I spent a couple of hours outside today, pulling up the dry beans and "threshing" them.
A couple of hours, for less than 2 cups of dry beans.
A couple of hours, for a couple of pots of chili con carne.
And, since shelling beans is pretty mindless work, I had a lot of time to think: why do I do this?
Let me be quite clear up front - I garden, first and foremost, because I enjoy it. But why beans and not begonias?
If I grow it myself, I know what went on it. I try to grow organically, but I'm not adverse to using chemicals when warranted.
If I grow it myself, it means I'm that much less dependent on industrial agriculture. I still buy a lot of food at the grocery store, but every meal I grow myself means one less meal that needs to be grown, processed, shipped and stored.
If I grow it myself, I have a start on a decent food storage. It's not enough to feed me for more that a few weeks at most, but I'm not going to starve if the power goes out for a week.
If I grow it myself, I know that two rows of dried beans this year means a few meals, and a whole bed of them next year means somewhere around 1/10th of my meals for the entire year.
A lot of blogs are written by "preppers".
I'm not just a prepper.
A lot of blogs are written by locovores.
I'm not just a locovore.
A lot of blogs are written by "greenies".
I'm not just a greenie.
A lot of blogs are written by "frugals".
I'm not just a frugal.
So, when some read my blog, they see the inconsistencies of growing my own beans, but buying a large, brand-new fridge with built-in ice maker (even though my current fridge still works - for now, anyhow). They see the inconsistencies of buying a dishwasher, but spending labour day weekend canning. They see the inconsistencies of buying new living room furniture but growing a yard full of vegetables instead of buying them.
Yes, I know I can buy 2 pounds of onions for 99 cents, and dry beans are cheap cheap cheap. I know spending a few thousand on new appliances, new furniture, house renovations (okay, more than few thousand here...) can't be recouped by a vegetable garden.
But this all part of me. So, when you question my choices, please keep two things in mind:
1. I'm not just one thing - I'm a normal Canadian, doing what I think is best at this point in time.
2. They are MY choices, and I am not forcing them on you.
I write this blog to keep friends and family up-to-date on the house and my life, and I hope some others find it useful, or at least amusing. I'm not just one thing, and this blog will not be just one thing either.
Now, I have a pot of vegetable soup to make for lunch this week. YUM!