Monday, August 20, 2018

Number 800

After uploading my last post to Foothill Agrarian several weeks back, I realized that my next post (this one!) would be my 800th since starting this blog back in February 2009. Nine-and-a-half years is a long time to be writing - it's an even longer time to be reading what I've written! On the occasion of Number 800, I want to thank my handful of regular readers for putting up with me!

I started my Foothill Agrarian blog as a place to discuss ideas about sustainable agriculture and forestry practices in the Sierra foothills from the perspective of a practitioner. While I still aspire to practice sustainable ranching, our operation has evolved in the last 9 years. We still raise sheep, but we no longer engage in much direct marketing of our meat. We still burn wood to heat our home in the wintertime; we no longer sell firewood or other forest products. Having survived the millennial drought, my views on the importance of scale and economic viability in rangeland agricultural production have evolved, as well. I'm not the same foothill agrarian I was in 2009, which is natural, I suppose.

I've used this blog as a place to tell stories, explain my production practices, and work out questions that bother me personally. I've written about losing sheep to predators, about baking sheepherder bread, and about baseball. I've explored the business side of direct-market ranching, the challenges of coping with Mother Nature, and the day-to-day joy and frustration of raising livestock on grass. I've worked through national issues that trouble me (like racism, for example). The process of organizing my thoughts, in many ways, has helped them evolve. In this regard, I suppose my motives for writing have been somewhat selfish - this space has helped me think more deeply about what I do and why I do it.

Despite my selfish motivations, folks have read - and continue to read - my essays. As I publish this post, Foothill Agrarian has had more than 260,000 page views! Thank you! Thank you for the feedback, for the questions, and for the encouragement! I intend to keep sharing my thoughts - I hope you'll keep sharing yours, as well!

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