Sunday, May 30, 2010

quote for the week

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Last year at this time, I was still in a hazy bliss from our wedding. Tomorrow we'll be entering our second (edit: wait, third, right? Second anniversary, entering third. . .) year of marriage and headed into our ninth year together. 

The above quote has been one of my favorites for years. I do believe it to be true. Every relationship, every marriage has it's up's and down's. I'm envious of people who have been together for years and are every day madly, passionately in love. That's something truly special and amazing. But it hasn't always been like that for us. And so that quote has stayed with me. Some days, some years, are harder than others. Sometimes our relationship takes work. But it always circles around, and I always come back feeling more in love than before. 

I know that the good old days weren't always so good. And just because the divorce rate was lower, didn't mean that people were happier. I know that there was abuse, and infidelity and loveless marriages then - just as there are today. And no one, ever should feel they need to stay in those situations. But I wonder if sometimes people end relationships and end marriages too quickly, and sometimes if they stuck it out - they'd fall back in love again?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shannon Hayes and a give-away!

I've been wanting to get around to writing a little bit about Shannon Hayes for a while now. I own all of her books and firmly believe they are necessary readings for anyone interested in grassfed cooking and foods/homestead type living.

I forget exactly when I first bought Grassfed Gourmet (I'm just seeing now, while linking this, that there is a second edition coming out - yes!) It was last summer or the summer before.

I had been eying the copies that Wendy from Sweetgrass Farms had out at her stand each week. I was still transitioning to grassfed eating, and admittedly had some trouble preparing the meats just right (still do, honestly). Every week I put off buying a copy of the book, because the price (maybe 18 dollars?) was way out of the range I normally spend on books (I'm a used book kinda gal, and when I need something new or specific - I it). One week, I happened to have some extra money and decided I'd buy it. Lucky for me, it was the last copy, and the edges were slightly dirty - so I got it at the discount price of $11.00. It has really been an indispensable guide in my transition to local, grassfed cooking.

I worked at Wegmans (a fantastic grocery chain, based locally for me) for 5 years and so USDA temperatures for foods and meats has been drilled into my brain for food safety. Plus, for a long time raw meat made me very squeamish. I handled it often, even at home, with gloves on.

I am just now (like, in the last couple of months) getting used to eating steaks a little pink. And I have to admit I do like them better cooked that way, once I get past the fact it's not well done browned/charred.

Several weeks ago, while browsing I came across a new book that had just been released, Radical Homemakers . That caught my eye, because of the premise of the book, but I also recognized the author, Shannon Hayes. While adding that to my cart, I saw yet another new Shannon Hayes book, The Farmer and the Grill. I ordered Radical Homemakers, and waited until the grilling season to order The Farmer and the Grill.

Radical Homemakers had me nodding my head and saying yes! out loud the whole time I was reading it. It's what I've been thinking and saying for years - only in a much more through, yet concise sort of way. Shannon interviewed several "Radical Homemakers" for the book, and it was neat to get the different levels and perspectives of them all.

Side note: While visiting an organic farm a few weeks ago just 6 or so miles down the road from me, I met the farmer. She had all of Shannon Hayes's books for sale and we got talking about them. Come to find out - she was featured as one of the Radical Homemakers! Imagine that, a radical homemaker as my neighbor!

One thing about the book, that of course put me on the defensive and had me grumbling just the slightest bit - were the comments like "we decided we wanted to raise our own children". You all know how I feel about things like that.

But, I also understand where those comments come from, and aside from that I loved every single thing about this book. Loved it.

The Farmer and the Grill came into our house a few weeks ago, and I've already tested a couple of the recipes. The steak I made came out very, very rare following the method outlined. I mean 140 degrees rare. It's so hard for me. The Husband said it was perfect. The kids loved it. I put mine in a frying pan for just a minute - still pink, but eased those instinctive food safety worries! I'll get there, because the truth is - that steak was delicious. And I bet it would have been that much better if I had left mine as it was. I'm learning.

I read the Farmer and the Grill cover to cover (as I do many cookbooks) but this one was wonderful. A lot of side notes on cooking techniques and their histories - on why grassfed is more expensive - or is it?!

I've decided to do my first give-away with one of Shannons books, because I really think they are wonderful. I would love to do a package give away, and do all 3, but I can't. It took me a little while to decide which one to do. In the spirit of the approaching Summer, I've decided to do The Farmer and the Grill.

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post and I'll pick a winner one week from today, Tuesday the 2nd. Yay!

