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Journalists meet the alligator swamp

Driving the camera crew into our farmA film and radio crew came by the farm Wednesday to interview us for the local radio station.  They were doing a piece on how the internet brings opportunity to an economically depressed area, and our Avian Aqua Miser business fit the bill.  Hopefully the segment will air and I'll be able to point you to the station's website to listen and/or watch, but for now I thought you might enjoy reading some highlights of our interview.

We try not to make guests walk through the floodplain (aka the alligator swamp) unless they really want to, so Mark drove the golf cart to pick up the crew.  Four people, a big camera, and an even bigger microphone crammed onto the cart --- I'm glad Mark added on the truckbed in the back since it seated two.  "Hold on tight!" Mark warned, and they were off.  And then, with a bump, one was quite literally off --- the camera woman lost her hold and ended up in the mud.  Luckily, the camera came through fine.

Back at our homesite, we showed off our chickens (though the journalists seemed even more struck by Mark's deer deterrent.)  Then we headed inside our frantically-cleaned-up-this-morning trailer, which is still barely presentable.  Good thing Huckleberry was on hand to take their attention away from the cobwebs --- he seemed bound and determined to answer their questions, and kept meowing as we talked.  (Strider doesn't take well to unusual events like cleaning so he was absent.)

Thanks for coming by Rich, Mimi, and Sylvia!  I hope the dunking in the mud doesn't scare you off for good.



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Anna,

You can get back to me by email if you want (when are we going to learn to allow people to subscribe to comments so they know when one has been replied to? Guilty myself...) or just post here:

What do you think about a non-profit group that teaches people in SWVA, southern WV, eastern KY, western NC... awww heck: Appalachia - to use the internet to make a decent living. You have non-profit experience yourself don't you? Grant writing? Donation getting? And you certainly have the microbusiness concept down pat. I really do think high speed internet is what can turn these mountain economies around. For far too long the jobs here have relied on extractive industries that put local lives in danger, destroy the environment, send most of the money to the cities - or overseas - and then leave towns decimated and jobless when the non-renewable resource runs out.

Hopefully the corporatist communications companies and corporate-serving judges and politicians of our land won't get away with killing net neutrality - in which case all of us are going to be S.O.L.

Comment by Everett Thu Apr 8 16:02:26 2010

Mark and I have actually discussed this concept multiple times over dinner. I agree that this really could be the answer to Appalachia's economic depression, and the solution to relying on extractive industries which just make the rich richer and the poor poorer. I know there's funding out there for it --- in fact, Mark's on the board of a foundation that would almost certainly fund it if the organization was built on a community organizing model. Lots of other foundations would too --- the Catholics have a really good grant program that is looking to fund exactly this sort of thing (no religious affiliation necessary) and the Unitarians would eat it up.

The problem is that non-profit organizations are built on people. There would have to be 2 to 10 impassioned people who are willing to throw their hearts and souls at the project. Despite thinking it's an awesome idea, I'm not so sure I'm one of them --- I got a bit burned out by the non-profit world a couple of years ago and am not sure I'm ready to go back.

The other model would be a for-profit model, but not quite sure how that would work either? Or teaming up with local colleges to offer classes on the topic. I think it really could make a difference, but am not sure how to do it so that it doesn't eat up my Walden Effect life. :-)

(I keep poking my brother about the comments, but when I do he just mumbles something about "RSS to email." I get notifications when people comment on the blog, because he signed me up for turning an RSS feed into an email. But I don't know if that can be plugged straight into the website so that everyone else can do it.)

Comment by anna Thu Apr 8 16:38:47 2010

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime