A bowl half full.

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!


  1. Hello. I'm going through your archives after following a link from the suburban homestead blog.

    I agree completely with what you wrote. I'm not 100% one thing or another, just me, trying to live as best as I can, inconsistencies and all.

    Last month I cooked my three cups peas that I froze (my whole harvest) to go with the organic-but-not-local-quinoa steaming in my expensive cooking pots, while wearing my down booties taped with duct tape to cover the holes because I don't want to spend money on a new pair :)

  2. Hi Marcelle - thanks for commenting!

    And thanks for sharing. I know what you mean about not wanting to spend money on something that isn't important - the hard part is sometimes trying to explain that to others!!



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