Monday, May 24, 2010

quote for the week

I know, a day late last week and this week too. I'm still trying to get into my summer routine.

My uncle was visiting us this past weekend. He's only a few years older than me, there are 12 children on my fathers side of the family. My grandmother is not doing well, and he got a call that she went into the hospital again this weekend. She's in her mid 80's. For reasons I'm not entirely sure of, I feel very connected to her. Yet, I haven't seen her in 3 years. Life and all, you know?

 About 10 years ago, my family with Grandma

My Poppy on my mothers side is ill too. Dementia, progressing rapidly. I haven't seen them in about 3 years either. I think we may be taking a trip to see them all this weekend (they all live semi-near each other, and about 4 hours from us).

That’s all we are — just stories. We only exist by how people remember us, by the stories we make of our lives. Without the stories, we’d just fade away.
Charles De Lint 

I wonder if that's the appeal of blogging. You can be anyone. You don't need to write a book, or have your journals published. You can just be you - and tell your own story. You can be counted. You can be remembered.

I don't want this time with my grandparents to fade away. I want to take their stories with me, I want to create more stories to tell.

I wonder what stories people would tell of me? Would they be the same as the ones I would tell of myself? What about you?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

oh, bugs.

Our house was built in the mid-1800's. The previous owner bought it about 25 years ago, and it was totally gutted when he got it. The only thing original is the ballon structure and the cellar.

Our cellar is a real celler, for - you know, cellering and things. It's got thick stone walls, and trees for beams.

I love it. It's not at all practical or usable for any kind of living space and that's a bummer. But it's got character. Charm, probably not. But definetly character.

We built some shelves, and The Husbands work bench is down there. We have the cool cellar doors like I always wanted, leading to the side yard. It's perfect for storing our homemade wine, and I hope eventually to use it as a food cellar.

I was doing some yard work today, enjoying the gorgous day, and coming out by the cellar doors I saw this.

Now, it's quite possible I just haven't noticed that wood like that before, but I doubt it. The wood feels soft, almost wet. And it's, like, 200 year old wood (so totally petrified and solid).

I think we have termites. I didn't see any bugs, but what else would do that? Which kinda ticks me off. These beams have been here for ages, we've lived here less than a year and termites might have moved in? What the heck are we doing wrong?! We're renting this house until we can buy it, so I contacted the owner. Well, e-mailed him. And I'll see him at work tomorrow. My head is spinning at the thought of what the cost might be. Thank goodness for the summer raise, eh? And now I feel creepy crawly thinking there are bugs eating our basement beams. Ew.

Anyone have experience with termites, is this what it looks like? Does it cost a fortune to treat them?

UPDATE: It's not termites. The guy knew exactly what I was talking about. Apparently I'm just not very observant and never noticed it! It happened years  and years ago, apparently the house was abandoned for a period of time. He already had someone come in and reinforce support beams - so we're good to go! Remember how I said I worried too much?! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This week

This week I switched to my summer hours (day time and no weekends - yes!). I also got a significant raise for my summer position (hooray!). We have 3 little league games to attend. A lacrosse practice. An uncle coming into town. A wedding shower at the weeks end.

 It is going to be a very, very busy week. And I am going to have a little rough patch while I adjust to working so early.

I will probably won't be in this space for a few days, but I do have a couple of posts coming up with things I'm excited to discuss.

Also, within the next 10 days or so, look out for a give-away. Yay!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quote for the week.

We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it.  But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.  
~John Newton

I'm a worrier. It's only recently I realized this. I used to be told often, that I worried too much. That only annoyed me. Someone had to do the worrying, right? Someone had to care about the bills and things. I didn't worry unnecessarily. I worried about very legitimate things. It's only been in the past few years I've noticed I hear that often and from various people. And it's true. I worry about things that are happening. What will happen. How they'll happen. I've been that way for as long as I can remember. I journaled quite a bit growing up. I spent hours anaylzing things. Situations. People. I still do. When I have a problem, I like to talk about it over and over and over. I create different ways things could go, different ways of handling the problem. I don't want to get it wrong, you know?

I started worrying about my kids as teens while they were still in diapers. How would I have this conversation, or that conversation? I worry (and bite my tongue, usually) when they climb trees or wrestle. What if they break something? I'm no good with blood or emergencies. What if I was here alone? How would I handle it? My dad is no longer 5 minutes away, rushing to the rescue as I shove damp towels onto gashes in my childrens skin (yes, I've done that - thanks dad). 

