Originally published at Growstuff Blog. You can comment here or there.
Meet Andrea, the Goat Lady
Andrea, who goes by GoatLady on Growstuff, took some time out to talk to us about farming, the politics of growing your own food, and some advice for newer growers:
Growing your own food should be joyful. If all you ever want to do is grow some basil in a pot on the window sill, or a boxed mushroom kit in your closet, that’s ok. The important thing is that growing food shouldn’t make you feel anxious, overwhelmed, or inadequate. If it does, then let yourself back off, reassess, and find your joy.
Goats chowing down on a young spaghetti squash. (c) Andrea Chandler
We also talked about the politics of “homesteading” and of growing your own food:
To take control of your own food to the extent you can is an act of taking back power. To then freely share your surplus is another radical act in a capitalist system. It’s also a profound act of caring for another person; sharing food is one of the oldest, most fundamental ways we have of sharing good will.
Read more (and see more pics of Andrea’s adorable goats) on the Growstuff blog.
Support Growstuff for just $10
Growstuff runs on membership subscriptions. This month, we’ve dropped the price of an annual membership to just $10 — and that’s Australian dollars, so we’re talking about $9 US, 7 EUR, less than 6 GBP, or, well, see for yourself. Peanuts!
We’re working on exclusive features for our paid members, which we’ll be rolling out soon. (The first will be the ability to “share a garden” with co-gardeners, such as your family or the other members of a community garden, giving them access to edit and plant things in the garden you share.) If you want to support this, and all the other work Growstuff does, buy a paid account now.
More crops for our crops database
We’ve added a bunch of new crops, including nectarines; the fragrant perilla aka shiso; Australian native midgen berry; red and white currants; perennial, bi-colored Okinawan spinach; and scallions, including the Welsh onion variety that’s most often found in Western markets.
If you’re growing any of these, tell us about it, or list your seeds to share.
These new crops bring our crop database to 292 distinct varieties of edible crop. Got any we’re missing? Request new crops in our support forum.
What else is new?
We’re always improving Growstuff and adding new features. Some of our recent changes include:
- Our new places page shows where all our members are. It’s a simple use of our location data, but now we’ve got the infrastructure in place, we’ll be able to do other maps showing things like where a crop is grown, what’s growing near you, and more.
- We’ve also improved our location-based member search, see eg. members near Roanoke, Virginia. We’ve added a map, and you’ll now see which members are closest to this location in order of distance.
- The geodata used for our places pages has also been added to our API; see the docs for information on what you can access programmatically.
- We’ve added “bulb” as a propagation method for new plantings.
- We added a crop hierarchy page, mostly of use to crop wranglers but potentially of interest to our members at large. We will be adding more varieties of crops in the coming weeks.
- We’ve added helpful text in various spots around the site, including on the new planting page.
- You can now sign up for this newsletter when you sign up for Growstuff, or via your member settings page.
You can see what we’re working on now at tracker.growstuff.org, and if you’d like to get involved, join our discussion mailing list.