Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Almost Crunchy

Welcome to the June 2012 Simplicity Parenting Carnival: Green Living
This post was written as part of the monthly Simplicity Parenting Carnival hosted by The Lone Home Ranger and S.A.H.M. i AM. This month we are discussing how we find ways to be more natural parents and stewards of the environment. Be sure to read to the end to see a list of the rest of the excellent carnival contributors.

I. Am. A. Hypocrite.

Upstairs, next to my bed, is a stack of "good food" books - Nourishing Traditions, Slow Food Nation, a Moosewood Cookbook - and I just opened a packet of "cheese" sauce to ladle on to some noodles.

It happens.  It's embarrassing and I promise myself next time I'll do better.

I'm not Super Crunchy.  Heck, I probably won't even pass for "Mostly Crunchy" on a good day, but I'm getting there.  I'm sitting contentedly at the corner of "Almost" and "Crunchy" after a trip to the local grocery store with organic milk in a plastic bag in the back seat while my kid munches on baked carrot chips and I sip on a nice cold Dr. Pepper.

It's where I'm at and looking back on where I've been I'm happy with the progress.


It starts with a book.  It will be a different book for every person, but for me it was a combination of Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food", "Your Money or Your Life" and Duane Elgin's "Voluntary Simplicity".  I had been searching for a proper title for the ideas running around in my head.  That a person could live well with out making a lot of money, that the home life was important and perhaps there was a reason my farming ancestors lived so long (I had ancestors living to their 90's in the 1800's and their 70's in the 1700's) might have something to do with good, real food and a good days work.

That moment began almost five years ago.  We started small, trying to shop at local markets and worked diligently paying off over 10k worth of debt in under two years (all well never making more than $12.00 an hour).

We became a single car family for a while and my year spent walking the mile and a half to work was one of the most peaceful in my memory.

We made a pledge to furnish our home with only things that are "necessary, useful and beautiful" instead of giving in to the modern idea of "convenient, replaceable and trendy."

We moved back "home" in time for the arrival of our contribution to the next generation.  We live close to family now, making them a central focus of our lives.

We adjusted our lives so that we work to live, to afford those things that cannot be produced by our own hands, rather than living to work.

We started really utilizing our kitchen, yard and surrounding farms to provide us with good, wholesome foods.

We say no to the latest and greatest.

We say yes to the satisfaction that comes with a little extra elbow grease knowing that we are meant to actively pursue life with all of our senses.

We strung up a line and can go months without turning on our dryer.

We focus on collecting experiences rather than things.

We limit our schedules and focus on the home first.

We plan ahead to teach our children the benefits and satisfaction of doing things with their own two hands.

We take the time, on a regular basis to stop and examine what goes into our bodies and our home continually comparing what we have, what we need and what we want.


We're not always perfect.  I give into fashion and have been swearing to make my own cleaners for a year now.  We have more things for ourselves and our child than we probably need.  We take the car when we should walk and I don't check every label.

I'm not 100% organic, pasture feed, free range Crunchy, not yet.

But I'm getting there.

Thanks for reading the Simplicity Parenting Blog Carnival! We hope you’ll take time to read these other great contributors’ posts: SimParCarButton150x150
  • Almost Crunchy - Molly at Molly Makes Do writes about her life as "Almost Crunchy" and the baby steps she's taken to get from "Not at All" to "Almost."
  • A (Mostly) Plastic Free Life - Kellie at Our Mindful Life reflects on the recent intrusion of plastic into her usual plastic free home.
  • Slowly Greening Our Home - Dana at Urban Hippie Momma has slowly reduced the amount of paper waste in her home with a few simple practices.
  • Being Green - Anne at Raising Sweet Grace shares her tips on being a green parent.
  • Back to Basics - Justine at The Lone Home Ranger channels her greatgrandmother’s cleaning tips to make her household healthier, more frugal, and more earth-friendly.
  • It's Not (Always) Easy Being Green - Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM discusses the little things her family does to be more eco-friendly but admits it's not always as easy as it sounds.
Thanks to all the fabulous writers and readers for being a part of our simplicity parenting community! Stop by The Lone Home Ranger and S.A.H.M. i AM to see how to join us for a future carnival.
*Also shared as a Guest Post  @ NotYourAverageZoe,    
and at Frugally Sustainable - Frugal Days Sustainable Ways and Sorta Crunchy - Green Resource (on Thursday) and Little House in the Suburbs - Weekly Link Up (Friday)


  1. My book was Nourishing Traditions. (Actually I think my very first one was The Whole Soy Story.) It's the little steps that count! I am no where near where I'd like to be (I can't justify paying $8/quart for raw milk with 3 boys who can make a gallon disappear in two days - and we just can't fit a cow in our backyard), but we're getting there. I think the desire to be intentional about our choices is just as important as the actual choices themselves. The road to Crunchy is a long and interesting one.

  2. My books were "Fast Food Nation" followed quickly by "Omnivore's Dilemma." I think it's great that you don't try to tackle too much at once; it can really weigh you down to the point where you don't want to try at all. I am making most of our food from scratch now but still haven't made my own household sprays or soaps. We garden and compost but don't line-dry. When I look at my homesteading life as a fun project instead of a chore, I feel so much lighter about being a "work in progress." We are trained from a young age to see life as a series of tests, so it's no wonder we are so hard on ourselves for not being crunchy enough. But the great thing about life is there's no exam at the end! Thanks for the thoughtful, eloquent post.

  3. If you're "almost" I'm still barely : ) It sounds like you're doing so many wonderful things! It's so true that it starts with a book...mine was "Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating" by Jane Goodall. I read it so many years ago and it was wonderful...it's been a long journey and I still have a long way to go!


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