen in their frugality articles. Half the suggestions about how to save money makes me wonder, if you want to save money, just don't do those things. Like flying off to Hawaii? What? How many homesteaders do that yearly? When would we have the time? Who would care for the livestock?

I have also seen the trend in blogs. Money and importance comes from the suburbs, the urban, not from the country folks. So articles and posts start to change, to be more geared towards these type of people. Nothing wrong with it, but you do start to lose your country people. The ones that don't go to the opera or movies. The ones that couldn't get any greener because their lifestyles are already as green as possible without living in a cave, eating grasshoppers. But of course we are also the ones that don't have the money to keep magazines and blogs/websites going. We once again become less important because our status and will never raise above the suburban homesteader, or want-to-be steader. Nothing against suburban homesteaders at all, it is about the people that need us, yet look down their noses at us.

My subscription to the magazine has been canceled. Hey I just made myself a little greener. ~wry grin~ You get to a point in your life that you tire of being talked down to, being told you are less of a person because you are not as green, or as sophisticated as your townie counter parts.

Any of my fellow homesteaders, no matter the place you live, interested in creating our own e-zine? ~sigh~

I write here to remember what I have done, right and wrong. I also share my experiences so that hopefully others, no matter their social status, do not make those same mistakes.

19 comments:

Simply Amethyst said...

I have only been "investigating" going green for a year or so, but I have noticed that going green takes lots of money, according to the magazines... We don't make enough money for any of their "projects"... And living out in the boonies we probably couldn't find the stuff to do it anyway, without paying lots of S&H...

farm mom said...

Just got my copy yesterday too. I haven't looked at it yet (and the kids have already ripped the front cover off :) but now you've got me curious!! :) I was lucky enough to scoop up a few old copies of my grandfathers after my grandmother passed away. It is amazing how informative and jammed packed of articles and info it used to be, andnot as much advertising.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I have been contemplating this scenario myself. Although many of us are steering clear of the "keeping with he jones" mentality, I think we may be switching it to "keeping up with the green-lees". The pressing of going green with the homesteading/naturallifestyle can be similar to the other. Kinda makes you go hmmm...

Phelan said...

SA, You want to homestead, forget about going green. As you move towards your goal lifestyle, you will be more then just a little green.

Farm Mom. read the chicken article. That was the one I was a little ticked about. I stopped reading half way through. And yes. You get what I mean. Some of those ads are way off base for the rag.

Tammi, I know.

Lynn / vigilant20 said...

An e-zine is an awesome idea. This is definitely a topic that creates a lot of interest. I'm one of the wanna-bes...but very interested in doing it someday. I love learning, seeing the possibilities, and putting into practice the few things I am capable of. Us single urbanites are only capable of so much though.

Queen Whackamole said...

"Start" your own e-zine? Hey, Phelan, you're doing it already!

:-)

alrescate said...

You know I think my grandparents still have some copies of 'The Mother Earth News' at their house. I seem to recall those magazines were pretty good. (Of course I haven't read them in years.) If they still have them would you be interested in them?

Phelan said...

Lynn, we oth need to remember small steps. ~sigh~ right off the bridge ;)

Queen, hhmmmm maybe I should start charging you all a subscription fee :D

alrescate, email sent

John said...

H'lo Phelan. I understand what you mean...and your approach is what draws me back to your postings, rather than others. I think others feel the same.

Keep at it...on your own terms.

Stephanie said...

A friend gave me some copies of her Countryside and Small Stock Journal. I really enjoyed them. They seem more in line with what we are trying to do here than some others I've seen. The issues were from a few years ago, so I can't speak to the current issues, but it might be worth looking at.

alrescate said...

Phelan, I didn't get your email. Did you get one from me? I have a new address....

lisa said...

I'm with Alrescate and Stephanie-Mother Earth News and Countryside are pretty cool mags, and contain more of the info you're looking for, IMO. Of course, I've never read the magazine you just cancelled, so my opinion is somwhat skewed (heh...like the rest of me! ;-)

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

You could do as my husband always encourages me: write for the "senior level" homesteaders Phelan. That way you can also get PAID :-D I too, unfortunately find some of my "old favorites" disappointingly banal now.

By the way---back to the Sept. 5th post---my vote is for a milking Devon. I love my Dexters---but I'd take a Devon too.
Monica

Howling Hill said...

Not only would I subscribe to your ezine, I would write for it. Let me know if you're really serious about creating one.

Social movements across the world are for the rich. The abolition movement, run by rich white folk. The suffrage movement was the same, only run by women. So were the temperance and peace movements . The only exception that I can think of is the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s (which started in the 1800s, but that's a whole 'nother post).

I mean, who has the money to travel and write and give speeches? The rich and middle class. So while one person is galvanting all over the country/world giving speeches and writing their thoughts down, someone else is working hard to keep home and hearth going.

The Green Movement isn't any different.

Jo said...

I got mine too...and I get the same feeling about all the DIY house-related stuff. I think to myself, first off, our winters are terribly cold for some of those things (though perhaps not for long), and I don't need to be told that (for example) cloth diapers exist, or baby carriers, or all-natural stuffed animals.

I want more on people's livestock experiences in a variety of climates. People's experiments with their gardens. Pest control. Planning the garden. Planting trees. Living in and fixing up old houses (and barns, and sheds, etc.) without going broke. Old, used equipment and how to maintain and repair. Building community. Dealing with bureacratic local governments and zoning issues.

I love it when I check on others' blogs and get tastes of this. Of late, with changes in my off-farm job and the kids going to school, I have had less time to look, but I don't even look beyond personal blogs anymore.

Gina said...

Ok, you have me curious as to which mag you are referring to (everyone else seems to know and I can only guess!)

I do have an idea about how you feel though; I am still hungry for information, but I feel like I keep reading the same thing over and over again.

The ezine sounds like a great idea.

vonne said...

Okay, it may be too late for me to put in my 2 cents here -- I've been behind on blogs lately --

But you must read Backwoods Home Mag. And read Jackie Clay's Blog.
You can find it on their website.
It's a survivalist Mag. but geared exactly to what seasoned homesteaders need. Check it out!

Anonymous said...

Try www.downtotherootsmagazine.com
Chehalem

Gemini said...

I have noticed this myself. Take Mother Earth News, for example. We have dozens of their issues starting from the seventies when it was first born through '03, '04 -ish. In the seventies the magazine was the most helpful; full if DIY yourself projects of things that would normally be huge expenses (a windmill, a children's wagon, solar panels, etc). In the eighties, it was a little bit watered down. In the nineties they were more talk and hardly any projects or useful projects. By the 2000's, they're all about "going green" and the occasional article about people who moved to the country. But are they the homesteaders the magazine was originally aimed at? No, they're a couple of ed execs who made six figures and therefore had enough money to set up a bed & breakfast and put some "green" power in...all at once. Yuck. Most homesteaders are middle class or lower and working their butts off to stay on their land and make it what they want a baby step at a time.

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