Friday Favorites for February 10, 2012

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Friday Favorites for February 10, 2012

featuring Gayla Trail (a.k.a. YouGrowGirl) who has a new book out this week title Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces.

My mother’d say, “Pick everything up so nothing gets wasted.”

I recently stumbled upon “The Gleaners and I,” a documentary that I first saw several years ago about the ancient tradition of gleaning, or rummaging for unwanted stuff. In the film, Agnes Varda follows many different types of people as they glean a variety of different things: primarily food that has been tossed away by farmers, city dwellers, and so forth, as well as objects, furniture, and whatnot that is used by people for their subsistence or turned into art.  Through the film, the filmmaker herself is revealed as a gleaner of sorts: a gleaner of gleaners. And in gleaning these stories and experiences, she asks a lot of interesting questions about how we assign value to food and objects within a culture of commodification and over-commodification.  Is commercial value meaningful, or arbitrary and shallow? What is beautiful? What is waste?

The story that is most poignant to me as an eater and a gardener is the first one that takes us to a potato field where tons of perfectly good, edible potatoes have been cast aside to rot as waste because they are too big, too small, or misshapen. The value placed on the potatoes that make it to market is purely aesthetic–they are unblemished and therefore deemed beautiful and commercially viable. It has nothing to do with nutritional value or taste.

As a gardener, I have hands on experience with food. I have a hand in its development and I see its progress from seed to harvest. I know what food looks like, feels like, and tastes like. Through this process, I am given an insight into what good food is and how to define it. Through the experience of being a producer, I become an educated consumer, and at times, the lessons of the garden have helped me to redefine “value” outside of the parameters of commodity in general. Beauty is messy, mangled, and imperfect. Some of the best things in life are free. My yearly income has absolutely no bearing on my value as a person. The fact that I can grow my own food is a skill that I can use for the rest of my life. Its value is limitless.

Watching this film again was a good reminder of these lessons that gardening has taught me.  It was a reassertion of where I’ve been, who I am, and the life I have created for myself.  It was a gift.

-Gayla Trail

House shopping can be extremely overwhelming.  I know this as a previous Realtor, and now as a potential buyer.  There are so many options even in our small town.  Remembering details from each house, discovering new areas of town, determining the most ideal aspects of a home, and finding time in an already busy schedule are just a few factors that make house shopping overwhelming.  This week, however, one house in particular made our house shopping experience amazing!  We walked into a house that already had curb appeal, and smelled an amazing aroma of freshly baked cookies!  It put us at ease immediately.  As we made our way to the kitchen, we were enticed with “to go” packages of the ACTUAL fresh baked cookies.  Turns out, this home has been our favorite so far. =)  My friday favorite is the hospitality that homeowner provided, putting us at ease as we perused the premises.  At that moment in particular, I absolutely LOVED house shopping!

- Joni

I distinctly remember being in kindergarden, sitting in a large circle with my classmates, participating in the elephant song (you know the one where you get to use your arm as the elephant trunk!) and thinking that Christmas break would never arrive. Christmas is exciting enough for a 5 year old, but you stack a December birthday on top of Christmas, and the days drag on and on and on.

The anticipation for Christmas as a five year old is the equivalent of the anticipation for my new car to arrive as a twenty eight year old. My beloved Camry drove it’s last mile on Friday January 13th, and since January 14th I have been twiddling my thumbs waiting for the day that my new Mini Countryman S would arrive. I try to limit the amount of times I log into the Mini’s Owner’s Lounge to check the progress of my cars production and transportation because it makes the days pass even slower, but today I logged on and found out that my car has been built and it awaiting transportation. My new little girl still has miles to travel before she arrives at her new home, but she is about to start her very first of many memorable road trips.

-Shanti

I used to spend a fortune to get my hair done. Every six weeks I would spend hours having my hair wrapped up in foils to keep my beautiful faux golden tresses in check. After highlights and a haircut, however, I was left with empty pockets and a few less hours in my day. Sometime last spring, I had an epiphany of sorts. If I let go of my need to be blonde, I would be saving about $100/month and could actually afford to do FUN things with my money! With a recommendation from the Free Range Chick herself, I picked up a box of Clairol Perfect 10 in ‘Golden Brown,’ and haven’t looked back since. I play around with different colors from time to time, and I must say none of them have let me down yet! It only takes me ten minutes to color my hair now, and at just $9 a box how could this not be one of my favorite things?

-Kate

Posted on by FreeRangeChick - Shanti Posted in Friday Favorites, This 'n That

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