"Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there." - Gary Snyder
I keep this blog alive in the hope that all my thoughts and actions will one day focus here and the changes I would like to put in place in our family life, will be visible and inspiring. I am so inspired by a number of people, families, who live their lives with integrity and passion and are committed to low impact living.
After a supermarket shop today, a funk came over me as it often does. On the one hand I think aren't we lucky to have access to food around the corner, and on the other - the more alluring hand, I think there must be another way to feed ourselves, provide what we need, and know that we are contributing positively to our environment.
I understand that down-sizing; reducing consumption, waste, miles etc is important and I feel that we already live a simple life. We both work in our local area and can ride or walk to work (I work from home). Our children can ride or catch public transport to school. We can walk to shops and conveniences. We have a cheap rental with a huge garden with an increasing amount of produce, bees and chickens. We have some lovely neighbours with whom we can exchange produce and skills. We have one car. We eat relatively simply and about 70% of the things we purchase are secondhand.
I also know that to be in this position is a privilege - to have a place to dig into rented or owned and so I am making the most of it.
But I still feel like we can do more. What if I could avoid the supermarket altogether and bring zero packaging home. As a consumer that is a big, loud statement to make. What if we could amp up our home food production so that at least 50% of our food came from our garden/ neighbourhood?
There are certain facts I am facing about a low impact lifestyle.
- Community is vital - a like-minded community that will support each member
- Going without a car has limitations
- Being in the outer suburbs can be isolating without the above two
- Some money has to be made - while we are renting in the city we will have to pay for rent, small mortgage on our land, bills, school fees, some food, clothing and the odd bit of entertainment
Autumn planting in our urban garden - lettuce, parsley, kale and silver beet.
Martino doing his fabulous thing in shed - inspired to make beautiful things for the plot...
Like these benches made from recycled jarrah and iron bark, which will go out to our shack,
the footings of which we have put down. It will be small but eventually we will build a second; one for bunks and one for a wood stove and winter kitchen.
This will be an outdoor bench/ table on which to cook and sit around with friends and family.
The composting toilet went up first. When you have a cleared block, a private place to take care of business is a priority!
Having our plot of land just a couple of hours outside the city, gives us so much joy and hope for a life-style that is more in tune with our hearts. Starting from scratch we are trying to tread very lightly; building with as many natural, recycled and unobtrusive materials as we can; plant indigenous trees to encourage birds, bees and beautify; tap into the community out there; know the angles of sun and shadow so that our garden and house will be as energy efficient as possible.
So more and more this blog will be about that; our family's journey from urban to rural and the other bits and pieces in between!
Listening to Emmylou Harris
Reading The Corrections by Johnathon Franzen
Knitting Rheinlust shawl in Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed