"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Friday, January 16, 2009

A List Of Unnecessary Things

We made our weekly trek into town on Wednesday, and stopped by the store. That sentence is a very hard one for me write, because our whole lifestyle is based around trying to "not go to the store". It's strange how something like going to the store has become such a negative to me, almost shameful.

A goal was set years ago to grow all our own food, and we pretty much do, but for some reason when in Rome I still tend to act like a Roman. It's a weakness, that is helped along by a system that makes it so easy to be catered to, for a heavy toll of course. We have a $130 a month grocery limit that we allow ourselves to use on mostly necessary items that we do not produce or at least easily so. Things like toiletries, cat food, and condiments fall into this category.

This day, as upon past occasions, I allowed myself to fall prey to the system. Wednesdays we deliver magazines to convenience and grocery stores in order to make some pocket change to cover that $130 a month grocery bill. This also forces us into the "real" world where we are reminded what we are NOT missing out on. Our route went well, we made good time, and the roads were actually decent for a change. Then...we drove by an organic grocer that in another life was a favorite shopping place for us, and invariably the sirens call was upon us. We found ourselves once again in the store buying totally unnecessary goods.

Organic milk - We don't drink the milk but use it to make kefir, but this spring an opportunity to trade eggs for fresh goats milk slipped by us...that was not necessary.

Santa Cruz organic grape juice - We bought that for our grandson to drink, but we have 3 freezers full of berries that could be juice...unnecessary.

Braeburn apple - I honestly don't know why, guess it just looked pretty...we have lots of not so pretty, wrinkled apples in storage...totally unnecessary.

Avocado - I love to have them on my salads, but certainly do not need them...unnecessary.

Some of these next ones are just plain embarrassing.

Green cabbage - We have used all root cellar cabbage up already because some dummy (me), decided that keeping the rest of them in the barn in old garbage can full of straw would be a brilliant idea. They all froze solid...just plain stupid of me...and unnecessary.

Organic cucumber - Well we really bought an organic zucchini, but apparently it looked like a cucumber to the cashier....we just used our last one the other day, it was the longest we have ever been able to store a zucchini...it was not necessary to buy one though, even if it did look like a cucumber.

Organic kiwis - These were for our grandson, he eats them like candy...but it was not really necessary.

Organic kale, parsley, and Swiss chard - Just plain laziness on my part because I did not want to go dig my row covers out of the snow tonight, although I could have picked an ample amount the day before but
did not do so. Absolutely not necessary.

This has happened a few too many times, why, I don't know. Weakness I suppose. It is amazing, when one takes a close look, how few things purchased are really necessities. I'm aware that in order to live this lifestyle I must be stronger when in Rome. To trade all that I love about my life for unnecessary things, and go back to the "system" that I despise is not a valid option. Perhaps I will not fall for the sirens call next time, perhaps I will be stronger. Perhaps not. How does your list look?


Rob said...

What an inspiration it is, to have your blog to read.
Keep up the good work - and the self flagellation! We all do it!!!!

Mr. H said...

Hello Rob,

Thanks for stopping by. Sometimes a bit of self flagellation is good for the soul. Although I didn't bring out the Cat o' Nine Tails.

I was just looking at your wonderful blogs and am going to try your vegetable gougere this week. I have never tried, or even heard of, gougere before but it sounds absolutely delicious.

The Broccoli and cheese soup sounds good also, keep the recipes coming.

Thanks again

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