Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Can't Tell Me It's Impossible

My Mother Earth News Magazine arrived today.  I have really enjoyed this magazine most months, though haven't always rejoiced when it arrived in my mailbox.  The reason is I live in an urban town, far from chickens, goats, gardens and anything resembling the country.  I was raised on a gentleman's farm in a suburban setting, and seem to have left my heart there, so getting my subscription to Mother Earth News tied me to that time in my life.  However, the magazine content is typically about country living: chicken coop building, goat neutering, growing the finest, fattest, tastiest tomato, turning over the finest soil, and I just don't ever feel like I can relate to any articles in reality.  But my heart says not to give up.

Today's issue had a wonderful article written by Jules Dervaes from Southern California.  I found Path to Freedom and the Dervaes family online several years ago.  Awed by their amazing talent to turn an urban, dry plot of land in Southern California into an oasis of organic heaven, I tuned into their blog on a regular basis to look at photos, read reports of biodiesel and learn new recipes.  I never left any comments because I never felt like I could add to what I was reading.  I was mesmerized by their drive to experiment with what they had.  I was curious about their desire to have livestock, but not use the car to go pick them up, choosing to use public transportation instead.  Something kept bringing me back to check in on their successes, of which there were plenty.  Soon, they were growing enough food to feed more than just their family.  Local restaurants were benefitting from their hard work as well.  But the truly inspiring thing about it is they do it all on 1/10th of an acre.

I think about all the money I spend on organic food.  I think about how we've lost touch with where our food comes from.  I think about how I'd love for my kids to pull carrots by their fronds and munch them down right there in the garden.  I think about how we support mass growing and transportation of mediocre foods.  And I remember how my mother used to grin at her first garden-fresh tomato and cheese sandwich of the season, and even at such a young age I knew something was so special about growing your own food.  

I am inspired by the Dervaes family.  Unfortunately, I live in a town that is known for it's 'urban rubble' for soil.  We have tried to amend our little postage stamp yard, but the New England seasons and the deep shade from our neighboring trees makes growing anything but moss and weeds challenging.  You're not hearing me throwing in the trowel, though.  I will find a way to keep inspiration for sustainable living.  And while I work on it, you might want to check out Path to Freedom.  It will make you think.

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