I look back on all the stupid, dangerous stuff I did as a teen (I don't know how, since I was a worrier then too) and I worry about the stupid, dangerous stuff my kids will do. Things I'll never know about (and that's both scary and good - because, of course, then I'd worry after the fact about what could have happened).

I over-research and over analyze everything. I read everything I can about certain subjects, discuss it at great length with who ever will listen and mull over it for long periods of time. 

Once I realized that I was a worrier, I thought it was a new thing. Something that came about with growing up and paying bills and being a real live adult out on your own. But then, I remembered those teen years. The writing, the brooding. All the things I thought were normal teen things (and were, to a point). I remembered being pregnant with my oldest and spending hours and hours researching everything I could on pregnancy on the internet (which was a fairly new source of endless information). Reading books upon books upon books on pregnancy and labor and child rearing. Then I had kids, and I have been completly winging it ever since. 

I find that most of the time, I spend ridiculous amounts of time and energy learning everything I can about something - and then I just go wing it anyway. Children. Gardening. Cooking. Sewing. Truth is, when you're in the middle of it, you just do it. You make mistakes, you learn from them - and you just have to trust that in the end, everything will be ok. It won't matter how many books I read, or hours I spend worrying. It can all change in seconds.

So. I don't think this is anything new for me. I think it's just intensified as I've gotten older  - I've had more things to worry about!! But I used to be (a little more) carefree. The dishes could and would wait. I didn't worry about when they'd get done - they just would. Dirty bedrooms? No time - when the sun was shining I really had no other choice but to enjoy it.

I'm learning - I'm teaching myself - to (re)learn when to let go. I'll always be a worrier, I'm sure. It's in my nature. And sometimes it's good. It's practical. It keeps things running smoothly, it helps me be prepared. But there's a balance (there's the word of the year, huh?) that needs to be achieved. I need to take one day at a time. Everything else will fall into place. What else can it do? Things will happen or they won't. Unless I'm taking action, no amount of worrying will ever do anything.

Yesterday, I had a couple of hours alone, I visited a nearby organic farm and when I came home the sun had peeked out of an otherwise gray day. I began to get the laundry together - to rush to put it on the line. And instead, I stopped. I opened the window, laid down on the couch - and napped. The laundry never got done. It won't get done today, since I'm working 12 hours. It may not get done tomorrow. But it will get done. And there will be many more sunny days to hang it out on the line. Yesterday, I let go. And I napped. And I didn't even feel guilty.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


 I'm going to warn you - this is a very whiny post.

I feel like I'm always walking a tightrope. A little breeze, a slip, and I'm tumbling for days. I need a safety net.

This morning, I lost my balance again. I've been wavering for a few days. I should have seen it coming. I guess I kind of did. I felt it Saturday. I felt it Sunday. I thought it was just that I was tired. That I did too much that weekend (and I did, and I won't - not like that - again). That it was maybe hormones. I thought I was just shaky - but not about to fall.

I snapped this morning. I nagged. I sounded like my mother. The husband tuned me out. The kids tuned me out. But I still kept muttering. I woke up to the cat pooping in my shower. Kev laughed as I came downstairs about the surprise in the kitchen - which was bread crumbs all over. The cat (I hope it was the cat since our cellar door was left open all night!) got into a bag of rolls and got them all over. Her dish was empty. I normally check it when I get home (though it's Colin's responsibility) and last night I just forgot. I was tired. I was re-routed on the way home due to an accident and it took me an extra 25 minutes to get home (meaning almost 10 pm).  Anyway, the 'surprise' in the kitchen - everyone walked past it. Guess who got to clean it up? On top of trying to find Colin's baseball socks, and getting dinner started (because I had work at 7 this morning, I get home at 5 and Colin has a 5:45 baseball game). I asked for one load - just one load of laundry to be done yesterday while I was working. It wasn't. Now I'm looking at catching up on Mount laundry on my days off. Oh, and then I remembered the trash had to go out as the garbage truck was driving by. This all made for a cranky morning.

Anyway. I could complain all day about this weekend and this morning, but the end result is I just couldn't take it. I fell. I am tired.

I suppose I could also go on and on about how my kids are expected to do chores, and my husband was raised to help and on and on and blah, blah, blah. But in the end it doesn't matter. I've talked calmly about it. I've nagged about it. I've tried everything under the sun and I still end up doing most of the housework.

The thing is, I don't mind doing housework. I don't. I'm just tired. I can't do it all. I work odd hours and I work full time, and I'm tired of spending all my free time catching up on the things that weren't done while I was working. I can't keep doing the majority of the cooking and cleaning and everything else while I'm working full time. I can't. Something has to give.

