There are some natural things that have always been just a little too “crunchy” for me. Things that I thought that the other people who did them were sort of, well, either “off the deep end” in this area. And, I suppose, some of these things I wanted to do someday but just absolutely could NOT fathom finding the time to do them.
Here’s my list of some of these things:
- Growing my own vegetables in a garden
- Making my own clothes (or really, sewing anything at all that I can use at home instead of buying)
- Using cloth diapers
- Having a compost bin
- Making bread for the family as a rule, and not just for fun
- Using scented essential oils and herbs and acting as if I believe they actually do something other than smell good
- Giving birth at home, unassisted
- Making my own cheese
- Raising chickens for eggs or having any other farm type animal at all
- Making my own bath soap, laundry soap, or any other type of cleanser
- Using cloth anything instead of paper anything simply for the environmental and practical reasons and not only because I enjoy doing so
There’s a joke I heard one time at a comedy show in Jerusalem. You know how there are different types of practicing Jews out there, and the ones who are more strict or observant than you, you might think of as “fanatics” and the ones who do less than you do “aren’t really Jewish”…? (Said tongue in cheek, it’s a joke, please don’t write me blasting my political incorrectness)
The same joke can apply to just about any practice that you do which can be measured in comparison to others. In this case, How Crunchy Am I?
Whatever the answer, of course, realize that anyone who does more than I do MUST be an off-the-deep-end fanatic, and anyone who does less than I do isn’t really into natural health….
A while back I wrote a post describing the things I do and don’t do in the area of natural living AKA crunchiness.
The funny thing is, I guess I’m changing. Or growing. Or just moving along on my journey, because I’m starting to do some of these things.
I used to think that compost was yucky, smelly, gross, and just TOO MUCH for me to do. I was not interested in carting my garbage anywhere for the sake of making it rot so that I can put it in my garden….especially because I had no garden!
However, the times they are a-changing. I began my first compost pile about a year ago now, and it’s been a good experience. I’ll let you know what I’ve learned so far.
Why compost? Well, a few reasons.
Environmentally, According to RecycleNow.com ,”Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It’s easy to make and use.”
I have wanted to begin a Square Foot Garden for a very long time. I finally live in a place that has the space I need to be able to do it, and adding compost is a very important element of he garden. It’s expensive and possibly inferior to buy, and so it would be so much easier if I already had it. All gardeners seem to say that it’s just SO necessary. And most sources say how easy it is to do it….well, it was worth a try, I figured.
I started with a heap or pile, and turned it regularly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did not stink, which was my biggest concern. The problem was that when the weather turned rainy I ignored the pile, and because of a lack of walls to build it up, it never really grew and sort of seemed to disappear. By the time the weather turned cold, I stopped bothering with the turning and just threw the stuff on there. So as a result, I never really got the compost. I did, however, make many earthworms happy and help out the water treatment system just a tad by not throwing it down the garbage disposal, so I still felt good about it.
About two months ago we finally began that garden, and I knew it was time to get serious about this composting thing. So I got some chicken wire and bent it to make a cylinder about 4 feet across and 4 feet high, and started again. I raked up all my old compost from whatever I had and began with that. I add all of our kitchen produce scraps, eggshells, and occasionally dryer lint. And I turn it 2-3 times a week. This takes about 15 minutes, but I enjoy the outside time. I turn it by simply lifting the cylinder and moving it to an empty spot, and then shoveling everything back in.
It’s not compost yet, but getting close. Soon it will be time to start another one so that this one can finish ‘cooking’ without having new stuff added all the time.
Yep, I’m becoming a regular homesteading gal. 🙂