A few years back, we were contacted by a handful of television producers, each pitching a sort of “Off-Grid in Kentucky” reality show. At the time, Hannah was newly pregnant with Further and we vacillated between feeling like it could be fun, and feeling horrified at the thought of silly plot lines invented by producers eager to make our quaint off-grid life into must-see T.V.. Not that chasing the pigs through the woods at nine months pregnant wouldn’t make for good television (LINK), but we are no Alaskan Bush People.
I don’t know that we ever talked about it here, and it feels a little embarrassing to even write it, but we definitely entertained the idea of this reality show, even going as far as to Skype with one producer and exchange emails with a couple others. The point of this blog has always been to share our lives—the good, the bad, and the ugly—in hopes of inspiring others to go farming or live simply. In some ways we could see a television show as an amplification of that goal and we liked that. But we also were definitely afraid of the drama-filled narratives that studio executives might spin our lives into, so when nothing ever came of it, we didn’t exactly complain.
Lately, however, we’ve been enjoying making YouTube videos for our CSA shareholders as a way to bring the farm to them, and show them how to store, prep, and cook the vegetables we give them. And we thought, “Heck, this is fun—let’s just use this to make the show we wanted to make!”
So I suppose without further ado, that’s exactly what we’re doing. We wanted to formally introduce you to our YouTube Channel! We hope you will subscribe and watch, but just so you know what you’re getting yourselves into, here are the first “shows” we’re doing, each with its own regular episodes:
As Hannah recently shared on the blog, we miss our cabin. Bad. But we thought instead of pining for the old days, we’d start working towards a new one—a new self-sufficient cabin for the new farm. In this series we will take you through the designing and, God willing, construction of a new off-grid cabin. Having lived in one such cabin for four years, we kinda know what we do and do not want, but there are a plethora of new and great ideas out there in terms of self-sufficient design to explore, so that’s what we’re going to do. The goal with this will be to take our time designing everything we want from passive solar to geothermal cooling and beyond. Taking our time with the design is something that our budget and living situation didn’t allow for when building the last cabin . This time, however, with a safe place to live and a productive farm to support us we can do it right. With this show we can take you through the whole process all the way from designing and blueprinting (is that a word?) to moving in. Note that we encourage viewers to chime in and give us their ideas. Please feel free to point us in the direction of any natural building or off-grid concepts of which we may not be aware. If you’re looking to one day build your own, this might just be your show. The first episode will be up soon!
How to Cook Your CSA
What the heck is kohlrabi? How do you store Swiss chard? What can you do with acorn squash? Do tomatoes go in the fridge? These are the kinds of questions we often receive from our CSA customers and these are the very questions we will be fielding in this series. Every week we will be giving advice on how to store, prep, and cook the things that come with your CSA, whether you’re a member of ours or someone else’s. Think of this as a FREE farm-to-table cooking class! With recipes, tips, tricks, and storage advice we hope to provide the viewer with everything he or she needs to conquer a CSA with ease (and with surprisingly little forethought). Jesse has cooked professionally on and off for over 15 years, and he is happy to cover any cooking topic you’d like. He may also provide some wine buying tips and some mead brewing. He will also probably make very stupid jokes. The goal, however, is to offer a guide to cooking through a CSA share that takes what can be an intimidating endeavor—new and different veggies every week—and reimagines it into something that will fit right into anyone’s lifestyle. There are a few videos up already—feel free to check those out and let us know what you think!
Rough Draft Farm Shed
When I started out farming, even after years of cooking and wine-ing, I really didn’t know anything about where food came from, what a tomato plant looked like, that beets grew on the surface of the soil and not underground like potatoes. So in the spirit of that, we will soon be starting an occasional series about where food comes from for people, not unlike myself, who care but might not know where their food comes from and what it takes to produce it. We plan to take you through the entire process of veggie farming—from seeding to harvest—and introduce foodies to the complete and utter magic that is growing food in hopes of giving you more insight into where small scale agriculture and how different crops grow. This series will talk about how we farm (organically) and how different plants grow. It will be intended as a compliment to our How to Cook Your CSA series, giving the viewer a more in depth look into small agriculture, and hopefully inspiring you to grow some of your own ingredients. Again, look for that soon!
So that’s where we’re starting. The goal is simply to provide a—hopefully educational, hopefully inspiring—glimpse into our lives. Almost every video will be less than ten minutes (most less than five) and we hope to make them fun, engaging and educational. It is not a reality show, per se, but it’s the definitely show we wanted… with perhaps slightly more questionable camera work.
Anywho, we will still be blogging, of course, Instagramming, Facebooking and all that good stuff, but we hope this new adventure will help give people a better perspective on what we do, show you how to cook more veggies, and hopefully inspire some more low-impact, self-reliant cabins along the way. So please subscribe to our channel and we will take any and all the feedback we can get!
Thank you for reading, and welcome to Rough Draft T.V.!
– Jesse and Hannah