A Manifesto for a New Year

Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.- G.K. Chesterton

This isn’t about gardening.  It isn’t about food or chemicals or fair trade.  This is about quality of life for ourselves and everyone around us.  All of these subjects are parts of a whole.  

The choices we make, every one of them, are a result of our world view and the information we already have.  We are responsible for the consequences of those decisions whether or not we are aware of them.  

When a dad follows every other parent in town through the drive-through after school, he is accountable for the results of that choice even if he doesn’t understand nutrition or supply chains.  He is voting for CAFO meat and poor quality, highly refined ingredients raised with carcinogenic synthetics and then processed out of recognition.  His children’s health will suffer and the eating habits they develop will be poor providing them a life of health related struggles.  

When we buy cheap, disposable fashion because it was the right price, we are voting for more of the forced labor that sewed it and the toxic materials grown or synthesised to make the fabric.  

Every single decision about what to buy, consume or grow has a consequence.  We vote thousands of times a year and those votes have a more direct effect on our lives and the rest of the world than our vote at the ballot box.

So commit to a change, not a trial run, not a test, not “let’s see IF I can do this.”  Commit to a real and permanent change for the better in your life.

Listen, New Year’s Day, like all holidays, is just another day unless you make it something significant in your mind.  I have never made a New Year’s resolution, per se, but I do think the date seems less arbitrary than most.  So, this is just as good a day to commit to life changes, maybe better, than any other.

“But my spouse…my schedule…my wallet…,” I hear you cry.

As someone who falls off various wagons and stays on others, I know how outside influences can make things hard.   There will ALWAYS be a reason not to change but, if we are adults, we do it anyway.  

You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of proactively participating in shaping the world your children will inherit.-Joel Salatin

If you find it hard to make changes, you need a paradigm shift.  You need to redefine what is acceptable and live true to your definitions.  

I define food differently than most folks and only being cornered with no way to avoid being rude unless I eat it, will I eat something that is outside my definition of food.  It isn’t hard to avoid much of the junk that tempts others because I don’t consider it edible.  Food to me is grown, recognisable, reproducible at home, free of added toxins, not produced with forced labor, not a dead land animal and it nourishes my body. (I do take politeness about food very seriously and will make myself sick to avoid hurting people’s feelings.)  

So what makes a substance safe to put in or on your body?  

What is okay to spray around your children?  Your pets?  Your food?

What labor practices qualify something to have your hard earned money spent on it?

Once you do the initial work of researching alternatives to the mainstream so you can make more responsible choices, the new becomes your normal.

The Habit Poem:

I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and I will do them – quickly and correctly. I am easily managed – you must be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically. I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine though I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am Habit.-Author unknown

Once you have made a change, tackle another.  If being different bothers you, I suggest you check the health statistics of “normal” (if you live in a westernized society) and then reconsider your squeamishness.  Normal is not desirable.  In fact, normal is pathetic.

Do you want to know what I found out when I stopped trying to fit in with normal?  I found other people who are like me.  If the other soccer moms or homeschoolers or church people or band members or colleagues or whoever you spend your time around don’t like it, then you should do it their way and you can all be sick together.  Or you can be the responsible one.  

I have seen amazing changes for the better in our little community in the last 5 years all because a few people did something different.  If it can happen in a little town in southern Georgia, it can happen anywhere.  

You can do this.

You can look up safer cleaning products.  You can seek someone who teaches about reducing toxic load.  You can read books.  You can make a better decision every time you put something in your mouth or in your cart and you and use the new year as a tipping point toward a better life by doing a better job of making decisions you already make.

Resources

If you want to grow something, come along.  Order seed catalogs.

If you want to change the way you see food, consider this.

If you want to reduce the toxic load on your body from the products you use, check out the Environmental Working Group databases.

Suggested reading

There are so many amazing books out right now, this bibliophile would be in heaven if she had more time to read.  If you want to explore further why some people have no trouble making changes and others struggle or why some stick and some don’t, I recommend Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.

Check out the Katy Had a Little Farm Facebook page for videos (have coffee with me in the morning!) and giveaways.  You can also find me on Instagram.

Happy New Year!

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Love from the farm

Happy eating, Katy

8 thoughts on “A Manifesto for a New Year

  1. You have a really beautiful voice and an incredible knack for words. I too believe that the only true power that we “the little people” is consumer power. Please keep these great posts coming. And, with your permission, I would like to reboot this post. Let me and thank you again for this beautifully articulated piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said Katy. I am on this bandwagon with you. May we continue to make a difference by our choices and our living examples. All of the best for the new year for you and the ones you love. May you keep on making the right choices for yourself and the collective community. Regards, Micelle (also curiously different in my approach to life)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your remarkable clarity and passion for those who are trapped in a cycle of working poverty because of our careless choices touches my heart. Your perspective always inspires me to be more aware of my impact and less “self” centered.

    Liked by 1 person

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