Friday, July 30, 2010

I've had it.

Perhaps a terrible way to return to blogging...but I have to sound off.

If you have actually read the URL to this blog, you'll see I am realistic about this life I live. It's always been "harder than it looks". That's the disclaimer to folks who over-romanticize this choice, or stupidly wander into raising animals without doing research or preparation. I have run into enough of them to know they exist and they are dangerous.

They are a danger to themselves, to the poor animals put in their care, and certainly a danger to my position as a small, organic farmer attempting sustainability.

I have perhaps one of the worst offenders living right in my "neighborhood". Since blogging is world-wide, I can certainly consider someone about 30 miles up the road a "neighbor". She has constructed a fantasy world in which she is the undeniable center, and that world is all about promoting her romantic, woman-powered, made-from-scratch lifestyle. She has duped readers, contributors, employers, publishers, and now documentary movie makers into believing she is doing something wonderful.

Along the way she has killed chickens, rabbits, turkeys and who knows what else through her neglect and unrealistic efforts. She has planted a garden, watched it be decimated by critters, and then shrugged it off because she simply needs to drive down the road to the grocery to sustain herself. She farmed out a troublesome goat that she couldn't manage to another family until they had to give it back. She tried to butcher her own meat and almost killed herself because she clearly didn't understand the mechanics of it all and the necessity of sanitation. She dove head-first into a meat operation with animals, breeding, food, cages, etc. until she had to give that up, too....but not before accidentally releasing some of them and then deciding to call them "free-rangers"...She even has the nerve to pump her readers for financial contributions to her various "wonderful" projects...or better yet - buy a farm t-shirt!

Enough already.

Shame on the blog fans (remember - fan is short for "fanatic") for following her blather and commenting like she is re-inventing pioneer womanhood. Shame on the publisher for allowing her to write a book like she has any sort of authority beyond how NOT to do things. Shame on her for even using the word "sustainability" to describe her train-wreck of a life. And now, shame on the documentary film makers for thinking she has any media value beyond humor.

OK, and shame on me for calling the woman out. But really...if you don't tell the emperor that he's naked...well, we all know how that story goes...


Anonymous said...

You go girl!!! Some people have no idea how utterly useless they really are. Unfortunately you will have to wait for reality to bite them, because I firmly believe those who mislead (or downright fabricate) will always have to pay the piper in the end. Hang in there and keep on doing what you are doing as it is making a difference!

Ruth Adam Francisco

Mama Pea said...

Huge blessings upon you, my child! I cannot tell you how it does my heart good to hear someone FINALLY put these facts out in the open.

There are so many, truly hard-working people trying with every fiber they have using their own blood, sweat and tears, to make it on their small homesteads while working SEVERAL jobs OFF the homestead to be able to hang on to their dream. Are they asking their faithful readers continually for monetary contributions? Do they offer items for sale (some of which have not yet been produced), collect the money and then not seem to be one bit concerned about delivering same items while spending an inordinate amount of time sitting on their porch strumming their guitar while waxing rhapsodic about the simple joys of living on your own piece of land?

Do other people offer "workshops" to hopeful back-to-the-landers (for a fee, of course) and then treat them in an out-and-out unfriendly manner giving them the impression that it is only the money she's interested in, now please be on your way?

What about being evicted from her last homestead because of the filthy conditions she chose to keep her animals in?

Did anyone else notice she started taking horseback riding lessons (usually not an inexpensive proposition) right after AGAIN asking her readers for monetary donations to build her a barn?

Are her readers so blind that they cannot put the pieces together and see what is the truth? I have been mystified.

It so upsets me to see her totally pulling the wool over so many people's eyes. It's detrimental. I could go on with more but I can feel my blood pressure rising.

Again, my thanks to you for speaking out. Hmmm, perhaps we should set up a blog or forum to see if there are other people out there who have been biting their tongue for far too long. ;o)

Christy said...

Ruth, I sure hope these people have to pay the piper in the end! I deal with stuff like this all the time. Those who promote themselves the most, deserve it the least. I've been working all week helping build my son's new martial arts school. I've done 80% of the work and gotten 20% of the credit because I'm too busy actually working to go around telling everyone how much I've done. It frustrates me and makes me feel like a patsy. So, I really hope these people get theirs in the end!

Mama Pea said...

Well, I guess I just got too carried away. I typed a comment but it was rejected because it was "too large to process."

I listed all the things I know she's been doing that I consider unethical, so perhaps it's just as well they weren't published.

Great blessings upon you for FINALLY bringing this situation out into the open.

She and her behavior gall me to no end. Thanks again for speaking out.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, I'm glad you haven't seen all the things I've bungled up. You'd probably think I was sent here to destroy homesteading and sustainability from the inside! k

Susan said...

I agree that these 'pretenders' do more harm than good. There are a lot of people who would love to simplify their lives (although, that's an oxymoron when it comes to a more sustainable life) and this type of hokum gives them a false view of what it really takes. Feel better now? I would think, however, that, while words can be twisted every which-way, pictures tell the truth.

