Sustainable Living - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-10-2004, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
CeraMae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not sure where else to put this. It seems like those of us who frequent NH&BC would be the ones discussing this...

Does anyone else really desire to live like the old days? I know there is a whole trend out there for sustainable living, people building green homes, living off grid, getting back to basics, etc.

When I think about SL I'm not imagining "yuppie" solar-powered dishwashers and organic junk food. I'm thinking: growing/hunting food, bartering with neighbors, digging a well for my water, heating and lighting my home with the sun, cooking my food from scratch, loving and respecting this earth and doing my part to LIVE this way rather than talking about it.

So many people are getting rid of chemicals, buying organic, working less and living more.....

If there are others out there with this outlook on life, let's talk!!! What are you doing in your life to make SL a part of your every day???
CeraMae is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-10-2004, 09:47 PM
 
FreeRangeMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Its my dream to live this way

I am trying to make small lifestyle changes to work toward this goal. I am making more and more things from scratch and every year my (organic) garden gets a little bigger. It is my goal to freeze or preserve as much as possible.

I also reuse everything. I make new clothes out old ones and do patchwork with the scraps. I am hoping to try to make my own paper out of old paper soon too (if I can find the time). So many things can be reused in great ways.

I am getting rid of chemicals too. I haven't used chemical cleaners in a few years, and now the soap and shampoo is gone too.

I feel like there is so much more I need to learn, if I can do it little by little it won't be so overwhelming. I am always interested in what others are doing too


 

FreeRangeMama is offline  
Old 03-10-2004, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
CeraMae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by akirasmama
I am trying to make small lifestyle changes to work toward this goal.
Same here. I am (more and more) cooking from scratch, buying bulk, reducing waste/packaging (not having trash service helps), recycling my bathwather and laundry wather. I walk/bike everywhere to reduce my dependency on the car. EC with Davis to reduce dependency on diapers. I could go on and on....

We are moving this summer to a place with a yard large enough to grow a "real" garden. I plan to freeze/can/preserve what it yeilds. We're buying a 40 acre lot of land in So Colorado so that we can build a house and eventually move out there and be self-sustaining. We realize it will take a long time and we have LOTS to learn, but we also realize that begining the lifestyle now is the most important.

I get discouraged sometimes because I talk to people and they all talk about how great it would be to farm and live in a straw bale house, but they don't do much in their everyday lives to live more simply. One friend is gung-ho about trying to start a commune with friends, and is living WAY beyond her means.... buying designer clothes, etc. while they barely have money for gorceries....
CeraMae is offline  
Old 03-10-2004, 11:11 PM
 
farmer mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: within my harvest
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are other mamas with similar values as I have! Hurray, we are not alone! We also do our best to live the simple life. We have a good start but can still go a long way. We have a really ridiculously huge organic garden that meets all our produce needs in the growing season and we use a lot of home canned, frozen, pickled produce in the winter, although we depend on our food co-op for fresh stuff in the winter (we need salads!!). We have chickens which give us eggs and eating (rarely), ducks (some eggs and slug and snail control), bunnies, a small greenhouse, we keep bees for honey for eating and mead making, as well as beeswax for my salves and candles (my 5 year old daughter is a great candle maker, with supervision). We have way too many raspberry canes, blueberry and gooseberry bushes (think lots of jam making) , as well as plum, cherry and apple trees on our property. I have a large medicinal herb garden as well as lots of flowers and a children's garden. I cook everything from scratch and buy in serious bulk, lots of whole grains, and make our own bread. My dh brews awesome beer and mead. I try to make our clothes, which works well for me, but the kids get a lot of clothing from the grandparents so they don't need much. I knit all our hats, scarves and mittens and make a lot of waldorf style toys. I also spin and weave and make plant dyes, but don't have much time for it. We homebirth, breastfeed, EC, homeschool, etc. We live pretty far out so I only take the kids to town once weekly for storytimes, playgroups and shopping at the local co-op. So that is what we do, I could go on and on but I feel like we still have a long way to go... we want to buy a bigger piece of land and build our own home with sustainable materials, solar power or no power (which is how I grew up), composting toilet, graywater system etc., and have a herd of sheep, dairy goats and horses. I would like to do more fly fishing, and my dh would like to learn how to hunt. Sorry so long, but I am really passionate about this! I think no matter where you are you can be working towards living more simply/ land based. It is nice to be around (via the net) women who don't think I am crazy for having a clothes line! -FM
farmer mama is offline  
Old 03-10-2004, 11:16 PM
 
saintmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've always felt like i was born in the wrong time.When I was young 18 i found myself living in the mountains with dh and ds among wonderful people who had always lived that way.My neighbors guided me in my efforts to can ,quilt, garden and sew with kind words and sometimes blunt critisism!20 some years later we still pretty much grow our own food and raise or hunt our own meat.I still grow a huge garden and haul the extra to the farmers market to sell.It's probably whats saved our butt when dh was laid off last month.We don't have the debt or consumer oriented lifestyle of alot of his former co-workers.Not a bad way to be.
saintmom is offline  
Old 03-11-2004, 02:17 AM
 
justmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: beginning anew
Posts: 5,727
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Farmer mama, I bow down to you!!!!!! Really. That's amazing. That is my dream. Unfortunately, I'm a single mama living in an apartment building and going to school full-time. This means no garden, dd is in a home daycare, and I drive quite a bit during the week. BUT I am trying to do my part by buying organic, reusing EVERYTHING, making dd's and my clothing or buying at a consignment shop, recycling everything, and going all cloth for dd and I. There is nothing disposable in our house, be it paper towels or pads or diapers. Still I feel like it's not enough. I totally have those "back to the earth" thoughts everyday. I think us MDC mama's should move to a deserted island and begin our lives with our families over again in a fashion we deem appropriate.
Meg(so happy that there are other's around who won't scoff at my dream)

treehugger.gifjog.gifgreenthumb.gifknit.gifnamaste.gif

justmama is offline  
Old 03-11-2004, 02:53 PM
Administrator
 
cynthia mosher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Arabia!
Posts: 38,755
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)
farmer mama - you have my admiration, and envy!!

You say you grew up without power. Please tell us how you were raised, what your growing years were like.

cynthia mosher is offline  
Old 03-11-2004, 04:54 PM
 
Panserbjorne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Great North
Posts: 11,992
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
it's so great that there are others out there! I'm still on the beginning part of this journey. I was raised in kind of a SL household, though we never would have called it that. My parents, dh and I are currently looking for 100+ acres to start our own little community. The goal is to build our houses and start a farm. My parents already grow alot of their food, keep bees and such so this would simply be on a bigger scale. I also make all of our food and only visit the market when it's truly necessary. Thanks for sharing!
Panserbjorne is offline  
Old 03-11-2004, 05:04 PM
 
youngnhappymamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I love you all. It is our dream to live off the land on a few hundred acres and be off the grid and totally self-sufficient....I want your life farmer mama!!!! It will be a few years for us, though. My dh is in school so we live in apartments, etc. We have made some good changes over the last few years like get rid of consumer debt, stop using chemicals to clean our home, not use so much disposable things, I am trying to cook from scratch more, and we are always on the look out for publications about our dream (any of you read Back Home magazine? It is so cool! Or read The Simple Living Guide?)

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

youngnhappymamma is offline  
Old 03-11-2004, 06:18 PM
 
bamboogrrrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 420
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you folks ever checked out the SL discussion forums? They are really great! http://www.simpleliving.net/forums/default.asp
I've learned tons from these people. The foundation of lots of the discussions comes from the book "Your Money or Your Life."
bamboogrrrl is offline  
Old 03-11-2004, 10:28 PM
 
farmer mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: within my harvest
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi all. Back Home Magazine is great, we also like Mother Earth News and we like the book Storey's Basic Country Skills, it has everything from gardening, building, canning, caring for animals, etc. I also love Permaculture: A Designer's Manual by Bill Mollison about how to make your plot a complete system. Thanks for the admiration which is somewhat embarassing. I think that wherever you are in your life you can make a huge impact. When my dh was in school we lived in an apartment but still dreamed, planned, gathered info and did small steps like less waste, cooking with whole foods, sewing and making things ourselves, so we have totally been in the space of not living how we would ideally want to, but we always held on to the idea that we were (and still are) moving forward. Cynthia, about my folks, they bought land in the mountains when it was still relatively cheap, built a log cabin with no indoor plumbing or electricity. It was an awesome way to grow up in the middle of nowhere. It is funny how as a kid I thought everyone took showers outside from a sun warmed hose. It just goes to show how adaptable children are when they have their basic needs (food, shelter, love) met. They still live there but now have power and water. About communal land, my dh and I have talked about somehow buying adjoining land or parceling out a large piece of land with other like-minded families, so everyone could have their separate space (homes, gardens, etc.) but also share some communal spaces (larger farm, orchards, sheep, etc.). We have been around several communal land situations that ended badly so we are pretty hesitant, but there must be a way to make it work. Any thoughts? Also do you all know about the children's book author Tasha Tudor? She is 80 and lives and dresses like she is from the 1830's. Pretty cool.
farmer mama is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 12:58 AM
 
MamaMonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: lalalala life goes on
Posts: 12,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd love to be more sustainable. It's expensive to buy land- and near well-paying jobs it's hard to find a bargain, so I'm hoping if we're frugal now we can retire to a place where we can live sustainably.