The thing is, that I don't want to give up things like cooking from scratch, laundry on the line and other things that may take more time. I enjoy those things. I won't compromise the things that are important to me.  I'm not looking so much for things to be easier, or take less time. There are things though, that I could be helped with more often. Little things that take two seconds, but save me time. Like wiping the bathroom counter if you get toothpaste on it. Emptying the trash under the sink - not walking past breadcrumbs all over the floor and counters!

I feel unappreciated. I'm not expecting a pat on the back. I don't need praise. I just don't need attitude when I ask for help. I'd like maybe a thanks once in a while. I'd like it if I wasn't expected to do all the things that everyone else walks past. I mean, the laundry fairy doesn't come and gather their clothes and wash them. The toilet gnome doesn't scrub the toilets when everyone is sleeping.

Sometimes I wish I could be the kind of woman who just does it all and does it with a smile on her face. I want to be. I try to be. I'm not.

I realized this morning that my feelings of 'balance' come from chores. Why is that? How did that happen? I've noticed that when I'm caught up on things at home, I feel good. And when they aren't, I feel overwhelmed and out of rhythm, out of balance. I mean not always, but most of the time - yeah. That's what does it.

What a whiny post. Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people that only post about feel good things. Inspiring things. Lovely things. But I'm not. Like I've said - how I write is how I speak. How I blog is how I think. What you see is what I am. And sometimes that means I'm whiny and cranky and feeling sorry for myself.

I know I need to take some time for myself. I almost never do. The time I take for myself involves quick trips to wander thrift stores on my lunch break. Or Saturday morning farmers markets. I need something else. But I feel guilty. I feel like I shouldn't be taking the time from my family. Not that they necessarily need me there, but I feel like I need to be there - I already spend so much time away with work. Then there's the self-pitying thought that I'll just have to clean when I get home anyway, so what's the point. Then, of course, what would I do? I'd love to indulge in a massage, but realistically we just don't have the money for that. At least not on a semi-regular basis. I'd gladly spend time wandering thrift stores, used book stores and rummage sales, but the truth is we don't need more stuff. I could go walking or hiking which is free and won't result in stuff, but honestly - I prefer to do that with my family. I like being with them. I haven't taken much time for sewing or scrap-booking or any other crafting in a while, and I'd love to - but those are things I do at home, in the kitchen and I'd end up getting lunches and drinks and snacks for kids, and doing laundry while I work on it and feeling guilty for being home and not getting other things done.

Blah. It's just a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

How do you balance work and home life? How do you get your kids (or your husband!!) to pitch in more without being naggy? What do you do to recharge, to get away, to re-balance? What have you learned to let go of? What won't you ever let go of?

Edited to add this quote I just saw:

Note to self (again and again and again):

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.
Groucho Marx



Monday, May 10, 2010

quote for the week

One of my favorite motherhood quotes:

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new."  ~Rajneesh

I'm not quite sure why it's one of my favorite quotes, since I don't know that I believe it to be true. Since I became a mother just weeks after my 18th birthday - it seems that I was a girl, and then a mother. And my womanhood/adulthood has always been intertwined with motherhood.

For a long time I was ambivilant about motherhood. Not about my children, just about being a mother -  it was just what I did. It wasn't hard, it wasn't easy - it wasn't anything but life. In my early 20's that changed - I began thinking a lot about who I was outside of being a daughter and mother. I felt like I was slipping, losing myself. Now, nearing 30, I finally feel secure in motherhood (most of the time). I mean, I have no idea what I'm doing more than half the time, I'm completely winging this whole raising kids thing. But, as far as who I am - as far as being a woman and a mother - as if they are two separate things . . . for me they aren't. I am a mother. I finally really love and embrace being a mother.

I celebrate motherhood, I do think it's something amazing and wonderful. Yes, millions of other woman have done it. There are many women who are better mothers than me, and many women who are worse. I am perfectly average in a world of mothers. There is nothing special or magical about my skills as a mother, but I do see something special - something magical in mothering, in parenting. It's there in every act, in every day. How we parent our children, can ripple down for generations. It's a pretty powerful thing.

I'm not "lost in motherhood" (as, in my early 20's I feared I would be, like one of "those women"). It's taken me a decade to realize that this is who I am, that I haven't lost myself in motherhood - it's where I've found myself.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You don't have to do it all.

