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Radical Homemakers


Radical Homemakers

A discussion group and gathering area for those wishing to discuss the book, Radical Homemakers, and the topics that it covers.

Website: http://www.RadicalHomemakers.com
Members: 99
Latest Activity: Jul 6, 2014

Radical Homemakers - Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes

Join us! We have invited Shannon to participate in an ongoing book discussion here and she is encouraging Radical Homemakers who come to her looking for dialogue, community and some fun to participate as well. We look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts!

Purchase directly from the author here

Shannon Hayes’ book reinforces so many of the reasons that HOMEGROWN.org was created and has received such a positive response. Shannon's masterfully-crafted language solidifies the sentiments that drive us. Put to words the feelings that we who are passionate about living closer to the earth feel: We reject the consumerist-driven waste of energy and squandered creativity that we see every day. We are joyful for our involvement in activities that bring us closer to the soil, to our food, and to the “culture” in agriculture. In her introduction of the book she writes:
As I looked more closely at the role homemaking could play in revitalizing our local food system, I saw that the position was a linchpin for more than just making use of garden produce and chicken carcasses. Individuals who had taken this path in life were building a great bridge from our existing extractive economy – where corporate wealth was regarded as the foundation of economic health, where mining our earth’s resources and exploiting our international neighbors was accepted as simply the cost of doing business – to a life-serving economy, where the goal is, in the words of David Korten, to generate a living for all, rather that a killing for a few, where our resources are sustained, our waters are kept clean, our air pure, and families can lead meaningful and joyful lives.
Shannon continues by pointing to the industrial revolution as a catalyst for the elimination of a “producer culture”, the demotion of the farmer from skilled citizen to industrial worker, and the deprecation of the “homemaker” to a position of servant. The second half of the book is the most inspiring and instructional. In it she provides insightful and impassioned stories from true life, modern day Radical Homemakers like Carrie and Chad Lockwell who live frugally and joyously in the rural Northeast; like Amanda Shaw and Carol Rydell who grow food and community together in their Chicago suburb, and like our friends Kelly Coyne and Erik Knudsen of HomegrownEvolution, who introduced us to Shannon in the first place (thanks guys, we’re forever grateful).

If you have an interest in delving deeper into the motivations for Radical Homemaking, and are also looking for practical tips for installing some of these philosophies into daily practice, invest in this book. A synopsis of the book – originally published at Yes! Magazine – can be found here.

HOMEGROWN Discussions

Meet the Radical Homemakers 2 Replies

Chime in with your questions and comments here!Continue

Tags: Modern, Homestead, Books, Hayes, Homemakers

Started by Cornelia. Last reply by Andrew Odom Nov 23, 2010.

Do you have a community story for us?

Hi all, I am new to the group. Exciting! I am an aspiring radical homemaker surrounded by lots of other city aspirants. My friend and colleague Spiri Tsintziras and I are writing a book called The…Continue

Started by Myfanwy Jones Aug 26, 2010.

Life in Transition 4 Replies

My husband and I have lived in Albany, NY for about 7 years now.  We've become immersed in our locavore movement, inspired by working at the Honest Weight Co-op and making friends who are wonderful…Continue

Tags: rebuilding, to, bakery, supported, blues

Started by Britin Foster, All Good Bakers. Last reply by Britin Foster, All Good Bakers Aug 17, 2010.

Even Better Homes and Gardens (Blogs by and for) 4 Replies

Hey there fellow RHs,When I got married, my MIL bought me a lifetime subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. For anyone who knows me, this sounds preposterous. I am not a consumer culture kind of…Continue

Tags: homemaking, housewifery, community, blogs

Started by Calamity Jane. Last reply by Rachel Hoff Mar 17, 2010.

