Many people have expressed curiosity about Chris' and my living situation. How do we afford to have the time to dedicate the many hours a week we devote to the "Sharing Gardens"? Why do we so rarely invite anyone over to visit us in our home? Are we independently wealthy or just very frugal?
About three years ago, at the same time we were getting the Alpine "Sharing Gardens" started, Chris and I decided to seriously downsize. We were spending about $800/month on rent and utilities (not to mention all the other costs of running a household). Our house was way too big for our needs and we felt disheartened at seeing all that rent money being spent for nothing tangible that could grow in any meaningful way. We put up some posters around town advertising for a new place to live. The first people to respond had the perfect situation: An 8' x 40' travel trailer - hooked up to plumbing, sewer, and electricity, in a little grove of trees overlooking 400 acres of farmland. It was a place we could rent for a small fee and several hours a month of work-trade. Free from the stress of meeting such a big monthly financial obligation we could slow down our pace of living and devote our energies to the "Sharing Gardens" and other service projects.
|Tomato sauce - 2009|
|Loft-bed with root cellar below.|
We appreciate as well, the blessings of this lifestyle. It has prevented us from accumulating excess possessions (as a friend put it, who also lives in a travel trailer, "You empty your pockets and its time to clean house!"). It has encouraged us to be more organized as well. For example, we have many of our shoes hanging from a peg-board, we hang plastic bags we've washed for re-use from cup hooks using clothes-pins and our bed is built up on a loft which provides a "root cellar" and cool storage space below! Such a small space encourages us to get outside often for walks and find projects that can be done in the shop-space we have in the barn.
|We can dream, can't we?|
These times we're living in are calling for people to return to having many basic skills our grandparents took for granted: growing and storing food, repairing things instead of just getting new ones, making and mending clothes and taking care of each other in a spirit of family, "neighborhood" and community. We would like to create a welcoming home/school where people could teach and learn these kinds of skills and develop friendships based on the meaningful exchange of information and service. Do you happen to know of such a place? We'd like to hear from you.
We can be reached by phone or email:
Llyn and Chris - (541) 847-8797
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