WellPreserved: 1,500 Consecutive Days of Posting… ends?

On December 28, 2008 I slept in.  Our family had left for the holidays the evening before and it was time to be lazy.  Dana woke up 2.5 hours earlier than me that day.  She came up with the idea and then launched WellPreserved while I slept.

And our lives changed forever.

WellPreserved: 1,500 Consecutive Days of Posting... ends? milestones February

Photo Courtesy of Edward Pond

Dana and I are planners.  We’re thinkers.  We are probably even procrastinators.  But that morning she decided to launch a blog.  We had never spoken about it, never planned it.  I went to sleep without one and by the time I woke up I was a blogger (I had previously ‘ranted’ online in the mid-1990′s but that’s another story for another day).

We have posted every day since that day.  1,500 consecutive days of posting.  If one was to start the same streak today they would arrive at day 1,500 on March 15, 2017.

The truth is that we didn’t plan to write this much – the idea would have been laughed at.  It’s been an amazing run and one that we’re really proud of.  It’s changed our life in so many ways; we eat completely differently, both have had complete work makeovers because of it and we’ve met so many wonderful and amazing people.  It’s a global community of people who are passionate about what they eat that continues to inspire us.

The Story Behind The Story

The journey has had its challenges.  Dana is a graphic designer who specialized in food packaging and works for herself.  As our commitment to support more local and small farms and businesses, she has had to make difficult decisions about her work.  I adore her convictions and we’ve plotted new ways to create income while walking away from many of the businesses that once sustained us financially.  She is truly the bravest person I know and I adore and love her for it.

The journey has been wildly unexpected and had the predictable highs and lows that all of us experience in pursuit of living our lives.  I am honored to have cooked shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the people who I consider as my food heroes, humbled to have lost more than 50% when respectfully mentioning hunting in 2009 and just as shocked to gain followers when discussing it in 2012.  WellPreserved transformed from a project to a lifestyle to part of our lives.  Daily posting has been a significant part of that (good and bad) and it’s a bittersweet moment to be walking away from it.

We are more committed than ever in trying to fight the good fight and help be part of a community that inspires others to join the revolution that supports better food that nourishes our bodies, our families and our communities.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

We’ve had a lot of long discussions about the future of WellPreserved over the last year.  We’ve been very open with ourselves and had input from some dear friends and loved ones.  We’ve considered more options than we can remember and they’ve ranged from opening a bricks and mortar business all the way through to considering closing the site and walking away.

I’ve been immensely proud of the endurance it’s taken to get to 4+ years of daily posting.  It’s something that made our site different, something I could use to convince myself that we had something unique.  It was a shield as much as it was a trophy.  It was an anchor; it kept us in a safe place where there was no danger of the open seas.  It also kept us in one place.

This weekend will be the first time our blog will not feature new content since the morning I slept in.  The streak will end at 1,504 days.

But this is not nearly the end of WellPreserved.  It’s a new beginning.

WellPreserved: A Vision for the Future

So today, I find myself excited to share news of our future.

`Too many young Chefs want to move on to the next thing before mastering the current thing they are working on.  The thing about the next thing is that there will always be a next thing.` Chef Thomas Keller, 2009

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on those words above.  We have a lot of good content from our past that needs to be refined and want to be selective on what we bring to you coming forward.  It’s time for us to dig deeper into content, recipes and techniques and not just chase the next thing.

In recent months we’ve done a lot of work on the functionality of the site (we shared some last week).  We want to make it more usable, accessible.  There will be some new features coming over the coming weeks as well.

We will continue to add content 5 days per week (Monday-Friday).  I’m hoping regular readers have noticed that we’ve tried to take better photos that help inspire more cooking, sharing and community.  We will have a higher focus on photography including updating some of our past photos that aren’t at all exciting.

We’re launching a weekly newsletter (the official announcement will be tomorrow but if you’ve read this far you deserve to know!).  You can sign up in the top-right corner.  It will be sent Saturday mornings (starting this Saturday) and include original content (including a kitchen tip of the week and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the stories behind our stories) as well as a round-up of weekly posts, links to other projects we love and other seasonal recipes.  We sincerely hope you’ll sign up.

We’ve started to move towards more events and will be extending the amount of classes, events and other products in our little store.  More info on these will come soon.

We have a few other surprises stocked away for now as well.

Words of Thanks

Thank you all for supporting us, for reading and especially for commenting, liking, sharing coming to events and supporting our store.  Without people doing these things, WellPreserved could not be sustained. It’s been a heck of a run and we’re looking forward to bringing you higher quality moving forward!

Request for Help

The battle for real food has just begun.  While there has been some progress, the challenges are bigger than ever.  Continue to cook for those you love (and like) and celebrate all that is fantastic about cooking with whole ingredients.  I know you don’t need our encouragement to do it – but know that it motivates us to be part of a community that holds these values dear.

Sharing, commenting, liking and interacting with our content is what helps us grow this community.  It is also a vital part of bringing even more vibrancy to it.  If you have ideas on how we can make this more interactive or useful for you, please let us know (no idea is too big or small) and we’ll see what we can do.

Thank you.

