“Mom, you know you can’t GROW granola, right?”
Thank you, wise seven-year old. Yes, I know you can’t GROW granola.
As much as I would appreciate the ability to stick some oats and nuts in the ground and grow a nice, healthy granola plant, that just ain’t gonna happen.
For real, though…. that would save me about about an hour of time and a pile of dishes each week. That. would. be. awesome.
BUT, perhaps this is a good time to define some terms.
one who has a tendency towards a more natural lifestyle; quite possible marked by: eating organic foods, growing some all one’s food in their yard, being a good steward of resources, seeking a more minimal existence, being a vegetarian, cloth diapering children, making soap/candles/clothes/etc, drinking kombucha (homemade, of course), eating actual granola, protecting the environment, choosing your home based on walkability, driving a car powered by vegetable oil, powering your house using a bicycle, not owning a car, not cutting your hair, not shaving your legs, etc…
Also known as granola.
Now let me be clear: I shave my legs (except when I don’t… but that’s about laziness, not about some moral opposition to shaving). We don’t drive a vegetable oil powered vehicle, and we’re not vegetarians. We don’t live off the grid, and we don’t spend our free time advocating environmentalist policies or saving trees. We don’t even eat exclusively organic food, because, as much as I would like to, we just can’t afford it.
But we are kind of crunchy. And the truth is that natural living exists on a continuum. It’s not some moral high ground where you either are or are not “crunchy”. We can do this natural living thing on our own terms– learning as we go, making changes as we can, and continuously improving along the way. Natural living doesn’t (or shouldn’t!) work that way. Everyone can do a little better to live a little more naturally. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not an all or nothing thing.
Here’s what I believe:
- That whole, organic foods nourish our bodies best and that processed foods should be minimized or avoided.
- That we can and should be good stewards of our resources.
- That sustainable farming and food producing practices should be a priority.
- That we have the ability to treat many illnesses and injuries with the tools that God gave us in nature- be that food or natural remedies.
- That our communities matter and we can impact them with the decisions that we make for our families.
And so that makes us a little bit granola. And we’re growing more in that general direction as we learn more about natural living and seek to incorporate those things into our life.
We’re Growing Granola.
I’m a firm believer that natural living isn’t a final destination, but a series of conscious choice to do better. I love Maya Angelou’s quote about knowing better and doing better, and that’s where I’m at. There are things that I know to be true about natural living and have been able to incorporate into my family’s life. There are things that I haven’t learned yet, but am excited to pursue. And then there are things that I know about, but just can’t prioritize right now. Because, you know, limited time, limited resource, limited ability to care about all. the. things. At some level, I just have to trust that doing the best I can is good enough.
- I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Fortunately, I love to cook. Unfortunately, I LOATHE doing dishes. I would pay good money (if I had any) to hire a dishwashing fairy to come do my dishes every day. But until then, you can find me spending (what feels like) most of my life at the kitchen sink. BUT-
- Outside is my favorite place in the world. I love to hike, camp, garden and just be outside. But I am a mosquito buffet…. and mosquito bites make me pretty grumpy. So, that becomes a real problem for me in mid-July here in Pennsylvania.
- I am a super-duper history and poli-sci nerd. I’m a social studies teacher by trade, and I really, truly love learning and teaching about history and politics. I think that looking back in the past is so interesting and seeing how the past has shaped the present. And I’m pretty excited that my oldest daughter has that caught the history bug, too. We love visiting museums and reading about “the olden days”. YES!
- I love community and connection. We live in this amazing neighborhood in Lancaster city where we just love fostering community amongst our neighbors. Wether it’s having people into our home for dinner or organizing block parties, my husband and I really try to build margin into our lives so that we can build community.
- I’m a country mouse in a city house. We moved last year… one block. Our little house in the city was just too small and we needed some more space. And we looked for houses out in the country where we could have a big garden and chickens and what not, but ultimately we decided to stay in the city that we love and keep on doing the urban homestead thing. But I really want chickens. This season of our lives we love being in the city, but still often dream about country life, too…