I guess you could say that I grew up more HOMEGROWN than my friends. My grandmother, aunts, and my parents canned pickles, jams, jellies, fruits, and chutneys; baked from-scratch breads and goodies; grew fruits, vegetables, and herbs; and raised chickens, goats, and a few miniature horses. In high school, some of my classmates called me Laura from the Little House on the Prairie (because of the log home my dad built us in the woods). I began to reject that lifestyle in favor of keeping up with the Joneses, and moved to the city for college to, in a sense, cut ties from my roots.
While I left to become a city slicker, I am now finding that while you can take the girl off of "Green Acres", you can't take the "Green Acres" out of the girl. Even though I have a zillion apps at my fingertips, enough websites and reality TV shows to waste away the rest of my life, and enough traffic, shopping, and people in this city to keep me forever busy, I am yearning to reestablish a HOMEGROWN lifestyle that gets me back in touch with my roots, and allows me to glean new skills. I am suddenly less interested in self-sufficiency as a result of technology, and increasingly eager to make my own cheese, grow my own greens, and craft my own gifts with my two hands and some skill.
Although the food movement and DIY-culture are invigorating, and the HOMEGROWN community is inspiring, I'm still a little discouraged. As I'm rearing to dehydrate peaches and make my own laundry detergent, most other twenty-somethings are still Facebook stalking and watching the Jersey Shore. It's still not "cool" to can and cook and garden to the kids who once called me Laura Ingalls...but maybe they'll realize it soon enough. With the global worry about money, food, and energy, these skills might just preserve us from the worst of it. It's about regaining control of our choices and maybe my contemporaries aren't there yet...
Maybe it's age and independence that led me to the HOMEGROWN light, or maybe it's personal interest and desire that is driving me towards this lifestyle. It took some time for me to come full circle, but I'm ready as ever to get going! When did you feel ready to achieve HOMEGROWN? Are you just coming to consciousness about environmental and ecological decision-making, or has this been evolving for a while? Do you worry about your children and the future generations, thus, preserving the values and skills that will carry them through the future? Is this about politics, consumerism, or economics? Do you think some folks are riding a trendy, eco-friendly/counter-culture "green/foodie" wave for the minute? Is HOMEGROWN an alternative lifestyle that won't make it to the mainstream? What does it take to achieve HOMEGROWN and will we ever get there?
Share your story! Why do you want to live HOMEGROWN, be self-sufficient, or care about the environment?