Community

About a year and a half ago we started up a monthly gathering we called “Piedmont Sustainable Living,” hoping it would be a way for folks interested in homesteading and sustainability to get together for fellowship and idea-swapping.  We joked that we wanted to be able to talk about the things that interest us with a group of people who wouldn’t think we were weirdos.

The gatherings have been a success.  It’s a great group of people, and a lot of fun.

We always start with a potluck supper, followed by a discussion.  Last night we had our April get-together. One of our friends brought freshly-harvested morels and cooked them up at the meeting.  Two couples brought salads made from just-picked greens. There was pasture-raised chicken.  And Cherie made blackberry cobbler from wild blackberries picked on our farm (as we’re trying to clear out the freezers of last year’s goodies to make room for what’s about to come).  It was a delicious meal of locally-raised food, which would have cost a small fortune at a restaurant, but cost the homesteaders very little.  The mushrooms, blackberries and much of the salad grow wild.

One of our friends brought homemade soap and gave a bar to everyone who came.  Another friend gave us some tomato plants she started.  A friend gave Cherie a potted herb.  And we traded knowledge too, discussing the best places to get quality products in bulk–like flours, herbs, tea, toiletries, etc., and exchanging gardening tips.

We sat on the back deck and talked until dark.  A fine way to spend a Saturday evening.

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20 comments on “Community

  1. DM says:

    that sounds like a wonderful evening! You guys are just a few weeks ahead of us with the morel’s… I would love to be a part of that discussion!

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  2. That is a fantastic way to spend a Saturday night….perfect..so simple yet so rewarding…I’m quite envious Bill.

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    • Bill says:

      We started this group because I was envious of friends of ours who had a group like this in a nearby county. We were starving for like-minded community. Our friends said they just put it out there and the first time they met only 2 other people showed up. But eventually it became a vibrant group. So we decided to give it a try and, somewhat to our surprise, it has turned out well.

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  3. Bill, being able to socialize with like minded people is definitely encouraging, isn’t it. My community of like minded encouragers has been online. Being in the middle of farm country the belief that row crop traditional growing is the only way to grow any thing. Now flower gardeners have a little more of an open mind but most gardeners are still row crop bare soil growers. Mulch is colored wood chips that a home owner buys from the DIY store and puts under the foundation bushes. Grass and leaves, the best mulch on the planet, is some thing that must be bagged up and taken away by the city. At least the city composts it down and sells it back to landscapers and some home owners for flower beds. Most home owners in the urban areas still strive for the perfect picture magazine look. I keep the front yard trimmed up but without competition to be as good or better than the neighbors. All that to say, like minded people in my area are difficult to find so I go online for community. A place like this blog is a fresh oasis for me. Thank you for deciding to open up your personal life experiences for all of us to enjoy.

    Have a great like minded community day.

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    • Bill says:

      I know exactly what you mean Dave. Trying to swim against the current was sometimes pretty lonely for us. This group has been a real blessing.

      I’m definitely thankful for the online community of people who “get it.” People like you! Helps keep me reminded that if we’re crazy, there’s lot of other people crazy like we are. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Sounds like a wonderful evening. I’m often struck by what I’ve come to think of as “ordinary miracles” – as coined in the Charlotte’s Web movie a few years ago – and your evening seems like one of those. Nothing special in one sense – just a gathering of neighbours sharing potluck. But it is special – that food, those people, the shared ideals. And the fact that you all recognize it’s rarity for what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Ordinary miracles. I like that a lot.

      You’re right of course. There shouldn’t be anything particularly special about friends sharing a potluck and enjoying conversation about what they’re doing. Yet it does seem rare in this culture.

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  5. shoreacres says:

    I had to smile. I’m looking at the blackberries still in my freezer and thinking, “Yep. Time to use those up, before the new crop comes in.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Cherie had planned to make asparagus, but we ended up selling out all we had last week. She mentioned that she needed to use up some of the things she froze last year. I was happy that blackberries got the honor.

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  6. A fine way to spend an evening, indeed Bill. Impossible to beat good friends, good conversation, and good food. –Curt

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  7. Sue says:

    Jealousy, jealousy. Oh, to find SOMEONE,…..ANYONE….in my area that is interested in cooking and gardening. But no….they are all shopping divas. Sigh.

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    • Bill says:

      As I mentioned above, we got tired of knowing so few people who shared our interests and values that we started a “Meet Up” group. Then it spread by word of mouth. Nowadays we usually have about 12 people show up. Maybe you could find a cooking/gardening group in your area. If not, maybe you could start one up! 🙂

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  8. EllaDee says:

    It’s wonderful when you can mix with other people who get it. I know some who in various degrees, do, but none live near me in the city, and a few near our country home. Hence the online connections. Your potluck supper and gathering sounds wonderful.

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    • Bill says:

      I’m thankful for the great online community too. Until we founded this group it was all we had. The ability to participate in virtual community is one of the many great advantages that come from the internet.

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  9. Laurie Graves says:

    As we Mainers would say, sounds like the finest kind of gathering.

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    • Bill says:

      Your comment makes me smile as I remember something I haven’t thought of in a long time. When I was a teenage I was a fan of the book MASH (as well as the movie and TV series). The character Hawkeye was from Maine and his favorite expression was “finest kind.” There was even a sequel book titled “MASH Goes to Maine.”

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