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Book Discussion: "Radical Homemakers" by Shannon Hayes

When Oct 20, 2011
from 07:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Decorah Public Library
Contact Name
Contact Phone 563-382-3717
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Radical Homemakers 102011


The book “Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture” by Shannon Hayes will be the focus of a discussion at Decorah Public Library on Thursday October 20 at 7 p.m. Craig Mosher and Rachel Sandhorst will facilitate the discussion.


“Radical Homemakers” describes individuals and families across the country that are striving to simplify their lives and produce more of what they need at home (such as food, schooling, and entertainment). People are working towards the goal of needing only one wage earner so that they can unhook from the consumer culture and become more self-reliant and more focused on other priorities, such as raising their families. 


The author, Shannon Hayes, lives and works with her family at Sap Bush Hollow Farm in upstate New York. While researching the book, Hayes interviewed twenty individuals and families across the country and received hundreds of emails from families working to simplify their home lives. She writes about how they adjust their lifestyles and spending habits so they can have more time at home. Many interviewees talk about gardening and putting food by and creating their own entertainment at home; even home schooling their children in some cases. In these instances, the home becomes a center of production as well as consumption.


There are many individuals and families in the Decorah area who are doing some or all of these things; or thinking about doing them. Some are realizing that having a second person working in a family brings in more income but also many expenses for clothing, transportation, child care, etc. that can be avoided if that second person stays home to raise children, garden and preserve food, and connect with neighbors and family in ways that simplify the quality of life of everyone involved. In some ways this is a return to lifestyles of earlier generations but with new twists. 


The discussion will draw upon participants' experience, ideas, and questions about this way of living. Everyone is welcome- individuals, couples, families- whatever their involvement with these ideas.


For more information, contact Kristin at Decorah Public Library: 563-382-3717 or