I’m preparing to go out on a limb here. I’ve ordered a camcorder, some various bits of kit and I plan to embark on a project to create compelling footage that is both entertaining and informational about… farming on a small scale. I just might be crazy.
I believe that producing a substantial amount of your own food will be easy and not take a tremendous amount of time. Based on this I am going to try and document my process to do just that and will publish my findings for all the world to see, even if I’m wrong. I don’t want to post some clips of me pulling weeds or looking at a gathered information about time spent per day ect, I want to talk about my process, the costs, the reasons, and how it turns out.
What I want to do is create a show about a simple, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle. I’m not looking to be ‘self-sufficient’, which is a term I find to be used too loosely these days. The goal is not to walk away from ‘normal’ life and live without electricity. The goal is also not to never buy food again. The goal is to be more active and to reduce food costs while increasing the quality of the food.
I want this show to be focused not on simple gardening or tending small groups of livestock, but on the lifestyle of working for my stomach. You plant a couple of fruit trees, how do you prune them and care for them? You went out and picked a few pounds of raspberries, how can you preserve them and make jam? At the end of the season, what can you do to make your extra carrots last through the winter? I want to cover the basics of gardening and all of that good stuff as well, but I want this to be more then that.
I work two jobs at the moment and am not a wealthy person. My primary job is as a ‘Network Administrator’ for a midsized company headquartered near Boston, Massachusetts. I have chosen to live my life in southern New Hampshire and am in the process of finding some cheap, undeveloped land with which I can take on this new lifestyle. In the mean time I am securing land from a few local places to get started. I will start pretty small, and ramp up from there. Like I said, I’m going on the belief (hope?) that this will not involve so much work that I cannot still work at my job. I fully intend to keep my job, and as this progresses I will need to tweak what I ultimately grow to allow me to do both, and still find time to just relax! Ultimately, I am a very lazy person; Perhaps that is about to change…
The response from my friends has been.. mixed. I expected that. Some people find what I am doing silly or pointless but I don’t believe that to be the case. I think that there are a lot of people, from every walk of life, with different levels of ability, and different financial situations that could be benefiting from the cost savings and positive health repercussions that I believe will be the end result of this project. I’m sure there are many others just like me who would love to do something like this but don’t know where to start. Well, to them I say: Start here!
No, down to a few nut and bolts. I will be taking a lot of cues from two places. The first, and root source of my inspiration to change my way of life, is River Cottage. I know, I posted about this one last week so I won’t go into it too much. River Cottage, especially toward the beginning, did a great job of talking about the lifestyle as an extension to the grunt work. The second one is ‘Gardenfork‘ which is part of a project done by Eric Rochow called ‘The Green House‘. His shows are the complete other end of the scale production-wise from River Cottage. He throws the videos together very fast and gets them out on a regular basis. Each one is a short show on a specific topic, be it a recipe, a tip or technique and even a book review from time to time. Obviously, I do not want to copy or replicate what they are doing more then is necessary by the similar topics, but they do offer me a good starting point.
I would like my shows, ultimately, to be about 20 minutes long. It will take an unbelievable amount of work to make that happen, probably more then the gardening! Perhaps what I will do is release clips as they happen and then release longer form episodes when I have enough content. I like to see pretty frequent show updates in my podcast feeds and would likely unsubscribe from a show that seemed to not be posting for a month at a time. Time will tell, and my schedule will ultimately be the guide.
The only thing I have going in my favor is my background in media production. I do a lot of sound work from recording albums to handing live sound and I’m hoping that that will help me out when it comes to producing a video podcast. They say audio is 50% of it, so maybe I’m already half way there. I’m sure I’ll be releasing a series of awkward videos in the coming weeks though so please, bear with me. I’m open to any and all suggestions!
I’ve ordered a new domain for this project grownathome.tv, which right now simply points back to this blog, Topslakr.com. In time I will develop a second blog focused just on the gardening/small holding bit but for now, it’s all here. I need to work out a good way to tie together all the pieces and when I figure that out, I’ll make it happen…