Blueberry Jam

The evening got away from me last night, so jam making started first thing this morning.  I checked on the dehydrating blueberries and they are drying away.  I also put another tray of blueberries into the freezer – one more tray to go after this one! When I first started making jam – I was a little intimidated – thinking am I really going to me able to do this?  I was successful with my first attempt, which by the way was blueberry jam – I had made applesauce before, but jam was new.

Making Blueberry Jam (just follow these steps and you should be enjoying some jam in no time).

Ingredients:
10 cups of blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
Package of Pectin
2 1/4 cups sugar

1.  First you want to wash and sterilize the jar.  You can use a dishwasher, which I do not have – so I wash the jars and then put them in boiling water, the same water I use for the water bath.

2. Put a spoon in the freezer.

3.  Wash and sort the blueberries.  You will need about 10 cups of blueberries.  I wash them in a colander and then sort them as I am measuring them out – looking for stems, remnants of the flowers and pulling out any mushy ones.

4. You now need to crush the berries.  You can use a food processor or a potato masher or you can use a blender if you want really smooth jam.  I use a combination of both. You should end up with about 6 +/- processed blueberries.

5.  Pour all of the mashed fruit into a very large pot (once it starts to boil you will get blops of blueberry juice all around if user a smaller pot).

6. Mix a box of pectin with 1/4 cup sugar, then pour that along with the lemon juice and water into the pot and turn on high.  Stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  I have a wooden spoon that I use for items that will stain, because you will now have a blue wooden spoon.  You want the mixture to come to a boil – this takes about 5 – 10 minutes.

7.  Since my kitchen is very small and I really only have one counter top to use – I am pretty anal about cleaning up as I go.  While the mixture is coming to a boil I wash all the items used so far and then set the jars out on an old dish cloth, so they are ready to be filled.

8. Place the lids into a pan of water and set to boil.  Once the water has boiled turn the burner off and let the lids sit in the hot water. Keep the cover of the pot on.

9.  Once the mixture is a rolling boil, where stirring it will not get rid of the bubbles, add the remaining sugar.  I use no sugar pectin, which still calls for 3 cups of sugar, which I do not do – but it is what your preference is for sweetness.  To me the berries are already sweet.

11.  It will start to thicken.  Take the spoon out of the freezer and fill it about 1/2 way.  Let it cool to room temperature – taste and if the thickness you want – it is done. This is when I turn the burner on to heat the water bath pot.

12.  Using tongs or a magnetic top taker outer and take the tops out of the hot water and place on the dish cloth next to the empty jars.

13.  Place a funnel over a jar and using a ladle, ladle in the jam mixture into the jar to about 1/4 inch from the top.  Continue this until all jars are full.  Place the tops on and then put the ring on and tighten.  I also used reusable tops this times, which are plastic.  If using these, place the tops on and then screw the ring on tight and then loosen 1/4 turn.

14.  Place the jars into the boiling water.  After about 7 minutes you can start taking them out – using a jar grip.  Place them on the dish towel and then listen for the popping – this is the jars sealing.  If one does not seal turn it upside down and let it stand there for about 5 minutes turn over and it should have sealed.  If one does not seal that is the one you will place in the refrigerator after it has cooled and use it tomorrow morning on your toast.  The jars should keep for about 12 months.

You can make labels for your jam and give them as gifts.  The people we have given them to have all enjoyed them and love the fact that it was homemade.  We come up with fun names for our jams:  Happy Blueberry Jam, Peachy Delicious Jam, An Apple A Day Cinnamon Butter and Apricot Mango Madness Jam – which will be made tonight.

Please note that I am changing the host for my blog and depending on the timing, may not be able to blog tomorrow.  Same address http://simplyrurban.com

Happy canning!

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Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries

Today I was out of the house by 7am, that was after feeding the animals, walking the dog, checking the dehydrating pineapple, showering and a quick breakfast.  I headed up the Taconic Parkway to Red Hook, NY – about 1 1/2 hours away.  I love driving the Taconic – no trucks and the scenery is beautiful.  I was the first picker at Greig farm, arriving around 8:30.  It had rained yesterday, so the bushes and berries were wet, made my fingers wrinkle and the weather had cooled off to a lovely 68 degrees – I even needed a light jacket.  After picking about 6 pounds, which fills one bucket – the jacket came off and the sun glasses went on.  By 11:30 I had picked 12 pounds and exceeded the needed additional 7 pounds.

