Frugal Family

These are not my feet. This is what my sandals look like.
These are not my feet. This is what my sandals look like. My feet are way cuter than this. No offense random internet feet yours are also very nice. Great sandals.

Living on the cheap isn’t about being poor or not having nice things. For me it is about making the choice to consume less and to live more simply. When I need something I turn to the local classifieds, thrift stores and my friends first before I venture out to the store. Likely the OCD memory serves me well because if I do stock pile anything I have a photographic recollection of where it is.

Continue reading Frugal Family

Consumable Christmas

I am not really a fan of Christmas. Surprised? Of course you’re not. You know what people like about Christmas? The good will. The gathering of those closest to you, sharing time, laughter, coming together to warm each other on the long cold dark nights. My friend Alex put it better.

This year I was pleased to discover that I didn’t get much in the way of presents. Well conventional store bought presents that is. I got a lot of gifts. In fact my Christmas was almost out of the pages of one of my favorite stories ‘Little House on the Prarie’. I got handmade caramels and lip gloss made of beeswax and oil in reused tins. I got relish and beets and bread. I came home from my parents house with more food than plastic and that made me feel incredibly good. Continue reading Consumable Christmas

“Permaculture is revolution disguised as organic gardening”

I will admit to not being much of a gardener. Honestly my problem is seedlings. The transplanting of this delicate little baby plant into the earth where it is left in the open to the elements and susceptible to drying out, drowning or any other random event is just not my cup of tea. So I am not lying when I say that my approach to gardening has always kind of been stick a whole bunch of seeds in the earth somewhere that looks like something might grow and see what happens. I’ve had success and failure but never really put much stock or science into it.

The other day someone asked me, ‘Have you heard of permaculture?’ I answered a quick yes and then they asked, ‘Do you know what it is?’ This was a very powerful question because I had to answer, no not really. And oh my goodness has my world been turned upside down. All of the pieces are finally fitting. When I was looking around my city and thinking this is crazy there must be something better we can be doing, there was. There is.

There is a man named Masanobu Fukuoka who saw this clearly. There have been others as well. Bill Mollison for one he wrote the book on permaculture, literally.  And then there is David Holmgren as student of Mollison’s who has visited food forests around the world and worked to create some of the most unbelievable permanent gardens in some of the driest areas of the world. They are nothing short of oasis. All of this is happening and has been for a while now but the word ‘permaculture’ is still not one that many gardeners or ecologists or the like are familiar with.

While the worlds problems grow more and more complex the solutions are surprisingly simple. It is up to us to take the world back from the point of no return. Nature did not do this we did and nature cannot repair it but we can.

And the best part is it is MY kind of gardening. This makes sense to me in a way that planting a row of carrots never did. So that is a little bit of what I have been up to. The wheels are always turning the trick to to make them stay on the path.

If you are looking to learn more there is tons of info out there this is a good place to start: http://www.permacultureprinciples.com

I say bring it.

Bring on economic collapse.

Bring on staying home instead of eating out.

Bring on saving instead of spending.

Bring on thinking twice about what we buy.

Bring on pooling social resources.

Bring on eating locally and in season because it’s cheaper.

Bring on preserving food when it is in abundance.

Bring on being thrifty and getting it second hand.

Here’s to the SUV no longer ‘being cool’.

Here’s to reusing and regifting.

Here’s to taking responsibility for ourselves.

Here’s to helping those around us.

Here’s to my spending speaking for me.

Here’s to letting your lawn die.

Here’s to community gardens. To eating and wearing homemade. To community potlucks and sharing skills. To freecyclers everywhere and not throwing it out.

To all the things that have dramatically shifted and changed in the last twenty years. If the rest of the world is going to copy us or be forced to be more like us we had really ought to get it right.

Soften the world with a smile.