Simplicity of Life

Yesterday after church, a few folks gathered around a table and we began a discussion about how we can support one another in the times that are a head. I have heard it said, “we ain’t seen nothing yet” in reference to the economy. More and more people are taking to the streets and the future does not look good.
If you read these pages, you know that this past week we purchased a few chickens for eggs and they seem to be doing well in their new home. (No eggs yet) But what else can we do?
I am a great reader of blogs, and I read many blogs of people who are trying to simplify their lives and go off the grid as much as possible. Yesterday, on a blog called Antiquity Oaks, I read a story about a women who purchased a patio set this year and it is already disintegrating. She has had it and will no longer support corporate America. This gave me pause to think and was part of our discussion yesterday.
In the blog post, the author said, that she would no longer purchase anything that was not produced locally. She would either buy it recycled or have a local craftsman make it for her. This is a good start. We throw a tremendous amount of stuff in the trash every day that can be useful in some way. Why not take it to Good Will or the Salvation Army. Why not shop at swap meets or second hand stores, talk about bargains. One of the reasons, for me any way, is it is easier to go to a Big Box Store and buy everything in one place then it is to shop in several stores to find what we need. That covers the stuff we might need, how about food?
We are lucky in our area that we have several farms. Yes I know the argument; you pay more from a farm then from the grocery store. Your right you do, but it is fresher and better for you then stuff from the grocery store and it helps support the local economy. Buying something from the person who made it or grew it is a wonderful experience. They can tell you where it came from and how they grew it. The grocer cannot do that.
Many farms in my area have what is called “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) where you can purchase a share of the farm. Maybe a meat share, or a dairy share, or a whole farm share depends on what you want. You get a box each week of what has been harvested that week. It is fresh, and it is local, and it is in season right from a local farm. Is it more expensive, sure, but things of quality always cost more than things of lesser quality.
Maybe you could grow things yourself? No space, there are plans for container gardens that can be grown in almost no space at all. Then there are community gardens. Last year, a group of folks in Southbridge, started a community garden on an unused patch of land that the town owns. They grow all sorts of things and what they do not use themselves they sell at the local farmers market. It has the added benefit of keeping that portion of the town clean!
There are many ways we can simplify our lives, it just takes a different mindset and a little more time.
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