Shannon Hayes blog on Yes! Magazine

Comment Wall

Comment by Lizz on March 16, 2010 at 7:23am
Shannon, that story makes me think of this book I just read, Blue Bird. Is written by one of my favorite authors Ariel Gore. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Bluebird/Ariel-Gore/e/978037411489...
People have more control over their happiness than money does :) it's just convincing them of that lol
Comment by Rachel Hoff on March 16, 2010 at 9:59am
Shannon, thanks for sharing that article. It is true about money and ethics.
Comment by Chris on March 17, 2010 at 1:38pm
I recently stumbled upon some videos (actually, they must've been films) of Dolly Freed, made just after she wrote Possum Living (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvn79E40VSc). I have to say, as inspired as I was by her book when I read it a decade or so ago, back then, I imagined her and her dad living in relative squalor. Seeing the her home and the small snippets of her life, listening to her so thoughtfully articulate why she chose to live as she did, just blew me away as what I saw completely undermined those old assumptions. I imagine that for those who first hearing about people leaving behind regular paychecks, new everything, health insurance, and 401ks, could have a similar initial impression--that such a life would be onerous, dirty, and empty of joy. From my own experience, transitioning to this life, I know that I had NO idea what liberation felt like until I began living my homemaking life. The thought of going back to that old life--even if it meant more money, stuff, and "security"--seems more like a prison sentence.

As for the article. Congrats on the coverage, Shannon--even if the writer "didn't get it." I was surprised, as Sharon Astyk noted in her commentary, that an editor let the coinage of the nonsensical "femivore" appear in the story. I wish the story had been more about radical homemakers instead of about Orenstein's reaction and her friends (who really didn't get more than a mention, anyway). Let's keep our fingers crossed for some more depth to future coverage.

My friend Sarah wrote that story for Daily Finance! I'm sure she'll be pleased to know you've read it. We've started a discussion group here in Portland--lots of us living or aspiring to live the radical homemaking life here.
Comment by Tory on March 24, 2010 at 11:08am
Shannon! The book arrived and I am devouring it(between baking bread, changing diapers, and prepping the garden). Thank you so much for sharing with me.
Comment by Shannon Hayes on March 25, 2010 at 9:41am
Comment by Lizz on April 1, 2010 at 4:09pm
Just ordered this book today!!
Comment by Shannon Hayes on April 1, 2010 at 5:35pm
Oh, Goody....cuz Bob and I had both had to get new eye glasses! ;-)
Comment by Calamity Jane on April 1, 2010 at 8:58pm
I am 3/4 through now, and I have sooooo much swimming around in my brain! But not much time to think it though, let alone write it out. I'm lucky to have gotten enough time to read 3/4 of a book!
I would be a little surprised if looking back from the future, this book isn't considered influential, if not a kind of turning point. And I do NOT say something like that lightly! So many books just reiterate all the same stuff. There is so much in here that needed to be said, but I haven't heard any other peeps about.
Hopefully I'll have time for more actual discussion later, but let me just say, this book is really fantastic. I love a great book more than almost anything.
Comment by Shannon Hayes on April 5, 2010 at 6:49am
Interesting you should reflect on the turning point possibility. I have often felt that we are at a turning, but I can never be quite sure, since I am living a life where all I see are the people who ARE turning (I write books like this, go to conferences with people sharing these intentions, sell grassfed meat directly to local folks who care about the same issues... It's a pretty up-beat way to live!)
But number of folks participating in these events seems to be growing all the time. When I first started writing, I think a lot more people thought I'd gone a little batty...but now RH is out, there seems to be a lot more receptivity to the idea.
Comment by Amber Westfall on April 11, 2010 at 10:29am
I finally got my copy yesterday! Now I'm on the couch with a cup of fair trade, locally roasted, hand ground coffee in my hand, inhaling the words like oxygen and my heart is singing, yes! yes! yes!

"Radical Homemakers draw on historical traditions to craft a more ecologically viable existence, but their life's work is to create a new, pleasurable, sustainable and socially just society, different than any we have known in the last 5,000 years. While they learn from history, they do not seek to recreate it in all forms."

So often I get blowback from people, especially the 'technotopiaists,' that simple living/homesteading/homemaking is a deeply undesirable response to climate change, peak oil and economic instability because it's regressive and atavistic and somehow has to mean that we will all be srabbling in the dirt for potatoes and freezing in the dark. My frustration with this narrow vision gets in the way of my being able to articulate why that is so not the case.

Looking forward to reading and learning more so the next time this comes up in conversation I'll be ready with a coherent and well thought out response!

It's going to be very hard to tear myself away today to hang my laundry on the line, start some flats of seeds and harvest the nettles, dandelion and garlic mustard that's up!


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