Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living by Kris Bordessa
English | April 28th, 2020 | ISBN: 1426220545 | 320 pages | EPUB | 329.09 MB
Packed with delicious recipes, natural remedies, gardening tips, crafts, and more, this indispensable lifestyle reference from the popular blogger makes earth-friendly living fun.
Whether you live in a city, suburb, or the country, this essential guide for the backyard homesteader will help you achieve a homespun life—from starting your own garden and pickling the food you grow to pressing wildflowers, baking sourdough loaves, quilting, raising chickens, and creating your own natural cleaning supplies. In these richly illustrated pages, sustainability-guru Kris Bordessa offers DIY lovers an indispensable home reference for sustainability in the 21st century, with tried-and-true advice, 50 enticing recipes, and step-by-step directions for creating easy, cost-efficient projects that will bring out your inner pioneer. Filled with 340 color photographs, this relatable, comprehensive book contains time honored-wisdom and modern know-how for getting back to basics in a beautiful, accessible package.
Before the days of pizza delivery, ready-made meals, and self-checkout lines, people were do-it-yourselfers by default. What couldn’t be had at the dry goods store was made at home from simple ingredients or materials out of pure necessity: There just wasn’t another alternative.
People knew how to make food. They knew how to raise food. They sewed and weaved and brewed. They understood the pull of the seasons, and what those seasons meant for their family.
Times certainly have changed. The dry goods store is now a superstore packed to the rafters with items that Ma Ingalls couldn’t have dreamed up. And although there’s certainly a place for some of the convenience items we’ve come to depend on, we as consumers seem to be yearning for simplicity. Canning jars and pectin are once again readily available at many supermarkets, and cast-iron pans and butter churns are making a comeback. In a high-tech, somewhat disconnected society, it seems that handwork and home cooking provide a much needed touchstone.
My own meandering path of simple living has ebbed and flowed through a modern-era landscape. As I was growing up, my mom taught me to make (and preserve) homemade jam that was frequently slathered on slices of Wonder Bread. My parents and grandparents were gardeners, so I learned how to grow vegetables from them. (But I shudder to remember my seven-year-old self in charge of the fun shaker can full of diazinon, an insecticide that was banned for residential use decades later.) While I snacked on miner’s lettuce—an edible wild green—after school every spring, at the dinner table we consumed more conventional alternatives like a head of iceberg lettuce. (“Who eats weeds?” my mom might have asked.)
My efforts at self-reliant living are founded in the simple fact that I learned to cook (mostly) from scratch at my mother’s elbow. I gardened, sewed, camped, used power tools, and preserved food. And although in hindsight the execution appears somewhat flawed, I nevertheless had a base of knowledge to build on as I shifted my lifestyle to include healthier, less toxic options for both my family and the world around us.
I started reading labels in earnest when my children were little; one of my sons was having what the pros might call “behavioral issues.” After months of experimenting with his diet, I realized that food dyes in particular were wreaking havoc. If we avoided food with dye, his behavior was that of a normal preschooler—but with it, he became a wild child. These experiments were purely anecdotal, but as they say, the proof is in the pudding. Comparing his behavior with and without food dyes on many occasions, we soon had a very clear visual of how what he ate impacted him.