I've always done the small things to use less- walk, mass-transit, ride my bike, combine trips, fuel efficient cars, garden, use cloth napkins, diapers, etc... shop garage sales.

Darn, we should be able to afford some land in the country after all that, but it's not so yet!

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
MamaMonica is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 02:11 AM
 
zanelee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Not far enough out!
Posts: 669
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
AHHHHhhh!
I feel like I've come home. My first reaction when I saw this thread was "YES!"
I have wanted to live life more simply for a long time. My dh is the same way, but I'm not sure he's really up for it yet. So I'm slowly convincing him.
Now, we're doing small changes and big plans.
Hopefully we'll start building our new dream home (not the normal "dream home") in the next few years.
I'd like to pose a question to you all. I'm here in the very humid south. Have any of you build with alternative methods where there is high humidity? I just don't know what would work best.
I'm just so excited that this thread is here.

YIPEE!

Jennifer, Wifey to Stevenwinky.gif, Mommy to Gwhistling.gif and Hfairy.gif. TTC for 5 years.
Praying for God to bless us again!

zanelee is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 03:16 AM
RAF
 
RAF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Washington
Posts: 539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello, it is nice to see other folks here who are interested in simpler, more sustainable living. We are trying to get closer to being self sufficient (my hubby and 2 daughters) and have a small farm with dairy goats, ducks and geese. We are going to be planting a very big veggie garden and lots of trees. We also would like to find an alternative source of power but aren't going to be able to do that for quite some time, I'm afraid. Also, about growing veggies in the winter, there is a great book called _Four Season Harvest_ by Eliot Coleman and it is all about growing veggies year round. They live in zone 5, which is cold, cold, cold and still have fresh veggies all year.
Also, we prepare just about everything from scratch, because, well, we *have* to. My daughter, Sierra and I both have bad food sensitivities to processed foods and gluten, so we really can't eat packaged junk anyway! I guess food sensitivities can be a blessing in disguise! There is a great book out about traditional diet and food preparation called _Nourishing Traditions_. It has recipes for homemade sourdough without yeast and lactofermented vegetables, fermented dairy and other old-fashioned health foods.
Also, we don't want to do a mortgage ever again. We are going to start learning to build with cob and plan on building our own cob house some day. We will buy raw land. For now, we need to practice, so we are planning on building a "duck house" this summer for the ducks to take shelter in at night and during storms, etc. Anyway, good to see you all here.
RAF is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 04:26 AM
 
mountain mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Great White eh?
Posts: 3,158
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi everyone!!!

We have been trying for a few years to figure out how we are going to do it! Still be able to support ourselves, our dd, and live off the land.

Our latest plan is to purchase a smallish piece of land in the area we love and slowly move fulltime to it.

We live in a large city currently, we are living as gently here as we can, car sharing, recycling, organic gardening, etc. and we rent.

Our plan is to work 8 months here renting and living in the big city and then live 4 months on our land. Slowly moving to fulltime as we become more selfsufficient. I am a herbalist and my dh is a sustainable electrician specializing in retrofitting.

I look forward to sharing our ideas and learning from all you wise earth conscience mamas!

Turning in for the night
Colleen
mountain mom is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 04:31 AM
 
Overproducktion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Beautiful Washington State
Posts: 2,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My FAVORITE thing to do is to start a fire in my woodstove. Then I will use it to heat water for tea or a bath--or I will hang some laundry by it to dry.

