Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Volunteering & A Soap Box

I just spent a couple hours at the Days End Horse Rescue farm this morning. Today I curried a beautiful chestnut horse and learned how to push him around (to get to his other side), and I mucked out two stalls. I really enjoyed these chores, lost in my own thoughts and enjoying the feel of my hand running across the horse's coarse hair as I brushed him. I even enjoyed the heft of the shovel, heavy with wet sawdust and dumped it into my cart. It's a good exercise, living in suburbia, to get a taste of outdoor work and taking care of animals. It gives me a glimpse into what I might want on our own homestead in the near future.

For a long time, it's been hard to look at houses for sale. It's this tortuous thing that my husband and I do every now and then. It's like we can't even help ourselves. After awhile I would get sick of that longing ache and tell my husband we had to stop. It's so hard to look at something that you can't have!

Well, the other day something changed in my thinking. Instead of focusing on what we don't have, what we can't do, I realized that right now is the time to be doing the research, to be finding out what we do and do not want in a home and land. At the Mother Earth News fair, I talked to one of the workshop teachers and her husband after her class ("Why Homegrown and Homemade"), and they warned me to be careful about buying land in the "country". Her husband said that a lot of times, farmers sell off bits of their farmland in parcels of 5 acres or so to people who want to live in "the country". But what you need to know is that a lot of these farmers have sprayed their fields with who knows what for who knows how long and when you buy that parcel of land neighboring a used field, who knows what they will continue to spray on it! I had never thought of that before and I am so glad they told me that. It's one more thing to add to our list of what to look out for as we're looking for a place to settle.

This morning on the radio I heard this advertisement for Monsanto (a big {evil} agricultural company) and
 it said "Monsanto - working with farmers in the U.S. and internationally towards sustainability". I yelled at the radio, "Yeah, RIGHT!" Monsanto is one of those big bullying ag companies that created the GMO crops out there - crops that aren't reliable, crops that cannot be planted from their own seed, crops that spread their contaminated pollen into unsuspecting farmer's fields that have saved their seeds for generations. I am all for GMO foods required by law to be labeled. Do you know why there's such a big fight against it? I think it's because 80% of what's in the stores would need to put "contains GMO food products" on their packaging. It's so scary and it is so sad that it's getting harder and harder to have pure foods. - Another reason to look for land away from farmer's fields so that my own plants won't be affected.

Okay... I'm off my soap box now.

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