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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 Lizz on July 27, 2010 at 4:54pm
Cornelia, clearly those folks did not read Shannons book. To bad for them:(
Comment by Shannon Hayes on July 29, 2010 at 10:18am
I often wonder if the vitriol comes to me b/c I wrote the book...or if other folks are now hearing it as well.
On another note, I wanted to point out this new story:http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/shannon-hayes/leaving-it-up-to-the...
-- Since I'm on the young end of the RH spectrum (my kids are still (supposedly) under my control)...I'm curious to hear stories from folks w/older kids. How do you keep them on the wide and diverse, rather than the straight and narrow?
Comment by Cornelia on August 16, 2010 at 3:01pm
Curtis Valentine: "The Economic Crisis: Is There A Silver Lining?"

"The Great Recession of the 20th century may very well have a silver lining. Once upon a time the notion of troubling a neighbor for a cup of sugar or flour was an everyday occurrence in America. During and after the only other economic crisis to be given the designation of "Great", Americans utilized the informal system of bartering to supplement sparse foodstuffs they couldn't afford themselves. The idea of borrowing and sharing created a communal system that fostered trust and reinforced interdependence amongst groups from similar socio-economic backgrounds. Over the past twenty-five years, the exorbitant increase in the American standard of living has had an inverse affect on our tendencies to borrow and share. With millions of Americans enjoying a flourishing economy, the idea of Keeping up with the Jones' was given new meaning and the term community development was reserved for poor neighborhoods filled with America's underprivileged.

For all the Americans migrating to major cities and the immigrants arriving on our shores over the past century, this sense of community was the expectation not the exception. The recent age of overconsumption has caused the middle class to become less dependent on one another creating a level of independence that altered the traditional idea of community as we all envisioned it."
Continued here.
Comment by Cornelia on August 20, 2010 at 5:02pm
Yet another example of re-examined priorities and the tough decisions that come from it. From "Living A Simple Life" blog: "I Just Quit A Dream Job".
Comment by Cornelia on December 20, 2010 at 11:47am

Shannon's latest post at Yes! is called: How To Transform Your Household and begins: "OK, not everyone is in a position to quit their job to spend more time at home. And not everyone wants to. That doesn’t mean that the household can’t shift toward increasing production and decreasing consumption. The transition can start with simple things, like hanging out the laundry or planting a garden. For those people who need or want to push further into the realm of living on a single income or less, here are a few secrets for survival we’ve learned on the family farm:"


Comment by Amber Westfall on December 20, 2010 at 12:00pm

I absolutely loved this article Shannon recently wrote.  It distills the RH idea into a very elegant and beautifully written piece.  So great!

Comment by Cornelia on January 3, 2011 at 3:20pm
The funny, inspiring and exciting story of Shannon's journey from PhD to family farming. From The Story radio show
Comment by Shannon Hayes on January 4, 2011 at 7:11am
Alas, Cornelia -- How do you manage to be every place at once??? I'm beginning to think you are omniscient. sh
Comment by Calamity Jane on January 5, 2011 at 10:43pm
Hey all,
I don't have enough time to keep up on all the incredibly fascinating threads the book and this discussion board have brought up. I only check in here once in awhile. I'm so excited to see several new articles by Shannon (I thought I had subscribed to that darned Yes thingy).
Re: the vitriol. I mostly like to keep my head in the sand (or laundry as it were), so I miss out on even the enthusiasm of my sisters, let alone the wrath of the anyone else. I do remember when I read the book thinking, "wow, she's sure spending a lot of time defending this as a reasonable choice. She must really feel under attack." and it sparked a big think for me about how much authors must come under the knife, and how very brave they must be, how very solid in themselves, to lay it on the line like that.
Anyway, I just wanted to say a truly heartfelt thanks to you, Shannon, and all the others who stand up publicly to speak for the rest of us, and take the heat for it.
Comment by Shannon Hayes on January 6, 2011 at 6:52am
Thanks.  I'm not sure if the vitriol has settled, or if I'm just not hearing it anymore....I know the second part is true.  There was nothing i could do about people's personal frustrations with the book, so I might as well get back to my own laundry...Most of it, I think, stems from people feeling the need to defend their own life choices. 


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