If all goes right, I’ll graduate from my horticulture program at the end of next semester! I’m super excited! Only 11 years, multiple major changes, and an ungodly amount of student loans later, I’m actually going to have a college degree. An associates degree, but hey, it’s something. Well, I’ll also have a few certificates too, so that justifies it, right? Ha ha.
In general, there’s an AllOrNothism idea out there that if conventional animal production produces greenhouse gasses, then all animal husbandry should cease immediately. I respectfully disagree. I understand and respect the choice to eliminate some or all animal products from your diet on moral grounds about the rights of animals or the ethics of killing, although I don’t share the same moral concerns myself. But I am skeptical that we can make any kind of food system that’s intended to feed any kind of industrialized society work without any animal inputs at all.
I recently read this article about poverty appropriation, and it brought up a lot of feelings in me about the rise of trendy simplicity. I grew up fairly poor. Not super poor, probably on the richer end of poor, always hovering just around the poverty line. We also lived in fairly wealthy neighborhoods. My mom worked her ass off (often in multiple jobs) to keep us living in those parts of town, even though we could have likely afforded much more in other parts of town, because the schools were better in the wealthier ends of town, and probably because of some sort of internalized classism my mom felt. Because of this, I always felt I was in some uncomfortable middle area between the middle and lower classes. I was definitely dramatically poor at home, and did not fit in with peers, but in other parts of my city, I felt like the bougiest poser on earth. To this day, I have weird class issues, many of which have only been exacerbated by having married into a more middle class family.
There is a problem in our culture. I have noticed it more times than I can count over the course of my adult life, and I despise it. It’s something I’ve come to refer to as AllOrNothingism. Its the idea that if an action you are taking won’t do much, it is never worth doing. If you can’t do something all the way, then you shouldn’t bother doing it at all. I want to call bullshit on this idea right away.
I’ve been working on figuring out how to make a sourdough rye bread. I like rye bread, and I love sourdough bread, so I figured a sourdough rye would be pretty awesome. I have some experience making bread, both sourdough and traditional, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be an expert. I knew that making this sourdough would probably take some experimentation and involve several failures.
I, like so many others, was shocked and saddened to hear about David Bowie’s death last week. I have been a big David Bowie fan since high school, maybe earlier, and Star Man was one of Elijah’s favorite songs as a toddler, so I had a lot of feelings from a life of memories that came up when he died. Like so many others, I shared my sadness over his passing and gratitude for having had his music as a part of my life on social media. It was nice to see how many other people were as moved by his art as I was.
A while back I saw a recipe for broccoli cheddar soup that made my mouth water. This was surprising, because I’m not generally a fan of broccoli cheddar soup. It always feels like just eating cheese sauce with s few tiny broccoli sprigs, very disappointing. But for whatever reason, the thought of a cheesy, broccoli packed soup was really appealing to me, so I set to work thinking about how I would make some that wouldn’t leave me bummed out.
About this time of year, I start gathering things I need for seed starting. You can buy things, of course, and I’ve done that in the past when I haven’t wanted the hassle of storing a bunch of saved containers, but this year I’m really thinking about not buying new stuff as much as possible after reading our January book club selection, How To Be Alive, by Colin Beavan, and we’re trying to save every penny for our trip to Paris later this year, so I’m doing the frugal thing and collecting seed starting stuff. I’m storing everything under the far end of my dining room table, on the bench Jeremy made me for a wedding gift, next to my winter, table top garden.
I think people have a certain image in their heads when they think of an urban homesteader or gardener. Plaid, button down shirts, wide brimmed hats, aprons, and maybe even overalls tend to be the image that first comes to mind when most people picture homestead fashion, and don’t get me wrong, these wardrobe staples can be pretty awesome. Still, it’s a limited representation of what’s out there as far as homestead fashion goes.