Friday, April 17, 2009

More People Gardening, Canning, Sewing, and Focusing on Family in the Recession

Yes, the current economic crisis is awful, but here is some good news from Peggy Noonan's editorial in today's Wall Street Journal:

"A small sign of the times: USA Today this week ran an article about a Michigan family that, under financial pressure, decided to give up credit cards, satellite television, high-tech toys and restaurant dining, to live on a 40-acre farm and become more self-sufficient. The Wojtowicz family—36-year-old Patrick, his wife Melissa, 37, and their 15-year-old daughter Gabrielle—have become, in the words of reporter Judy Keen, "21st century homesteaders," raising pigs and chickens, planning a garden and installing a wood furnace.

Mr. Wojtowicz was a truck driver frustrated by long hauls that kept him away from his family, and worried about a shrinking salary. His wife was self-employed and worked at home. They worked hard and had things but, Mr. Wojtowicz said, there was a "void." "We started analyzing what it was that we were really missing. We were missing being around each other." ...

...The article offered data suggesting the Wojtowiczes are part of a recent trend. People are gardening more if you go by the sales of vegetable seeds and transplants, up 30% over last year at the country's largest seed company. Sales of canning and preserving products are also up. Companies that make sewing products say more people are learning to sew. I have a friend in Manhattan who took to surfing the Web over the past six months looking for small- and farm towns in which to live. The general manager of a national real-estate company told USA Today that more customers want to "live simply in a less-expensive place."

4 comments:

Chef E said...

Many of us are making these kinds of sacrifices, and did when our children were born. Thanks for sharing this...

Prairie Girl said...

I'm a new gardener (this is my 2nd year) and I think that there's been more focus on self sustainability in the last few years.. vegetable gardening and a modern "urban" lifestyle always seemed so old fashioned.
It seems as though urban vegetable gardening is finally fashionable again. I blame the green movement!
So yay to that!

VW said...

Gardening is a fun way for our family to spend time together. It's great to work side by side, and easier to find jobs for little kids outside. This morning we all helped spreading composted manure and bark. Afterwards we enjoyed the satisfaction of a job well done together. If more families find themselves gardening together because of the recession, that truly will be a silver lining!

VW said...

Gardening is a fun way for our family to spend time together. It's great to work side by side, and easier to find jobs for little kids outside. This morning we all helped spreading composted manure and bark. Afterwards we enjoyed the satisfaction of a job well done together. If more families find themselves gardening together because of the recession, that truly will be a silver lining!

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