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.
I first began publishing online in 2006 as a way to share with others what I had learned about self-reliance, homesteading and living deliberately.
Old-time agrarian knowledge and folklore; home food preservation and livestock care; forgotten crafts and plenty of strong opinion are just some of what you’ll find here.
I’m an ambivalent blogger at best and tend to take long breaks away from the Internet. 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 connect with me there.
I have stopped and restarted this website at least 5 times since 2006. In January 2016 I began work on a series of short books to preserve the content of this website in a permanent form. Because the truth is, GRANNY MILLER will be removed again sometime in the future. Longtime readers know it and I know it. Not only am I fickle about maintaining a website, but I’m also mortal. Nothing lasts forever.
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 back to my roots or return to the land journey. Fact is 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 today but didn’t know how to get it. Truth be told, I’m a city transplant who 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 learned about simple living was passed on to me by my husband’s family and by the two generations of homesteaders and small farmers who came before me. Sadly most of those people are gone now. But the information and traditions they shared still live on in me.
Many things about country life I had to learn the hard way.
Thirty years ago I knew nothing about cows, water witching, wood stoves, guns or so many of the other things that I know about today. Some of the skills and knowledge that today I take for granted I had to learn on my own. Practical life experience supplemented by the local public library was often invaluable to me.
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 who are looking for a better life.
Enjoy the trip.