Anyone who enjoys reading this blog might want to check out awaytogarden.com. Margaret Roach, who like me walked away from a career in journalism, has written this blog since 2008 from her 2.3-acre home in Copake Falls, N.Y., near the Massachusetts border. I first encountered Margaret by reading her book, “And I Shall Find Some Peace There,” in which she describes her metamorphosis from an executive in the Martha Stewart empire to a garden blogger. She regards gardening as a spiritual practice, and her blog contains lots of how-to advice for growing and preserving vegetables.
Also worth checking out is thriftygoodlife.com, a blog that Sarah Sailer writes from Loveland, Colo. Sarah, her husband and four home-schooled daughters live in a 1,000-square-foot house on a fifth of an acre, yet grow half of their own food. Their garden is twice the square footage of their house. I encountered Sarah through an article in the current issue of Mother Earth News.
I also want to put in a plug for wellfleettoday.com, the blog run by my sister, Alexandra Grabbe. She is an innkeeper on Cape Cod, a blogger and a campaigner against toxins in the environment and nuclear power, and a grandmother. Her blog manages to unite all of her diverse interests. If you vacationed on Cape Cod this summer, checking out her photos is a great way to relive the experience.
I’m recommending these three as part of a “blog tree” suggested to me by former Amherst area resident Polly Ingraham, who writes pastorswifeblog.com. The hope is that Margaret, Sarah and Sandy will in turn write posts in which they recommend three blogs that they like and answer five questions about blogging. Here are my answers to those questions.
What am I writing/working on? I’ve been writing posts every other day, since May, about gardening and simple living with my spouse, Betsy Krogh. After about 65 posts, and with gardening season almost over, we’re decreasing our frequency to about every third day. I am not working on any other writing project.
How does my work differ from others of its genre? I try to make my posts entertaining and try to emphasize that the simple lifestyle we lead is fun! I try to keep the posts under 500 words.
Why do I write what I write? I want more people to be aware that it’s possible to live a happy, fulfilling life without a lot of consumer products. And I think that if we want to preserve the abundant planet we depend on, all of us in the developed countries have to make lifestyle adjustments so that we use less energy. My Californian nephew and niece, Paul Boutin and Liz Sandiford, encouraged me to write this blog.
How does my writing process work? Betsy and I brainstorm topics for future blogs, and I think about and research them before sitting down to write. Since I wrote daily stories for a newspaper, I don’t have writer’s block and write my posts fairly quickly. Betsy is an excellent editor and often suggests changes.
My future blog plans? I plan to write posts about the writers whose book titles were combined to form the name of this blog: Ray Stannard Baker and Scott and Helen Nearing. I want to write about our five most and least successful crops this year. Betsy and I plan to write about the climate march we’re going to in New York on Sept. 21. Other future topics: keeping expense records, washing and drying plastic bags, heating with wood, using what’s at hand, and loosening up our radical frugality.