Eric Michael Johnson for The New York Times
As we were writing about Occupy Wall Street and We Are the 99 Percent, Cara de Silva sent us a compelling and very timely story she spotted in the New York Times. “Back to the Land, Reluctantly” by Susan Gregory Thomas, is about how the 42 year-old Brooklyn mother of three, having found herself divorced, flat-broke, with a dwindling livelihood, figured out how to “live off the land” from her urban garden and kitchen. “Luckily, my late father hammered into me that grit was more important than talent…I figured, if peasants in 11th-century Sicily did all this, how hard could it be?”
It was survival, not any particular love of artisan cheese or the notion of self-sufficiency, that motivated her to learn how to raise chickens, grow vegetables and herbs, make her own granola, bread, perfume and cleaning products, harvest edible weeds, and stretch a single piece of cheap meat into a week’s worth of dinners, until she discovered she could and her family could live on $100 a week.
IT is a lot of work. You have to be organized and able to improvise on your feet. But, frankly, it’s awesome. read more…