As a person with a passion for simple and sustainable living, the act of eating insects resonates with me and gives me so much hope for humans. Our planet isn’t able to support us all if we (especially Westerners) continue to rely on beef, fish, and poultry as our main source of protein, B-12 and DHA/EPA. The farming of insects requires WAY less water and other resources to produce the same amount of nutrition, if not more. I am excited about it because anyone can farm them! Unlike a regular farm, insect farming is accessible to people with a low-income, people without access to land, and people who don’t have the physical abilities that most farms demand. After specializing in sustainability education in Graduate school, I wandered around trying to find my place within the sustainability movement. I thought that getting involved in the earthen housing movement would be an effective way to help people reconnect with the earth and help them understand the burden conventional housing places on the planet, but the more I got involved the more I realized that access to land is an obstacle that most people cannot overcome. I could get involved in helping people learn how to garden using permaculture principles, but what is the point if more and more people don’t have access to dirt? Having an eco-hostel and farm is still a dream of mine, but until I can find a way to acquire land, I want to make a difference and give back to the earth and my community all that I have learned.
In the permaculture world, people often say, “the problem is the solution.” I have wanted a hostel for so long because I wanted people to have a real life example of what it means to be living in a reciprocal relationship with nature. My problem though has been that I do not have access to land. But that is my solution!!!!!!!! I didn’t realize that until recently. I don’t have access to land and neither do most other people. I feel that leading other people into the world of entomaphagy is a way for me to do the greatest amount of good, with the smallest amount of resources. By farming insects in my own home, which is currently a greyhound bus, I can give people a real life example of what it means to be living in a reciprocal relationship with nature. I don’t need land to teach that.
I will keep you posted as a become an insect farmer:) I have taken the first step and have purchased the equipment I need to begin, now I just need to order my Mealworms. (I am starting with Mealworms because unlike Grasshoppers, they can’t escape as easily!).
The title of this post is “A Leader is Simply the Person who Goes First.” Even though I am not the first person to embark on the adventure of insect farming and eating, I am the first person that many of you know to do such a thing. The western world just needs people like me to show them what the rest of the world already knows to be true: that insects are economical, EXTREMELY nutritious, good for the environment, and very delicious.
My two week absence from this blog has mostly to do with Lil’ Sprinty taking up too much of my free time! After a few weeks of getting him ready, I am ready to sell. Selling such large expensive things can be annoying, but here is what I am learning so far:
- The next time I buy anything large, old, and expensive I am going to think about if I will ever want to sell it and if so, ask myself if it will be worth the hassle.
- Treat everyone who is interested in the kindest and most loving way and go over the top with customer service because even if they don’t buy, you never know who they might pass your info to.
- Sandwich the bad stuff between good stuff in an ad. Matt taught me this one:) Thank you Matt.
- Have all the paperwork ready to go. When I bought it, it took me a month to get the title from the owner, who left it in another state.
- Just like when you purchase something, selling takes 3 times as long as you think it will take and will cost twice as much.
- People buy paint jobs. My mom’s ex-boyfriend John taught me this. I washed the exterior so it’s all pretty, and I cleaned the windows and painted the interior. Sometimes all he did when he bought a car to resell it for more money was wash and wax it and shine up the tires.
Even though I am annoyed by the whole process of selling my RV, I am so thankful for the entire experience of having one. A year ago, I didn’t know how to drive a large vehicle, I didn’t know how to install laminate flooring, I didn’t know how to even caulk anything. I didn’t know how to buy a vehicle and I didn’t know how to sell one. I didn’t know what water could do to an old RV. I underestimated winter and didn’t know how to fully appreciate dry weather. I didn’t know much damage procrastination can cause. Most of all I learned something about idealism. Being an idealist is a trait I adore about myself, but it also can lead me to make decisions that may not be in my best interest in the long run. So, friends and family…next time I come to you with a crazy idea, you have my permission to remind me of my experience with Lil’ Sprinty. 🙂
I am trying to be a human being today. For the moment I am succeeding. I am writing my blog and I am in the moment and there is no where else I am thinking about going. There is no one else I am thinking about becoming. There is nothing else I am thinking about doing. I am just me doing my thing. This morning was a different story though. I woke up inside of my to-do list, and started thinking about all the things I want to do to be the person I want to be. I rode my bike right over the Rogue River thinking about my destination instead of its beauty. The Rogue River! It is one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen and I rode over it and past it’s offer to help me simply be a human being and not a human doing. I will not get frustrated with myself though, mindfulness is a practice, so I will keep practicing and notice and feel gratitude for moments of grace like the one I am in now.
