Why Did We Change Our Name?

The answer is simple. To those of you who have ever tried to find an available url, you know. It’s tough. Everything is taken. When I began this blog on a whim one afternoon in 2006, I registered “survivela.com.” Our first publisher, correctly, thought that was too Los Angeles-centric and asked that we make it more universal so that we could expand our readership. Thus began the second painful search for an unused URL, followed by a third painful search due to a comedy of errors too tedious to describe.

Rootsimple.com is here to stay. I like it a lot better than “Homegrown Evolution.” It’s easier to remember and I dig the symbolism.

“Everything changes and nothing remains still …. and … you cannot step twice into the same stream.” as Hereclitus says. The publishing and blogging world is getting a bit crowded in the “urban homesteading” category. It’s time to expand the conversation and explore some new home ec related topics. We don’t want to become stale. Having a new book coming out later this spring, Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, also makes for a good moment to update our website.

Incidentally, for those of you trying to find an unused URL, I discovered that you can just add the word “burrito” and you’ve got yourself a website. So go ahead and register rootsimpleburrito.com before someone else does.

Leave a comment


  1. Having to endure finding an available URL I feel your pain. My first one was findinghowtolivesimply.blogspot.com. I hated it from the day I started it. I’m so glad I was to use our farm name once we had come up with it.

  2. I spent several days at blogger.com trying to come up with a reasonable name too. Another idea instead of using “burrito” is to add something specific to where you live with a name that you prefer. Just an idea.

  3. @Erica: We made the switch because we liked the name better, and we’ve planned to do so for months–we’ve just not had the time. But yes, the Dervaes family has trademarked urban homestead, as well as urban homesteading, and we hear they’ve been sending out warning letters over the last few days to people using those terms in their blogs, facebook, etc. We can’t say more until we learn more.

  4. Just saw what was going on over at Crunchy Chicken and your blog was mentioned so I wanted to check it out so far I am loving it!

    I agree though it is crazy hard to find a good url that is not already taken.

  5. @Sophie,

    Welcome! I want this blog to be better and better, more useful, more fun. That’s what the name change represents, so I’m glad you’re liking it, and hope you’ll come back often.

  6. I just hear about the Dervaes family thing….That is very lame! I used to consider them heroes in the “urban homesteading” (TM Dervaes Institute) movement. I think that is how I am supposed to legally use that term….

  7. I read an article this morning that said you may have to rename your wonderful book “Urban Homesteading” in the next printing? Please, please do not let this happen! You are as much at the forefront of the urban homesteading movement as the Dervaeses, and I hope you will stand up for your rights to use a term that is, unquestionably, a LIFESTYLE ACTIVITY, not a trademark title. If you renamed your blog because you like RootSimple better, then that’s great, good on ya, but please do not let someone bully you into censoring yourselves or using language other than that which you would normally use regarding urban homesteading, a term which belongs to ALL of us. Thank you for all the un-trademarked inspiration you provide.

  8. Thanks everyone for all your kind words and support.

    @Diane: Re: changing the name of our book: That decision is not in our hands, but I’m sure our publisher, Process Media/Feral House has no intention whatsoever of changing the name of our book. That’s just not going to happen.

    You know, all this is going to work out just fine. We’re not worried at all, so neither should you be–though bless you for your concern.

  9. You guys are so gracious! Thought I’d stumbled upon some other blog by mistake (didn’t know you changed the name). Looking forward to your new book!

  10. I love the name Root Simple. I think it’s smart to sidestep the whole Urban Homestead issue.

    The things that I’ve learned from your blog and book are applicable to a variety of different living situations. Even though I’m in Los Angeles with you, my sister is doing a lot of the same things in the mountains in Denver.

    Looking forward to your next book.


  11. Just found your blog too. Am even more impressed by you high roading the whole issue. Your book is now on order for me too!

  12. You are VERY classy people…And we have learned a valuable lesson in life from you. May all this skyrocket your sales and serve you well in all future endeavors!!!

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