A year or so ago, I read this memoir about a family who left their urban life for one year to live as they would have on a farm a hundred years ago. The author mentioned that Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living was his family's number one resource in their experiment. I got my hands on a copy of the encyclopedia and have been reading sections here and there since then, and I've picked it up most recently to learn as much as I can about the canning process. Although I don't expect high yields from our own spur-of-the-moment garden this year, I hope to try my hand at food preservation with some of the bounty that will be available at the local farmer's market this summer. Along with that, I've just begun reading Sharon Astyk's Independence Days. So far it's a wonderful read, and the author really speaks to my desire to feel a little more in charge of my life. As she says, our current food system is completely entwined with our energy system, and we all know that is not remotely sustainable. Without getting too gloomy here, I have to mention one thing that really stuck out in her introduction that is not fun to think about: our supermarkets have only three days worth of food on their shelves. You know how they run out of milk and bread when we have even a forecast of flurries in Kentucky? Can you imagine if there were an actual disaster of some sort? I want my family a lot less dependent on %@+# Kroger!
I'm also reading a work of fiction, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It's a touching letter written by a dying man to his young son. My cousin Sallie asked me yesterday if it made me think of the things I would want to tell my own kids about my life, and maybe that combined with the other books I've been reading have a lot to do with the visions of blogs running through my head.