Monday, September 6, 2010

Grocery Dependence & The Apocalypse

This picture above is me in my garden area, where I just planted seeds for a fall/winter crop of cold weather veggies. Right now it looks desolate and it is. There is really nothing to eat in there yet and during spring time it didn't do well since I had just cleared out the area, and only now was able to build up the soil with donkey poop & top soil from around the barn (the soil was really acidic from the mountain laurel all around.)
A garden takes time to grow.
Which brings me to my annoyance with being dependent still on groceries to provide me with the food I need, like I am stuck in the cycle of the system and don't really have anyone to teach me how to get out. What makes it worse is I have problems with food due to mal-absorption disease Celiac Sprue and when I am not eating exactly what I need to be I become really freaking sick- seriously my body is kinda a mess! Because of my lifestyle, because I make everything from scratch, I am setting my cabin up to be partly off grid, I live in the forest, know many native plants... i do things like gravity fed water and gray water system, etc - people tend to think I am going to survive some kind of apocalypse. Or peak oil, end of times, civilization switch. But I am here to say I am pretty sure I will die out due to my dietary complications & grocery dependence, and that learning these homesteading & rewilding skills are more for reasons of poverty & disease then surviving some kind of worldwide breakdown.
To be honest, I like being the girl scout who's prepared for everything - thinking I'd die out in some kind of Rapture-lyptic Peak Oil 2012 freak show kinda sucks and makes me feel like a failure. Even though it's not related to anything I have done, just a failure of my body to ever have come to a fully functioning level after almost dieing from Celiac Sprue back in 2001. I actually have never cared about any kind of 'end of times', because my personal 'end of times' came when the economy bottomed out and I didn't have enough money for rent & food & basic bills anymore. My apocalypse has been happening for a few years now - and even though no zombies are coming after me, and my neighbors aren't coming into my house stealing my food at gun point, it can hardly be said that being poor isn't equal to being threatened by zombies, in this modern state of time/habits.
I am a product of my upbringing. So yeah I can identify some plants in the forest, yeah I can talk back and forth with a screech owl, and even if the grid fell apart I'd still have running water..... but I STILL will cry when I run out of olive oil & lara bars. Not cause I am addicted but because my stomach will hurt so bad from the dietary switches I will most likely die or kill myself.
So I guess, ya'll can come take over my Luck Cabin in the event of Peak Oil-alypse 2012.... just wait though till I am dead, I swear it'll only take a few weeks.

PS- Watch this segment on CNN where the reporter talks to my friend from highschool (Jenga Mwendo) about how hard it is to get food in the 9th ward of New Orleans (the city I grew up in), all these years after the hurricane. That hurricane was their 'apocolypse'.


Ken said...

Like Joan of Arc, you have a destiny to fulfill. Don't let this temporary setback blind you.

Anonymous said...

Gotta hand it to the Mormons if on one count only - and that is stocking up. Man, they have it down to a science. Can you not get sacks of the stuff you need once every couple of months and keep them where you are - storing them so they stay safe from critters and such? Dude, you need a plan and some help getting the stuff to you. Maybe you can barter with someone to get the stuff to you. You sew pretty well..... Don't lose heart - put that energy into getting healthy - and check out Criss Karr on YouTube for inspiration and healing.

Anonymous said...

That's Kris Carr....

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

how sweet. I wonder what the destiny is?

haha, Ok I first read your recommendation as "Kriss Cross" and thought you were suggesting these guys for inspiration....
I stay focused on being healthy and I do try to order food stores ahead of time - to be honest I was thinking of all this because I ordered a BUNCH of bulk gluten free food a month & half ago, but three times the order was messed up and the food still hasn't come. That led me to something i think of often, and that is i dont like depnding on the modern groceries/deliveries in order to have what i need.
Of course, one person really can't do it all on their own though, even though i am trying. Gardening & chickens, etc does good, but probably isn't enough (aka all the food i need).
But i guess i shouldn't turn myself in for dead during a zombie invasion just yet.

Susan said...

Leslie, I know exactly how you feel. I have a neighbor next door who a) had money and b) was perfectly healthy -- she came very close to growing all her own food for a few years.

It took nearly all her time and energy. Her retirement savings got hit so she's back at work -- and guess what, she's not into that any more.

No time if you're working. Not enough energy if you're sick.

As for me, I rely on my CSA to provide me with a weekly veg box and I buy other food at the coop. Minimally processed wherever possible. Big can of EVOO once in a while too.

