EXTREME Lifestyle Experiment…Can I Do It?
Greetings all and thanks for stopping by! Today I’ve got a big one for you…
We just returned from our trip to the States, and it was so much fun! But now its down to business and I would like to discuss with you something I’ve been thinking about doing. I’d really like your input as to whether or not you think I have just completely lost my mind.
I’ve been rolling over in my mind how to explain this, but there really isn’t a good way to do it that I can find. So, here it is: I’ve decided to set a challenge for myself – starting today (this morning actually, and day one sucked) that I will do a complete 180 degree turnaround and live off the land – or at least locally. In all honesty, even though I’ve put some stuff to grow (fingers crossed) I really only have red currants and rhubarb growing and I’m smart enough to know that there’s no way I can last 2 days with that. I’m also kicking off a year (or thereabouts) of a shopping ban. No clothes, accessories shopping for me! I’ll explain all in the following paragraph. Please hang with me because there’s a lot of info – as this is a YUGE challenge I’ve set for myself. I have no idea how long I’ll actually make it, but we’ll see!
This whole post is surely a bit disjointed, but I do want to get all the facts out there so you can call me on it later. 😉 My motivation is this: I’ve been trying to get our accounting together and I realized that we are spending 100’s of Euros more a month than we should be, at the market. I’ve been thinking alot about how spoiled we (as several generations) are. I’ve been paying more attention at the market and it has started to stun me how easily accessible everything is due to globalization. I mean, I think its only in the past 20 years or so that its become commonplace to find summer fruits in mid winter or autumn root vegetables in the spring. This is not natural. Anyway, things got me thinking about how our grandparents lived. Although they were able to import/export items, it was nowhere near the level we have today. They had to eat according to natural harvesting seasons and also with wars, economic depression and the ration card. Despite all of this, many of them managed to survive and become what is actually one of our healthiest, toughest and most stable generations of the 20th century. And then I look at myself. I have been learning 1-2 ways of planting or preserving every year. But in the grande scheme of things, I’ll be 70 before I can actually live off what I’ve learned. I can’t bake – not for anything. I can cook, but it’s not in the realm of deliciousness – so I’m usually the only one who will eat it. And I need to learn. I have a habit of purchasing ready-made or easy to prepare food. But the more I look at it, the more I want to prioritize my spending. As I would prefer to be able to pay off my debt (Or at least pay it down somewhat). Creating a life which is more on the self-reliant sphere has catapulted my decision. That and the fact that I really need to learn how to do this. It’s sink or swim time. And I hope I don’t sink!
So here’s what I’m doing: I am living off what I can grow as much as possible and what I can source from local farms and local small business (live fish farm -? I think it exists?, greenhouses and a small shop which sources dried herbs from the area). I am allowing myself gifts. As in, I will not turn down birthday cake if someone gets it for me. (My husband hates this clause because he thinks I’ll be begging people to buy me food ‘gifts’…he may be correct, but lets hope not!) I know that I will need lots of help from friends and neighbors to help me learn and direct me to local farms where I can purchase food items (which will fun to explain, as they don’t even know this blog exists).
I am allowing myself some purchases at the market, as I cannot cook without some things. The items I am allowing myself are as follows:
- varying wheat flours
- cheese (& maaayyyybbe milk if I need it for casserole, but I think I can do without)
- dried beans/peas
- mustard powder (I’m trying to perfect a mustard recipe for gifts)
If I cannot make the items I need with these ingredients, I don’t get it. I have to learn to make my own bread, pastry, pasta and sauces. I don’t feel like I’m cheating with these ingredients, because they are necessary and even the cowboys had access to these items. Besides, I can’t preserve without some of it. So there. *sticks out tongue and wags fingers in ears.
Part 2 of this challenge is that I am embarking on a shopping ban. 1 year if I can do it. I have enough. Ironically, I looked in my wardrobe today and have built up my wardrobe to exactly 30 items. I find it so weird that some people consider 30 items for a season, a minimalist challenge. How? My wardrobe looks so….full!
I don’t know why my mind is so set on this, as it seems like a mission to disaster for this spoiled city girl. But I am determined to make it work. I can tell you quite honestly that I am already seriously missing fruit and mineral water. I know that I will have troubles, challenges and frustrating days. I will be logging everything so that you can share in this journey with me as much as possible. I plan to do a vlog series about it as well, but no promises because I have no idea how weird I’m going to get.
So that’s my deal. Any thoughts on the matter?
*Photo sourced via Pixabay