Living Locally

I’ve read in several places that as things fall apart around us due to bad management at all levels, we humans will be depending more and more on one another in our local settings. I remember the book that Barbara Kingsolver wrote Animal Vegetable Miracle in which she told of her family’s year of living off the land, season by season. They had knowledge of native plants as well as those they could produce in their garden, so foods that grew in the forest and ditches around them was part of their survival. There was also the use of the produce of their local farmer neighbors, emphasis on local. This book makes me imagine the life the doomsday naysayers are predicting but reading it in a book penned by Kingsolver makes it seem sweetly appealing.

Kingsolver and her family decided at the start of their adventure that each person in the family could select one luxury food item that they just could not do without. Barbara chose coffee, which would be my choice, too. As they went along, they became masters at preserving and preparing the food that they bought locally and harvested. In the end, they realized that living locally is survivable; assuming that your local region hasn’t turned into a desert, though the Zunis might have something to teach us about that. The Kingsolver experiment is what I imagine could be the experience of the world one day as systems such as transportation fail us. It sounds adventurous to me until I think about energy systems failing and going back to reading by candlelight and using outhouses. The thought of going to an outhouse three times during the night in middle winter in Minnesota is really upsetting to me. Oh yes! I remember the chamber pot my Great Aunt Mary had!

I am too old to learn all the stuff people would have to know. I guess I will be one of those dependent on the brawn and brains of those around me. I really should get to know my neighbors better

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