And I LOVE it when the power goes out. We cook on the woodstove and of course every thing is by candle light. Ahhh--the good ol' days.:

Tamera hearts.gifwife to Rod moon.gif Mama to Ty jammin.gif Nathan Peace.gif Hunter bikenew.gifMila energy.gifAndrew sleepytime.gif Kyle REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif& our last baby # 7 due June 2011 1sttri.gif We homeschool.gif  nocirc.gifcd.gif  h20homebirth.gif
Overproducktion is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 04:49 AM
Lou
 
Lou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Austin
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we live in a great world! i love the balance of being at home on the farm all day long, working with the land, and then coming back and connecting to the world through my computer.
we live on five acres with my mil- living in and slowly converting the huge garage into a nice cozy home for us. it's funny to think about people building garages that are big enough to house families!
we raise our own meat, eggs, and veggies. last summer, i made my first batch of plum wine & fig conserve! yay!
it sure takes commitment to live completely off the land- my dh is focused on the outer world at this time- full time student & building up his food business- while i'm trying to work in our *too big* garden without any big fancy equipment to help me on my way, and a little gal who wants to wander the land picking flowers and watching the animals. so, things are going slowly... but we're young, and just started farming a few years ago. i grew up in the city, but when i first lived on a farm, it spoke to my soul!
even if some of us can't live off the land, there are so much that we can do in our daily tasks, the choices that we face every day.

***last week, i opened a bottle of my homemade plum wine and the wine just came gushing out! any help, anyone???***
Lou is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
CeraMae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ALL OF YOU


I love being able to connect with likeminded mammas!

Farmer mama, you are such an inspriation, and a reminder that even when I get to the point I'm dreaming of, I will have so many more goals.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking that I will be "depriving" ds when we move onto our land, because we will be pretty rural, etc. I keep thinking I need to surround him with culture. But I'm trying to remind myself that the best thing I can do for him is to be a good example as a human being, and there are plenty of ways to let him know that the world doesn't revolve around the little town we live in. I think it goes back to my feelings of deprivation when I grew up, but I realize now that it was becuase I was influenced by the consumer-driven media and not my parent's values.
Mom raised us out in the sticks and grew all of our own food. Homebirthed us, etc. But I saw it as something to be ashamed of because we were poor, instead of something to be proud of. I think the difference will lie in how I raise my children, I will actually explain to them the good things about how we live instead of the "tough, deal with it" mentality.
I feel very fortunate to have my mother to learn skills from. Meanwhile, I am proud to say that dh and I live debt-free and have a substantial savings. I'm really blessed that we have figured out our priorities in our youth so that we don't end up (like some of my friends) neck-deep in mortgages, shcool loans, and car payments. I used to be in debt and unemployed and it was the biggest lesson of my life....
CeraMae is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 04:34 PM
 
Indigo73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southeastern CT
Posts: 2,362
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A couple of years ago, my dreams had been to buy several acres and live off the land. But my dreams have morphed. I am getting more and more interested in urban & small space gardening.

I am trying to make urban living as sustainable as possible. I don't think we will move out to the country but work on eco-renovating our turn of the century post house.

We come up with new ways all the time to leave the smallest foot print - organic gardening in containers and terraced beds, 1 used car (as much as we want 2), recycling beyond the municipal program, rainwater collecting, no chems, etc.

Since not everyone can move to the country I want to learn to be an example of sustainable urban living.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay

Indigo73 is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 04:42 PM
 
juicylucy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: in the sky with diamonds...
Posts: 2,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Farmer mama, can I come and live with you please? :LOL

Sounds like heaven. It is my dream to live this way.
juicylucy is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 04:45 PM
 
MamaMonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: lalalala life goes on
Posts: 12,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Indigo, thanks for adding that viewpoint about sustainable urban living. I'm also thinking this way, since we may not ever move out to acreage- and I am wanting to live my values now.

I grew up on a farm and sometimes wonder if by the time I am older and we can afford the acreage, if I will have the energy for all the work. I knew someone who "retired" from her sustainable life at age 51- saying all that gardening, wod chopping, canning and freezing got exhausting after a certain age (she didn't have kids to help) and wanted to play golf. Which she did.

I want to find the balanced, sustainable life that will sustain and nourish ourselves in the long run and also be light on the planet. It is possible to grow a lot in a small space, as well as raise chickens or ducks for eggs.

We don't have a sunny yard for growing things. Even with a small space, you need to have certain conditions to make it work. We do have large trees to cool the house in summer, though. It's a trade off when you have a small yard.

