About   2 comments

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This website is about relearning and returning to good work. It’s about learning how to live, work, love and play well in the world. It’s about making things, forming connections, thinking and considering, observing, living slowly, stopping even when you have the urge to go. It’s about being aware.

I’ve started this blog to document my own changes and evolution. Nearly 12 years ago, just out of high school, I started working in the electronics department of Fred Meyer, a general retailing chain in the Northwest. I stayed there for six years and while there were elements of the job I enjoyed–the people I worked with, the times I actually proved helpful to a customer–it was not satisfying work for me. So I quit. I signed up for AmeriCorps and served two 11-month terms, doing environmental restoration work in Washington state. After AmeriCorps, I returned to school, studying literature and writing at Portland State University.

During my AmeriCorps years and my return to school, I was also exploring new ways of eating, new nutritional orthodoxies, and learning about local food systems and alternative forms of agriculture. I became intensely interested in food and decided, upon finishing school, that I should attempt to farm. So I found a farming internship on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound and I started off on an adventure that would take my life in a very different direction.

Three years and three farms later, I am still growing food and I am a much different person. I’m more connected, happier, healthier, have better relationships, eat far better, am more radical, suffer slightly less bullshit, and continue to change on a daily basis. I see more. I have to remind myself that there’s still much I don’t see. I’ve learned an insane amount. And I still have an insane amount to learn.

This is the project of this blog. To learn more, to document that process, and to hopefully bring others into it. This will be a place for me to flesh out and test my ideas and beliefs, to create a written documentation of my thought processes, to argue and declare and question, and to perhaps inspire. Eventually, this website may also be a venue for me to promote homesteading classes as I continue to search for a proper way to make a living. For now, though, it is about ideas and thought processes, and the documentation of actual actions and projects and the making of things.

I plan to write here about environmental philosophy, radical action, homesteading, farming, encounters with nonhuman creatures, hiking, work, and much more. I hope you enjoy what I write and I hope you engage me in conversation. Don’t hesitate to comment on the posts and don’t hesitate to contact me directly at joel@ofthehands.com.

You can read this blog’s introductory post here. You can read a more recent post about my plans both for my life and this blog in 2012 right here.


Posted August 6, 2011 by Joel Caris

2 responses to “About

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  1. Good for you! This world would be a better place if more people got out of the “rat race” and learned to seek out what they enjoy. I look forward to reading more about your experiences.

    • Thank you! Getting out of the “rat race” has proven a very good decision for me, I must say. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but there are a lot of potential rewards to it.

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