Saturday, August 14, 2010

The return of the Peasant

My favorite definition of peasant:  son of the soil
On a recent news program there was a discussion of China and India - in these countries peasants are rapidly moving away from their subsistence type of lives into an industrial or middle class lifestyle.  Oddly, the discussion revolved on the certainty of a massive increase in diabetes, cancer, obesity and which pharmaceutical company was best positioned to take advantage of  this well known phenomena.

I almost puked.

.........instead, I contemplated how my sister and I - well trained in legal secretarial, sales, education and medical careers (neither of was content with just one career :( - have instead incorporated large portions of being a peasant into our lives.  We are going backwards and are happier and healthier than ever.  I guess the pharmaceutical companies will have to go elsewhere to make their next million.

My son in law says we are peasants who can read.

Really, what has been happening around here is a heart change.  We want to produce more than we consume, make the most of the resource we have, be content with what we can produce, be willing to accept that an idea might not work out like it did on paper, and be grateful for what is here at hand.

This effort includes learning to like new foods (quail, our own chickens, wild game, rendered fat from odd animals).   Also, it involves spending time and energy acquiring "live foods" that you do not produce yourself...... then turning it into something else (raw milk, bear fat, grass fed beef)  It is harder than it looks to not run to the store for what you want.  Instead, head out to the garden and use what you have.
A garden like this is high maintenance.  Tying up tomato and cucumber plants, watering, weeding, trying to find a pathway through the overgrown melon patch (my sister in the picture above continues to try to make a path) is a daily struggle, but it is a good struggle.  When you pop something into your mouth that you have raised - organically, with care, and realize that you cannot buy that kind of flavor, all you can do is enjoy.  The enzymes feed your body, the work feeds your soul.
 All in all, it is time consuming, but good.

We are now peasants..... that can read.