Are You Eating Ethically?

In these days of vegan diets for ethical reasons we need to also look at the impact of eating ancient grains such as quinoa on the indigenous cultures that have traditionally grown them.

It is all well and good that people are choosing their diets for ethical reasons. That is one of the very reasons that I want to raise and grow my own food for my family. We are definitely not vegans here but there are still things that we look at to make our process more sustainable and healthy for the animals and plants that we raise. Here is where we differ from those who have to purchase their foods rather than grow them, do you really know where your food is coming from?

Most quinoa is grown in South America, specifically a little country called Bolivia that many people don’t even know where it is on a map. The amount of quinoa that is consumed in this country has dropped.  As export of this wholesome ancient grain increases the indigenous people’s consumption decreases. They can no longer afford to buy what is a staple food source. 

Then we run into the industrialization of this food product. There is now destruction of land to produce more quinoa. Haven’t those of us on the sustainable train been fighting against monocropping for years now? The destruction of the land costs biodiversity and healthy soil. Monocropping is destroying the genetic diversity of this ancient food source of the Bolivian people. It is affecting the very lives of the indigenous people.

As so often happens, western (caucasian/European) culture is appropriating someone else’s culture without thought to the long term effects. This is just one example of how you choose to eat affects other cultures. This is just one crop of many that are becoming globalized, mechanized, and industrialized. This is just one example of how corporate greed and brainwashing turns people with good intentions into the colonizers. 

The next time you go to buy that bag of ancient grains check out the company selling it to you. Are they using sustainable practices? Are their farmers getting their fair share of the profits? Are the farmers able to put their own native crop on the table to feed their family?

Moving Forward

It has been a rough year.  September 6, 2020 will be the one year anniversary of my heart overhaul. My friend Jane welcomed me to the zipper club. My cousin Amanda spent 2 days in the hospital with me.  There have been too many other hospitalizations to count. All related to vascular issues and diabetic foot ulcers (blisters that decided not to heal).

All of that and trying to work, then pandemic, furlough from work, looking for a new position within the company, etc. has lead me to re-evaluate my entire life. I am trying to be the healthier, better me. OK, not much I can do about the temper and a few other flaws. I am learning to embrace my flaws and love them as part of me.

I am battling a smoking addiction. Have I cut back, yes way back. I fall off the wagon and get up and back on again. I have been trying to keep up an exercise routine. Don’t ever knock chair exercises, they can kick your ass. Keeping my blood sugar/A1C under control has been a battle but I think the PCP and I have finally come  up with a  plan of action.

There have been some very dark days and days like Tuesday where I want to jump for joy.  It has been a roller coaster. I feel like I have come very far all the way around. I am ready to see what lies ahead while enjoying living in the moment. Well, except those moments when the kids have frustrated me beyond words.

The garden was a bust between surgeries, hospitalizations, kids not sure what to do (they do but I think they were overwhelmed), the weather, and life in general.  So the new plan is to build a garden house. Not just a greenhouse for year round growing but more like an indoor/outdoor house. Raised bed and vertical growing, work area and a sitting area on the inside.  We will raise butterflies for release, praying mantis for insect control, and honeybees. all in the garden house. The outside will have perennial beds, wind chimes, and other items. I want it to look like a little cottage on the edge of the woods.  Eventually I want to see clients here. We will get to the client stuff later on.

Instead of looking at selling anything, I am going to focus on just supplying my family with healthy foods, holistic health, the beauty of growing, raising, and foraging herbs and other foods. The garden house will be a central part of all of these plans. A place to rest, relax, seek peace, and find self healing.

Stay tuned as the journey continues. Watch things grow and change as I continue to try and lead my family to a more sustainable lifestyle.

What No One Tells You About Growing

No one tells you it sucks. No one tells you that it is more work physically and mentally anything else in this world. They don’t tell you how time intensive it is to grow.

Grow what you ask? Anything, plants, animals, tiny humans, and most of all they don’t tell you about growing yourself. Or maybe regrowing yourself. I am not going to claim to be an expert on anything but I might have everything down pat except myself.

