Sunday, March 22, 2009
The above picture was taken at New Buffalo Commune during the "Hippie Days" in New Mexico. It was an interesting experiment for which many of the participants were ill prepared. It wasn't just the horse that had to be taught to pull a plow. Living and gardening and cooking in the high mountain west is not an easy feat especially when done in a minimal way. But some succeeded.
I rather admire those times. We sought ways to cooperate and barter and live a simple life. Very different than corporate jets, and huge bonuses, and off-shore accounts, and a new Hummer every year when the ash trays get dirty. We called that conspicuous consumption. and definitely put it down.
I have been watching the anger at AIG and other greedy banks like Citibank and wonder if these seeds of outrage are not leading us back to a more simple lifestyle. The pendulum swings wide the first arcs from one extreme to another so I doubt we will go totally back to the commune days but what about cooperatives? Or barter groups? Even the White House put in a Victory Garden. Thrift shops have become vogue as well as necessity. Craig's List abounds with barter offers.
I am now making frames not just for me but for my artist friends. Frames they can afford. And I will once again plant my two raised beds with lettuce and other green edible plants. I want to also raise potatoes this year. Those fancy ones like Yukon gold I used to pay a fortune for at the organic food store. I can trade the potatoes for tomatoes a friend of mine is raising in her greenhouse.
My neighbors, sister, and I are talking of going in on a butchered calf this fall to stock the freezers with. And while I got rid of the canning jars I do still have the pressure cooker. And I remember the lessons I learned from my hippie days. I think they will stand by me in the changed economy ahead.