Of course, then it was off to Gigi Market for the mouth-watering Bianca Skizza.  All I can say is YUM!  I can only eat about half of it, so for dinner tonight is the leftover, cold, with a nice glass on wine.

I headed south on the Taconic until I hit I-84, over the Hudson River into Newburgh and my next destination – Lawrence Farms.  They are not a certified organic farm, but they do not spray and they use natural remedies to bug, etc. problems.  There I picked apricots, almost 7 pounds.  I will dehydrate some and then make apricot & mango jam later in the week.

Once I arrived home I took the remaining pineapple out of the dehydrator.  I dehydrated 6 good-sized pineapples and was left with 3 – quart sized jars of dried fruit.

I decided I would dehydrate some blueberries since I had over my 30 pounds.  Last year I dehydrated some, but moisture got into the jar and the molded.  This year I invested in a jar sealer attachment for my food saver – hoping that will make the difference.

In order to dehydrate blueberries you need to make sure that the skin is cracked, if not they will not dehydrate.  Last year I put them in boiling water and then on the tray and I tried a new method this year with boiling water and dipping a collander.  It is really messy and you have to be careful that you do not stain anything with the juice that drips – my fingers will be stained for a couple of days I am sure.  The other disadvantage to this method is that the blueberries are hot and harder to place on the tray.

I then tried the other method – place the blueberries on the tray and then take a knife and put a small slice into each one.  I was able to put about 1 1/2 cups of blueberries on each tray.  I think I prefer this method.  It was easier to place the blueberries around and the slicing did not take anytime at all.

I have washed and put aside the blueberries I will need to make jam.  The jam making I will do either tonight when it has cooled down some or first thing in the morning.  Now to freeze the remaining blueberries and then the blueberry season, at least for me, is done!

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Monday, Just Like Any Other Day for Me

I have been unemployed now for 2 months, and the days all seem the same to me.  Really, I have to think about what day it actually is.  So, today, for most, was the beginning of the work week,the dreaded Monday!  For me it is just a day, like so many in the past weeks.

I get up, not as early as I used to, I do allow myself to stay in the bed until 7am now, a small luxury, but all the same a luxury to me!  I brush my teeth, wash my face, make the bed, get dressed, feed the cat and the crayfish and then take the dog for a three-mile walk.  I come home, feed the dog, fix a cup of tea, sit out on the patio and pet and talk to the cat.  Then the day begins.

First on the list today was to check the strawberries that were dehydrating and then it was to check email, then it was several hours of looking at job sites and hopefully sending some cover letters and resumes out – this is usually the first thing I do after my tea.

Done with the job search, not much out there today.  Then it was to check the strawberries again – and they were done!  I have now dehydrated 20 pounds of strawberries, costing $38 and have 4-quart jars filled for the winter.  Two years ago I decided that I would not buy fruit during the winter, since it comes from so far away and it really does not taste very good, my daughter was not happy about this since she is a fruitaholic, so I preserve fruit during the summer for winter eating.  I am still working on how much do I really need to preserve to get us through the winter.  This year I am keeping a very detailed list, what fruit, how was it preserved, cost and the quantity once preserved.

After the strawberries were sealed and put up, then it was on to the pineapple.  I have already dehydrated 3 and I have 3 more to go.  Pineapple takes a looooong time!  I had never done pineapple before and this is at the request of my daughter.  I have to say that the dehydrated pieces are even sweeter than the pieces I ate fresh while cutting it up. The nice thing about dehydrating pineapple is that you do not have to treat it with anything since it is already so acidic.

