Monday, February 27, 2012

Mennonite-tis: A Case of Better Living

Our slow shift in lifestyle choices has become the butt of many jokes, recently.
After a few of our Let's Become Mormons jokes
were taken too seriously, I think it is time to
shed some light on our "alternative lifestyle".

Signs of Mennonite-tis:
 - We grow much of our own food and buy things like syrup, eggs, butter, apple cider, carrots and kohlrabi from local farmers markets.
- We don't buy fast food or coffee drinks, and rarely go out to eat.
We do get pizza once a month, or so. 
- We don't have cable TV. 
When we want to stare at a screen for a prolonged period of time,
we can watch stuff online or on Netflix. The internet is our main news source.
We read the paper and listen to NPR and other radio stations.
- We keep the heat down in our house, and supplement
with the two cords of wood we picked up late last year.
- We walk, bike and bus to work whenever possible.
- We're learning new skills!
The more people we meet, the more we have to learn.
Some of our current study topics include
herbalism, passive building and solar energy, plant identification,
animal husbandry (looks like we're getting rabbits at the Garden!),
pioneer recipes and food preservation, basic construction,
furniture building and restoration,
and how to keep our cats from eating violets.

 Note the fine beard and willingness to work hard with 
like-minded folks for food, not money.

Since late December, I have been making bread
every few days. It's easy, healthy, and much cheaper
than buying it from the grocery store. 
The quality of bread we eat is on par with
artisan loaves, and smells so good!

 Plenty of bread means plenty of ingredients. 
We've ordered bulk amounts white flour, wheat flour, rolled oats, 
quick oats, yeast, sugars and more from ELFCO
These buckets have Gamma Lids, which are a life saver! 
Sean found a great company out in Utah that sells all sorts of 
long-term food storage things, like oxygen-eating packets to 
put in with bulk foods - they'll keep for 25 years!

 My first rag rug, made of unwanted bed sheets.
This is just one example of "old-timey"
craft projects currently under way.

Just to be clear, we are not currently planning on
converting to the Mennonite lifestyle
(though I'm sure it is lovely). 
We just think it's awfully funny to say we have Mennonite-tis, 
because it sounds like Meningitis and we are goofy.

We do these things because we want to. 
Financially, it's much sounder. Healthier, too. 
We have a greater respect for the things we
eat, make and use. We care more about where our
food comes from, and enjoy supporting
 local businesses instead of Big Box stores.
And hey, if the zombie apocalypse comes earlier than expected 
we'll have a good chance of outlasting the first wave of chaos.

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