I was joking with my husband about writing a how to guide for real food for real people after a friend of mine suggested a I write a book. I can't write. I used to write, a lot. But I'm, like, word stupid now. Really, I am. I've forgotten all basic rules of writing since college. When I write, it's how I talk. I blabber.

As I was telling my husband (who thinks a book is a great idea, but I think that's just 'cause he's sick of me talking his ear off about food) I don't know that I could write a book. I mean, aside from the writing/blabbering thing, almost all the information I know - I learned somewhere else. And I mean, who am I anyway? Just some girl who's still learning herself, you know? Just some girl who less than a decade ago thought McDonalds was a perfectly acceptable lunch for her toddler.

I've mentioned before that my transition started out of need, not desire. I had to cut costs. In fact, I remember the year this transition started. I was in my kitchen one night, packing lunch for the next day for my then 5 year old. My baby was just months old. An old friend of my husbands had come by and brought a friend of hers. While packing his lunch I mentioned that we needed more Hi-C fruit juice boxes. And the friend of the friend went on a little tirade about how when she had kids she was never going to feed them that garbage and blah, blah, blah. I was so ticked off. How dare she come into my house and put down my choices?! Just wait till she had kids and had to balance everything, sooner or later she'd turn to juice boxes. Well, her approach was wrong. The way she came across, was insulting. It's because of her, that even though I get preachy, I try not to get snotty. Little did I know then, in a couple years time I'd be scorning those little juice boxes as well.

That 5 year old that I was packing lunch for is now almost 12. His lunches are still far from perfect. I'm still learning. But he hasn't had a juice box in years. The boys use reusable water bottles.

You don't need to start big. You don't have to do it all. As Star commented yesterday:

"I think people get caught up in changing everything at once,and they don't think, "Well, ok, this is what I can do now, this is what I can work on." It's much more daunting to make real change when you want it all at once. But that's not always feasible"
That is so true. And that's one of the "chapters" my husband said I should have in my "book" (haha). You don't have to do it all. You don't. Maybe someday you'll want to, maybe you won't. But what you have to look at is what you can do now.

Can you stop putting juice boxes in your child's lunch? I bought reusable water bottles at Wegmans for 2 dollars a piece. They're rubbermaid or something (plastic-y) so still not perfect - but affordable. How much is a 10 pack of juice-boxes? At least 2 dollars. You're not saving money there. A 12 pack of pint size water bottles? $2.50 and they're clogging landfills. We've managed to reduce our trash by a huge amount, and my children are drinking more water and less sugar. That was easy right? A one time, 4 dollar investment. 
When I first started going to our regional market again, it wasn't because I had an interest in local foods. I had an interest in saving money. It was over the course of that first year that my interest turned to nutrition and local foods and food culture etc . . . but it certainly did not start that way. I had been going to the market for about 6 months when I decided to venture out and try one of the local, grass-fed meat vendors. I thought the prices were high. I though there was no way I could afford it. So I started small. Some eggs (3 dollars a dozen) and some ground beef ($3.50  a pound). Over time I began to adjust our menu's to eat seasonally, to eat less meat (though we're eating plenty of it now!) so that I could afford those meats. This change did not come all at once. I'd say it's been maybe 3 years since I started visiting our local market regularly, and it's only been in the last year that most of our food has started coming from there (varying on season of course).
You don't have to do it all.

I'm still learning. I'm still growing. I've been learning to make my own cheese. I make my own wine. You may never be interested in those things. And that is okay.

I've only recently started to cut out white flour and white sugar. I've only very recently begun to look at soaking grains. I've (repeatedly!) admitted that my kids eat chips and other snack foods. I can't do it all. I can't do everything I want to and do it the way I want to. Part of learning to make the change to real food, is learning when and what to let go of. You do what you can and move on.

Any change you make towards real and local food is going to benefit you and your family.

I think there are several bloggers participating in something called One Small Change. That's sort of what I'm talking about (and if anyone could link me to the origins, I'd be grateful). You don't need to get overwhelmed. You don't need to go spend your whole paycheck at Whole Foods. Honestly, I'm so used to shopping locally, I don't know if I would like a Whole Foods (we don't even have one near us). 

What is one thing you can do, today, this week, this month to make a change? Can you cut out juice boxes? Can you buy only local grass-fed beef? Can you check local harvest - find a farm or market and go there, even if you don't buy anything?

When I first started on my real food journey - I had no idea that's where I was going. You may already be light-years ahead of where I was. Check out my recommended reading tab for some great books on this topic. Not included there are the two books that I started with. They aren't so much real food as just scratch/budget food. I haven't used these books in years, and they've been in and out of my book donation pile so many times I've lost count. I think I'll keep them though. They were a great starting point for a clueless 23 year old who had never cooked anything that didn't come in a wrapper.

