Monday, January 23, 2012

the solution of self-sufficiency

I came across this article today:

by my favorite feminist/self-sufficient/mother/farmer/blogger Sharon Astyk. She makes the argument here about all the ways individuals and even states and nations who are poor actually have a life that is more expensive. I just became aware of this fact when TAing for my SOC 101 class here as WSU I came across a statistic about the average cost of food in an inner city grocery store versus in a suburban Walmart -- food is consistently cheaper in the latter. This is among many ways in which it is much more expensive to be poor in this increasingly stratified world.

I like especially that she doesn't leave it at that. Yes, we're poor and the deck is stacked against us. She offers a working solution to this problem: self-sufficiency. Infrastructure and supermarket prices and job availability become a lot less impactful when we have some measure of self-sufficiency, or providing ourselves with our own material needs through practices such as farming or hunting, gathering, canning, sewing, etc.

On a related note, I spent a good deal of the morning reading through and looking into the best and least time-intensive ways to keep chickens, how to build a rocket stove, and how to reduce energy consumption for personal heating in the winter.

It all started when I saw this video -- heating an outdoor shower with the heat of a compost pile. Who needs to worry about electricity bills when we've got decaying compost that heats up to 160 degrees?

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