Sunday, October 25, 2009

No Impact Week Outcomes

Woo hoo! I just clicked on the "pay now" button on my Gamble Creek Farm CSA membership! I'm very happy about this; it's something I've been wanting to do for years now. We'd actually signed up in 2008, but had to retract our membership when my husband was laid off in the midst of this recession. He's been steadily employed for over a year now and we're ready to dive in with our commitment to supporting local agriculture once more.

Trying to shop and eat locally as much as possible is a challenge and a twist on the usual way of doing my shopping. To get the most out of our membership, it's going to mean that instead of making out my menu and then going to get the food, I will be getting the food and then figuring out what we can make from it. This should make things interesting to say the least. But I'm all for interesting when it comes to the kitchen. I've got years and countless hours under my belt in the kitchen and anything that livens things up in there is most welcome!

My mom, Jerry and I toured the farm yesterday at a membership orientation. Before that, though, we did some early morning shopping down at the downtown farmers' market. The crops won't be ready at the farm until the second week in November, so I picked up a bunch of lovely things grown right in our area. I bought: potatoes, watermelon (fabulous flavor!!), mustard greens, onions, cantaloupe, tomaotes, cucumbers, green beans, and sweet potatoes. Wonderful stuff. Today I'll be making out my menu and figuring out how to use all of these things in a timely manner, so that nothing goes to waste. The greens, for example, will need to be used up before they wilt, so they'll be used first. The watermelon has already been carved and is in the refrigerator, etc.

The results of my No Impact Project participation have been enlightening and, I'll confess, somewhat draining. It takes time to develop new habits before they become easier. And these new habits are also, specifically, taking more of my time too. It's not a bad thing, but just different. Making breakfasts for my family every morning, for example, has taken more of my time and energy. But one benefit that I didn't foresee was that not only are we not going through the boxed cereals so quickly and my family is getting better nutrition, but we also aren't plowing through the soy and almond milk like we ordinarily do. The only time soy or almond milk is used in our household is when it's poured on cereal or used in cooking; we're primarily water drinkers here. So, I was pleasently surprised when I saw that there will be fewer milk containers to bring home this week. This not only saves us more money, but continues to cut down on waste.

Even though my No Impact Week has come to an end, you can be sure that I will be continuing to make changes, little alterations here and there as I continue to strive toward walking ever lightly. One project this week will be to find a good recipe for homemade burger buns. I've used my bread recipe in the past, but I'm looking for something just a little lighter.

Finally, as if I needed any more reasons to spur on my actions, I watched this on Friday night. Sea levels have already risen for this village in Bangladesh. The effects of global warming, of climate change, are not just coming for this village, but have already arrived. I was stunned to see these people walking in waist-deep water trying to go about their business of rebuiliding their homes, of moving, and of children using hours of each day to fetch fresh water - a boat ride to higher land - for their families. The girl in the story fetching the water is my daughter's age. What would it be like to see my child doing this every day instead of working on her education? What would it be like to see my child having school in a boat - which is what these children now do since their homes are under water? What would it be like if these families, as the story suggests, become more and more displaced and became refugees in parts of the world farther in and farther up... or if they came by the thousands as more and more homes are swallowed up to the very places that caused these catastrophes in the first place. Because these are not the people responsible for climate change, but they - like the rest of poorer, more impoverished peoples - will be the first to pay the price.
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