30 November 2010

Thoughts and ramblings on radical homemaking and such

I recently posted on facebook that I'm fantasizing about rural/communal living. I was only a little bit joking.

I am reading Radical Homemakers. (It feels ironic to link to big corporate Amazon for this book.) I'm thinking about society, what I value and how I want to live. Thinking about our consumer culture, and how I want to fight it, subvert it. Avoid corporate anything as much as possible. Make my own, or buy directly from the people who do grow/make things. Local meats, eggs, dairy, veggies, grains. Make our own pasta, graham crackers, soups, snacks ... what about cheese? yogurt? I haven't tried making these but I know it's do-able and well within reason. Sure it takes time, but I'm home. Plus I feel it's valuable to teach the kids how much we really can do or make ourselves. Teach them skills, not consumerism.

I'm also thinking about what I can do, what things I can make or services I can provide that might be tradeable; what I can contribute to my community. I'm not sure. I need to look into local native bee stuff, maybe start doing some outreach. I plan to talk to the Master Gardener group coordinator to see if I can maybe give a talk about native bees and how to manage for them.

I miss living next door to The Best Neighbors Ever, swapping kid care, feeding their chickens and stealing eggs, borrowing their dog for the occasional hike, and sharing the yards we collectively (mostly jokingly) referred to as The Compound. I miss seeing and interacting with our neighbors. This isolated living, houses close together but closed up tight is not my thing. People are hardly ever out in their yards. I've barely talked to one of our neighbors, and hardly ever see the others. It feels cold. It doesn't feel like home.

I'm thinking about the possibility of moving to a smaller house, one with a gardenable patch of yard (and just maybe a place to have 2-4 chickens). Less house square footage but more livable real estate as a whole. Maybe it's just a fantasy. I'm not sure yet. I don't know if it's worth the stress and hassle of finding another house and moving again.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, or where these ramblings and ideas will lead. We may or may not move. Someday we'll probably have chickens, though that may not happen while we're in PA. I don't know.


Amy said...

PLEASE don't hate me for this, but are you sure you're not MORMON?!!! LOL If you ever form a compound, invite Aaron, someday his dream is to have one. I'm not kidding.

Lindsey said...

Hhahahaa. I was thinking the same things Amy was. All the provident living, community, self sufficiency, simplicity stuff is so Mormon, only, obviously Mormons are not as hardcore into this aspect of it, BUT it happens to be my favorite part. I browsed this book at Barns and Noble the other day, looks awesome.

You know I would move back on the compound! We could trade homemade gram-crackers for soup, it would be great! I so miss having you guys as neighbors in so many ways, most of all I feel like we had a little community, like my neighbor really would and always did have my back.