One of my favourite blogs currently is written by Rhonda Hetzel, called Down to Earth. She lives in Australia and writes about how she and her husband, Hanno, live 'simply'. She's even written a book called The Simple Life, available from Amazon and all sorts of other places. I don't think I would call their life simple in that it requires a fair amount of work to grow as much food as they do, raise chickens, bake breads, make their own soap and household cleaners, etc. I suppose it is simple in that they have stepped away from the usual consumer lifestyle and are as self-sufficient as they are able to be.
Somehow the concept of 'simple' in modern (post-modern?) society is fairly complex! I tend to think of it as 'minimalist' but they are not minimalists. I also think of 'simple' as meaning 'easy' (as in automated, I suppose), but they don't do that either. They are however frugal and they obviously enjoy what they do. I like to occasionally try some of their ideas (like homemade laundry soap, which seems to have worked out fine). If any of these ideas interest you, you should definitely check out her blog and possibly her book (more on the way). I have neither the land space nor the climate that they enjoy - I especially envy them the latter, so even with the best will I couldn't replicate their lifestyle. (Besides I suspect I'm far too lazy).
Rhonda recently mentioned about Food Goals, a topic that came up on the Simple Living Forum. I've joined the forum but not figured out how to comment, etc. I thought this was an interesting topic and people have quite a wide variety of goals.
1) spend less than £100 per month on average for our food keeping but also serve a variety of healthy, nutritional foods, especially vegetables and fruit. Not sure how realistic this is, but it's what I aim for.
- Average of £94 a month spent for food so far this year.
2) grow some fruit and veg in the back garden (my goal is extremely modest, ie anything is better than nothing)
- I've got the soil all turned and ready, but only strawberries (moved) and broad beans have gone in; on the other hand I've had 2 full crops of carrot greens just from my carrot tops-sitting-in-water in the kitchen; this amuses me no end.
3) use up my stockpiled foods, especially those odd items that will just sit forever if I don't make an effort.
- This is largely what has made £94 monthly average possible. There are still odd things to use up so I'm far from finished with this. It is a balance between presenting Bill with new surprises (which is generally likes) and feeding him tinned and frozen foods (which he'll only tolerate so much of).
More long-range ideas I've had a long time are to be more competent at making pastry for pies and American style biscuits from scratch (as opposed to British style biscuits which I call cookies).
Other people have listed such things as
reduce/remove sugar from their diet (because they are diabetic)
grow enough food to preserve
learn to make more things from scratch, ie yoghurt, sourdough bread
increase the diversity of their diets
move more towards a vegetarian / vegan lifestyle
plan more meals, packed lunches
re-build the stockpile
waste less food
This all sounds really good to me. In fact I can't imagine not having a food goal of some kind.
How about you? Do you have any food goals?