As publishers of a book about ecological, values-centered living, my husband Bob and I have experienced many moments of guilty squeamishness. Because I spent so much time studying the subject, and because we believed in the ideas strongly enough to pony up the cash and take Radical Homemakers
to the printer, we feel we’re supposed to be some kind of paragon of the lifestyle. That is an ideal that is impossible to attain. I write and research to learn more about something I feel is important, not because Bob and I are experts at implementing all the concepts. We published Radical Homemakers
as a result of being on that path, not because we have mastered the lifestyle.
Looking around our home, there are plenty of signs that we haven’t. Most of the blueberry bushes limped through the winter, but I lost two of them owing to my imperfect stewardship from prior years. One of Bob’s beehives died out because we divided the colony at the wrong time last year. This year’s mistakes are already forthcoming: Sitting cozy by the fire in February, we decided to plant a small orchard and mail ordered eleven trees. That’s a stupid thing to do. It is fine to decide to plant an orchard, but that decision means the next growing season should be devoted to preparing the soil for the following year, not to planting and watering baby trees. In our zeal, we skipped an all-important step, and now those poor trees must struggle to survive in soil that is nutrient-poor and nearly devoid of microbial life.
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