March 27, 2009
Posted by Kathy Harrison under Uncategorized
| Tags: barter
, be prepared
, Food Storage
, Homegrown Food
, prepared for the unexpected
, save money
, stored food
|  Comments
I have been sorting my seeds this morning. I purchased a number of seeds from Fedco. They come in packets marked by weight, not number so I find myself with an excess of several varieties. That’s good news as I am going to a seed swap next week. Seed swaps are wonderful things. People often have favorite plants and order or save those seeds every year. That means that particularvariety is hardy in our climate and a reliable producer. Swapping gives me the opportunity to try out the seed myself. Chances are, it will become one of my favorites too.
Indian woman beans are one example of this. I tried them a couple of years ago and found they worked well for us. They dried easily and my kids liked them a lot. I started saving the seed and now I have enough to swap. I am looking for orange Hopi squash. Sharon Astyk put it on her must have list as it holds for a full year without getting soft. I haven’t found it yet but I hope to. My favorite squashes last year were Delicata and red Kuri. Both have wonderful flavor, stored well and Delicata needs no peeling. I have a lot of those seeds saved and hope to swap with someone for a terrific broccoli. My broccoli last year was terrible. I bought Arcadia this year and hope for better luck.
This swapping thing is adictive which is a good thing. I suspect that the next few years will see a lot of us bartering and swapping rather than using money. When you think preparedness, think about what you can store that will retain value. Cloth diapers and pins, shoe laces, nails, canning jar lids, you get the idea.
It’s funny how the idea of value changes with circumstances. I used to think of a car as having value. I still have one but I consider it a necessary evil and a drain on my finances. An auto is the last thing I would “invest” in. I keep the car and the truck we have in excellent repair, will drive both until they refuse to budge another inch, then pay cash for another second hand vehicle when it can’t be avoided.
March 16, 2009
Posted by Kathy Harrison under better choices
, eating in
, eating local
| Tags: barter
, community service
, economic future
, get healthy
, grow food
, lose weight
, prepare for job loss
, redefining good
, stop smoking
| Leave a Comment
I keep hearing talk of economic recovery. What I have not heard is exactly what recovery will look like. Does anyone really want an economic system to emerge that looks like the old one? I know I don’t want my children to build their economic future on a foundation of borrowing against future earnings to purchase transient pleasure in the present.
Everyone wants the good life. The problem becomes redefining good. What comes off the old “good life” list is pretty easy. Hot tubs should probably get taken off . A new car every three years, huge houses, plastic toys and the newest electronic gizmo will have to go. The work comes with filling up the space in our lives that use to house stuff and figuring out what will slip into the void.
Time in nature, time with friends, time to pursue hobbies, time to learn new skills, time to devote to community service, time to sit, time to think. Time. I can’t help but wonder if some of the people who have lost jobs that required 60 hour work weeks and 2 hour commutes, a breakfast of Malox and a good cardiologist have moments when losing the McMansion wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened. Of course, I realize that I am not being totally fair. It’s easy for me to look on the bright side of job loss when I don’t need a job. Bruce and I have been preparing for this for years. Had it been thrust on us before we were ready, we would have suffered as much as any unemployed stockbroker.
I can’t stress this enough. If you have a job, use this time to prepare for a time when you might not. Start a home business that you can fall back on. That may mean investing in the acquisition of new skills or tools. Learn to love living smaller. Be a presence in your community. Grow some food. Barter. Lose weight if you need to. Get healthy. Stop smoking. Forget the Dow Jones today. Design your own Personal Satisfaction Index.
Here is what my day looks like. It is early now. The children are still asleep. I will get them up in a minute. We will eat the whole grain muffins I prepared last night. Bruce will walk Phoebe to school. He will stop to visit with our neighbor. They will talk about buying pigs or bee keeping or this year’s sap run. I will write for a bit. I will pick up the up stairs and water my lemon tree. I will open up the green house. Bruce will work on the cabinet he is building for our son. We may walk to the Creamery for a cup of coffee. Actually, the coffee doesn’t matter but the community does. We will sit together and work on the garden plan this afternoon. I am making fish for dinner. I need to decide what I should bring up from the cellar to serve. Should it be applesauce or pears? Potatoes for sure. We will walk to school to pick up Phoebe. I will knit a few rows on my grandson’s sweater. We will take a walk after supper. Life is good.