Sustainable Lifestyle Strategies

“This is like magic!” We were on our hands and knees out on the boulevard in front of our home. It was harvest time and as we turned the soil, one after another, the potatoes would roll into view. “Can you believe it? We grew these with our love on this little patch of earth. Incredible!!!”

After moving into our biggest little house, we started to grow food on our urban lot. First thing we did was tear up the grass on the space between our property line and the road. The boulevard is town property and most houses just cover it with grass. We wanted to make a statement and grow food there instead. To delineate the space we planted sunflowers along the edge which were cherished by our new friends, the bumblebees.

When we designed our house we presented plans to the town that didn’t include a driveway. We had both been car free for years and could not ever see a need for one. But by-laws dictated that we had to have one so we compromised. We submitted plans for a permeable driveway made of ecogrid that would be planted with herbs. It was approved.

As is the case whenever you grow food, you inevitably end up with seasonal surpluses of the items you choose to grow. For us it was mostly tomatoes and plums in the first year. But neighbours had apples, cucumbers, lettuce, onions and much more. So we decided to organize what we called a 2 buck market. The concept was to package our surpluses in containers that we felt represented a value of about $2.- Then we would all meet at the local park on Saturday mornings and swap. My tomatoes for your cucumbers. Your onions for my plums.

Sustainable Lifestyle StrategiesFor a while it was a grand success and we had a lot of fun. Then as I covered on another page, our focus shifted to politics for a few years. When our focus returned to our Urban Oasis, we mostly engaged in preserving and caring for our property as well as growing and grafting fruit trees. We have plans to offer them for sale during what will soon become our annual “open farm” event.

All in all it feels wonderful to live a small footprint lifestyle. Being car free for over 20 years now we have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in vehicle costs. We spend a lot of time on the Salish Sea in our sailing sloop during the summer and immerse ourselves in our workshop, building cabinets and such during the winter. We make all our own baked goods, including pretzels, muffins, breads, crackers, and pizzas. We thrive on a plant based diet, making our own vegan cheeze, veganaize, green pea hummus and many other delectable treats.

And most importantly, after over two decades together, My Love and I still wake up each morning holding hands. Our simple, low carbon, life is rich beyond measure. Our urban oasis fills us with joy. We are proud to be the change we want to see in the world.

Still, I feel a sense of responsibility and so spend a small part of each day championing The Pledge to Build a New Tomorrow.

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