August 24, 2011

How to Survive without a Job

My job in our financial world is to save money.  As such I am also the cook, gardener and farmer.  This is my choice of career.  

As a hobby I  made jewelery in the winter.  To broaden our horizons we decided to sell my wares at the local  Music Festival.  We were told to expect 10,000 people and to have enough inventory for 3 days.  Every day for months I made at least 10 items.  I did not garden and I did not farm (other than the daily chores of chickens).  

We went as a family, my husband, son and son's sweetheart.  My husband made excellent displays and fixed up an old school bus so we could all travel with ease.  The kids where awesome, 15 hours together under a tent for 3 days and never an unpleasant moment.  The sweetheart happily helped set up hundreds of earrings and detangle chains.  My son who had never sold before, or even seen me sell before, took the bulls by the horns, was an extremely effective and honorable salesman.  I was so proud.

Chasing money always reminds me of why saving money is an most effective way to survive.  Now I know money makes the world go 'round, I am too old to be that deluded.  The pursuit of money is so fleeting and fickle.  While this could be said about cooking, gardening and farming, one loss is only replaced by a gain somewhere else.  

I hope I am not retelling an old tale here but one year I went out to pick my beloved red plums to find the tree overtaken by a grape vine and without fruit.  In my anger I started pulling on the vine, and thus causing an unexpected grape shower.  Looking up I saw and later picked enough grapes for 36 litres of wine.

We anticipated enough profit from the festival to pay for our beef for the winter.  We earned enough to cover our costs and the social interaction for us all was priceless.

At home the weeds have overtaken most of my beds.  This was to be expected.  What was not was the wacky weather we have been enjoying this year would have made my diligent efforts to grow food frustrating and for not.  Without my help there was crop failure for most of the berries and cherries.  It was just to wet.  My cucumbers have only grown ten percent in the past 3 months and of 75 tomato plants only one has fruit on it (Mortgage lifter).  I am lucky as I still have most plants, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, tomato and cucumbers.  If it is a long fall these could produce in full.   

When chasing money we anticipated spending money.  Cooking, gardening and farming one anticipates eating.  I see now that one must strike a balance to meet the needs of life.  If not for the absence from the garden this lesson would not have come to light.  I will not be the slave to eating or money but cultivate them both.

More to follow.



  1. Ruralrose -- So sorry that the weather has been so hard on your garden. All over the continent, gardeners have had to contend with awful conditions all summer long -- drought, downpours, extremely high temperatures -- and farms haven't fared any better. I am happy to have been able to bring in any food at all!

    Best hopes for a mild fall, in which we all are able to produce mountains of cool-weather veggies. We're going to need them!

    -Amy in Georgia

  2. Surviving on one income places great responsibility on both husband and wife to be savers. The one staying at home is just as important as the one employed. I hope you will have an extended growing season and re-coop some of the loss in the garden from such wacky weather this spring.

  3. Thanks for the support and encouragement ladies it is so nice to be able to share my problems with like minded people. I am concerned enough to keep at it, but not discouraged enough to give up. Nature always wins and it will prove our survival, and that is a good thing. Peace