Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Goodbye Rat Race, Hello Vegetable Garden

Proving the international appeal of a “radical homemaker” lifestyle, Canada’s Globe and Mail profiles local families that have made the transition. These are people who have chosen to opt out of the rat race and live their lives according to their most precious values: environmental sustainability, social justice, family, and community. They’ve stopped defining themselves by what they do to make money and are re-learning useful skills, like growing their own food, cooking, mending clothes, raising chickens, keeping bees—even making handcrafted jewelry and blacksmithing.

From the Globe and Mail:

It can get a little awkward when people ask Rick Juliusson what he does for a living.

“I – I’m a stay-at-home dad,” is his standard reply.

Mr. Juliusson notes he’s also many other things – an independent farmer, a writer and a contract consultant for non-profit organizations. But since he quit his job as an executive director of a Vancouver-based international development agency a year and a half ago and moved his family to a five-acre farm in Duncan, B.C., Mr. Juliusson considers his main role as a father to his two young boys.

“It’s very hard for people to slot me in as ‘Dad,’ ” he says. Even though he embraces his identity as a stay-at-home parent, he says, “to get out of the habit of defining myself by what I do to make money – that was the habit that’s hard to break.”

Yet Mr. Juliusson proudly counts himself among a new breed of homemakers, a growing movement of men and women who are choosing to give up the rat race in favour of looking after their families and communities. In pursuit of a more personally fulfilling and ecologically sustainable lifestyle, these so-called “radical homemakers” are relying less on monetary income and are, instead, picking up domestic skills such as vegetable gardening and cooking to help meet their basic needs.

But don’t think radical homemakers are falling into the same trap of mindless drudgery and relentless servitude suffered by 1960s housewives, says Shannon Hayes, U.S. author of the new book Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture. Although today’s homemakers are returning to the home front, they’re doing it “with a sense of not being consumers in the home but being producers, which takes a whole other level of sophistication,” she says.

When Mr. Juliusson decided to step off his career path, his wife, a childbirth educator, became the family’s primary breadwinner. Although that meant slashing the family’s income of $90,000 a year to about a third, the couple have also cut down on their consumption and learned to grow much of their own food.

Mr. Juliusson tends cows and chickens and grows his own fruits and vegetables. He also intends to learn how to keep bees.

Read the whole article here.

Photo: iStockphoto.com

 
Related Articles:


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

Winter Survival Tips From Mat Stein

Now that temperatures have started to dip below freezing and most folks living in colder climates have witnessed their first snow flurries of the season, it’s time to get serious about winter preparedness. Make sure you are ready for stormy weather and extreme cold on your next road trip with these winter driving tips from […] Read More..

Brew Outside the Box: Making Mushroom-Infused Beer

When thinking about drinking a nice cold beer, the flavor of mushrooms doesn’t exactly spring to mind. But for the adventurous brewer – and drinker – infusing mushrooms into brews is a great way to combine the medicinal benefits of fungi with one of the world’s most consumed beverages.The best part? You can grow mushrooms […] Read More..

The New Livestock Farmer – Review in Permaculture Design Magazine

This review was originally published in Permaculture Design, Issue #98, “Decolonizing Permaculture,” Nov. 2015; www.PermacultureDesignMagazine.comPass the Pork BellyReview by Peter BaneThis is a sow’s ear-to-oxtail kind of book, or really two, about an ecosystem of ethical meat production, processing, and enjoyment emerging in the US. With all due respect, it virtually reviews itself with a bold four-fold statement of […] Read More..

9 Things to Consider When Building Your Own Greenhouse

Daydreaming of extending your growing season and building your very own year-round greenhouse? It’s easier, more affordable, and will provide you and your family with more food than you might think — thanks to one of North America’s most accomplished permaculture designers, Jerome Osentowski.In his groundbreaking new book, The Forest Garden Greenhouse, Osentowski provides growers of all skill levels in-depth […] Read More..
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com