I recently wrote a piece for To Market magazine about seaweed farming in New England. It was a real pleasure to research and write this feature—even though it did involve going out on the water off the coast of midcoast Maine in the middle of December on a day so cold that my phone turned itself off and my hands stopped working—mainly because it focused on a topic I think it incredibly important: food sustainability.
I’m reading a book right now called Radical Homemakers and I can’t stop thinking about it. The author, a PhD who lives on a farm in rural New York, makes the argument that the best way we can save our planet is through turning our households from consumer spaces to production spaces. When we grow our own food, mend our own clothes, build our own barns, we free ourselves from needing as much money (and from buying as much junk that’s designed to fail). It’s an obvious argument, yet I am still so caught up in the make-money-buy-things cycle that I occasionally feel defensive when I’m reading it. Which is probably a good thing—it’s shaking me up. That’s good.
Anyway, this does relate to seaweed, and to my book, Handcrafted Maine (due out this summer!) because these are all ways of approaching sustainability through creative means. Homemaking is a creative act. Seaweed farming is creative, innovative, and totally fascinating. And every person profiled in Handcrafted Maine is contributing to our state economy in intentional, beautiful, small-scale ways.
I really believe that intentional, small living is the way forward for our planet. I believe small farms are the future, homemakers are onto something, and the things we do with our hands are just as important as the things we do with our heads.
Pre-order Handcrafted Maine here.
See more images by photographer Greta Rybus (who shot both the book and the To Market seaweed feature) here.
3 thoughts on “Seaweed farming, radical homemaking, and about that book I wrote…”
Excellent! Right there with you! We have been practicing sustainability and growing our own food for over 30 years. When we talk about changing the world or stopping some of the outlandish things that are disrupting the planet and when we want to participate in something that doesn’t contribute to these things, we really should consider the choices we make in our own lives. Yes, grow food ( even if it’s just a percentage of your needs), make things, learn how to sew and knit and felt, learn how to fix things, turn one thing into something else, improvise and use those great noggins sitting on our shoulders to turn an old useful thing into a new useful thing! We look forward to your book…hope it will fall into the hands of many! best of luck, Denise at Fernwood Nursery
I’m still learning these skills, too. I’m trying to pick up new skills all the time—even small, stupid things, like how to take better care of my clothes so they last longer. I’ve also been outside, digging up the yard, planting things and getting the land ready for summer. It feels like such a good use of labor right now, to tend to things. Thanks for reading and I hope to swing by your nursery sometime when I’m in the area!
Hi Katy, Please do stop by when traveling this way….give a shout when you do, I think last time I missed your visit and only Rick was here. it will be great to chat with you about tending, mending, and the magic of the North.
Best to you, Denise