Friday, October 1, 2010

Just a couple of snapshots,Harvest Updates

Hello blog-o-sphere of Self-Sustainers! Here's just 2 pics of the daily harvests I've shot before I ran out the door to my 1-1-1/2 hour commute to work. I have struggles with the moral implications of my time spent away from family and garden while slaving away for the Big Boss. I want to be free of this United Corporations of America but, I guess I am using it temporarily as a stepping stool to gain my independence from it. I've gotta come up with a better plan though. Learn more self-sustaining skills is one thing. Saving up for more land is another. Then there's long term goals beyond that, like what do I do about maintenance of aging technology, even if I am able to afford purchasing them now? Like solar panels, or aging electric cars? This is WAAAAY out in the future kind of stuff. I don't even own either things right now. So why worry? I'm a worry wart...hehe.

What would I do to earn $ if I leave the rat race? I could trade my skills in exchange for other's skills, bartering is another option. We'll still need to make some sort of income to pay those icky taxes they waste on dumb things like bailing out the richest people, if we plan to stay in the States.

I can't believe how expensive land is STILL, even after this financial fallout. They are purposely inflating the prices in my opinion. It's just not realistic. Homes are supposed to be the cost of 3 years of fulltime income. Here in SoCal, that's not even remotely close! The average home is easily $500K+ still in the desirable neighborhoods.  The average income is about $50K/year. That's 10 years of fulltime work to afford the home. I'm nearing 40 and I can't even come close to owning my own place without going into significant dept. (which I prefer NOT to do). I don't want to owe anyone anything, except love. 

 In the mean-time, my garden lags big-time because of the lack of time I have to devote. It irks me that I can't do what I want. I miss the days I used to spend baking in the sun watching the plants grow. I'm a farmer at heart.  It's a catch 22. If I don't work, we will do OK for now, we CAN live on one income. I'll have more time to learn about self-suffieciency. However, it gives us no wiggle room for savings to achieve our dream of buying our own land. If I work, I hardly see my family, and the garden becomes neglected.

I also have another dilemma. I should really post this part on the blog I keep for him.  I have a son who has special educational needs. He just needs MORE education. FAST. He is highly gifted, his thirst for knowledge is insatiable. School is too slow for him and he says he hardly learns anything new. He probably would excel if we homeschool him. Public school is doing their best but, I don't know if it's much different than studying at home. They separate him to do his own level study while the other children get their curriculum. If he's separated, what good is it to him to BE in public school? In fact, he learns more at home. For example, he was reading at 2nd grade level at the end of Kindergarten via school differentiation program. The summer passed and he was reassessed. He tested at 5th grade reading after the break from school. What does that tell us? OK, so socialization is pushed, they say he needs it. However, he seems to struggle making friends with his peers. His interests are different that theirs, I suppose. He wants to talk about planets, States and learn about global concerns. His peers just want to run around and play tag. So, there you have it. I probably SHOULD homeschool but, I'm afraid.  I'm afraid I won't have enough patience. I'm afraid I like my work too much.  Homeschooling will definitely be part of "going off the grid" though... 

I'm such a mess... I've got 2 halves battling it out inside me constantly. Once again I'm on the fence dangling my feet on both sides.  This is probably the first time I've spilled over to blend my family life issues with my passion about living sustainably.

OK, sorry for the rant, I needed to vent. Here's some pretty veggies/fruits that will help sooth our angst.

I promise I will take Garden Update pictures soon!


Anne said...

CA and NY are always going to be higher in land prices than other locations. Always the trade off somewhere, but it isn't impossible.

If only you could clone yourself, then none of this would be an issue!

Your son will encounter like minded people that he can connect with, it just might take a little bit for the others to catch up to where he is. Brilliant kids often do have a harder time making buddies. They get bored in class and trouble can start, or worse they dumb themselves down to fit in. (Been there.. still struggling with that.) I find it amazing that while special needs education has funding, there doesn't seem to be much for our advanced kids. Seems very counterproductive.

Anne said...

The same budget of $500k elsewhere will offer a lot more options.

For the farm, depending on size, you are able to get a tax break of sorts by portions of the land being set aside for conservancy. There are several types, but honestly I am not well versed in it. I do know that for our 1 farm that it is where the orchard is located and the land due to the terrain is untillable, but still used as pasture & orchard.

Also depending on size and location, you can lease lands to power companies for the air turbines.

Just something to consider.. looking for the means to meet the needs is like a treasure hunt.

We are moving to a farm in roughly a month or so. The schools are smaller, but brand new and the school is very well rated. Regardless, it seems that as parents we have to fill in more than a few gaping holes in education. (Seriously.. almost a whole year on just CO history.. and there's kids couldn't tell you who George Washington is.. or much less how many states make up the US, but the could tell you the official state bird, flower, exports, etc.)

You can totally accomplish your goals... baby steps and a game plan. We'll be cheering for you!

cards4ubylouise and other treasures said...

Oh the joys of being a woman!!! I'm 64 and still have a hard time balancing work, play, family life, hobbies etc.

Here's a quote for you from Elizabeth Elliot "This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God's way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness."

Just keep plugging away like the old work horse, eventually the field will get plowed....(my words)

Katie said...

I love your honesty in this post. You do more than most people I know, and there is still guilt.

Do what you can.

Also, everything will be ok in the end. If it's not ok, that means it's not the end.

Anonymous said...

Your struggle is a shared one. Being in So Cal I understand your plight. Home prices are still ridiculous even in Riverside county. As mothers I think we always question our choices. Knowing they are loved and supported will see our children through a lot in life, take care RJ