I moved to Vancouver Island with a dream…. to get some land and establish my homestead. I yearned for my home-sweet- home; my bubble of abundance in the realm of holistic self- sustenance; my home base for connecting.
Web of Life
Life is full of connections; interactions and exchanges ?that connect us with the things that we both need and want in life. Throughout my life, I have always loved playing that ‘web of life’ game with kids and a ?ball of yarn. The kids take on a character, and they continue to make connections amongst them. The baker needs the farmer, the farmer needs the blacksmith, the blacksmith needs the cobbler, and the connections go on and on. The result is a wonderfully knotted web of life called ‘community’.
In this day and age, we still have the same basic necessities as always but our local community seems to have morphed immensely to a global plain.? That cobbler isn’t down the street any more, but rather at a shoe factory in Indonesia. That farmer isn’t down the lane anymore, but rather at the monoculture production acreage in California. There may be much to be said ?for the ‘conveniences’ and ‘pleasures’ that arise from such changes, but it is quite clear to me and many others that when we lose a direct connection to our basic necessities, we also lose an appreciation for and awareness of the quality, impact and necessity of the foods and products we consume.
Humans are curious creatures, and there is something very rewarding about learning the stories behind those things we depend on. In fact, that need for connection to what we consume becomes crystal clear when we witness the sheer enthusiasm and even joy people feel as they stroll through a farmers’ market on a sunny morning with the jams, carvings or sausage made by the neighbours that live just down the road.
Path to Self-Sustinability
Reconnecting with our basic needs is quite a journey. Like every journey, it starts with small steps. In my case, food is my primary passion on my path to self-sustainability. I grow what I can, preserve what I’m able and save seeds for the next season. I love sharing the 101 of organic vegetable gardening with others, and watching them take off with enthusiasm as they plant those same seeds in their gardens. Anyone who has grown their own food knows that it tastes better than anything you could ever buy! Such obvious rewards fuel the passion for further questions. How can I support healthy soil? How do
I know what seeds are open pollinated (OP) and which ones are hybrids (F1)? Where should? I store my root veggies for the winter? When canning my beans, can I use water bath canning or do I need to pressure can them? These questions are endless,? and the resulting discoveries are rewarding. And the more we ask, the more we learn how to bolster our own existence in a healthy and fulfilled manner. So, though I in the not too distant past, might have sat complacently on that web of economic fragility and resource depletion our world has become, the nervousness I felt so strongly then is starting to dissipate. In fact, as I now look out my rental suite window and smile upon my mini-garden, and while I flip through the local real estate land listings, my dream grows with abundance like those plants I cherish so much. And there is no longer any doubt in my mind that here, in this Valley, I will find those people and share that knowledge that makes a community strong, sustainable and consciously connected.
Carolyn Morris, Organizer of the Homesteading Fair www.homesteadingfair.ca
Sunday, June 4, 2017, 10AM to 5PM
3550 Watson Ave, Cobble Hill, BC