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Posts Tagged ‘radical homemaking’

I read the book Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes last year and it revolutionized my thinking.  If you talk to Dave and the kids, they might say that it was the day I started reading labels and stopped buying delicious food.  And by delicious they mean things like Fruit loops and corn dogs, frozen burritos and canned chili, Wonderbread and white flour pasta.  It might be categorized as the day that I started referring to certain foods as poison.

Radical Homemakers is about men and women across the U.S. who focus on home and hearth as a political and ecological act, and who have centered their lives around family and community for personal fulfillment and cultural change. It explores what domesticity looks like in an era that has benefited from feminism, where domination and oppression are cast aside and where the choice to stay home is no longer equated with mind-numbing drudgery, economic insecurity, or relentless servitude.  —

It’s really right up my alley.  Because though, it is steeped in information about the food industry because the author is an organic, sustainable farmer, it is also full of families who have turned their backs on the future that our society is making.  They are shunning the conventional and striving for a better quality of life.  I long for the existence that many of the families in the book are creating.

Quite frequently while reading the book, I’d turn to Dave and say “Darn Industrial Revolution!” (with a dramatic shake of my fist). 

Dave:  Am I missing something here? 

Me:  If it wasn’t for the Industrial Revolution we could spend more time together.

Dave:  Yes, we could.  We could also be hungry migrant farm workers.

Me:  That’s not what I mean.  You could be Pa Ingalls and could build us a house out of the forest and I could be Ma and I’d be weaving us straw hats right now. 

Dave:  Or, I could save you 8 weeks of work and we could buy a straw hat at Target for $10.

Me:  That right there, is why I’m a producer and you’re a consumer. 

And for months, every time I debated purchasing something it would be weighed upon the Producer-consumer scale.

Dave:  We’re out of bread.

Me:  Well, we could buy a loaf of bread and be consumers, or I could make it and we’ll be producers.  Let’s go buy flour.  I’m gonna produce this.

or

Mckayla:  We’re out of peanut butter.

Me:  We have peanuts, a food processor and the internet.  Let’s make it!

McKayla:  Can’t we just buy it?

Me:  No, we’re producers, not consumers!

McKayla:  I like consuming.

Me:  Don’t worry, I’ll let you consume your homemade peanut butter after you make it.

It’s been a long road.  I know that the big picture dreams of being a radical homemaker will never really make it to fruition because I can’t seem to brain wash convince Dave to hop on board.   I’ve learned that being a producer, is hard work, and I can’t produce everything alone.  The convenience of running to the store is so very, very tempting (and easy).  It also doesn’t make it any easier that I’m still surrounded by a family of consumers. But, I’m winning them over, little by little.

Yesterday, we were making dinner and everyone was helping.

Dave:  What should I put in the Taquitos?

Me:  Shredded pork, some salsa, onions, and cheese.

Dave:  We’re out of cheese.

Me:  Aw, man.  We don’t really need it for the taquitos, but it will make for some very sad cheeseless beans. 

Dave:  Let’s make some cheese! 

Our first batch of Queso Fresco was born.

Because we’re producers Damn it!

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