In 1979, Mom and Dad plunked their ideals and $40,000 down on some of the poorest farmland in one of the poorest counties in New York State. They dreamed of living off that land, of their children living off that land. And from the first night I laid my head down to rest on Sap Bush Hollow Farm as a child, I never wanted anything else. As I grew to adulthood and began a family of my own, I realized that this little farm was more than just a pastoral dream. It was an antidote to industrial food, climate change, harried living and social injustices. But how was one little grassfed livestock farm high in the mountains going to support two families? I looked to my Appalachian neighbors, who had lived well up here for generations, with little to no cash. If they could do it, so could we. We would simply have to learn to make what we couldn’t buy. I would become the radical homemaker.

I thought it was just a sensible choice. I didn’t know it would spark a revolution.

Thanks for dropping in. Feel free to look around and see what life is like for three generations of my family as we live, bicker, laugh, feast, farm and love high up here in these frost covered hills of Schoharie County, New York.

— Shannon Hayes, The Radical Homemaker

Find your Tribe

Join a Facebook group - or start one!

Looking to find fellow radical homies in your own community? Here are a few Facebook Groups that have begun around the country to get you started.

Interested in starting a group
in your own neck of the woods?

Let me know, and I’ll post your information here. Once you have at least five members, I’ll send you a free welcome kit with copies of my latest books to use as giveaways. I will also put you on the promotional copy list to get free copies of any future releases. That’s right – free books from me, as long as your group remains active.

I can also be available personally (at no charge) to answer any questions via email, Facebook or Skype interview that your group may wish to present. This is my way of thanking you for helping to spread the word about living happily and sustainably.

• Books •

by the Radical Homemaker, Shannon Hayes

• Words •

from the Radical Homemaker

Creamy Wild Ramp and Potato Soup

The ground in the woods is still brown with last year's leaves, but here and there, along the creek beds, the girls and I find wide swaths of wild ramps, just begging for a spring harvest.  We've been carrying a shovel and bag on our walks to bring home this delectable spring treasure.  Here's one … Read More >

The Chicken Orchestra

As Ula's vision increases, so does her imagination...and her independence.  Where does that leave my identity as her mother? Dad and I are standing in the driveway, having a heated discussion about some management decisions. The start of the season is fast approaching, and with the new farm store … Read More >


I return to the places I have loved in my life by way of my kitchen.  My roommate in college, Sonia, was from Argentina, and she and I became steadfast friends, traveling different parts of the world as our budgets allowed, and adopting each other's families as our own.   When Bob and I traveled … Read More >

Blog On Hold: Dreams Under Construction

This has been an amazing year.  We started 2015 wondering how we could keep our farm running, how we could keep the generations together, how we could bring in the help we needed.  And we fought.  And we cried.  And we dreamt. And you, dear readers, dreamt with us.  You shared our wishes, … Read More >