Last thought: this post was supposed to be posted tomorrow.  I checked my math and realized I had made a mistake and miscounted so it’s a two-post day!  I’m happy that this announcement happens to come on my Mother’s birthday – happy birthday Ma!  We’re so lucky to have such supportive families…

Comments

  1. SundayCooking says:

    Wow! 1,500 consecutive daily posts is quite a feat! Congratulations, many thanks (and yes, the improved photo quality has been noticed and appreciated).

    Here’s to much more…

    PS The quince gastrique was lovely: )

    • Thanks SundayCooking! Glad you tried the gastrique; really need to add gastriques to my cooking at large. :) Always something being added to the list… :) Cheers!

  2. Wow!! 1500 is an amazing accomplishment :) Have been following you for a couple of years atleast … and must say you are one of the few that I actually take the time to read :) Congratulations , and good luck with the future :)

  3. Congrats! I’m always excited to see what you two are up to next. I look forward to reading, and hopefully participating, in your new chapter of Well Preserved. You’ve definitely been an inspiration to me!

  4. Patricia from Montréal says:

    Congratulations!! I agree, 1,500 consecutive daily posts is crazy :) And great! I love your doing and I read almost every of your post. It inspire me a lot. Wish you the bestfor your future projects. Thank you!

  5. Same here…I wlll actually go to your blog and read it becasue I know you have something worth my time, and I do actually learn tips and ideas from you.

  6. Congrats on your long run I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  7. Onward and upward! And hugs.

  8. I have noticed the stylin’ photography – love it!!! Glad to hear you are delving into topics on a deeper level – you have so much to offer and so many unique experiences that make my reading that much more enjoyable.

  9. Congratulations on 1500 posts! As someone who used to blog (fairly infrequently), I can only imagine how much work has been put into this site! It’s been so nice meeting you both at the HomeEc events and I always enjoy reading your posts. Looking forward to seeing what’s next!

  10. MAZAL TOV! You inspire the cook, preserver, kitchen-tinkerer and blogger in me. Keep up and keep on! You guys rule!

  11. Thank you so much for creating this awesome resource! I’ve been wanting to make my own hot sauce since my uncle gave me a jar of his home-made roasted pepper salsa at Christmas. And bang! here it is, everything I need to know. I really admire the passion that you’ve put into this site, and wish you all the best with your next move(s).

    • Awesome Dan and thank you! SO much of our cooking connects us to our family and hearing how we may have helped you connect with yours on a hot sauce level is just so neat to me! Appreciate the kind words and let us know how your hot sauce goes! :)

  12. Feeling nothing short of love and adoration for you two–kudos to my favorite Canadians! :) …all the best!

  13. Ginormous congratulations, and thank you for the inspiration so far and to come!!!

  14. Johanna Mitchell says:

    Thank you for all the continued inspiration…

  15. Been reading for a couple years, and you have inspired me so much! I’m excited about your new classes and new direction. Look forward to seeing where this goes, and I hope to make it out to a preserve swap or other event someday soon. Thank you!!

    • Thanks Sarah!

      We’ve been meaning to launch classes for a long time and thankfully this new format will give us more of a chance to do so. Hope to see you out some time! :) Joel

  16. “She is truly the bravest person I know and I adore and love her for it.” – made me all watery eyed.
    I love that you two constantly examine, tweak and explore yourselves and the world around you. You two are wonderful humans and I’m glad to call you friends.
    xo
    Rachel (and everyone at The Avro, but I don’t think they happy-cry as easily as I do)

    • Rachel,

      You are an absolute inspiration to us too so we can have a moosh fest. :) Thank you for your lovely words; smiling like a crazy cat right now. :)

  17. congrats you guys! i feel like a proud cat for the both of you and what you have accomplished! and i am excited to experience what you will continue to accomplish – i can only imagine how great it will be!

    joel – i still remember when you and i ‘met’ over the interwebs in 2009. i’d like to think we were pioneers in the d.i.y. home preserving blogging movement. to see how far you guys have come is such a joy!

    xo to you both!

    • Tigz, Tigz, Tigz!

      I remember adding you on twitter and really hoping you would add me back – you had more than 30 followers and that was a LOT!

      Proud of you too; and agree re the pioneers. Funny, I didn’t even know what the DIY movement was for more than half of the time we were in it! :P

  18. Twice I’ve tried to blog daily for for a month. I did it, but both times I felt that quality was suffering for quantity and I had days of filler. Somehow, Joel, you manage quantity and quality and make it look effortless – and while working a day job that sometimes takes you out of town. I know that you schedule posts (editorial calendar) and occasionally draft multiple posts in a day and schedule so it’s not all real time (e.g. when you’re off huntin’), but mostly it is.

    And I’m amazed that you’re even keeping it up 5x/week. I fear that if I did that I’d risk my love of writing.

    Keep on and I look forward to seeing both yours and Dana’s smiling faces in the flesh again soon.

    • Andrea,

      Hugs and thanks! You are very sweet and I look forward to seeing you too; it’s been too long. Funny piece of trivia (that you inspired with your comment about the ‘love of writing’): I didn’t realize I was a writer or even wrote as a hobby until about 6 months ago. I always thought of ‘writers’ as being someone else. We’ve really ended up here by accident.

      Thank you again for your kind words. :) Joel

  19. Congrats and thank you Joel and Dan. I haven’t actively participated much in the Well Preserved community despite my best intentions, but I have indeed learned a lot and taken much inspiration from your blog. Looking forward to what the future brings.

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