I'm on vacation in North Carolina, travelling around looking for a good house to retire in, and I stayed at the Snaggy Mountain Music & Arts Farm in Burnsville last night. It's run by Jared McQueen, and I noticed that Jared and his fellow musicians use "the net" constantly, so I asked if I could interview him about it.
Interview with Jared McQueen
Q. What do you think of as "Telecommunications" for a farmer?
A. I'm not a "commercial" farmer: we just grow crops to eat. My whole life as an artist and hotelier relies on the Internet, through sites like "airbnb", "helpx.net", "workaway.info", and "wwoof.us".
Q. What would be your choices if you didn't have a Fiber-Optic connection?
A. Before cable Internet was available, we used a satelite provider called "Wild Blue", but we would exceed our monthly data allowance with the first week of each month, after which we would be limited to almost no connectivity.
Q. What would you do if the Internet was cut off, perhaps in response to a terrorist attack?
A. The lifestyle we're trying to lead is focused on food security, and we'd learn to adapt if the Internet was cut off. I guess commerical farmers can use online Community Supported Agriculture, where customers put up money in advance and get a box of vegetables every week. That wouldn't work without the internet for a big CSA, but small local growers could make do with telephones or meetings at the farmer's market.
Q. How is the Internet changing the ways farms of any kind do their day-to-day business?
A. "Emails" goes on the list next to "Weed asparagus".
Q. I notice that you use GMAIL. Please tell me why.
A. I've used gmail for years and have never had trouble, I suppose I'm unaware of any alternatives, and I do appreciate the free phone!
You can reach Jared McQueen via his gmail.com address: snaggymountainstudios.
Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)