Those books were Miserly Meals and Not Just Beans. If you're on a tight budget and just getting started in transitioning from processed foods, I definitely recommend those books to get started.

 I'm thinking about doing regular posts over the next month or so on real food for real people. I hope you guys will join in, posting on your own blogs, or in the comments here!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the real problem(s) with real food

Is that it's not accessible to everyone. That's a huge problem. In a recent post, Sheila commented:

I have to take a a 45 minutes Subway ride to the nearest Farmers market. We have are lucky enough to have a TJs nearby but its still a 35 minute bus ride in the opposite direction. And it took us a long time to start doing the bus ride thing because it did sound a bit overwhelming to hop on bus with four million other people and 10 bags of groceries, but it has been the best decision we have ever made. I really wish would have done it sooner.

My city is making small strides to alleviate that. They set up small farmers markets in bad areas of the city (and I mean small - 3 or 4 vendors) but it's a start. Our regional market is located just outside the city, and most vendors accept food stamps. There is a downtown market once a week - still takes a bit of time to get to if you have no car, but runs along the main bus route.

I know some areas of my city, and in many other cities - even having a grocery store that sells fresh food is a problem. Many areas only have corner convenience stores that sell pre-packaged and bagged processed foods. And even those are charged premium prices.

Another problem is that many people don't see anything wrong with  processed foods. I'm not militant, I'm talking in general. Some people get all up in arms when I put down processed foods - I mentioned in my rant-ish post that it's not unusual to find a bag of chips in our pantry or white flour or even a box of mac and cheese on occasion. But there are problems with processed and pre-packaged foods, even beyond the health/nutrition problems:

" Three generations of us have managed to walk this earth without understanding the fundamentals of food production - when to plant seeds, when certain foods are locally in season, how to put up garden produce, what cows, pigs, sheep and chickens eat, how they are slaughtered and processed or the labor that food production entails. 

When we are unaware of these things, we are also blithely unaware of the industrialized food systems destruction of our land and resources, of it's abuses of human labor, of it's propensity to poison our land, water and bodies with toxic chemicals, of it's rapid consumption of our dwindling petroleum resources. 

We are simply unaware of how our food is produced. We have such little understanding about t, that we are willing accomplices in horrendous, environmentally destructive food waste. According to Timothy Jones, a University of Arizona anthropologist, 40% of the food grown in the United States is lost or thrown away. Upon studying household waste streams, Jones discovered that 14% of our trash was perfectly good food, unspoiled and in it's original packaging. Since very few people have the time to keeping their own gardens and/or inclination to compost, all but 2% of their wasted food ends up in landfills, where it produces methane, a majoe source of greenhouse gases. Our inability to produce and process our own food also results in Americans spending one of every eleven food dollars on packaging."
-Shannon Hayes

In Shannon Hayes's book Radical Homemakers she talks about how we've gotten trapped in this consumer culture/processed food culture. And I was nodding my head the whole time. I've been planning on writing a post on Ms. Hayes for a while, and will soon! But basically, she says that we're in this cycle of working to pay for what we need, because we're not home to create/grow/tend to what we need - because we're working. I'm looking forward to the day that I can work only part-time and stay home and garden and cook and clean and etc . . . Being home to do those things will enrich our lives in more ways than one.

So. We don't have real food, because it's not accessible. Sometimes because we don't have grocers/markets that provide it. Sometimes because we are unwilling/unable to grow it ourselves.

Or maybe we just don't know how. Maybe we don't know why, or where to begin?

Do you live in a city with few fresh food options?

This is a great article, with some real life ideas on how to make a change. Transforming food deserts doesn’t always require government or corporate intervention.  Some of the best transformations result from individuals or grassroots organizations getting involved.

What about starting a community garden?

Do you have a balcony or patio? There are tons of resources. Check out The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) or one of the many sites dedicated to apartment gardening, like: Easy Balcony Gardening.

No balcony? Try Window Farming

There really are so many ways to get involved in knowing where your food comes from. There's a revolution brewing, and it's becoming easier than ever to make these changes in your life.

It does, doesn't it? Maybe now even more than ever.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Quote for the Week.

I'm a total quote addict. Lately I've been writing a new quote every week or so on our chalkboard in our kitchen. Just something to think about, pay attention to, keep in mind over the week. I think Sundays, here, I'll do the same.

via tumblr