After getting the pineapple going, it was back to sanding.  This winter when I was out walking I came across an old drop leaf table and I have always wanted one – so home I went, called a neighbor and the table was carried back to my house.  I have been sanding it now for about 5 weeks, on and off.  The table had been stained and painted – so not easy to sand it all down.  At first I was hand sanding it, but then after telling a friend about my project, he said I have an electric hand sander do you want to borrow it – of course I did!  I have been doing this project outside by back door, laying a blanket on the black top.  With the heat of the summer and the afternoon thunderstorms, it has been a much slower endeavor then I anticipated.  I am so close to getting it done and thought I would have the whole thing sanded today, but does not look that way.  I ran out of sand paper and had to make a run to the hardware store for more.  I was hoping that I would make it back before the rain, but it started raining on my way home.  I am hoping that it stops soon so I can finish, since tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 90’s – no sanding in that kind of heat.

Tomorrow it is off to blueberry and apricot picking.  I have already made 2 trips to my favorite blueberry farm up in Red Hook, Greig’s http://www.greigfarm.com/ and afterwards I head to GiGi’s market for the Bianca Skizza, which is a flatbread pizza with fig jam, pear, baby arugula, white truffle oil and mozzarella – it also comes with goat cheese, but I have them hold that – not a huge fan.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.  Last year I picked 30 pounds and then froze, dried and jammed them for the winter.  I lost some when my freezer stopped working, but I think I would have made it to picking time this year.  I have 23 pounds, all frozen, and need to get another 7 which I will freeze some, dehydrate and make jam.  Last year I made about 12 jars and there are 2 lefts in the pantry.  Used the jam and others I made for gifts throughout the year with a loaf of homemade bread. Apricots are at another farm in Newburgh.

I had my radish and edamame salad for lunch today, just keeps getting better!

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Holy Radishes!

Just stepping outside I feel that I am starting to melt, instantly.  It is 102 and with the heat index they say it feels like 115 – I have never understood that – just like when they say today is going to be partly cloudy, wouldn’t that mean that it is mostly sunny?!

This morning I got up early and tried to get my chores done; walked the dog, harvest some radishes, cut some lavender to dry and tied up my 7ft. sunflowers before the heads really come out and they start to droop over.

I have not cooked the last two nights due to the heat, using the grill instead and going out to dinner with a friend.  Tonight I definitely will NOT be cooking.  There is no way I am going to stand in front of a grill or add anymore heat to the house!

I want something that could use items from the garden, was easy to prepare and would be refreshing.  Looking at what was available in the garden and what did not have to be cooked I decided on making a  Radish & Edamame Salad layered on lettuce.  I had radishes, lettuces and cilantro so the only thing was the edamame.  The past couple of years I have grown edamame, but this year due to space I opted not to grow them.

Radish & Edamame Salad

1 bag shelled edamame
¼ rice vinegar (I have a hard time finding this at the stores so I use
cane vinegar)
1 T vegetable oil
¼ t salt (I don’t measure and use a salt grinder with marine purified salt from Portugal – great flavor)
1/8 t pepper (Again, I don’t measure and use a pepper grinder with a mix of white & black pepper)
1 bunch radishes, cut thinly
1 c loosely packed cilantro (I chopped it up fine)

Mix it all together in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover and
refrigerate.  The longer it marinades the better it is. Enjoy!

I just loved this radish that I harvested from the garden.  What does it look like to you?  TO me it looks like a butt with legs – it made me smile, which is a really good thing, at least I think so.  If you make the salad, enjoy and if you are anywhere in this heat wave, stay cool and keep hydrated.  Happy weekend to you all.

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Is Water the Next Oil?

The heat wave has hit New York.  Yesterday as I spent the day swimming and kayaking on

Castle Rock, Lake Waccabuc

a lake from childhood, my friend and I talked about water.  Both of us were so amazed a how clear the water of the lake was, this is a lake that I spent much of my childhood swimming in and in the winter skating on.  There is little development around the lake, compared to most, and where there are houses you can see the difference in the water and what is growing, imagine looking at an underwater forest.  Our discussion evolved into our drinking water and how we had both heard that water was going to be the next oil, with people fighting over it , coveting it and how fortunate were we to live in an area where many homes still have wells, then the question came to me on the way home, “How much do we take water for granted?”

What would you do if you turned your faucet on and nothing came out or the water coming out was brown and full of disgusting matter that you could see and disease-causing bacteria you could not see?  For most of us in the United States and most developed countries water is a given fact of life, but for many others in the world clean water is a luxury or not attainable at all.  Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water is readily accessible for direct human use.

