I had such a good time with Jenna. She’s the bravest person I know. Jenna is young, single and just bagged her job to write and farm full-time. Jenna is no trust fund kid with parents ready to bankroll her. She’s just a woman who wants to raise her animals and not be confined to a 9-5 job. I wish her well.

The participants were just as interesting as the presenters at the workshop. People came from all over the North/Eastern US and Canada. The had experience in a number of different arenas and brought up a lot of interesting ideas. One thing I took away was from a fellow who had spent years in the health care industry. He said that often, in any emergency, as many people die from the lack of soap as anything else. I have never made soap but it’s on my “really want to learn how” list. In the meantime, I just might have to make a stop at Big Lots and pick up a few more bundles of soap.

I was privvy to an on-line conversation that upset me this morning. It was all about how to get rich after a collapse. People listed the things that run out after an emergency and were suggesting what you could stockpile now and barter or sell later. I fear it misses the larger picture of the troubles we now face. Greed got us where we are and if we are still thinking about how to get more then we’ve missed something. If I stock up on soap, it isn’t to sell to desperate people after a tornado. It’s to have enough to share with my neighbors. We better learn the difference between social capital and financial capital if we ever hope to create a more durable living arrangement.

The weather here has been stunning for several days and I’m getting lots done. I still have to get the squash and corn in and some of the tender plants will wait until next week but the main garden is planted. I have a bag of potatoes left over and we keep on looking for odd spots to pop things. if there’s room at the end of a row you can bet I’m poking in another tomato or a bush bean. I had terrible germination with my beets and carrots and replanted yesterday. There’s the big reason I save seed. You never know when a crop will fail. I want enough seed to start over. Right now, no carrots would be an inconvenience. The day may come when it would be a tragedy.

The big moves are in process around here. Kids are moving from here to there so quickly that I can hardly keep up. By this time next week, Nate and Amanda and the kids will be here and Young Bruce’s girlfriend will have arrived from the Ukraine for the summer. The inspection for his new house will be complete in 10 days and the sale will take place ASAP after that. In preparation for a summer of picnics and parties and lots of coming and going, I need to call my neighbor and order a 1/2 side of beef. What I would love is about 100 pounds of free-range, local chicken breasts but nobody sells those. I’m going to pick up a couple of boxes of tea bags for making iced tea. I plan to make some big salads and keep the fridge full of greens and cheese. I also hope to get the freezer full of good bread. Then we’ll always have the makings of an easy meal. Life feels very full just now and I’m loving every minute of it.

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