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Six Ways to Feed More Than Family

September 4, 2012

Have you ever had those weeks where things are rushed? I think we all do. Here we undertook swapping rooms – moving the office into a corner of the living room so that Connor can have the room that housed the office – with extra privacy.

For those who don’t know me except from here, I love books almost as much as food – and the latter from growing it to harvesting it to cooking it. Sometimes the “have to” interrupts the “want to”! So, in any case, it’s a big project to move the books, declutter, move desk, sort, rearrange, oops there’s another box! and work some more. The reward this evening – an organized desk, books organized by topic and author, room for two dogs to sleep underneath and two more beside me, a more ‘open’ work area and the satisfaction of being able to find things better.

So as all of that activity was underway it gave lots of time to think! We all could use a little more simplicity but we don’t always have a lot of time to devote to it. Here are six easy ways to get a little breather when you can!

1. Appreciate the little things – really appreciate them! When a tragedy happens we too often do this in regret. Smell the coffee or hot chocolate in the morning. The flowers outside, or the smells of breakfast cooking or family gathered in the kitchen in the evening. A summer evening on the porch watching fireflies and a conversation with a friend or loved one makes life count. Take a few minutes to think of five things you’re thankful for today. If you can’t think of any – think of your senses and how much you’d miss without sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Be thankful!

2. Bring nature indoors -on your walks or time outside, be aware of your surroundings. The pretty rock, driftwood, wildflowers or other item found outside is a gift that can hold meanings for years. How do you identify with it? Why did this catch your eye? A feather, fall leaves and a wide variety of other items may resonate with you.

3. Grow your soul by gardening – if you have a black thumb, pick things that are easy to grow. Mint can do well in containers. Many types of herbs do well in containers in the corner of the patio or deck. The growth, flowers, harvest and circle of life connects on a deeper level with your food than just buying at the store. It awakens an awareness of what it takes to provide all the food we use.

4. Make it yourself – find something that you enjoy and learn to do it yourself. Perhaps you want to learn to sew, or crochet, or cook from scratch or any number of other tasks. You can learn. Just like you learned to drive, ride a bike, work a computer and navigate life – you can learn! Start with a small project to accomplish it – a scarf or potholder perhaps. Maybe you’re more into wood or welding – there are many items you can make for the home with any of these skills. Grab life!

5. Cook nourishing meals – many have followed along with the SlowMoneyFarm 8 week challenge, but don’t let it end there. If you missed it, browse the archives and explore food in new ways! Home cooked meals are nurturing comfort food.  Break out the slow cooker, or learn to cook with a dutch oven. Take time on the weekend to master campfire cooking, and build memories right in your back yard. A slow cooker can be cooking during the day – arrive home tired and add a salad, bread and fruit and there’s a satisfying meal better than fast food. Save the leftovers for lunch or a casserole later.

6. Buy fresh and in season – check out the farmer’s market for fresh produce, or buy direct at a you-pick operation. Fresh food has an abundance beyond production for harvest. The flavors are often richer than frozen or canned foods, which you can save for winter days when you can’t get fresh!

Simplicity – you can start it anywhere, from city to suburb to rural. Make some new memories – and habits!

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