According to the documentary Blue Gold, “Wars of the future will be fought over water, as they are over oil today.”   Referring to an article in the Mideast News, 1994, “Oil has always been thought of as the traditional cause of conflict in the Middle East past and present. Since the first Gulf oil well gushed in Bahrain in 1932, countries have squabbled over borders in the hope that ownership of a patch of desert or a sand bank might give them access to new riches. No longer. Now, most borders have been set, oil fields mapped and reserves accurately estimated – unlike the water resources, which are still often unknown. WATER is taking over from oil as the likeliest cause of conflict in the Middle East.”  Looking closer to home we can look at the battle over water rights that is waging between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.  Georgia was dealt a blow by a federal judge, ruling that the state has little legal rights to the massive north Georgia reservoir that supplies Atlanta with most of its water.  Because of this Georgia is even looking at the state line with Tennessee claiming that the state line is not where it was supposed to be and were contemplating contesting the state line so that they could have access to another water source.  This is a battle that is between state residents and state wildlife, since some of the water from the reservoir is to help two types of endangered muscles in Florida. The judge gave the states three years to reach an accord or risk cutting Georgia off from most of its supply.

With droughts come water restrictions that are lifted as soon as the drought is deemed over, but shouldn’t we all be living and conserving water as if there was a drought?
A person needs 4 to 5 gallons of water per day to stay healthy, the average American uses 100 to 176 gallons of water in the home per day and the average person in the United
Kingdom
used 35.66 gallons of water per day compared to the average person
in the developing world
uses about 2.64 gallons per day.  1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, roughly one-sixth of the world’s populationThat is a staggering amount, yet here in America the water we use for drinking water is the same water that fills our toilet bowls, is used in the shower, for
landscaping, washing our cars and to fill our pools.  We have to start conserving now and finding ways to reduce our water use.  Every aspect of our life is connected to water, and we use enormous amounts of it to make everything from electricity to food to household products. For example, it takes 24 gallons of water to make a single pound of plastic, and over a hundred gallons to make a pound of cotton. Even the electricity we use is tied to water – with power plants consuming 40 percent of our country’s fresh water
resources.

So what can you do? First assess your water usage, I think you will be surprised in how much you truly use.  A good place to start is: http://www.h20conserve.org/home.php?pd=index , this is also a great place to gets tips on how to cut your water usage.  DO ONE THING EACH DAY THAT WILL SAVE WATER.  EVERY DROP COUNTS!

Here are some water facts and tips to help you reduce your water use.

Indoor water use:

  • Approximately 26% of all indoor water use is the result of toilet flushing at a rate of 20 – 27 gallons per person per day. Remember the saying, if it is yellow let it mellow, if it is brown, flush it down?
  • If your toilet was installed prior to 1980 it is most likely not a low flow toilet.  Place a bottle filled with water or a brick in the tank to decrease the amount of water used for each flush.  Make sure that the bottle/brick does not interfere with the operating parts.
  • Put food coloring in your toilet tank, if it seeps into the toilet bowl you have a leak.  Fixing it could save you 600 gallons per month.
  • Every day, on average, Americans use a total of 40 billion gallons of fresh water.
  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full and you could save 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly.  Compost instead and save gallons of water every time you do not use your disposal.
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold water so that every drop goes down you not the drain.
  • Wash your produce in the sink or a pan that is partially filled with water instead of running water from the tap.  Use the wash water to water plants.
  • If your shower can fill a one gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, then replace it with a water-efficient shower head.
  • Put a bucket under the faucet in your tub/shower and collect the water while waiting for the water to get hot.  You can use this water for plants and your pet’s drinking water.
  • Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes – you will save 1,000 gallons per month.
  • Turn off the water while you shampoo and condition your hair and you can save more than 50 gallons a week.
  • Do you really need to take a bath/shower every day?
  • When you clean your fish tank, use the water you drained to water your plants – they will love it, full of great fertilizer.
  • Turn off faucets tightly after each use.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth and save 4 gallons of water a minute.
  • Insulate hot water pipes and your water heater; you will not have to run the water as long to get hot water.
  • Cook food in as little water as possible, this will retain more of the nutrients in the food.  Allow the water to cool and use to water your plants.
  • Turn off the water while you shave, save 100 gallons a week.
  • When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw out the old – use it to water plants.
  • Don’t throw those ice cubes in the sink, place them in a plant.
  • When washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.

