Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lessons from the Original DIYers

I was floored. How had nobody ever told me?

Apparently, you can make your own yogurt.  And face wash.  And propagate roses without a specialized nursery.  And make soda crackers... like in your own stove--- at home...

For most of my life I've expected that most 'stuff' (both essential and convenient) required cash to be had. Like food and yarn and lip balm and art. Over the last few years I've been shocked and excited to discover that this is not the case. So I've begun dabbling with recipes and activities that will help me regain an understanding of, and appreciation for, the everyday things around me. Apparently there was a time when meat didn't come in Styrofoam, or veggies in cellophane, or beauty products in pretty bottles. There was common knowledge among community as to how one could live a rich, quality life without continually buying over-priced, greatly-travelled prepackaged forms of life's necessities.  In experimenting, I hope to gain a greater appreciation for the things I have, for the sacrifices the earth makes for my comfort; I hope to be able to live a little more cheaply and a lot more healthy than I have in the past. 

So it is with anticipation that I set out to re-learn some of the knowledge of the homesteaders. The original DIYers, perhaps. But I have a feeling they were DIYers with a great appreciation for their neighbours (who I hope to meet more of through this project!). 

This blog is the companion to a column I write for the Rat Creek Press here in Edmonton, Alberta, distributed to the Alberta Avenue communities.  It is meant to be a web-space where residents can share new ideas, respond with their own experiences or stories, or trade wares/services for the betterment of our neighbourhoods, planet, and relationships!

So, I'm happy to homestead with you!

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