I am working or rather reworking myself. The last three years have been total hell from the word go. Watching my dad’s health decline and his final days. Adjusting to life without him. Helping my children do the same. Trying to get my daughter help for mental health issues, her story to tell if she wants to share details. Job changes and health issues. Some really life altering health issues. Life has just given me a lot to consider.

I have been told that I am strong and how most people would have given up already. I really do appreciate the sentiments. Most have not seen the dark parts of this journey. There are still some dark days ahead but they are getting fewer. What it has lead me to is the belief that I am strong enough to be weak and ask for help. It has shown me how precious life can be and how fragile.

The goals for now are to explore the world from a different perspective. Not new really but a better understanding of permaculture as not only a function of healing the earth but of healing myself.

One of the reasons I think that my gardens have struggled is that I have been struggling. As if they have been a mirror image of my inner turmoil. That and clay soil just simply sucks.

The three ethics of permaculture are what I am choosing to live my life by.

1. Earth Care

2. People Care

3. Future Care

Out of those three principles will come the self care that I need. That is the tough part. I am regenerating myself, mentally, spiritua6l, and physically.

Today is a brand new day and it is ok to struggle and to misstep. Just pick yourself up, learn, and forge ahead.

Let’s forge ahead together and make a new beginning today.

Light, Love, and Peace
Tammy~SSM~

Creating a Culture of Change

I am not looking to change a business, society, etc. I am looking to change the way I live personally. That includes how I eat, think, buy and sell. Do I hope that others will join me? Of course, but this is really about my personal journey to live a quiet, peaceful life.

What do I want to change?

A lot of things I would love to change about myself. I want my body to be about 15 years younger. I want my brain to not feel quite so bogged down. I want my spirit to be lighter. I want the energy I used to have. This where I started this new part of my journey. I made a list of what I wanted to see happen in my life. The question really has become how do I make these changes more than just what I want to do.

I am a list person, including putting my goals down on paper. So I have set out to make these changes happen by creating a culture in my home that accepts change. There is no reason to keep doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. So I made of lists of who, what, when, where, and how I want those changes to happen.

Where do I begin?

I began with searching for a job that would bring me closer to home. It has been a drawn out search but a friend stepped in and helped me find what appears to be a perfect match. We will see, honeymoon phase begins in that but I have a feeling becoming a dialysis nurse is what I have been looking for.

I also I have had to step back and look at things that stress me. Finances is a big one. So how do I change from spending and living pay check to pay check. I have to look at expenses that can be cut. Look at the items I buy and become more conscientious about whether or not I really need them. This includes chickens and ducks, I really need to do a 12 step program of some sort.

Another big stressor for me is clutter and disorganization. For so long I have lived in organized chaos. The chaos has to go. This goes with every part of my daily life. I need to find a system that works for me. Including getting my children on board with how things need to be done to create a peaceful household. I am not talking about the energy that kids bring into a home. I love that actually but I cannot enjoy it when things are helter skelter.

Making a plan

I am making a map of my life. I am taking all of the lists I have made and setting goals. These goals include health changes, organizing time, organizing my home, and organizing my finances.

Health goals include keeping my diabetes under control. Working on rebuilding my health and energy through meditation, yoga, and exercise. They also include gardening and creating a landscape that is productive.

Organizing goals are a little more difficult. I am great at making a plan but sticking to it can be hard. So instead of making big huge changes in how things will get done I am making mini goals that are easy to accomplish and will make a more permanent change in the life I live.

Finances are undergoing a change as well. I should be able to live off of the money I earn at work. It is a matter of getting other spending under control. This is going to be one of the biggest challenges on board for me.

Changing with the seasons

Maybe it is the influence of the changing of the seasons. I have always felt a draw to the sun, moon, earth, and stars. We are heading into autumn. My goals seem to be following the path of the seasons as I create this culture of change in my life. As the Earth changes with the passing of seasons so must we.