For my little group of regular readers: No, you have not accidentally wandered into the wrong house. I’ve just repainted/rebranded for the New Year, in recognition of the fact that I am not the same man I was back in March of 2005 when I began the Brazos RiverBlog. (And come to think of it, I launched Brazos RiverBlog to account for having morphed in some fashion since launching the RiverBlog’s predecessor.
So it goes.
I’m calling this place Southern Homesteading now because that phrase kind of sums up the center of my interest these days. To me, homesteading is about growing, raising and making a lot of the things you need to live well. Especially in the food department. I’ve been a gardener for more than 30 years, and a grilling/smoking/barbecue enthusiast for nearly as long, in both cases because I couldn’t find any more economical way to obtain good-tasting food. Later I found out growing and cooking your own is a whole lot healthier than the alternative, too.
The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know very much yet, so while I’m audacious enough to offer advice in this space, my hope is that you will feel free to correct my misconceptions and improve my theories.
Isn’t there more to life than passing on tips for improving the soil or growing more-productive tomatoes or preserving the harvest for the winter or growing a truckload of fruit in your own tiny back yard? Sure there is. But everything, it would seem, is connected within a couple of degrees, so I have a feeling I won’t run out of writing material. I hope my readers will stick with me for a while to try out the new place.
I’ve decided I’d like to promote the idea that people – even people living in the suburban belts around our cities – can learn to be more self-reliant, can supply themselves and their families with a significant amount of good fresh fruit, vegetables, even eggs and meat. All it takes is a willingness to get outside in the yard and try something new. The benefits include more exercise, time away from the TV, an increasing awareness of how plants work, an appreciation for our place in nature and also some good eating.
It’s my belief that the self-reliant nature of homesteading will pay increasing economic benefits, too. I base this belief on the fact our current food distribution system does manage to provide people with cheap and plentiful edible products – as long as the world maintains a supply of inexpensive fossil fuel. Unfortunately, that will not always be the case, as demand was already beginning to outstrip supply as economies in China and India heated up prior to our current recession.
Oil and gasoline eventually will become expensive, I believe, so expensive that it may no longer make sense to ship unripe tomatoes from Mexico, Pacific-caught fish from California or grapefruit from Florida. Especially when we can grow or catch those things right down the street.
My expectation is that a new, more localized food distribution system will be born of the necessity created by the breakdown of the old cross-country food-shipping model. I also expect there will be bumps and bruises along the way, and it’ll take quite some time before such a switch occurs. To fill the gaps in the meantime, I think people who rely on their own homesteading skills will live better than those who rely on the big agricultural corporations to get us all out of the mess those same companies made in the first place.
So my intention is to make this a place where maybe people can exchange hints and ideas for more self-reliant living and a more vitamin-infused future.
Happy New Year.