OFF AGAIN. ON AGAIN.

For those of you who don’t know Hannah and my story, we lived off-grid for many years. But as Hannah pointed out the other day, “off-grid” is a misleading description: we were basically feral.

For several years we hauled all of our drinking water. We didn’t have electricity until the very end, and even then it was only enough to run the Internet for a little while. We did eventually get water to our house , but we had to heat it on the stove or in the greenhouse for bathing. During the summer, we just bathed in the creek. All of our heat came from a wood stove and we grew the vast majority of our own food, cooking almost every meal at home, on a small grill (summer), or the stovetop (winter).

And we loved it.

As hard as it was, honestly none of that was the reason we moved. We loved our neighbors––LOVED our neighbors––loved our market, and loved our lifestyle. But when Further was born, things changed. Specifically, what we loved had to make sense for our child, too. And for us, hard as it was to leave Bugtussle, that meant being closer to family.

So we moved. And it was hard for many reasons – not the least of which was adjusting to having electricity and running water at our fingertips, and the expense that came along with that convenience. I am growing used to it––to not having to charge our phones in the car; to the light switch; to the hot water heater; to refrigeration. They are amazing inventions and I appreciate them with every ounce of my soul. That said, I cannot truly love them until they are something––like the water in our old cabin, like the heat from our wood stove––that we get to control, and that come from renewable resources.

So, to any friends and followers who may have perhaps been bummed to see us depart from that lifestyle, I feel ya. But I also want to say that we are not officially back on-grid as much as we are firmly in-between. Both Hannah and I long to return to wood heat and solar power. It will just take some time (and really, by time, I mean money––we have to put a tin roof over our house before we can even install the stove). So for those of you who watched us and helped us build up that beautiful off-grid cabin, bear with us. The story has changed but the goal of self-sufficiency is as alive as ever.

Only now, we’re going the other way––from on-grid to off––and we hope you will come along with us as work to make it happen. Perhaps it will present a more realistic approach for those who want the lifestyle we had but can’t live in the middle of nowhere where no one cares if you spend a few years without electricity or running water. Either way, you can bet it’s gonna be a journey. As always, thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll enjoy the new story.

-Jesse.

further in the new house.

WENDELL WEDNESDAY!

wendell hand.

You read that right: it is Wendell Wednesday again!

A couple years ago Wendell got sick. His hair began to fall out, he scratched constantly, and no one could tell us what was wrong. We tried everything natural we could think of and yet he continued to suffer. So we took him to vets and tried what they recommended. Some things would help, but eventually the itch always returned. Then after we moved, we got a new vet and he couldn’t figure it out either, though he had an idea. Maybe it was scabies. Apparently, these little jerks can bury themselves deep in the skin so that they are really difficult to detect in skin scrapes (of which we have done several). This diagnosis has not been confirmed, but that is what we’re treating him for and, by golly, Wendell is doing really well and we wanted to share! It has been a hard couple years for our beloved pup, and it just feels really good to have him back. So, Wendell Wednesday, indeed!

-Jesse.

 

wendell jesse love.

A NEW GREENHOUSE.

further hammering.

Today was a ridiculous 70 degree January day, so it was perfect for getting outside and working on our new greenhouse. We are planning on getting a high tunnel through a NRCS grant, but we won’t be able to put it up in time to start our early seeds. This little greenhouse will mostly be a propagation house for all of our soil blocks. We should be getting the plastic on it next week!

The farm may be a muddy mess right now, but we were all happy to be outside getting a little fresh air on our skin. Further was especially happy to get to use a hammer!

– Hannah.

new greenhouse.

jesse and further.

further.

greenhouse frame.

THE 2017 CSA!

image

Beginning sometime in May (once the garden gets going!) we will be offering a 20 week CSA to consumers in the Lawrenceburg and Versailles. Space is limited! We will offer weekly, home or workplace delivery to members in Lawrenceburg and Versailles. Vegetables will include, but hardly be limited to: tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce, kale, broccoli, melons, squash, ginger, spinach, etc., etc., etc… Our growing plan for the season includes 60 different crops!

The price of a single share––great for a single individual or small family––will be $470 (which breaks down to $23.50/wk for veggies).PURCHASE ONLINE HERE

A double share––great for a larger family or vegetarians––will be $865 (double the small share for $43.50/wk for veggies). PURCHASE ONLINE HERE

We always strive to make this a fully engaging and interactive exchange, offering recipes and farm updates with every basket. We know that for many people, a big basket full of vegetables every week is a new and overwhelming concept, and we hope to make it fun and educational and healthy for your family. We are currently in the process of certifying ORGANIC through the USDA, and hope to be officially certified before the season starts. But rest assured, we WILL NEVER and have never used any sort of chemicals or inorganic fertilizers in the garden and you can always ask us about our growing practices––we want you to be confident in where your food is coming from! You can read more about our farm values HERE.

By purchasing a share, you are not only securing the best, most local, freshest vegetables possible, but you are simultaneously supporting a small family, a small business, and a small farm. We are so excited to get this season rolling and hope you are, too! Remember, the amount of shares we can offer is limited so SIGN UP SOON! If you have any questions or confusion, about vegetables or sizes or delivery locations, please contact us as at roughdraftfarmstead@gmail.com or call (502) 598-8228.

We will be around town this week, hanging up flyers and spreading the word. Our goal is to keep it as local as possible, without having to move into the larger market of Lexington. If you have any suggestions for places we should take our flyers, of if you want some business cards and flyers to take to your own office/workplace/church/business, let us know! Help us get the word out and feed as many local folks as possible! Let us be your farmers!

– Hannah, Jesse (and Further).

 

KENTUCKIANS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH.

imageRecently Hannah and I became members of a progressive (and notably nonpartisan) group called Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. And we’re kind of smitten.

This group started in the 1980s after it was discovered coal companies in rural Appalachia were not paying state taxes, thus not contributing to the communities that enriched them. The KFTC fought these companies and helped pass legislation to force absentee owners to pay much needed property taxes, and protect the mineral rights of local land owners.

Though today the KFTC still works to ensure coal companies respect their employees, communities and laws, the group has also expanded its focus to a few other areas. For instance, in a state where the middle income households pay 74 percent higher taxes than what the wealthy pay, fighting economic injustice is a significant focus. Were the wealthy to pay fair taxes, it would help increase funding for lack of education and infrastructure which are sorely need.

The KFTC is also working to encourage cleaner, more sustainable energies while providing responsible economic transition plans for the already struggling coal communities. Many Kentucky counties have been hit hard by a nation turning increasingly towards natural gas and renewable energies (four KY coal counties are among the top ten poorest counties by median household income in the country). The KFTC wants to make sure the families and miners affected are not forgotten.

Add to all that advocacy for voter rights, renters rights and environmental protection, among many other issues, the KFTC remains a vital part of our state, and we are proud to be members.

So please check out their site and consider becoming a member. There are chapters across the state, but you can also donate to them if you believe in any of the above causes, no matter where you live.

Thanks for reading, guys, now back to farming!

– Jesse

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