Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thoughts on the matter

After a few days of rain we are able to sit outside and build a fire. Which Ed is now poking. He won’t let me have the poker, because he says I poke the fire too much, let too much heat out. And I say, it’s a fire, it’s already hot.
My friend, Alicia, recommended a book for me, and I’m always up for good book recommendations. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I’m only twenty pages into the book but I’m loving it. First, she comes from Tuscon, Az., just like me! And her family’s goal was to live for one year on their farm in southwest Virginia on what they could grow and produce themselves, or obtain locally.
There is an entire thought process organically growing (pardon the pun) amongst the population, that global agri-business is not the way we should be getting our nourishment. Buying packaged goods that in no way resemble the calories that make them up. I was walking through the grocery store the other day, and was looking at all the canned tomato products, sliced and diced and sauced and pasted. I’m going to grow tomatoes this year, I hope, if my seeds ever germinate, and I’m worried about them. Why couldn’t I make all these products for myself? My mom always cans every summer when my dad’s garden is pumping out 40 pounds of tomatoes every day. She makes wonderful salsa. Alicia cans, and she said she would help me. Tomatoes, that could be all my sauces for the year. Tomatoes. Then I walked past the tortillas, I eat a lot of tortillas. I bet I could make them myself, right? I’ll let my corn dry on the cob, then grind it and fry it up. Pastas and breads, well I can’t grow wheat here, but I could still try to make my own. And I’m starting to think I could grow rice here, if I made a rice paddy and kept it covered with water. The more I can grow and make myself the less I have to buy, and I’d like to walk out of the grocery store without dropping $150.
I’ve always had this dream of cooking out of a fifty pound bag of flour and rice. And walking into the kitchen and throwing the flour up against the wall, and coming out with a four course meal.
Why not?
All I really lack is the know-how and the elbow room, but I want to learn, so I think I will.

On a different note, Ed and I enjoyed the last of the national media attention in the form of a “News To Me” segment that aired on Headline News this past weekend. Unfortunately, the show has been cancelled and I think we were the last broadcast.
Ed and I debated for a while about whether I should post the link, or whether that was too much self-promotion. But then again, what is self-promotion and is it a bad thing? Well we came to the conclusion that for the sake of the blog, and archiving reasons, that I would post the link. Also, this is our favorite interview, we think that it’s well rounded and an honest depiction of our living situation.


    check out this link. It looks like it would be completely do-able.

  2. I wanted to tell you that I watched the "News to Me" segment about you and that's how I found your blog. I've been reading your posts and can understand what you're going through. Back in the mid 80's the economy wasn't very good and I repeatedly lost my job due to reduction in workforce situations.
    Having just been married a few years, we had one child and my wife was about 8 months pregnant with our second child when I lost my job again. We had no health insurance when she delivered. We were faced with hard decisions and very little income. I can remember looking through couch cushions and the glove compartment of our car for any money I could scrape together just to buy groceries. To make a long story short, we ended up filing bankruptcy and slowly got our life back on track after taking jobs that I never, ever, want to do again.
    Your situation may seem bleak at times, and you might feel the urge to chuck it all in and give up. But I want to tell you that you will make it if you stay the course and be there for each other. To this day, we have a nice home and three children attending college. It has been, and we know it will continue to be, a struggle ... but we have each other to lean on. After 26 years of marriage, I wouldn't change one day of our lives together.
    We both grew up living in the city and finally made the move to a rural lifestyle. It has been the best decision. While an Airstream might not seem like the best accommodations, I doubt it will be permanent. Enjoy your days - hard as they seem. You probably don't see it now, but you've left your troubles behind. Your bright future is just ahead.

  3. Hi, My wife and I moved to Oregon from the Bay Area and actually stayed with her father for the first two months while our daughter was born.

    I now run a website which is intended to help people 'grow and make' more of what they consume. I think is what you were alluding to in your post.

  4. Hi there! I also found your blog through 'News to Me'. I didn't know the show was cancelled. (bummer!) I also moved to the the pacific Northwest about a year ago... originally from southwest Virginia. It's been a real culture shock, coming from the south. And dealing with the rain has been the most difficult of all. But seeing other people move here and adjust gives me a little hope. Thanks for blogging your journey!

  5. I agree with the thoughts of growing & making more of your own food. My grandpa would always let us come over and pick as much of his veggie garden and raspberries as we could- he always had a HUGE plot for just him and my Grandma (and I do mean huge- it was the size of his barn- one of the old ones that were used for cattle) so there was always plenty left over. This is the second summer without either of them and I've really missed the garden (apart from them, also). I wish I had taken some cuttings from the raspberry and strawberry plants he had- they were some of the best varieties! This year I've been looking into what area in my yard is going to be sacrificed. With a large herb garden already, I'm looking at expanding by the water pump- that way there's easy watering, too. I'll see as time goes by!