My name is Katherine Grossman.
I’m an ordinary farm-wife in my 60’s from rural western Pennsylvania and I’m the author and creator of Granny Miller.
Granny Miller was first begun in 2006 as a personal blog. It was a way to share with others what I have learned about self-reliance, homesteading and living deliberately.
I took the idea and concept for “Granny Miller” from Mother Jones and Carrie Nation. I wanted to convey the sense of an older and mature agrarian social activist, so I choose “Granny” as my feminine description. I picked the name “Miller” because I’ve been known to get carried away on a rant and I free-associated “ax to grind” and “grist mill”.
When I first started Granny Miller there weren’t too many agrarian, small farm or homesteading blogs on the internet. Believe me back in 2006, good reliable homesteading and traditional agrarian life information was pretty scarce. Things have changed a lot since then.
Happily now days there are many first-rate small farm and homesteading websites and blogs.
Granny Miller has been through a few different incarnations and I have stopped and started Granny Miller many times. This latest version was begun in October of 2012.
I invite you to take your time and explore the pages of Granny Miller.
Life experience, folk tradition, pragmatism and common sense are the corner stones and foundation of Granny Miller.
Old-time skills and folklore; home food preservation and livestock care, and plenty of strong opinion, are just some of what you’ll find here.
But time changes everything.
I don’t keep up with Granny Miller as much as I use to.
These days, I tend to take very long breaks away from the internet in general, and from this website in particular. Time off-line keeps me grounded in real life.
Most of my writing is confined to the winter months and during bad weather. In good weather a picture with a brief snippet on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram is about as much as I can manage. You can always keep up with me there.
One thing that makes Granny Miller a little different from some other homesteading or garden farm websites is that I’m not a homestead neophyte.
Nor am I on any kind of a back to my roots or return to the land journey.
Truth be told I arrived at my destination many years ago.
Up until the age of 35 I lived my entire life in large metropolitan areas.
Back in those days I wanted the life that I have now but didn’t know how to get it.
Truth be told, I’m a city transplant that grew into a country person.
What I discovered about self-reliance, rural life and homesteading has only been within the last 30 years or so.
My country education was helped a great deal by marriage.
Much of what I have learned was passed on to me by my husband’s family and by the local people I have met here in rural Pennsylvania.
Many of the skills and some of the knowledge that today I take for granted, I had to learn on my own. Back in those days there was no internet. Practical life experience supplemented by the local public library was often invaluable to me.
Many things about country life I had to learn the hard way.
30 years ago I knew nothing about cows, water witching, wood stoves, guns or so many of the other things that I know about today.
I get a lot of questions from people who live in the suburbs or in large cities and want a more self-reliant life but don’t know where to begin.
Sometimes they express doubts as to whether or not they can learn the skills they’ll need.
I share this information about myself because readers often assume that I have always lived a rural life and was born knowing how to render lard or milk a goat.
My agrarian outlook and life has been acquired and cultivated.
I think it’s reassuring for some people to know that it is possible to make the transition from city life to country life: from total food and energy dependence to a life of relative independence.
If you really make up your mind to do it, a more self-determined and self-reliant existence is possible no matter what the future may bring.
In fact it’s more than possible.
The journey and passage to a more sustainable and self-reliant life isn’t dependent upon geographical location, education or financial resources.
In the suburbs, on a tiny town lot or even in the big city, you can become more responsible for your own basic needs.
Whether you are young or old – a man or a woman – rich or poor – it doesn’t matter.
Sustainability and self-reliance is really about choices that we make every day wherever we are – whoever we may be.
It is my sincerest wish that Granny Miller will be of benefit and provide encouragement to the next generation of homesteaders, garden farmers and small-holders looking for a better life.
Enjoy the trip.