Friday, June 11, 2010

Thinking Outside the Box

Over the past few years I've been trying to get myself and Wade further and further away from conventionality. But ever since I had Harper I'm beginning to become even more conscious: about what we eat, what we drive, the cleaning products we use in our house and on our clothes.
Recently (as in the past week), we purchased a 1983 Mercedes-Benz turbo diesel car. Wade and I have been wanting to get one for the longest time. The reason: they can run on used vegetable oil. It's no Prius and it's not the greatest thing for the environment. But it is helping to recycle used oil and we don't have to buy gas (at least not as often)(or until winter). We will also be able to visit his family in Vermont A LOT cheaper because of this vehicle.
I've planted small gardens before, but they've yielded very little. I did get tomatoes and cucumbers to grow, but there were so many we couldn't keep up. So that means I am going to be learning out to can and freeze. And doing a lot of research on what grows best here and how to best grow it. Hopefully this year I will learn because I will be frequenting our Farmer's Market weekly. Which is another thing I'm going to try: eating locally. Which means eating out isn't an option. But we do have a grocer down the street that sells locally grown vegetables, fruit, and butchers their own meat. I've been looking into CSA and there are several around here. Next year maybe...if I can't get my garden to grow.
I've started making my own laundry detergent and am researching the best homemade household cleaners.
I've started baking our bread, buying more organic and/or local foods. Starting tomorrow (my first trip this year to our Farmer's Market!) I am going to try and have an exclusively local/seasonal diet. My next goal is to start cloth diapering Harper.
I've been trying to reduce/cut out television, though watching movies is something I don't think I can give up.
I want Harper to grow up knowing where her food comes from. I don't want her to be like the kids on that Jamie Oliver show who didn't know what a potato was! (oh, and wanted to eat the chicken patties even AFTER he showed them all the DISGUSTING things that were in it. SHIVER.)
As corny as it sounds, I feel such a connection to the past as I'm kneading dough or grating soap for laundry powder. I feel like my foresisters are looking down on me. And in all honesty, I feel proud at giving the big chain stores the cold shoulder.
I was really good at making everything homemade this time last year. Morning sickness really hurt in more ways than one. I made butter, whipped cream, orange juice, lemonade, even marshmallows! For a while I was washing clothes by hand and hanging them out to dry. I did all this while I was working full-time. Now I have a job that I do 24/7 and I'm pretty sure I can pick up where I left off.
Next on my list I want to try:
:: making cheese
:: making soap
:: making toothpaste
:: making preserves
A bit ambitious maybe, but it's all been done in the past. I don't see why I can at least make the effort. It's all for the benefit of my family. For them I'm willing to do anything.

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