Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The True Nature of Sustainability@home - Myth Five - it doesn't take much time

Myth five - It doesn’t take much time. An hour or so pottering in the garden.

Tell that to my blisters.  Mention that to that long lost friend, the lazy weekend.

Some people do this kind of thing for a living - they get paid for it, then they go home and they rest. I’m not sure what this looks like anymore. The last time I did the sleep in, lie around and watch movies and read books thing was fifteen years ago. Instead  we bludgeon ourselves up at the crack of dawn to feed pigs, ducks, chooks, dogs, goats (and milk them too), then it’s all the usual things like picking poo berries for the garden. This involves gloves, several buckets and a good stooping action to pick up a variety of animal dung to compost. Chopping wood for the wood fired stove that heats our water and cooks our food and keeps us warm. Digging, pruning, weeding, watering, sowing, harvesting, fencing, building, repairing, preserving or just plain persevering.  Then there’s the animals - from  pulling them out of the birth canal to burying them and all the shearing, hoof trimming, feeding, worming and nurturing in between. Then if you’re lucky you get to eat breakfast.
Sustainability at home is a big commitment.


Chris said...

Yes, it doesn't take much time for the weeds to engulf everything either, LOL. I've been following the Jackie French style of wilderness gardening, and even that takes time to implement.

It's easier the more you leave it to nature, but then you've got to eat too. I was saying on another friend's blog recently, I've left a lot of my berries to go wild. I don't stake them up, feed them or anything I should be doing. Saves me a lot of time, however, we get a very small crop and certainly couldn't feed a single person with it, let alone the family.

Then what does get produced also gets shared with the local wildlife, LOL, so yes, it doesn't take much if you don't mind nature doing it all. But then you've got to eat too. ;)

Helen Merrick said...

I so hear you! I do adore Jackie French's writing, but have to say that she is one who feeds into this myth - that it only takes a bit of time each day... mind you, this comes after warning people off total self sufficiency because it is too hard to do as just one family. And of course it may well be much easier once you've had a system and garden in place for 20 years :-)