Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Radical at Heart

A couple of weeks ago, I finally read Radical Homemakers, by Shannon Hayes. It came out about five years ago, and I have no idea why I never heard of it, because if ever there were a book that I should read, that one was it. The subtitle is "Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture."

Apparently, I'm a radical homemaker. Who knew?

Not radical in the 80's awesome sense (although that too, OBVIOUSLY), but radical in the sense of changing the world. Except it never occurred to me that disgust with consumerism and making my own sauerkraut had any larger purpose. And if I must be honest, that's not why I do things like make my own sauerkraut. Really, I'm just greedy and homemade tastes better.

But I agreed with a lot of the things in that book. And that one led me to another one entitled Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World, by Kelly Coyne and Eric Knutzen.

Again with the radical and the consumer thing.

This book is awesome because it's a book full of instructions for lots of different projects, like making your own soap. Or mustard. Or beer. Or whatever*. This is the reason I currently have a large bunch of sage suspended over the woodstove, drying so I can powder it and mix it with baking soda to brush my teeth. It will no doubt taste disgusting, but sage is apparently good for, in their words, "troubled gums," which I sometimes have, so I figured it can't hurt to try.

Sound weird to you? Then you probably shouldn't read these books. But I think you should. They might make you more radical. In a good way.

* Some of it's way too out there even for me--I don't think I'm going to be composting our, ahem, "humanure" anytime soon--but I appreciate their willingness to share it all.


Anonymous said...

Hm. I'm thinking that might be way too radical for me. I'm happy enough that I managed to bring in my lime tree last night before it froze and put a homemade meal on the table all this week. I'm not going to find time to make my own dentifrice.....but I hope the sage helps you!


FinnyKnits said...

You know I'm in.

Anonymous said...

More power to you. The energy to do all those things has left me. Beth

Terri said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I find great satisfaction in doing many things the old fashioned homemade way. Nothing can make me more giddy than figuring out how to make something myself with what I have instead of running out to buy it! I find that I get a lot of grief from co-workers about my diy attitude. I understand how you feel about the consumeristic attitude in todays world.

Becky said...

Oh dear--apparently I've lived long enough to see everything coming around again. I devoured The Mother Earth News, The Whole Earth Catalog, Living the Good Life, etc., etc., etc. You're doing a much more thorough job of making use of all that good info than I ever did. Kudos!

Daisy said...

Human waste to compost? Even dog and cat waste can carry disease. Any critter that eats meat is not suitable to put its poop in the compost. I confess, I do compost the bunny's litter boxes.