And our winter giveaway winner is...
He's green, mean, and likes to rage against the machine.
By Lisa Brunette
In case you’re new to Brunette Gardens (welcome, all!) or missed it, we just wrapped up our winter giveaway, and I’m here to announce the winner of a paperback copy of Kate Downham’s book A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen: Homestead Kitchen Skills and Real Food Recipes for Resilient Health.
But before I do, let me recap our series on Downham’s über-useful book, with links to all three posts, plus the podcast, in the order they should have appeared:
That last one was erroneously sent out ahead of schedule by some oddball Substack glitch (AI? Is it too early to blame that/them/it?). Our apologies again for any confusion caused by the out-of-order email sends. We try to do our best, but sometimes technology fails us.
And now onto the announcement!
The beautiful thing about the Substack platform is that it encourages all readers to become writers. Sure, not every writer garners an audience, but providing a forum for all is a commendable mission, and Substack excels in this regard with accessible tools that allow writers to focus on writing rather than learning code and graphic design (or hiring those who have those skills) to support an online publishing effort.
This season’s winning reader, Zachary Johnston, publishes his own Substack, and it’s simply titled “Zach’s Substack.”
A self-described “fringe, blue-color ecologist,” Zach writes in a stream-of-consciousness vein about his experiences as a water-quality ecologist in the beautiful and often inherently political Montana landscape:
Climbing for it is much more difficult than paddling. That’s why whales make blubber. And monkeys swing nimbly bimbly from tree to tree. Verrry useful blubber comes from both ok. We need to save our whales. And our monkeys. Don’t throw me to the dogs for fat shaming. There’s a niche for everyone.
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and Zach knows it. But his aim is to get to larger truths, and only this “barrage of posts” approach will take him there. All of his content is free, with no paywall, so no risk! I recommend his success story about a ranch in Paradise Valley, MT, where he was able to convert water management to wholly ecological methods. Other writings verge on the personal, covering family and friends, and many are accompanied by gorgeous photos of Montana flora and fauna, like those in his latest piece on fishing for steelhead.
Asked why he reads Brunette Gardens, Zach says:
I love reading Brunette Gardens for the ecology and fine human- and nature-based content. Lisa has been gracious and reads my crazy stuff about militant ecology in fisheries and grazing land management, out in the Wild West. I’m a working person with no fancy education, but Lisa and Anthony are a Goddess and God of “Gracious Listening Heart.” I’m honored to be allowed anywhere near their comments sections or publication as such a wild, ‘bearly’ house-trained beast.
We thank Zach for his kind compliments, hope he enjoys ‘A Year in an Off-Grid Kitchen,’ and wish him well on an upcoming trip!
A note to those of you who might be on the fence about becoming a paid subscriber: We have only a small number of them here in our launch phase, so Zach’s odds of winning were definitely in his favor, and they’d be in yours, too!
This is a Beautiful Book! Thanks to the Author and Brunette Gardens!