“Don’t be afraid of getting dirty”

Jill and Sam On Warren Pond Farm talk about the joys of self-sufficiency
In a cool little video short just posted on the New York Times site, reporter Adam Ellick visits a former college professor who gave it all up to live on a self-sufficient farm with her partner, Sam Warren. As Dr. Jill Swenson scrapes the icy ground for potatoes, it looks mighty cold up there in upstate New York, but as she and Sam sit down to talk inside the farmhouse, you can see the glow on her cheeks surely absent when she was, in Ellick’s words, “a deadline-obsessed drill sergeant” of a journalism professor.

Definitely worth seven minutes of your time, here.

As they expressed their steadfast determination to live as purely off-the-grid and off the land as possible, it made me wonder if their experience might be one answer to a provocative article in Mother Jones I’d just stumbled upon, about what a truly sustainable food system might look like. On Warren Pond Farm isn’t exactly a commercial farm (it makes what little money it does by selling some livestock and a little seasonal produce, as well as hosting a cabin for agri-tourism — more here), but Jill argues that their little patch of land could easily feed a family of four. So is that model scalable? Is a nation-wide network of family farms a viable antidote to the perils of petroleum-based agribusiness?

What do you think?