Next Gen House turns one!

A year ago, I started this blog as a way to create a space where I could explore the issues I’m passionate about – food justice, sustainability, agriculture, clean eating, animal welfare – and answer the question that I’m most often asked when it comes to our lifestyle at Next Gen House. Why?

Here I am, 365 days later, still writing three times a week, working to answer that question and explore these ideas. It’s an ongoing project that is grounding and personally enriching. I have many ideas for this space for and I look forward to its development in the future.

One of those ideas is to make a leap that I’ve put off for awhile and create a Facebook page for Next Gen House. I don’t personally use Facebook, so I avoided developing a page for this site. But I don’t want to be closed off to the idea of growth and challenge, so you can now visit facebook.com/nextgenhouse and interact with me (and hopefully other readers) there.



And here’s the fun part. In celebration of a year of posts, I’d like to give a Next Gen House birthday present to one of you. My path to being more aware of what I eat and how that affects me as well as the larger world began when I read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and watched the documentary Food, Inc. I want to pass along those important works to someone else. So I’m giving away a brand new paperback copy of the book, as well as the documentary on Blu-ray. 



To enter the Next Gen House birthday giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling me either something you have enjoyed on Next Gen House, a way that you live sustainably, or something you’d like to see on the blog in the coming year. I will use random.org to select a winner. The contest ends at 9 p.m. EST, Sunday, March 2.


I purchased these items on my own to give away because I wanted to do something nice. I wasn’t paid or perked in any way by anyone to give them away.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03959537994551891924 Jonelle Cosgrove

    Yay for a FB page – get more info out there! I love it!

    I have enjoyed all your posts and didn’t realize it was a year already! My goodness!!!! I love EVERY ONE of your posts and the CSA posts especially. I honestly didn’t know about them until you started talking about them. Because of your info I went to the farmers market EVERY Saturday before we moved here and found some great stuff – when I couldn’t have a garden of my own. I cannot wait to get ours in this year (mental note – GET THOSE SEEDS ORDERED!) and get our rain collection setup and our compost pile….

    Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to post these things. I also have enjoyed seeing what others (you) can.

    The more i look into this stuff the more I want to try the Paleo “diet” (I hate the word diet…). I was encouraged to start slow – which we’ll have to anyway b/c I dont’ know prices of certain things yet.

    Thanks again Jo! I appreciate your posts and get excited for each one. :) Love ya!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12205244293158113523 Ber

    Yay for a 1 year celebration and give away! I love that you are passionate about your topics and that your posts are well thought out. You got me involved in a CSA!! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02359868371499015576 Donna C

    We will be joining a CSA this year after following your posts. Also only eating grass fed beef. We are becoming more aware of the foods we are eating. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I will be checking out your facebook page.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12004854491509286589 Elise

    We’ve had a CSA for 2 years now, and this time we get to host it!! A great way to build community with others for a love of sustainability. I’d be interested in your thoughts/process of soil testing (unless you’ve already done that…I haven’t been able to read all your posts yet).

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16336925504159543895 Joanna Taylor Stone

      Which CSA do you host?

      When it comes to soil testing for a farm operation, or how soil amendment guidelines in the FSMA rules affect those operations, I wouldn’t know enough to say.

      As for our backyard gardens, we use all raised beds because our own yard is basically clay. We do maintain two large compost piles that supplement the soil that we have to purchase for the raised beds, but we haven’t really tested it once it’s together. I did a quick search through some of the resources I use, and Grow Pittsburgh and the Penn State Extension have some info on soil testing and what to use. So this is probably where I should/will start (http://www.growpittsburgh.org/start-a-garden/growers-resources/soil-compost/). I’m glad you mentioned it because this would probably be a great idea for us to do this year, now that we’ve been doing the raised beds for two or three. Thanks!