Friday, September 23, 2011

Endings and Beginnings (what happened to granny miller blog)

Update, November 2012 : The site has been restored at

I received a comment today asking about the new site. It is not complete, but it can be found here After years of blogging, I never wrote about how I make my off-farm living. Inspired by my friend Herrick Kimball's wonderful blog about our agrarian past, I will be looking at the prospects for an agrarian future in the midst of urban America.

I also owe many of the readers of my wife's now defunct website a more complete obituary. Early this year, my wife made the conscious decision to spend a lot less time on the web, and more time living her life. As Granny Miller became more popular, it was taking 3+ hours of each day. She really did want to keep the site and videos up until December, but in the midst of this, we had to care for a very sick family member. With my very time consuming business, our farm, and the need to care for a loved one, the accidental loss of the website seemed of little consequence. Since the You tube videos were only an introduction that linked to necessary and more in depth information on the website, she removed them out of a sense of responsibility that someone not misuse something incomplete.

I know there is strong interest out there for homesteading skills. The best advice I can give someone who wants to learn canning and small farming is to find a real world Granny or Grandpa. They are out there, even in cities. Last year I had a fascinating conservation with an older Bulgarian man about food preservation and scything fodder for livestock. We had this conversation on the stoop of a Manhattan apartment. There are people with skills worth learning wherever you live. Go meet them.

When my wife started Granny Miller, there were not as many homesteading sites on the web. It seems there is a new one every day. As someone who was raised on a farm and has consciously practiced homesteading skills for decades, I am not sure this is completely a good thing. The information I see on the web ranges from worthwhile to dangerously idiotic. Bad canning practices will kill you as quick as tainted industrial food.

If you are interested in seriously building agrarian skills, the best information is still in print media. Countryside and Small Stock and its family of magazines is a treasure of good information. I have copies back to the 70's. A small magazine out of Ohio called Farming is also worth its weight in Gold. One of the lessons I have learned from Media Ecology is that we also retain information better from the printed word than electronic media, so the small cost of these magazines is a great investment for any aspiring agrarian.

I also want to let Granny Miller readers know that she is doing well. She is training a rat terrier puppy, learning to upholster furniture, painting our new chicken coop, and cleaning up the last of this year's garden. She is also stumping locally for Ron Paul. Her Internet use these days is limited to Netflix and following celebrity gossip (we all have our vices!). I would be shocked it she ever returns to blogging.

I will continue to write as time permits as my professional obligations keep me at a computer for several hours each day. If you are interested, I look forward to seeing you over at the the Agrarian Urbanist.


Marinco said...

I like your blog. Thanks for taking the time and effort to post. I just turned to the last page of my 2011 Granny Miller Agrarian Harvest calendar this morning. I was hoping to see one for 2012. I live in the suburbs, work in the city and enjoy the pictures and quotes from the country.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

The Midland Agrarian said...

Granny has pretty well retired from the internet, and I am sad to say there will no be a 2012 calendar.

Anonymous said...

Please tell Granny that she is still greatly missed. I discovered her blog just a few months before it met its untimely demise, and I still check in here from time to time to see if she has had a change in heart. Sure, there are plenty of homesteading blogs, but what made hers so attractive was the combination of practical advice tempered with an artistic spirit, from her appreciation for beauty to her well-crafted photography. She was a role model for me, and I am sure for many other young women who are just getting started with homesteading skills. I hope that she continues to capture her days with the written word and photographs, in some manner, as it would be a shame for that talent to be stuffed into furniture upholstery or muffled with the muffins. I enjoyed your post on Katie Luther up top....Granny is kind of like Katie, but with a voice of her own. Please give her my regards and best wishes.

Mama Bear in Indiana

Amanda ~ A Crafty Fox said...

I know it has been a long time, but I LOVED your wife's recipe for pumpkin butter and apple pie filling. Since her blog has been gone, my cooking has gone downhill. I don't suppose she could be prevailed upon to share it again? My husband would greatly thank you for it!

PS: I am a real person, not a robot. I blog at where I discuss quilting. I am not a great homemaker, but your wife gave me hope that I could improve. I even started gardening! Tell her thanks for that!