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Urban Homesteaders Message Board › A little frustration

A little frustration

Kai de G.
user 9625045
Seattle, WA
Post #: 2
My partner and I were at the very first meeting for this group a couple of years ago, but ever since have not been to many gatherings. Not because we don't want to, but because we have trouble figuring out where we fit in. It's something we've mostly kept to ourselves, but after seeing a whole bunch of exciting new listings for meetups this week, we both became frustrated.

We don't have a lot of money and the vast majority of proposed activities posted here seem to cost. It's not that we aren't will to pay, but we're operating with a very fixed income and simply don't have the funds most of the time. It's great to know these resources are out there and if/when we have the money, we take advantage of it, but that's not often.

Originally, in that first meeting, we talked a lot about learning from each other and just about everyone seemed to have knowledge to share. Unfortunately, Kandace didn't have the time (or the desire, as she stated from the outset) to put much together and while we've had a fairly steady list of at least one or two things going on, aside from just a very few events (the recent soap making festivities are a good example, but they were unfortunately held on days we couldn't attend), they've all been classes and events held by people outside of our group that cost money.

Our interest in homesteading is about living frugally, being self-sufficient, being creative, and creating/participating in a community of like-minded people with similar interests and skills to share. It's wonderful to see 721 homesteaders with an interest in doing for themselves, but what happened to the original mission of simply sharing information and skills amongst each other? Is anyone interested in doing more of that?

A short list of skills we'd be willing to share (just off the top of my head):

Bread making and general cooking
Sewing
Crochet (make your own afghans!)
Gardening (my partner is a horticulture student)
Making and canning jams
Homemade beauty products and healthcare items (ointments, linaments, balms, lotions, potions and tonics)

And here is a short list of things we would like to learn:

Foraging for wild foods
Permaculture
Building a Greenhouse
Herbalism

And of course, there is more for each list. I really liked the way the soapmaking went, with some people going to learn and then passing that information on to others in smaller classes. Is anyone interested in doing something similar with other things - maybe the people that go to the paid events can then host a meetup to pass that knowledge on, and do something similar with knowledge that we already possess - one person teaches a few people, who then host their own meetups and pass it on?





Debbie S.
user 9465531
Woodinville, WA
Post #: 12
Hello! I'm relatively new to this group and haven't attended any events yet, but I can understand your perspective. I am not against the paid educational opportunities, but I would love to see some of the types of events you mentioned above. I really wanted to go to the soap making event but had a conflict. I am just learning how to sew and did my first canning project recently, but would like to do more. I would like to learn soap making if anyone has those skills.
A former member
Post #: 7
Kai--
I LOVE your post. I started following this group because I have been asked by a few people to start a Homestead/farmstead meetup for Iowa. I feel your yearning to learn and share information in a way that is economical and traditional in its delivery. I would love to continue a conversation with you so I can avoid pitfalls with a group here and be welcoming to all in word and deed. My email is angelajohnsonjd@gmail.com.

I graduated lawschool at Gonzaga and while in Washington I started to absorb some of the "get back to Earth" culture. I wouldn't say I am totally granola because I am just not at the level of some folks that amaze me with their natural skills with land, plants, animals, food, and crafts. I am learning and would like to take folks along on my journey in a supportive and educational way.

Would love to share ideas and find out how effective some things have been for your family. Please feel free to contact me whenever and at your convenience.

Angela Johnson
Des Moines, Iowa
A former member
Post #: 3
Hi Kai, I'm late to this post, but I just joined the group and am new to Seattle.

I wanted to echo what you said about how it's not that you're not willing to pay and appreciate that there are paid service type lessons out there, but you're on a fixed income and just don't have much to spare.

That's me too! I'm a single Mom, living here with friends while I look for my own place to live and work to keep us going. Part of why I've been joining sustainable living and homesteading groups as soon as I got here was to find economical ways to do things that can help keep me from going in debt and buying in to the consumerism trap that is a lot of city life. I'm here to take care of my sick friend who cannot eat a lot of foods and I'm learning to pare down cooking to very simple foods that are nourishing, wholesome, organic and tasty at the same time. I want to learn more about alternative cooking (such as arrowroot instead of flour or corn starch, etc) and where to buy good organic foods that doesn't cost an arm and a leg like Whole Foods, etc. - I want to learn to container garden in small spaces and where to bu/find good clothing bargains. I just recently went to the sponsored clothing swap at OM Culture and was SO thrilled, it was wonderful and I came away with a giant bag of great clothing for me and my son. We only came out here with a small bag of clothing each so this is the type of low cost sustainability thing I'm talking about.

I'd like to see more members hosting some stuff to share knowledge and resources. Potlucks are great ways to socialize and learn without charging a big price.

I'm with you on wanting less expensive ways to learn. The idea is supposed to be how to live more simply, but hopefully not have to pay a lot for it. I realize people's time and materials are valuable and I'm not looking for handouts, just helping hands willing to teach me.
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