We set up every Saturday at the Sunbury, OH farmers’ market.
Our goods vary slightly from week to week but usually include:
-Cold process soaps
-Herbal bug spray
-Thieves’ antiseptic spray
We only use whole, natural ingredients, herbs we collect ourselves, and pure essential oils. No artificial colors, scents or other ingredients at all!
If you’re in the area stop by and say hi!
Here at Muck Weed Farm we engage in child-led education, which means that I watch and listen to the children and then make suggestions based on where they are, what they’re thinking about and what they need to learn. Often people see this sort of education as children running amuck and not learning much of anything, but I can assure you that in our case that is very false thinking. As an example, I’m going to tell you all about our science lesson this week.
On Wednesday the farmer husband and Viktor (9) had a discussion about just peeing in the field or woods rather than walking into the house all dirty to go. Viktor then wondered aloud how many times a day he goes inside versus outside. I suggested he make a table and record his potty breaks the next day to find out. This turned into everyone in the house recording how many times they went inside, outside and number 2. Everyone in the house was a good sport about recording their business on his table for him and then Friday morning he sat at the table, tallied the lists and made a bar graph of the results. We discussed how he used observations to collect data, recorded and organized it and then transformed his data into a visual representation to make it easier to compare and contrast the results.
No one sat down weeks ahead of time planning for this lesson to occur. No one told his what topic he should observe and record. This is a lesson that he will remember because he developed it and the topic of research was interesting to him. He found an answer for a question he had by using science and discovered other information along the way. This is real learning. Real education.
We have been on a long journey moving towards self-sufficiency and as we get further along I’m reminded of everything we have already accomplished and the small steps we have taken that have built up to the bigger steps we are working on now.
It seems there are more and more people who are disappointed with modern society and are making an effort to take a stand against being pulled along with the tide of conformity. You CAN break away, you DO NOT HAVE to participate in a broken system that is destroying the Earth.
Everyone knows the major things entailed in going off-grid, but those seem like gigantic strides to take if you are just starting the process. Our lives are so entangled in the cultural norm of consumerism that it seems an unobtainable goal to not participate. I’m here to point you in your starting direction with three small changes you can make that will add up to big changes over time.
1. Stop spending money. Okay, so it’s not realistic to think you will be able to get away from money completely as it is the currency that the entire country uses, BUT you can greatly decrease your spending fairly easily. How’s that, you ask? Only spend money on what is absolutely necessary and then try to find it second hand. There is an old depression era saying that goes “is it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”. Lower your cost of living, learn to make things you need, barter your skills for things other people can make, buy things used so they are less expensive AND you’re not contributing to supply and demand since it has already been bought once. It’s super easy to get pulled into spending money when you’re at a shop or see an advertisement. Many of my other steps tie into this one, so it is a REALLY important one! If you are reading this post, chances are that you already have acknowledged that there is a problem with consumerism and waste in our culture, but you probably still need to impliment the changes it takes to actually stop spending money the way that most people do.
2. Stop watching TV. This ties in with the first step big time as TV (netflix included) works to make you think you need things, not just from advertisements, but even the way people are portrayed on shows as having a certain standard of living which makes you feel the need to share that standard. Instead of sitting in front of a screen, invite a friend over for tea, read a book on composting, learn a skill, work in the garden, or hike in the woods. As a bonus this step will cut down on your monthly bills, which saves MORE money.
3. Learn to cook from scratch. That means no boxed ingredients. Find someone to show you how to make your own noodles and bread, learn to roast a whole chicken and then make stock from it, get a good knife and practice chopping veggies. Cooking your own food from scratch is such an enjoyable process and it makes your food so much more savorable. Yes, this takes time but it can become a time for mindfulness or bonding with family rather than spending that time sitting in front of a screen after you scarf down your fast food.
These 3 simple steps will make a world of difference in your life and will successfully break you away from the mainstream, consumerist mindset so that you can be on your way towards greater self-sufficiency. As you redirect your time and energy and begin to repurpose, learn new skills, and create your own masterpieces a world of possibilities will open up to you.