It may seem odd, but the more I look at my life, the more I wish I was living another. Its not that I want to be skinny and fit and popular (Don't get me wrong, I do want those things) but more that I want to be living the life that my parents lived when I was growing up. I want grow my own garden, hang my clothes out to dry, I want to raise my own animals...I want to have the energy and freedom to things on my own and be at least a little self sufficient. I feel trapped in my modern role and unable to make peace with my ideals. I enjoy my work and the flashy, glamorous proximity to the heartbeat of the nation but for every yearning to make a difference on a national scale I am hit with an equal if not more powerful yearning to take off into the country and do my own thing. I desire to walk in the path of Jeanne Tetrault, author of Country Women, and homestead with confidence. I want K to experience the joy of munching on green tomatoes, digging funny looking carrots, eating raspberries off the bush, sunflowers towering over her head and having fond memories of bee hives and the pay off of hard work.
In my Internet wanderings I have come across many sites. I have read countless 100 mile blogs and organic movement pages and while I agree with and take something from each of them nothing has struck a cord quite like Path to Freedom (PTF)and their 100 FOOT challenge. "The challenge is simple. Beginning as soon as you can, prepare a meal at least once a week with only homegrown vegetables, fruit, herbs, eggs, dairy products or meat, using as few store bought ingredients as possible." Since I currently live in an apartment where are rather restrictive about the visible space (my patio) this challenge may impossible. However, their guidelines have some slack that fit my situation. "A meal must be comprised of food grown on your property or garden plot (literally or figuratively within “100 feet” of your front or back door). If non-homegrown ingredients are needed, then we suggest following these modified locavore guidelines: If not from BACKYARD, then Locally produced (PTF’s addition). If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic. If not ORGANIC, then Family farm. If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business. If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade." I had a strawberry pot of herbs last year that I hope to resurrect and I also wanted to do another pot of something to supplement what I get from our CSA and local producers at the Farmers market. And now I think that I have found a source of inspiration.
The good folks at PTF are living their own solution and are so successful. But more importantly they started with taking a step, or as they say,a step backward toward creating a better life for themselves. One step became two, two became three and three became many. Even as I find myself in despair, torn between two parts of myself this gives me comfort that others have found a path and that there may be one for me to where ever I am going.