Some people think it’s odd that I keep a homesteading blog in which I write about seemingly non homesteading related topics so frequently. Feminism, parenting, education, body image, paleo lifestyle, etc. I find it impossible to talk about homesteading without addressing the issues that homesteading intersects with.
I have a hard time talking about providing my family with food from our own meager land without thinking about the fact that I’m privileged enough to have this meager hunk of land. And thinking about my meager land makes me think of how many other meager and not so meager hunks of land are being squandered on grass and other wasteful stuff in the vast stretches of suburbia that sprawls across our nation. And I think of how we’re wasting food growing space, while people in our own country (to say nothing of the world) are literally starving. And when I think of that, I think of how women and children are disproportionately affected by hunger and poverty, both in the US and in the world as a whole. Just like people of poverty, both in the US and the world as a whole, are disproportionately impacted by the toxins and pollutants and trash and crap we all create, but especially the privileged, by consuming as much crap as we do, and insisting upon getting our food and our energy from far away, outsourcing the tasks completely so that people of privilege can instead lead sendentary, unfulfilling, unhealthy lives in cubicles, behind steering wheels, under flourescant lights, breathing recirculated, climate controlled air, distanced from our families, and isolated from our communities. Just like people of poverty are disproportionately affected by climate change, which is also caused by our massive consumerism. And people of poverty are mostly women. And children. And the best way to climb out of that poverty, to innovate new ideas that lead to better access to resources for everyone, or at least to keep our democracy from completely turning into some mix between oligarchy and fuedalism, is to have a good education, and then I think about how public education is being corroded.
I cannot talk about the food I produce without talking about the ways in which I eat it. I can not talk about eating without addressing both matters of health and of culture. I cannot address these issues without addressing body image, and access to health care, and privilege vs. oppression, body policing, etc. I cannot talk about raising my kids in nature without addressing parenting philosophies, science literacy, education, etc. I can’t talk about our country’s environmental policies and records without addressing issues of corruption and institutionalized violence against both marginalized peoples and the general public. I cannot talk about local food without talking about community and personal strength, which I cannot talk about without talking about feminism and body image.
How can I not address it all? How can I look at a tree without seeing the forest in which it dwells, the interdependence of life that makes this one tree possible. The connections, the intersectionality of it all? How can I look at a single organism without looking at the entire ecosystem? I find it very hard to be myopic when it comes to discussing the issues surrounding homesteading.
Also, it gives me something to talk about in the winter.