A few posts ago I wrote through an anecdote of my family and I picking our way through our raspberry patch. It was a bucolic scene in the midst of the Suburban Desert and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But there is a deeper story there too that I would like to draw out a bit more.
A important lesson in the berry patch that I did not expound upon is that even though we picked as much as we wanted, and made 3 pints of jam, plus enough for a dozen muffins, and several rounds of smoothies… THERE WAS STILL 3 GALLONS LEFT on the canes. We use more than 3 pints of jam a year, but we also have strawberries, pears, gooseberries, apples, paw paw and peaches coming in to pack into the larder. Our little berry patch (60 sq ft) could supply 3 families with some of their jam. In fact, next year we may host a Jam Party. Have 2 other families come over and we all make jam together since we have the pressure cooker.
Without a community none of us are sustainable, despite what the Compound Types say. One of the families we would likely invite makes beer and grows their own hops, another makes maple syrup from trees in the neighborhood. I do neither of these things, but it is likely the other families would then share their harvests with us, and perhaps even host gatherings of their own to share the workload. Even if none of the families had anything to give, the added help and fellowship would be worth it, and Eco Evangelism is a Good Thing in itself. Emily over at Eat Close to Home is working hard on all kinds of community building projects like this. Sound hokey? This is how communities have been sustained for millennia, and it is a lesson we must relearn.
Be The Change