But I feel like a failure too.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Susan!
Thanks for sharing, it makes me feel not alone in the struggle.
You know, I belong to a CSA too, and have LOVED it cause the farm is only 8 miles from my cabin... they were rocking my green world and supplimenting my garden..... UNTIL the last month or so they started going really heavy on the nightshades, like eggplant & potatoes, and some other things i can't eat like corn... it would end up that all i had was yellow squash, onions, and lettuce to eat for weeks.
Eventually the lack of dark green & variety of veggies I need so bad (after many years of mal apsorption) started to really effect my digestion. I think i do much better on stuff that is not only locally grown, but more region specific, more macrobiotic, or whatever the word is that kinda cuts out the tropical stuff in non tropical climates.

I think it would be cool to somehow go back to the drawing board, for me at least, and really re-think it through how to be self sustaining, because for me it is not something right out of a book written by some robust old farmer who could eat anything cause he didnt grow up on 1970's processed & pestcided foods. I need a plan that works very specifically for me, and I have to be realistic about the time frame i can accomplish it in.

In the meantime.... WTF is right, especially when i run out of food and am hungry.

Gratuitous said...

Oh Leslie. Nobody's going to let you go hungry. Or die from anything. As isolated as you sometimes feel, you have reached out to the world, and the world has you firmly within its embrace. Challenges aren't obstacles to life... they are life itself.

Want to feel sorry for yourself? Nobody has the right more than you, a good person who's been dealt bad problems. But you're still here, and that is nothing but a testament to your strength. Too much to live up to? I think not; I think you're just beginning.

Ask for help, lady. Be specific and creative but also righteous. Nobody who follows this blog will doubt your sincerity, so put it out there plainly: What do you need? Never forget, the receiving is what gives the giving its beautiful power. Which is what you have.

Gratuitous said...

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey gratu!

I didn't mean to come off as feeling sorry for myself, I actually was feeling very very sick and not really as much sorry for myself, but rememebring the reality of a genetic disease I have, and why I have done the things I've done to set myself up like this.
Since the dawn of the economoy crash I have learned on a new level what poverty really means to people (and people with disabilities) - it meant not knowing if you'd have food, power, or a place to stay... in these last few years I have made some things happen to turn this around for myself (i am a very positive thinker, who doesn't give up easily AND someone who doesnt forget what it's like for everyone else in poverty)! -
i have a home now, I have reduced my bills to nearly nothing (my electric reaches about $30-35 a month), and I have sought out the help I needed when I need it.
I do occassionally struggle asking for help over and over again, for things that are too difficult for me to drive to get myself (some people are really hard headed - meaning ME!) I like to do everything myself, but my ten year long lesson with health problems has been that we simply don't exsist alone and we do not do everything ourselves.
WHat is interesting to me, is now that i have moved to a place so peaceful and "isolated" i see more people everyday then I had since moving to Western North Carolina in 2002. I mean really. I have hardly had one day to myself!
Isolation at this point will only come in two forms:
1. in my own mind
2. from alot of snow

I think what I am saying is i didn't mean to have this post come off as overly negative, as much as open to the other side of reality... in order to really plan things the way I'd like it's imperative to see all sides at some point, and then go ahead back to my usual tough & positive attitude.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Oh- I wanna add....

I watched some Kris Carr videos on youtube as suggested...
I had a few thoughts:
I really liked her attitude and I know exactly what place she is coming from, I did the exact same thing to live, when I was supposed to die. Even though I didn't drink martinis for breakfast like she did before getting sick, I had my own sick view & patterns. I had been on the right track, but needed a push into a better life - even if that life included alot of physical pain.
I must have read over hundred spiritual, health and self help books - i went to every kind of healer you can dream of including psychics (which i always loved the most!)... I never gave up, i just kept on living.
There are things i dont talk about on this blog, but when i moved to WNC i could not even walk, i was in a wheel chair.... there is not a day or moment that passes by that i am not amazed that i am walking.
It's taken' me from someone who alrady saw the little things i see and love, to someone who feels bliss in just being here seeing them.... no more questions about it.
I relate to the positive things she says cause i use the same coping and sttitude to get through ---- i also related to her moments when she'd cry in her videos that she didnt want to die and she felt chained & trapped to "healing & health" and would never be free. I have been there too.
I have one issue, and i think it's just that I wish they would make their lifestyle changes seem more available to everyone....
including the poor, including uneducated...
it's a society thing and not Kris Carr, but we focus on models and movie stars to give us inspiration, but those people had LOADS of money to pay for their bad health.

AM I the only one who finds that part off-putting? It doesnt make me miss the deeper message, but it's hard to take full advice from them too, cause the rest of the population has some other added stressors.

Gratu ... i like that video of the song.