Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of meeting my girlfriends lovely older sister, Meredith. For years I’ve enjoyed stories from Fin of Meredith’s adventurous youth, I know it provided much influence in Fins developing ideas and overall appreciation for the natural world. I was glad to have finally met her and see how she built an ecological paradigm that help sculpt a sustainable adulthood. Meredith now 30 year young, lives on a beautiful 40 acre lot in Tennessee with her best friend Jen and her family of 4. I was impressed with operation and schedule that they were clearly thriving in. Chores started early around 6-7am and the long list included, tending to all the animals (chickens, goats, pigs, two children), rotating their fenced cages so they would have new grass, maintain their organic garden, composting, breakfast and long list of smaller duties that are essential for the family to remain well fed, healthy and happy. Their lifestyle was very inspiring, many people acknowledge the burden of a growing human population on the natural world and the necessities to “sustain” that, but here they were taking the most direct actions, their life is the epitome of sustainable living. Gardening certainly doesn’t come easy and with the produce grown being their main source of food, it was clear that their actions were handled carefully and well thought out. A variety of garden books were easily accessible to combat many variables to affect a garden; the current state of their garden during my visit certainly reflected their efforts. It was amazing to see the success and happiness that flowed so harmoniously through the family and their property, all credited to their ambitious work schedule and their trust in each other to get the assigned chores done. My favorite part of their whole operation is the bartering system that they use with some of their neighbors; Sometimes they would trade one type of meat for another, or some herbs and produce for some household commodities. For the most part it seemed that a majority of their needs were found right outside or down the street, trips to town weren’t always necessary. I’m not telling their story to imply that you should change the way you live, but getting to see their unique system, all the trial and errors that led to what they have today was really a beautiful thing. They replaced the convenience of a grocery stores with their own physical labor and for that they are gifted with more food, healthier food, at a cheaper price… and to top it off it’s grown right outside of their home. I aspire to have my own spin off of the sustainable life they live, I admire their path to success and I wish them many more happy fruitful years. Meredith and Jen, you both are awesome role models and I thank you for the lessons and hospitality during I stay, I know fin and I will make a trip back in the near future.
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