I can buy imported honey for less than Canadian honey. I can buy Canadian honey for less than local honey.
I live in the middle of one of the most productive agricultural region of Canada, with acres of orchards, but I can't find apple juice in my local grocery store that doesn't come from China.
I can grow a lot of my own food, but preserving and storing that food takes energy.
I can afford to feed my dogs a species-appropriate diet, but I cannot afford to feed them sustainable, local meat.
I can source almost 100% of my diet locally, but the closest central "shop" is over 30 minutes away by car - each way.
I've blogged before about this issue, but it's on my mind more and more.
Is there a balance between the four?
Is there any one "correct" way that works for everyone?
Then add a fifth element - time.
I work full time. I have two dogs, that, while they are the best dogs on the planet (!), do require some of my time. I'm single, so if the windows need washing, the lawn needs mowing, the garden needs tending, the house needs cleaning - I'm the one up to bat. Groceries and laundry. Friends and family. Community. Time spent researching new topics, sourcing new suppliers for the things I need to live. And yes, time spent relaxing, on the computer, playing with the dogs, reading for pleasure, and even spent watching TV!
I know that, when (if?) the reno is done, I'll have more time, but I will never, short of winning the lottery so I don't have to work, have the time, money and ability to do everything. Nor do I have the interest in doing everything that others do. Maybe it's because I live in a wine region, with plenty of wines readily available, but I have no interest in wine making. And I grew up in a family that made wine, back when that process started with buying real, live grapes - not juice! Same as beer making - meh. And while I'll pick up a hammer, a saw, a drill, I have no interest in doing my own car maintenance.
It seems that many things on this journey are fractals. The more I try, the more complicated it becomes, the more offshoots, more learning, more time, more money invested, more more more...
Learn how to bake bread? Okay, fine, I can do that. Oh, but now I should mill my own flour. Spend time researching mills, finding a distributor, finding local, green, sustainable, frugal sources for wheat... what, I should grow my own wheat?
Learning how to knit turns into learning how to spin turns into learning how to process fleece turns into learning how to raise your own flock.
You can't just make beer, you have to grow your own hops. Making wine? Then why aren't your growing grapes? Gardening? What do you mean, you don't save seed?!?!
Soap making, vinegar brewing, cheese making, baking, sewing, gardening, transportation, the list is literally endless!
Where is the balance? What compromises need to be made? Where do we draw the line?
What are your priorities? How do you manage to do it all, if you do? Is it even possible to do it all??