The housing market here has taken off so much that to move in the area would be a dumb decision (we'd end up with less house, actually), so we'll need to work with what we have.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
MamaMonica is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 06:15 PM
 
farmer mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: within my harvest
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You all seem so neat. It is so great to hear about people with similar goals. I think urban homesteading is totally great (one really inspiring book is This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader). In most cities you can have a small amount of chickens, do food co-ops, garden and find ways to consume less, so we all can do our part. CeraMae- I think the issue of "depriving" our kids with less material things and oppurtunities is a huge issue. We seriously limit our kids' toys to things that are made from natural materials, preferably handmade, open-ended, and not a lot of them. We also limit the amount of classes and strictly structured activities. We want our kids to fully experience just being kids, playing with the animals, climbing trees, digging in the dirt, playing in our woods and creek, etc. I also think monica's point about the energy it takes is huge. For as much as I enjoy the way we live, sometimes it is hard; chicks are cute but sometimes they die, your bees swarm 30 feet up a tree and you have to go get them, you have a huge garden and by harvest time you have tons of work. Not that I don't love it and feel energized by it, but it is a huge commitment. We don't have dairy goats right now because we like to go backpacking and visit family and we don't have anyone we would count on to milk twice a day. So it comes down to the balance of what you can do now and what you need to put off until later. I think if we all lived a more community based; sharing the work and doing tasks together, it would be alot less draining.
farmer mama is offline  
Old 03-12-2004, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
CeraMae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Indigo73 & Monnie ~ you should check out http://pathtofreedom.com. It is a really great website about urban homesteading!

farmer mama, I agree with what you talk about. I want to unschool dc and totally let him experience being a child. I relished being a child out in the country -- climbing trees, playing at the pond, helping with the garden... I absolutely loved it until I hit puberty and then I felt trapped. Again, this had more to do with parenting now that I look back, but it still effects me.

In my ideal world, we'll buy the land now and plant fruit and nut bearing trees and bushes, and spend our vacations there. (it's 6 hours away in a valley). We are still trying to figure out the cheapest way to build a house, by salvaging materials and doing a lot ourselves, and we will rent in the meantime so as to not accumulate any debt. This will take years, and be a project of ours, and hopefully down the line it will be more clear to me if we are meant to settle down there when the kids are adults or before that. In the meantime we'd like to do as much "urban homesteading" as possible.

I also think that community is SO important. We are talking with friends about going in on a large parcel of land and splitting it, so that we can share labor and goods with each other.
CeraMae is offline  
Old 03-13-2004, 01:04 AM
 
FreeRangeMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I love how we are all on different parts of the journey towards SL For someone like myself, who is relatively new to the idea (my family are the most wasteful people I have ever met!) it is wonderful to know my goals are attainable. Thank you all for being here Its nice to have other mamas who understand my passion for this ideal and to remind me of the path I wish to be on.


 

FreeRangeMama is offline  
Old 03-13-2004, 01:19 AM
Lou
 
Lou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Austin
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i'm enjoying this thread-
farmermama, how old are your kids? i really believe that children when they are given a connection to the earth, the outdoors, gardening, playing in the mud, have less need for 'toys' .... do you find that to be true for your children?
my dd is 22 months- and she is really most content when she is outdoors exploring the land, standing on the fence watching the animals, picking flowers, shoveling rocks.... she doesn't have much of a need for 'toys', i make her dolls and balls, play silks *naturally dyed* i love playing with natural dyes, aren't they awesome??

yes-- i completely agree with what y'all were saying about community. i'm finding it real difficult to till my garden by myself- it just feels so tiring and it's so hard to get started without the energy of other people around me. my dh doesn't have a lot of free time to help me out. how are y'all doing with the energy it takes to work the land? it's always different with the seasons, life, and so on, but.. it's always a factor. there's a great farm down the street from us that totally embraces the concept of communal farming- no machinery- they do a CSA and encourage members to come and do work days. my dh worked there last summer- and we would all harvest the hay using scythes- it was just an amazing experience to be walking down the fields with a line of people, all scything rhythmically. loved that!!
Lou is offline  
Old 03-13-2004, 04:12 AM
 
