Tuesday, April 16, 2013

0 Evidence of Life author, Barbara Sissel, talks about her big plans for the future



  Your newest book is published, and your children are grown.  Have you got any big plans for the future?
I do, in fact. My youngest son, David, has property west of Austin where he is currently building an aquaponics farm for the purpose of supplying nutrient-rich, organically grown fish and vegetables to commercial as well as residential consumers. For anyone who isn’t familiar aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. The water in the fish tanks is led via a hydroponic system to the crop, where the plants filter out vital nutrients, then the cleansed water is recirculated back to the fish. It’s been a dream of David’s since graduating from Texas A&M to grow crops in this fashion, to feed people good food that is harvested without the use of pesticides or chemically enhanced fertilizers. I plan to join him there and will head up the organic dirt farming end of the venture. I come from a long line of farmers, actually, and, more recently, became inspired anew when I readAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, in which she tells the story of the year her family cut out all processed food from their diet and ate only fresh food they grew themselves, or that was grown locally. I’m not a fanatic by any means, but I do find the idea very appealing. I’ve also begun to design the house I plan to build on the property, using as much salvaged material as possible. All of this enterprise is a grand experiment, sharing much of the same spirit of the adventure Barbara Kingsolver writes about in her book. I plan to chronicle our progress as we go along and to post updates regularly on my blog. The lovely thing about being an author is that it’s a very portable occupation that can be accomplished anywhere, at any time. Novel ideas as well are unbound. My head is always full of characters. I can’t imagine that I will ever stop writing.

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