Thursday, December 29, 2011

Answering the Question

This past year I was asked what has made me the gardening, beekeeping, cooking, crafting,  all natural, organic, crunchy person that wants everything to be magazine, glossy perfect that I am.  And in response I had to tell them that I had no idea.

To understand this question better you should know that I had a wonderful childhood but it was not one that you might think would encourage the person I have become.  I grew up in a typical suburban neighborhood in a very nice house with a well manicured lawn.  No one thought twice about using Round Up or chemical fertilizers to maintain the look.  We bought groceries at the local big box grocery store.  No one ever thought about what was in season, preserving the harvest and we definitely never even questioned where our food came from.  Chores and responsibilities were divided up equally between my parents, they did not follow the lines of traditional roles.  My Mom never loved cooking, she cooked out of necessity because her family needed to eat.  We had a garden but I don't remember much ever growing there.  My Dad worked an hour away and didn't have the time to maintain it.  Life was busy, my parents were consumed with raising a family and we felt we had to keep up with the Jones.

Today I try to not put any chemicals on my lawn and I refuse to put any in my garden.  I delight in cooking a good meal and coming up with new dishes.  I keep expanding my garden and finding ways to preserve the food such as canning and freezing.  We became beekeepers and have the future possibility of chickens in the back of our minds.  I try to buy all my meat and eggs from local, sustainable farmers and eat as seasonably as possible.  I am consumed with the ideas of better food system.  I dream of a old farm house with more land and living a simpler life.  I have fallen into domesticated traditional roles and delight in creating the perfect home for my family.

So when comparing the two one might naturally wonder how did I become the way that I am.  But as I think about it the signs were always there.  My Dad when he had time enjoyed baking rhubarb cobblers and trying out new things in the kitchen.  Every Summer my Mom let me pick out a pattern and yarn for a new sweater she knitted me.  I was encouraged to be an independent thinker and make my own choices/decisions/opinions.  My parents would encourage and allow me to cook whatever I wanted often supplying me with the ingredients to try a recipe I had picked out.

It actually makes perfect sense that with the evolution of more responsible communities that I am a product of my upbringing.  And if I'm honest I haven't shed all my typical suburban ways.  I was recently going through some old pictures and saw some of the signs of my future self staring right back at me.  Although some are far fetched but fun anyways :)

 I have always enjoyed "playing around" in the kitchen.  Notice the box of Kerr canning supplies behind me.

 At an early age I learned a love for yard work and gardening.

 I have always been interested in farm animals.

  Cooking has always just come naturally.


  1. Great post. We are often asked the same question. You've been smitten by sustainable living. There's no turning back now! I know our love for it only grows bigger.

  2. Great post! I too am asked it a lot and it is interesting too look back on ways I was in the past that probably shaped this future for me!

  3. Thanks! There is definitely no turning back now :)