Gwen Roland 

Home About Contact Buy Books Events and News The Real dirt I've held every kind of writing job except chicken catalogs and scandal sheets-- two gigs I may yet land. Even though I've covered stories as far flung as scuba diving and Chitimacha Indian basketry, my favorite beat is rural living. Growing up in rural Louisiana, self-sufficiency was a given, so the back-to-earth movement of the early 70s was just a short jaunt for me. ​My partner back then was Calvin Voisin who was born and raised in Bayou Sorrel, a strip of fishing community on the backside of the Atchafalaya levee. We built a houseboat and returned to the Atchafalaya Swamp of our ancestors. There was so little information about the things we were doing that I started writing as a way to help others who were also pursuing the good life. my books and bayou chene Home About Contact Buy Books Events and News My peaceful lifestyle continued for nearly a decade. Then, while on a writing assignment, I fell in love with a handsome riverboat engineer somewhere between Baton Rouge and Boomer, West Virginia. Thus my beautiful swamp disappeared in the rearview mirror of a pick up truck and a tiny camper. As newly weds, Preston and I traveled the country pursuing any kind of life that struck our fancy any fine morning. Most of our major life changes started with one of us saying, "I wonder what it would be like to . . . . ." My sense of curiosity has always outweighed my fear of failure, and this imbalance has led me into assorted jobs and personal pursuits for which I was not remotely qualified. Goats come to mind. So does a stint with a scuba magazine where I discovered there are two kinds of people who go underwater--some say "Wow!" and others say "If God intended me to be down here, I would have gills!" Just when I was getting tired of living out of duffel bags, I hit on a job that engaged my curiosity long enough to call it a career. As communications specialist for the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, I translated research results into stories farmers could actually use. After nearly 20 years of writing about the most exciting ag research in the country, I retired in 2010. I live with my still-handsome riverboat engineer in Pike County, Georgia, a rolling landscape in the foothills of the Pine Mountain range. I raise much of our food with the help of horse manure, chickens, honeybees and earthworms. But no goats. Never again.
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