Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Tips for Surviving in a Recession: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…Scavenge?

Worried about the economy?

“No, Einstein,” I hear you saying, “I’ve been locked in a closet for the past two and a half months, reading nothing but clothing labels and eating delicious cotton.”

Fair enough. But if you’re like most Americans, you’re thinking about the upcoming holiday season and how to scrape together a little extra scratch so you can have a merry ol’ Christmas and maybe get Tiny Tim that fancy set of graphite and titanium crutches he’s had his eye on. The ones from Japan.

The Reverend Donna Schaper has some tips on how to scavenge, or “glean,” for the things you need—from trash cans, dumpsters, Freecycle, and curbside of ritzy neighborhoods. Just be careful you don’t go overboard and end up like Henrietta Howland Robinson, the so-called “Witch of Wall Street” (well, in truth, she was a healthy and energetic woman who died a multi-multi-millionaire at the age of 82, so maybe going overboard isn’t such a bad idea).

From The Huffington Post:

I have learned to be cheap. You could call me frugal but the truth is I am cheap. I carry my own vodka in water bottles if I go out. I have a lovely if shabby wardrobe and haven’t bought outside of a thrift store or a yard sale for years.

My favorite activity is to go book shopping at the Amherst, Massachusetts Town Dump Book store. It is just a large often cold shed where people bring books they no longer want to dust. When at the dump, I also like to pick up some mulch for the garden and a few clean Tupperware’s for my other adventures. In addition to the book-recycling shed, there is an even larger shed for what can only be called orphan stuff. My best scavenge there was a pair of cross country skis, second best an old bowling alley lane that made a great counter.

I also habituate Free Cycle, a site that rivals eBay for obvious reasons. There is nothing like Tuesdays on the Upper East Side in New York. There you can scavenge designer couches and tables – but you have to have a truck, which involves money, a definite drawback in the life of a scavenger. My worst fear about the economic crisis is that less good stuff will show up on the street.

I have been known to keep chickens and to feed them dumpster dived food. Trader Joe’s is often excellent. Thus I have eggs that have a certain ethnic flavor, owing to the odd kind of union free food Trader Joe’s imports.

Scavenging things has helped me scavenge people and institutions. I specialize in what other people throw out. Right now I work mostly with people about to be deported. Formerly my “specialty” was abused women. Before that it was alcoholics and drug addicts. I also work with “normal” people even though I doubt openly that they are as normal as they would like to convince me they are. Just because they can buy a new blouse for $79.99 at Bloomingdale’s does not make them normal.

Read the whole article here.


Why Modern Wheat Is Making Us Sick

Why is modern wheat making us sick?  That’s the question posed by author Eli Rogosa in her new book Restoring Heritage Grains.Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and ‘wheat […] Read More

Recipe: How to Make a Simple No-Knead Einkorn Bread

If, like author Eli Rogosa,  you are allergic to modern wheat, it may be time to investigate baking with einkorn.Rogosa suffered miserably from bloating, malabsorption, and indigestion for many years. No doctor could help her, but when she removed wheat from her diet, the symptoms vanished. Her vitality returned with the added bonus of pounds […] Read More

Recipe: Sandor’s Strawberry Kvass (from Wild Fermentation)

Since its publication in 2003, Wild Fermentation has inspired people to turn their kitchens into food labs: fermenting vegetables into sauerkraut, milk into cheese or yogurt, grains into sourdough bread, and much more.This updated and revised edition, now with full color photos throughout, is sure to introduce a whole new generation to the flavors and health […] Read More

A Dictionary to Survive the Future

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, […] Read More

Michael Ableman’s 15-Point Urban Food Manifesto

What if farms and food production were integrated into every aspect of urban living—from special assessments to create new farms and food businesses to teaching people how to grow fruits and vegetables so farmers can focus on staple crops.That’s the crux of Michael Ableman’s Urban Food Manifesto, which has been ten years in the making […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com