 

Drip irrigation

Outdoor water use:

  • Up to 30% of water applied to turf, shrubs, etc during the middle of the day can be lost due to evaporation.
  • Use drip irrigation – which uses tubing and/or micro sprinklers.
  • Water early in the morning, before 9am – it’s the single best thing you can do to prevent evaporation.
  • Cover bare areas around trees and plants with organic mulch 2″ deep to prevent water loss due to runoff and evaporation.
  • Consider using soaker hoses instead of sprinklers in the “thirstier” area of your yard/landscaping, to deliver water more directly and quickly.
  • Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinkler so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.
  • Plant during the spring and fall when the watering requirements are lower.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk and save 80 gallons of water each time.
  • Divide your watering cycle into shorter periods to reduce runoff and allow for better absorption every time you water.
  • Only water your lawn when needed.  You can tell this by walking on your lawn and if you leave a footprint – it is time to water.
  • Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting.  Longer grass shades root systems and hold moisture better than a short lawn.
  • Direct downspouts and other runoff  towards shrubs and trees, or collect in a large container for use in the garden.
  • Invest in rain barrels or a water collection system.
  • Don’t water on a windy day.
  • Remember to weed your garden and lawn; weeds compete with plants for water, light and nutrients.
  • Fertilize sparingly.  Fertilizer increases water consumption.
  • Choose indigenous plants and low water plants.
  • If the kids want to cool off, let them run through the sprinkler on a section of the lawn that needs watering, but not during the hottest point of the day.
  • Bring your car to a car wash that recycles the water and if there is not one in your area wash your car on the lawn, with biodegradable soap.  Remember to turn the water off while soaping up the car.
  • Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and let the leaves accumulate, this keeps the soils cooler and reduces evaporation.
  • Start a compost pile.  Adding compost when you plant adds water holding organic matter to the soil.
  • More plants die from over-watering than from under watering.
  • Bath your pets outdoors in an area that needs water.
  • Aerate your lawn; the water will reach the roots instead of sitting on top.
  • For hanging baskets, planter, pots place ice cubes under the moss or dirt to give your plant a refreshing cool drink of water and help eliminate water overflow.
  • Have your plumber re-route your gray water to trees and garden rather than letting it run into the sewer line.  Check with your city codes, and if it isn’t allowed in your area, start a movement to get that changed.

And lastly, please stop using bottled water, this depletes aquifers, under ground springs and water sources of other people to line the pockets of the bottling companies.  I truly believe that the selling of water is one of the biggest marketing ploys of our times.  New York City is known to have some of the best naturally filtered drinking water (that is why the pizza, bagels and hard rolls are so good – it is the water) and PepsiCo bottling knows that, that is why they bottle some of the Aquafina product in Queens, using NYC tap
water!  Invest in a reusable water bottle.  If the water coming out of your tap is not palatable to you buy a water filtration system, a good place to start would be http://www.waterfiltercomparisons.com/

Get Involved:

Waterkeeper Alliance – provides a way for communities to stand up for their right to clean water and for the wise and equitable use of water resources, both locally and globally.
The vision of the Waterkeeper movement is for fishable, swimmable and
drinkable waterways worldwide.  Their belief is that the best way to achieve this vision is through the Waterkeeper method of grassroots advocacy.  www.waterkeeper.org

Food & Water Watch – is committed to creating an economically and environmentally viable future, by working with grassroots organizations and other allies around the world to stop the corporate control of our food and water. www.foodandwaterwatch.org

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility  – ICCR is a membership organization of over 275 faith-based organizations and communities that has been a leader of the corporate responsibility movement for over 35 years. ICCR members use their investment
clout to engage corporate management on social and environmental issues such as
global warming, genetically modified foods, water, and environmental justice. www.iccr.org

I highly recommend you take the time to watch the documentary Blue Gold, which can be viewed instantly on Netflix.   Please go to their website and learn more http://www.bluegold-worldwaterwars.com/

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Sweet Potatoes, Delicious!

