The Eternal Hobbyist

I am the ultimate hobbyist. I’m always trying something new, then giving it up to try something else new. Knitting has stuck, as has reading (is that really a hobby?).

Lately, I’ve been reading this book called “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” by Joel Salatin. Now, before you go all crazy on me for reading something with “ain’t” in the title, just hear me out. It’s about living a sustainable life. The way the author sees it, life was much better from an environmental viewpoint way back when, before there were grocery stores and when neighbours could make simple trades involving food. He discusses the major changes that society needs to undergo in order to prevent soil degradation, and has creative solutions for becoming a more sustainable place. I am just about finished it. Let me tell you, has this book ever got me thinking. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he states, but I do agree that I would rather put something in my mouth that I grew, rather than unwrapped from plastic.

Before you get bored reading my paragraphs of discussion, I’m going to put it into a nice list form:

1. Chapter 1 was about youth, and the ways that traditional labour can make them more creative, and grow a sense of self-pride and accomplishment. It’s also a useful outlet for all their pent up teenage energy. As a teen on the cusp of my twenties, I would agree with him – we got my horses when I turned 15, and going out to the barn early in the mornings and late in the evenings sure kept me tired.

2. He goes into knowing where your food comes from, which I think is important, but the more interesting part for me, was his discussion on food security. What kind of a place is this, where families only have enough food to last for three days? My family is a little different, since we live in the country away from the grocery store, but I see what he’s saying.

3. Soil degradation – I loved this part. I don’t know enough about it to give an accurate report of what we should and should not be doing, but the author gives some interesting points about how grass grew and was then chewed off by wandering herds of herbivores. That’s how he runs his farm.

4. Now I’m into the part about governments. Though I don’t agree with all of his points, there is one main one that I do understand: Personal Responsibility. He’s all about taking responsibility for your health, your actions, your property, you name it. I liked that; I think it’s important. With personal responsibility can come the greatest satisfactions in life.

There you have it folks, my lengthy review of “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” by Joel Salatin. Read this book.

So why title this post “The Eternal Hobbyist”? My next endeavor: the hobby farm, where you can grow your own food. We already have a huge vegetable garden, but I want some chickens. I want home grown eggs. This project is going to have to wait until I have some land of my own… But until then, I will be planning it all out in my head. One day, I will grace this blog with a post about my first chickens.

I wonder how many pairs of socks I will have knit by that time.