Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Resource Full

From the Bean of Green Bean.

I have less than forty minutes, I think, to write tomorrow's post. I had planned to write about my baking bread adventures. Yes, you read that right. I, Green Bean, bake bread. And not just any bread but beautiful, bountiful artisan bread. I follow the directions in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day - a book so helpful that I bought it from a local bookseller after enjoying the library copy for my allotted time. Bread so delicious that we no longer buy two loaves at $5 each from the local baker. We skip the packaging too.

Tammy from Girls Wear Blue Too turned me on to the book - and the idea that I don't need to buy all the "required" equipment. Instead of plunking down $20 on a virgin wood pizza peel, I co-opted a plastic serving tray lurking above the fridge for the last few years. When I baked so much that only a 25 pound bag of locally ground organic flour made sense, I skipped the purchase of a new flour bin and converted a never used beverage container into a bin.

But, alas, I'm not going to write about my bread today.

No. The Green Moms Carnival is coming up and I don't want to be left out. The topic this month is Conserving Resources, a broad topic if ever there was one. It will be hosted tomorrow at Mindful Momma - nothing like squeaking in at the last minute.

What, in the world, though, do I have to say about conserving resources. Taking a break from the blog, I sneak over to stir the tomatoes bubbling down into winter's pasta sauce and examine my fall garden plan. I do indeed have to get the broccoli in this week and the mustard greens too. The cauliflower and breadseed poppies can wait until next week. What we grow doesn't forestall a visit to the local farmers' market but I am able to skip a week every now and then. There's nothing like sitting down to a dinner grown on our little city lot.

But conserving resources? What would I say about that?

I check my watch. Twenty minutes and then I need to trundle over to a neighbor's house. Her apple tree is ready and she's offered me full pickin's. This will be the third year I've raided her apple tree. The third year we've eaten her apples in cobblers, butters, cakes and pies. After picking apples, I'll put away the air dried reusable containers from the kids' lunches, fold up the cloth napkins and rags. I'll ignore the pile of mending yet another day and wonder if I should start collecting scraps from the holey, outgrown jeans for a jean quilt.

Then it will be time to drive the carpool of kids home from school, cut down the last of summer's sunflowers, bury them in the compost bin and think about dinner. I'll rummage through the fridge's contents, using up the almost but not yet bad vegetables, create some sort of soup and serve it with today's fresh baked bread. After the kids go to bed, I'll work on the scarf I've been knitting and hope to figure out how to make my son the crocheted teddy bear he has requested for Christmas.

Those are the things I'm thinking about today. Not about saving the rainforest or whether an individual's efforts to live lightly matter. Not about spending less money or Climate Change (though I will turn off the micro sprinklers after yesterday's freak rain storm).

I'm only thinking about how good it feels to live this way. To eat what we've made or grown. To use only what we need. To reuse what we have and maintain our things so that they can last us longer. To own our stuff instead of having it own us. To share with others when we have more than we need. To live within and according to our principles.

To be resourceful.


Kelly said...

i often ponder why it feels good and you said it. it uses your brain! you have to think. one is challenged. you live according to your own rules. it does feel really good.

ruchi said...

I love this post.

Tammy James said...

Awww so glad the bread is working for you and this post is lovely as always. Now about that crochet teddy bear have you joined ravelry yet?

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

Did it really rain yesterday? I'm confused by your metaphorical rain from last week? :)

Great post!

jimmycrackedcorn said...

I love your last paragraph! There really is no other BEST reason to live any certain way other than doing it for yourself.

To own your stuff instead of the other way around! Profound statement! Thank you.

Green Bean said...

Kelly: It does feel good to use our brain to live, doesn't it?

Ruchi: Thanks!

Tammy: Ravelry? No. Looks awesome. I already feel myself being sucked in. Thanks for another great tip.

Erin: Real rain this time. Say what you want about climate change, it has rained every month this summer in California. As a California native, I know that NEVER happens - as much as I am happy to have the rain.

Jimmy: Totally. We may start out living a certain way for one reason or another but we can only really keep it up if it is true to ourselves.

Diane MacEachern said...

Now you've got me thinking about bread making again... Yum!

Daisy said...

It feels good. Yes, it does. It's a way of thinking; before I recycle or throw something away, I think "can I reuse this or repurpose it?" Often the answer is yes!

scifichick said...

I love that book! I checked it out at a library and baked, baked, baked! Now that it's getting colder, I'll be baking my bread again. I don't like running the oven too much in the heat of summer. Now I just need to wait for my order of 50lbs of flour to come in. I ran out :)

Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama said...

A lovely post. Just lovely. I am going to have to track down that book . . .

Anonymous said...

Great post. Does that book have any recipes for gluten-free bread? Alas, I have given up gluten for a while to see if my body feels better. Don't know yet. But I made an awesome, slow risotto a couple of nights ago with local Shiitake mushrooms that has lasted for several meals. And believe it or not, I made myself broccoli for lunch today. I think I'm making progress. :-)

Green Bean said...

Diane: Yes. It was delicious!

Daisy: It is surprising, isn't it, how little we throw away if we just think twice.

Scifichick: Ohhh, another Artisan Bread in 5 Mins lover! I made the bagels today and they turned out pretty darn good! So much cheaper, too, than buying.

Jennifer: Definitely check the book out from the library. Can't believe how easy it is to make purty bread.

Beth: Alas, no GF recipes though here isa GF bread mix recipe that looks great. We did the GF thing for years. Try the Tinkayada pasta if you haven't yet. Tastes like the real thing!

Heather@EnviroMom.com said...

Such a nice reminder that by just living mindfully we conserve resources without even thinking about it. And that bread is making me hungry!

Alline said...

Yay! Fantastic! Abundance rocks! (so says her inner 14-year old).

Lisa Sharp said...

Thanks for the link to the book! I love homemade bread.

This is a great post. :)


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