From Scratch


Many different people in my life have expressed that they don’t understand why I live the way I do.  Things like growing vegetables from seed, making my own pizza dough instead of buying it, burning wood for heat, trying out new things like making my own pasta or cheese, wanting to get chickens or apple trees, canning jam or tomatoes, baking pies from scratch.  Why do we live this way? It makes us happy.  I enjoy spending the time kneading dough instead of mindlessly watching television.  I love the look on my husband’s face when he enjoys the supper I’ve made.  I also love getting outdoors, tending to my plants, and photographing nature.


A few remarks that I’ve heard: “I wish I had time to crochet a present.”  “Why would Ed make that furniture when you could just buy it?”  “Couldn’t you just buy plants instead of starting them yourself?”  These statements imply that we’re simply sitting around bored, but the truth is that we’re busy people, too.  We both work full time jobs and enjoy spending time together and with our families.  I’m also a part-time graduate student, and Ed works with his brother’s aquaculture business.  We don’t have a ton of free time, but we make time for the things we enjoy.


The question has come up: What if living this way doesn’t improve the environment? What if it’s too late and doesn’t make a difference?  Even if we had more money, even if it didn’t matter, we’d live this way.  Living from scratch makes us happy.



Filed under Gardening, Home, Outside, Sustainable Living

12 responses to “From Scratch

  1. Great post, Abbie. I approach life with the same “from scratch” attitude.

  2. That last photo makes me happy. It makes me think of summer in a world that is currently rather drab and gray. 🙂

  3. Julie

    This is great! We also enjoy living (mostly) from scratch. The “normal” way seems so artificial now.

  4. You live with purpose. Why would you ever have to explain that? You and Ed are role models for other young couples and I’m so proud of you both!

  5. I get really sick of those comments myself. I feel good that I don’t blow my money or my time on the petty things other people do. I would rather spend my time raising and growing our food, knitting our socks, etc. than spend more hours at work to pay for all those things. Plus I like the idea that our existence doesn’t depend on the nearest Wal-Mart. Even if it is too late for the environment (which I don’t think it is) it still can’t hurt for us to have some useful skills and eat better food.

  6. Different things make everyone happy, that’s the beauty of this life. Good for you that you are following you bliss 🙂

  7. Absolutely! We live this life because it makes us happy. Rather than going with the flow and mindlessly doing what everyone else does (keeping up with the Jones), we make very deliberate choices to do the things that bring us joy. Way to go!

  8. aja

    I bet people are really curious about the way you live because you exude happiness and bliss – and things like making your own cheese is so foriegn to most people. So many people in the world are just struggling and trying to make sense of this crazy world. Maybe those of us who “live from scratch” (I love that) can help inspire people by showing its not that hard or time consuming to live that way.

  9. I find peace when I make food from scratch. I know where it came from, and there’s a sense of accomplishment when you’ve nurtured a plant from seed to harvest to seed. I love sewing and quilting and most people don’t know how to thread a needle and wonder with a hectic schedule. As you said, I wouldn’t trade living simply for living a convenient lifestyle of fast food. There’s just something about it that makes life enjoyable.

  10. Hear hear. It is a more real way of life, in my mind, it puts me back in touch with how life should be, with my inner thoughts, and maybe makes the world a better place. Beautiful post.

  11. What kind of crazies have been telling you that?! I envy the way you live, and I truly hope that one day I have my own garden, the resources to make my own cheese (I have no earthly idea where to find cheesecloth here!), and of course have a handy husband.

  12. Kayla- I find it hard to believe that you can be envious of my life while you’re living in Italy… I admit a little envy there. And I know that Aaron can build a mean solar cooker. I’m still bragging about that.

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