Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Welcome to the “Real World”

This summer I’m getting in touch with “reality”.  Two months ago I joined the “real world” as a proud post-graduate.  While many of my peers are searching for jobs, joining volunteer corps, or backpacking through faraway lands, I am making my first “home” in an off-campus apartment and commuting to work sleepy-eyed, fair-trade coffee in hand, with the rest of the working world every morning during rush hour.  Don’t get me wrong! I feel forever grateful to have a job in this economy, let alone to be working at an organization that lets me explore my interests, communicate with like-minded folks, and savor the goodness of homegrown living, a lifestyle I am eagerly adopting.

I’ve heard horror stories of newbie professionals eating Ramen noodles every night for dinner, living in cramped quarters, and pining away for college life.  I’ve managed to avoid all that by continuing to educate myself on all things homegrown.  From shopping for ingredients to reconstructing leftovers, recycling waste into something useful, or planting from seeds and cooking a meal with my own hands.  And (thankfully), it can all be done on a post-grad budget!

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Homemade Pizza Night! Local (hydroponic) tomatoes and our own basil in the sauce, topped with locally-made mozzarella

I’ve embraced the philosophy of HOMEGROWN.org in my search to establish a post-graduate lifestyle that encompasses all of my interests and values.  I want to know where my food comes from.  I want to eat healthfully and enjoy the bounty of each season.  I want to sharpen my culinary skills.  I want to consume less and waste less.  I want to learn to make a home, rather than just live in limbo in apartments from month-to-month.  I want to learn from and teach others the importance of living HOMEGROWN.

 

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Digesting (with music) after our local-foods 4th of July "picnic"

So, how successful has this mission been?  Well, so far, I’ve dedicated two nights a week to feasting with friends, sourcing local ingredients and creating healthy meals together that we can enjoy as leftovers for the rest of the week.  I’ve been composting when I can, recycling everything (thanks to single-stream recycling!), and making smarter purchasing decisions when I need some retail therapy.  I’m paying more attention to where and how my clothes, shoes, cosmetics, and food are made, aiming for local, sustainable, and chemical-free products.  I am maneuvering a refurbished bike around my neighborhood, and walking and taking public transportation wherever I need to go.  I am trying my green thumb at container gardening in my apartment.  I am reading more about the way I want to live, and practicing experiential learning in the process.  Lots of my new skills are ones gleaned from reading YOUR posts on HOMEGROWN.org, and from the wide array of blogs, websites, and books at my fingertips. Keep the information flowing!

 

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Suppertime

 

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Fun with food - local parsnip and radish lobster, complete with a native mussel garnish for a centerpiece!

While most college kids and recent post-grads think they are “know-it-alls,” I consider myself a “know-nothing”.  I’m a blank slate ready to complement my schoolhouse skills with real-life know-how.  I’ll let you know how it goes…For now, here’s a peek at my life and what I’ve been up to in my first summer out of school.  Welcome to reality!

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Mussels and Beer from New England!

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Local Kale!

 

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Massachusetts native beets, parsnips, carrots, and radishes make for a mean meal!

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3 Responses to “Welcome to the “Real World””

  1. I recognize those dishes and bowls! Wonderful post, Caroline. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this next chapter of your homegrown life.

  2. Thanks, Cornelia! It’s been a fun summer filled with good food. Onto building a terrarium! I’ll keep you all posted.

  3. leadingzero Says:

    now just get some homebrew in there an you’ll be all set!

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