Back in March of this year, the number 4 item on my Toxin-Free Bucket list was a veggie patch.
Yes. My plight to live all organic, toxin-free, more self-sufficient, fresh, healthy and supermarket free, continues in spinach. And beetroot (see cover photo). Also, onion. Garlic. Cauliflower. And carrots. I planted them myself (er hm, thank you very much), and some of them are growing. Some of them are growing too close together. And some of the seeds and seedlings I planted for the autumn / winter veggie patch are no longer growing at all, due to birds, excessive heat, and my rookie veggie gardener status and general forgetfulness.
But, this is not a post about the failures. That would take too long. This is a post about needing greens for dinner last week, and traipsing out to the garden, complete with kitchen scissors, to snip my own home-grown spinach. [Note to self: snips next time, not scissors.] This is about a mama watching her children eat safe, nutrient-rich, chemical free, good old fashioned heirloom vegetables that didn’t cost the same amount as a small truck, and feeling her heart warmed this winter.
My veggies aren’t costing the earth either. My politicians and their policies are. (I write this from Australia, where greed, over-consumption and business have just won more votes than saving the climate.) My vegetables aren’t. They’re planted in good soil and it’s raining lots here, so I’m not draining the rivers to feed myself. I’ll need to collect lots of rainwater to tell the same river-friendly story in summer, but that’s another bucket list.
Here’s the last one, and progress:
Affirmative. I have soap nuts, and I’ve been using them for washing clothes. And they’re awesome. Read all about it here. I’ll share a post soon about the way I get liquid soap from soap nuts (see photo). I did try using this liquid to wash my hair, but more on that when I update my shampoo-free experiences.
Can anyone else say budget? Gah. What I wouldn’t give to buy this booty of essential oils. And I will. Or, at least, one of the collections. I also believe that every one of these oils will be a key ingredient in toxin-free, natural and less costly living. Yes, less costly. By the time you eliminate costs of the toxic home and personal care cleaners you’ve been using, along with medical bills, you’ll save dollars (and health). Sheesh, but getting there is tricky, isn’t it? When you’re not used to buying in bulk or having the supplies you need to fend for yourself; and you’re still living the weekly shop, transitioning to toxin-free living can seem unaffordable. I haven’t bought a huge collection of oils. I have been using eucalyptus oil mixed with water for home cleaning. And I’m using peppermint oil to scent the weird and wonderful home-made dry shampoo I occasionally use in my hair.
A lemon tree.
Again, behold. A little lemon tree is thriving in our garden, and I’ve planted an avocado tree to boot. A few months in and they’re both still alive and thriving. And yes, I’m feeling smug.
A bee hive.
Sorry bees, not yet. But I have been reading ‘Bees Make the Best Pets’ by Jack Mingo. So, that’s kind of a start?
Glass and stainless-steel containers.
Our family have re-purposed the plastic containers that used to be in our kitchen, to house tools in the shed. And I’ve the collected empty jars, with metal lids, that I buy my coconut oil in, to use as pantry jars. That’s it folks. That’s the budget. Luckily, our family homeschool so we don’t need lunch boxes, because I haven’t been able to buy them in glass or stainless steel yet.
And progress on the rest?
I haven’t bought:
A tee shirt made from an organically and ethically grown, natural fibre,
A shower filter,
A food dehydrator,
and I’m not yet sponsoring an elephant. (How honest can you get?)
It’s okay to be where you’re at.
Thank goodness, because I never seem to be at quite the level of progress I expect, when I stop to take stock (organic and grain-free, of course).
When you have a long list of self-expectations, write a shorter one.
I’m always carrying on about this, but you do have to prioritise. You don’t get anywhere beating yourself up about what you haven’t achieved. It’s far better to make a meal out of what you have. What you’ve achieved. Where you’re at.
As for me, I’m at the veggie patch. My veggie patch. I’ve had to concede that perhaps I don’t have time to shop for hemp just yet (still too busy learning to shop less), and perhaps I don’t need an elephant, and can’t prioritise saving one today. Harsh as that sounds. Because, I have spinach to grow. Bodies that need healing and nutrients, and dinner on the table.
I’d hoped to be supermarket free by now. And self-sufficient, completely toxin-free, and free of money worries. I’m not. But, I’ve made some conscious steps.
Namely, out to the veggie patch. (Oh, and the shed.)
If you’re in the midst of going grain-free and/ or toxin free, you’re not on an easy road. I know. Exhibit A: the length of time between this and my last blog post. All I can say is,
don’t give up mamas and papas…
green looks good on you.
I’ve had a tricky couple of months, with overwhelm the size of a cloud hanging over my daylight hours, and many of my nights. Still, here I am, wading through the failed gardening attempts, and leftover plastic containers in my kitchen… climbing over the mountains of items still on my last bucket list, and a heap of new ones… to reap the fresh spinach I planted in my garden.
If I can do it once, I can do it again. And again. And again. Until there are more trips to the veggie patch than there are to the supermarket; until my shopping hasn’t cost as much as trucks, and until I’m holding hands with this beautiful planet, in good health, the way we’re supposed to.
Til then, this rookie-green mama is growing some awesome spinach. How about you? Grown anything green lately?
Yours in the free world.