Last year was the first time that I had ever planted sweet potatoes in my garden.  I came across the plants in one of the local garden stores in the area – so I decided why not.  My daughter loves sweet potatoes and would eat them a every meal if she could!

I did some reading up on the plant, finding out sun exposure, watering, etc and then in the ground they went.  I was not sure when to harvest, one book said before the first frost, another I read said when the leaves start to turn.  So what did I do?  I winged it.   I figured they had been in the ground producing for about 4 months – so I dug them up.  They were beautiful, a wonderful orange color and ranging in size and shape from small finger like to very large oblong ones.

Next was the curing process, hmm – all that I had read was to let them cure on the ground for several hours after harvesting.  I did not know how I was supposed to know if they had cured enough, would be good to eat and would last thru the winter.  Again, I winged it.  I let them cure in the sun for about 3 days, taking them in at night.  Whether or not I followed the proper protocol didn’t matter because these were the most delicious sweet potatoes I had ever tasted and the deep orange color was simply amazing.  I must have done something right because for 3 years my neighbor has continuously told me that everything I have planted in my post card sized yard would not work.  When I harvested my sweet potatoes I called him over and he finally said that I was a gardener and he wanted to try one -he loved it and asked for more!

I planted about 12 plants and harvested an apple bushel sized bag, which by the way is a great storage bag for the potatoes.  We had potatoes throughout the winter, with some left over come spring.

With such success, I of course wanted to plant them again this year, but never could find any plants at any of the garden stores. Back to the books I went trying to figure out how to propagate the plant from the tuber and was not really “getting it”and then in the mail came my favorite magazine Mother Earth News and there was an article in there about growing sweet potatoes in the north.  Ask and you will receive.

Sprouting Sweet Potatoes

I pulled out the bag of potatoes and some had already started to vine.  I took the ones that had already started vining and added a few more to a shallow baking dish filled with water, sat them in the sun and about 2 weeks later I had enough vines to put in the garden!  After breaking the vines off the potatoes I thru the potatoes into the compost, not sure how they would taste after sitting in water for 2 weeks and vining.

Then into the garden they went.  I am fortunate to have a neighbor, same one as mentioned above, that has a much larger piece of land for his garden and he gave me space to grow the sweet potatoes.

Happy in the garden

Remember that I put the water-logged sweet potato into the compost?  I think you can guess what happened in there…several weeks later I had about 40 or so vines growing and no more room to plant them.  I needed to find a home for them and I am happy to report that yesterday I found a home for many of them.

Growing in the compost

Sweet potatoes are yummy all by themselves, but we also enjoy them as sweet potato fries, chips, in zucchini pancakes and the other day I found this recipe for sweet potato hummus – can’t wait to try it!http://www.organicauthority.com/mojo-foods/6-sensational-hummus-flavor-combinations-recipes.html

Going home to Jody's garden

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Rurban?

Yes, rurban is a word, it is a blend of rural and urban meaning: of, relating to or constituting an area which is chiefly residential but where some farming is carried on.  The first known use of the word dates back to 1918.

My dream is to live a rural life, homesteading and getting back to basics, but life does not always allow us to follow our dreams when we want to and reality is reality.  For me the reality is that I am a single mother, providing for my daughter, but wanting to live part of my dream, so I am living a rural life in an urban setting.  It is not always easy being so close to so many conveniences.  It is sometimes very tempting, and to be honest sometime convenience wins out.  For the most part, though, I try to do what I can to live my dream, to lower my carbon foot print, instill values to my daughter that are not based on our consumerism mentality and simplify my life.

Are you saying to yourself, how can you mean simplify when it takes more work to tend the garden, preserve food for the winter, make your own gifts?  For me all of these things, plus more, do simplify my life, nourish my soul, and relieve the stress of our fast paced life that seems to get faster every day.  I know my neighbors, I patronage my local businesses, I use the phone, I engage in face to face visits and build community every day for myself and my daughter.  All of these activities enhance our life more than I ever imagined.

I found myself over the years sharing my knowledge and skills with friends, colleagues, family and strangers – so I thought why not try and share it with even more people and who knows maybe we can build a movement that helps all of us and the planet we call home, Mother Earth!

 

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