Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Modify and Adapt

It's hard to watch, or read, the news these days and not accept the fact that our world is changing. Politically, environmentally, economically and socially. The price of food is rising while the quality slides into uselessness and mega-companies take over more and more control over what we eat, shop for and how it's produced. Wages are either locked, clawed back or stagnating, depending on where you live. There are very few benefits for anyone who works hard, and many days it seems as if it's every man, woman and child for themselves. Indeed, we're seeing a rise of the 'latch-key-kid' again as parents work two and sometimes three jobs to avoid drowning in debt.
My partner has a saying that I've adopted and work to the death.
"Modify and adapt"

We do. I've written here before about making do for ourselves. The way we do laundry has changed, the way we cook, what we cook, how we shop, how we cool our apartment, and on and on. I've written too about doing more for ourselves so that we are not reliant on others, and I've given examples of how we walk the talk, so to speak.
So I was stunned to learn that in some places it's illegal to stockpile, or grow your own food or even keep a few chickens!
Holy Habaneros!
There's a woman in the States, Texas I think, that was sued for replacing her lawn with a vegetable garden. In the end, she won her case, but still...I cannot imagine living in a neighborhood that would presume to tell me how I can live! (One good thing about living in Ontario) Although the region we live in is still trying to decide if they want to allow folks to keep chickens... At least I have the option to grow my own vegetables, herbs and fruit! I don't get enough sun to do that...but I have the option.
So how do we survive these ever changing times? Well, keep our heads down as much as possible. If you stockpile and you're worried that your government or your neighbors are going to knock on your door with either guns or hands out...don't publicize it. I watch a lot of YouTube videos in which this prepper or that will talk about OpSec (operational security) and then make themselves easy to find with a business website found by Google in 3 seconds! If you are concerned about a diminishing market for local beef, then buy your beef locally. Ask at your "local" health food store if they know of any beef producers that are looking for customers. I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised. If you worry that Monsanto will come knocking on your door inquiring about your large field of corn, don't advertise that you save your own seed. keep your heads down.

If the price of bread irritates you to no end, as it does me, learn to make your own, either by bread machine or the old way. If the presence of chemicals in your jam worries you, visit your local farmer's market and learn how to preserve the bounty. Tired of paying good money for two Big Macs? Learn how to make burgers at home. You'll save money and might even discover that a burger can have taste. (I'll refrain from going on about growth hormones, antibiotics and other surprises in our meat here, and save that for another post)
We can do more to change our daily lives than what you think, but it does require thought, creativity and commitment.
Change what you do, how you think about the world around you, vote responsibly and pay attention to the news.
Because if we don't pay attention, modify and adapt, we'll wake up one morning to find life as we know it very, very different.

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