farmer mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: within my harvest
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi again, I am writing so much because this is such a neat thread! Lou- my kids are almost 5 and almost 2, and they have a blast and play really well together I must say. They have similar toys to the ones you mentioned, silks, dolls, rocks, and a really nice wooden play stove. They don't really get what to do with more conventional toys when they come across them at certain friend's houses! We have had kids that live down our road come over and they have asked "How do you play with this?" And these are pretty rural livin' kids, I couldn't believe it! When I read your post about a bunch of people harvesting with scythes I got goosebumps! Did you guys sing as you worked? That is the kind of stuff I am talking about! We also like natural dyes and right now really like hybiscus (my daughter is a pink kind of girl) and I am really into woad (because of my love for all things celtic, of course). My dh really perfers to do everything by hand so he double digs our beds (with lots of "help" from the kids and the chickens), and then I do all the planting with the kids at our leisure. To help with the energy to do these kinds of things I do them with the kids at a relaxed pace. My soon to be 5 year old is in charge of gathering eggs and filling up the food and water for the animals (this is something she just took on herself), while my toddler is more likely to throw the food on the floor it still works. Today the also helped me start more seeds in the greenhouse and plant our onion seedlings in the garden (it wasn't perfect, but it got it done). Another thing that is helpful to me is to get into the rhythm of the year. Like I am inspired to do spring cleaning because I want a fresh start for the spring equinox, we have celebrations with other friends and families with bonfires to mark the solstices and equinoxes, honey harvests and mead making, etc. The other thing I do for energy is have beautiful things in my life, as cliche as that sounds. Like having a bed full of flowers just for bouquets for our table, or my broom that is handmade with the bark still on and weighs 3 times the amount of a plastic one, but it brings me joy. Or how I like wearing old fashioned aprons and wooden clogs when I work in the garden (or really all the time and in public now that I think of it) to get me in the head space of doing my work. Does that make any sense? I would like to hear what other people do to find their energy. Again, you all seem so cool, and great mamas. Oh and Lou- about the plum wine, I'll ask my man as he is the brewer in the family.
farmer mama is offline  
Old 03-13-2004, 04:25 AM
 
farmer mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: within my harvest
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh one more thing that I find helpful for finding energy is the idea of feeling empowered by what I do... that caring for my babies and growing food and cooking meals is the most important and should be the most respected job in the world. I also like the idea of mindfulness; that when I am washing the dishes, hanging up diapers, cleaning out the chicken coop, etc. that I stay present and appreciate the beauty and importance of the task at hand. I don't rush or look at these things as drudgery but as the meditative lessons that they can be. I think that this applies to the task of mothering as well as our lifestyle choices. FM
farmer mama is offline  
Old 03-14-2004, 12:05 AM
Lou
 
Lou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Austin
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i love the image of farmer mama in her garden with wooden clogs and old fashioned aprons!

i totally relate to what you were saying farmer mama- mindfulness- and to be focused on the tank at hand- that gives us joy! i guess i'm just getting antsy and wanting the garden to be digged up and beds made so dd and i can plant peas, greens, and onions at our pace... dh will have his spring break next week and we'll prepare the garden together.... i just have to embrace that life doesn't always go according to plan- especially when we work with living forces.

i agree that surrounding ourselves with beauty and texture is such an important thing- the sturdy handmade brooms, fresh flowers, beeswax candles- that's why i choose to give my dd toys from natural materials & mostly handmade- such a different experience than playing with plastic electronic stuff that break and go in the trash! i love being able to mend dd's toys.

it's interesting that 'sustainable living' has become a modern catchword... the old ways are naturally sustainable- we've become such a throw away society!
about recycling- check out this great site, www.freecycle.org to see if there's a group in your area- it's a email list that brings ppl together to give away our unwanted items. i'm loving it!

i wanted to try dyeing with hibiscus- but i have hollyhocks growing on the farm & i think it'll give the same color? have you tried dying with cochineal? it's one of my favorites! when i was working at a waldorf preschool, we did natural dyes with the children and it was such a great experience for them to pick sourgrass that was growing in the backyard & prepare the flowers & dye it... then play with the beautiful sunny yellow silk.
Lou is offline  
Old 03-14-2004, 03:16 PM
 
farmer mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: within my harvest
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lou- I just looked at my natural dye book and hollyhock dyes almost the exact same color as my hardy hibiscus, such pretty dusky pinks. I have a bunch of silk that was given to me from a relative that got it 50 years ago in Japan, so I was thinking of making a rose colored canopy type thing for over dd's bed (we do the family bed with futons pushed together, so I guess it will be over half of our bed!) I like the hibiscus because it doesn't need a mordant. I love cochineal but due to the price I don't use it that often. Was the preschool a waldorf program? Anyhow, it is neat to hear of someone with such similar interests! By the way, dh says about the plum wine; did it taste bad? If it had and off taste and was a "gusher" then it could be a bacterial infection (this is not unusual in home brewing and winemaking) there would also possibly be a visible ring around the inside top of the bottle. The way to avoid this is to be really extra careful about sterilizing bottles and equiptment. If it tasted good, was it bubbly like champagne? That would point to it being not done fermenting and needing more time. -FM
farmer mama is offline  
Old 03-15-2004, 02:01 AM
 
FreeRangeMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oooooh I wanna know more about natural dyes. Where can I learn (book rec. or websites?). It is something I am really looking forward to trying.

Laurie


 

FreeRangeMama is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off