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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

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Comment Wall

Comment by Jenni on January 22, 2012 at 3:48pm
I finally read the book, and found it incredibely inspiring. I hate my 40-60 hour work week and feel exhausted when I get home. I often wish I had the guts to quit my job. However, my husband is type-1 diabetic and we rely on my health insurance. We simply could not go without it, since he needs insulin to live. I eagerly read the section in RH about health insurance, but it didn't address chronic illness. How can one eschew the current health insurance system when their lives depend upon it? If I can just find the answer to that, I'd feel a lot more confident finally following a different path.
Comment by Shannon Hayes on January 23, 2012 at 5:26am

Hi Jenni;


Shannon Hayes, here (author of RH).  My husband is also a type 1 diabetic.  Here are some of the things we've learned:


1. Contrary to what conventional diabetes counselors tell type 1's, it is possible to eat in such a way as to minimize insulin requirements.  We eat very simply - a lot of greens and bone broth make up the center of our diet (but there are a number of fun things).  Because we got on this eating path early in the type 1 disease cycle, we've managed to prolong his pancreatic function, and a typical one month supply of insulin lasts us 4-6 months.  However, even for long term type-Is, careful eating can stabilize the sugar levels.  We got a lot of helpful information from Dr. Bernstein's book, Diabetes Solution, and combined it with Paleo Diet concepts.  Bernstein's regime can seem too strict, but by meshing it with the Paleo Diet, we find Bob can have a pretty terrific food life.

2.  Drug companies do have special programs for income qualifying diabetics where they can purchase insulin and other diabetes supplies for discount prices, and the income guidelines are not that low - I don't know what it is currently, but you might want to investigate.

3.  Many states require insurance companies to pay for diabetes drugs and supplies, regardless of whether or not you have prescription drug coverage.  Now that Bob and I are "advancing in age," we do carry health insurance; but we are able to buy an inexpensive non-prescription drug policy because we know that they are legally required to pay for insulin and supplies, regardless.  If you have a high deductible you will only be required to pay for the insulin you use that year until the deductible is used up.

4.  In order to afford our health insurance, I hired Bob as my employee (I'm self employed as a writer/farmer).  As part of his benefit package, I pay all his medical expenses for him and his dependents.  I'm his dependent.  Because he earns a low salary and I am now a "small employer," I am able to take advantage of NY State's subsidized low-cost insurance coverage.  The advantage of this is that I can write off ALL our medical expenses as business expenses, and we are able to buy affordable coverage.  A high deductible non-prescription plan is less than $400/month for 2 of us; a $0 deductible plan is $550/month.  The kids qualify for the special state program for insuring kids.  That ranges, depending on my yearly income (it's sliding scale) from $0/month to $36/month per kid (last time I checked).

5.  I noticed that the pharmacy in our regional grocery store chain is now giving away diabetes medications and supplies for free.  I suspect this has something to do with the state subsidizing it (one good thing about type 2 diabetes becoming epidemic is that type 1 families get to benefit!); and because it becomes a draw to get diabetics into the store - b/c then, of course, they market all the "diabetes friendly" foods.  You do have to accept a generic brand, but it might be worth looking into.


Either way, don't lose heart.  I have learned from experience that where there is a will, there is a way.  And where there is not will, there is an excuse.  If you want to walk this path, I know you'll be able to do it.  Type I diabetes is manageable without conventional employment.

Comment by Jenni on January 23, 2012 at 10:52am


Thank you so much for your thoughtful and incredibly helpful answer. My husband is vegan, so bone broth is not an option ;), but it's so good to hear that diet could potentially help him control insulin intake. I will be borrowing Dr. Bernstein's book from the library asap.  I'm sharing your answer with my husband in hopes that we can make plans for a future free of chronic work stress.


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