I love blogs. Unlike Facebook, twitter and the like blogs give you a chance to learn something. It offers up a chance to see into the world of others and learn something new. I am picky about the blogs I read, but when I come across a good one I'm a pretty loyal reader. Heidi Swanson's (author of Super Natual Cooking) was the first blog I read, and I had no idea it was a blog (or what a blog was)...it was just a good website with great recipes updated all the time. She had a view of food that really spoke to me. Next came Amanda Blake Soule (of Soule Mama), when I happened upon her site she was writing about a birthday for her youngest in which all the other children were making the presents. The presents included wood crafts, sewing, painting and baking. The next post was about milking their own (borrowed) cow and making cream and yogurt and butter and cheese...I was hooked.
But, I'd never found a male-authored blog that I enjoyed. It makes sense, they're usually about cars or sports, which honestly don't interest me. But lately I've been researching homemade soda, disappointed to find that most people who make homemade soda use club soda and soda extracts. (Hardly homemade) So I searched "homemade rootbeer and sassafras and yeast" and up pops Hunter Angler Gardener with a full explanation of making a simple syrup directly from the root of the Sassafras. As a child I used to comb the woods and pull up Sassafras roots (one of the VERY few interesting things I learned in Girl Scouts...and honestly I think I learned it from my dad at a Girl Scout camp...so the credit is due him, not them...I'll skip that soap box for another time and just say that Girl Scouts could be so cool if they didn't limit it to making Coca Cola cake and selling cookies). We would bring back the Sassafras root and make tea. Root Beer isn't the root alone, which is what makes Root Beer so complex, I've seen recipes that include Wintergreen, clove, vanilla, etc. Strangely this guy didn't use the traditional method of making soda with yeast, which is what I'm anxious to try. But I give him mad props for foraging and making the syrup from scratch. You can tell by the title that the entire blog is about hunting and gathering. I'm less inclined to hunt myself, but the process of becoming so closely linked to the land interests Jon and I to no end. The more we read and learn, the more we want to read and learn. And I can honestly say that not a week goes by without mentioning the idea of moving west to buy a large farm, or even potentially as far as Belize. So a blog like this with like-minded people I find incredibly interesting.
I also found Urban Homestead about gardening sustainably on 1/5th of an acre. We have 2.5 acres at the new place, and will likely have a 1/4 acre garden...imagine the possibilities.
I love that there are amazing people out there doing amazing things that wouldn't think we're crazy for wanting to live the way that we want. The kind of people who would try and grow and preserve nearly all of their produce, raise animals for food and wool, who can and do make their own bread, cheese and clothes. This is the life we greatly want, and I love that there are others we can follow to learn and commiserate. So if any of these things interest you (and I realize they are not of the norm) I keep my blog-roll on the right side. At first glance they may seem unrelated, but to me they aren't. We desire to be as self sufficient as we can be...so the blogs range from crafting to gardening to cooking to building...all skills that get us closer to that goal. Take a look if you dare...it's addictive...and soon you'll want to throw caution to wind and buy a 400 acre farm in Missouri, make your own soda and spin your own wool.
Becoming Maggie Blue is the journey to becoming the person I want to be. After many years of living a conventional life, we decided to move to Alaska and live on a boat. Currently we're traveling full time in a camper with our two kids, exploring North America. We have no plan beyond going slowly and seeing all there is to see, and taking the time to connect and be together as much as possible in these special years.