Every day I see or hear something that more or less
kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle
in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for – to look, to listen,
to lose myself inside this soft world – to instruct myself over and over
in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant – but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help
but grow wise with such teachings as these – the untrimmable light
of the world, the ocean’s shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?
~ Mary Oliver ~
After thinking long and hard, it is time for me to let Lil’ Sprinty go on an adventure with someone else. My boyfriend and I have been spending most of our time in his bus and since our goal is to save as much money as we can, the extra space the RV provided really isn’t needed. The decision to sell has been really difficult because I enjoyed remodeling with my dad over the summer. We put a lot of love and work into it and it will be sad to see it go. When I bought the RV, Matt and I didn’t know that we would enjoy living together as much as we do! Living in an RV saves lots of money, but living in a bus with the man I love and sharing expenses saves even more money! Yes, I will be sacrificing my own sanctuary, and life in the bus will get even cozier, but our goal is to save money and we are willing to do what it takes.
I would be a liar if my only reason for selling was to save money and live with my boyfriend. After enduring an insane rainy season, I realized that I don’t want to endure another one in an RV. I came to the conclusion that Lil’ Sprinty needs a snowbird girlfriend or boyfriend to take him to where rain isn’t a constant concern in the winter. The RV was born in 1989 and needs a drier place. Old RV’s require a lot of love and care and even though I had fun remodeling, the thought of maintenance and doing anymore remodels is stressful to me.
One thing I have learned from this experience is that sometimes when you try to simplify your life, it just becomes more complicated! I saved money and simplified my financial situation in many ways, but having an RV caused a lot of stress and created complications. (Read my post titled “Fuck It!”). Since this learning experience is still being experienced, I will create a post after I do a little more processing so check back later:)
I had tried to quit refined sugar numerous times over the course of several years, but I finally stopped for good after being diagnosed with SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). In order to rid my small intestine of the bacteria that weren’t supposed to make a home there, I had to go on a very strict diet to starve them. There are a lot of things on the no list, the biggest one being sugar. Because I had quit sugar before, I knew what to expect for two months because that’s the longest I had ever been off it. I knew that my menstrual cramps would go away, and I knew that I would lose some weight, and I knew that some of my anxiety would fade, but as two months became three and then four, I started to notice something extraordinary that I did not expect!!! For the first time in over ten years, my chronic back pain went away. I thought maybe the pain went away because of the lack of bacteria which have been known to cause back pain, but I had a recurrence of SIBO over the summer and didn’t experience pain at all.
It’s hard to write about the experience of being pain free without wanting to cry. I was looking at journal entries I had written when the pain was so horrible and I can’t believe that that was my reality for ten years. For an experiential anatomy class I drew this picture of how I experienced my body at the moment:
Touching my toes hurt, I had to brace myself when I sneezed, I tensed up when people hugged me sometimes because I was afraid of them causing me pain by accident. I felt so restricted in my body. I always blamed my scoliosis and when I got x-rays I blamed my herniated disc. I took pain meds that made me feel spacey and yoga made me cry because a good day would be followed by a bad day where I couldn’t even do a sit up. Now, a year and half later, all that is behind me. It has taken me long time to trust my body again and play without inhibition and fear. My body healed long ago, but my spirit took a little longer. A big piece of my identity was wrapped up in being a person who experienced chronic pain, so now I am in the process of experiencing my new identity. I am 31, but I feel younger than I did at 20!!!
Being pain free makes me realize how complicated life was when I ate sugar and was in pain. It’s amazing how much mental effort, money and time go into avoiding pain and it’s amazing how much mental effort, money and time it takes to maintain a sugar addiction! Going sugar free may seem complicated at first, but it is actually the best decision I have ever made that has made my life more simple. I have saved money, I’ve learned to cook, I play more, I don’t have to worry about my weight, I eat less and less often because my blood sugar is under control, and I don’t have to go to the doctor for pain! If you are considering going sugar free, contact me because I would love to help and share what I know and offer support.
Ah, not to be cut off
not though the slightest partition
shut out from the law of the stars
The inner- what is it?
if not intensified sky,
hurled through with birds and deep
with the winds of homecoming.
Rainer Marie Rilke