The two are not mutually exclusive, however; many BTTL and traditional Ozarkers demonstrate a fluid engagement with both realms--working hard with their animals and in their fields by day, and then writing or singing about the beauty and passion inherent in their agroecological pursuits in the evening or in the winters when the workload lessens.
Later BTTL accounts sounded remarkably similar about the potential of the Ozarks for homesteading.
As many BTTL and Old Stock Ozarkers have related, one must not live beyond one's means.
An Ozark BTTL explains his motivations as they relate to physical and ecological health and the political economic practices degrading US society and ecology:
BTTL Ozarkers believe that the natural world and local ecology deserve respect and in most cases perceive it as sacred.
When I first began investigating Ozark agro-biodiversity I stumbled upon an internet seed exchange developed by a BTTL who had been living off-the-grid for ten years in an extremely remote section of the Ozarks.
Strawberries Marguerite Lyon wrote a column, 'Marge of Sunrise Mountain Farms', in the Chicago Times that reportedly attracted thousands of Chicago BTTLs to settle in the Ozarks (Blevins 2002: 479).
Many BTTLs were misinformed and ill-prepared for self-sufficient living in a marginal landscape and they did not possess the traditional ecological knowledge necessary to survive on their own (Fellone 2010a).
As Donald Harington (1986: 98-9) noted (introductory quotation), BTTLs who continue to farm and forage in the Ozarks share an agrarian foundation with Old Stock homesteaders.
BTTLs leave the city for the Ozarks because they seek physical and spiritual health through direct connections with the natural world, which they perceive as unattainable in an urban environment.
BTTLs and Old Stock Ozarkers share a disdain for urban lifeways and a desire to take care of a piece of the Earth and ensure that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy and be nourished by it.