Jordan said...

I got caught up in one of her appeals for money just after I came to town almost 2 years ago. I hired her to do some design work for me and was disappointed when she failed to deliver on her agreements. That's money lost for me. I'm wiser now, and wouldn't count on her for anything. Too bad her animals can't make the same choice.

clink said...

Wow .... maybe selling t-shirts from the farm would help me pay for the propane this winter????

If she was on a city corner ... they would call it panhandling.

Sustainability is being self-sufficient. Collecting donations sure doesn't seem like that to me!

Michelle said...

Well, seeing as you didn't link to her blog or name her, you really didn't call her out. :-) Don't let the turkeys get you down, Sis!

Lisa said...

Thank you. I read that blog too, and it's amazing how many people think everything she does is absolutely wonderful. I was one of those people until it just got to be too much. First is was a house everyone contributed to, now it's a barn. It can hardly be called self-sustaining if one needs contributions in order to self sustain. Unfortunately, now a poor kitten is experiencing her ignorance. Great post.

melanie said...

Well...didn't know how many folks were listening...but I certainly raised some dust!

Although I am describing a certain woman who tweaked my strings, there is nothing singular about these experiences as I have encountered variations of them in MANY ways.

While many of you have agreed with much of my frustration, I have also heard from someone who defended the person in question. Unfortunately, they began by identifying her by name. I chose not to publish that response here, but will address that tomorrow.

Christy - I follow you both in "blogger-land" and on FB, and I admire how much you do both with and for your son. You are NOT a patsy.

Anonymous K - We all bungle things, and that is part of the pleasure of blogging because we can "talk" to each other, ask questions, learn, share, and work toward common goals. But this person has made a living (literally) of bungling this lifestyle we all cherish AND misleading dozens who read her and believe she is getting it right!

clink said...

Wait ... I didn't know you were on FB? How did I miss that???

Sue said...

What a great post-I most heartily agree!
I've run across these blogs at times and find myself thinking the same thing. It's one thing to use one's blog as a journal or record of one's life, but to use it to advance oneself, when one is clearly NOT an authority is just WRONG.
I remember reading one persons blog, and all the horrible antics involving chickens (and their eventual demise due to lack of knowledge on proper care) and then being horrified to find him writing for A MAGAZINE on how to care for chickens/gardens/etc. Boggles the mind how full of themselves they are.
SO, thank YOU for saying what many of us are thinking!!

Barb said...

Oh! My! I have felt this way for so long about this particular blogger. I "loved" it when she said' Let's (snort...let's) have a barn raising". LET'S!!!???!!! At whose expense. I would love a barn and a border collie and a goat and more fencing and, and but I am not about to ask anyone to fund my dreams. I am so shocked that people freely give to her. I did buy her book and couldn't finish it. Why anyone would publish a book about someone who truly doesn't know what she is doing is beyond me. Thanks for speaking out and expressing what many of us have felt for some time.

Chicken Mama said...

Yayyy! Fantastic post! My mom forwarded me to your blog after reading this particular post.

That blogger has provided quite a bit of fodder for Mom & me to cringe or laugh hysterically about, pick your day. Our conversations start like this, "Did you SEE what she wrote this morning?!" Really, it's incredible. As in, not credible.

I know the only reason we both keep her on our blog rolls is based in that whole theory of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". I mean, she is, at best, completely misguided and misdirected, and, at worst, a scam artist.

Here in the comments, Susan writes, "I would think, however, that, while words can be twisted every which-way, pictures tell the truth." Has anyone else noticed the KINDS of pictures she posts??

She never posts any picture that is anything but idyllic. No picture of the sheep "pasture" from her last "farm" (cabin surrounded by neighbors so close you could read the license plates on their vehicles). From what I heard, that "pasture" was a small, enclosed area of her FRONT YARD! The word 'pasture' elicits images of acres and acres of rolling hills . . . not a muddy 30' x 30' fenced in area. Hence no wide-angle pictures of it (or ANYTHING else!)!!

And, don't get me started on the money issue! Clink hit the nail on the head with "if she was on a city corner ... they would call it panhandling." EXACTLY! How DOES she get away with it?! Based on her success with garnering financial support from her fanatics (I mean, fans), I guess *I* should slap a little PayPal link on MY blog so that I can get some help paying my bills!

A wise woman once told me (okay, so it was my mother), when I asked HOW this particular blogger convinced all these smart, penny-poor fellow farmers / homesteaders to send her their own hard-earned money, "Honey!!! The people sending her money are NOT farmers / homesteaders! You think anyone who "knows" can't see right between the lines of her enchanting writing to what must be the REALITY there???"

So, I guess she is being sustained & supported by 'Wanna Be's. Where's the honor in that? Maybe we should start referring to her money-paying followers as lemmings, huh? ;)

Karin said...

Yikes. I am so glad you wrote that. I think I know the family that housed that goat for a while....

Now I am dying to know who that person is so I can find out what you are talking about.

melanie said...

Karin -
You do know the unfortunate foster parents of that goat...