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Being Part of the Solution

Today is my blogiversary. It’s had me paralysed for a week – too momentous an occasion to know what to write. Often around this time of year I take some time to just think, to get back far enough from the trees to see the forest. The Witches Kitchen came out of this process last year.

I had just finished helping sew together the quilt we made as a community project,  as part of the 350 campaign to highlight 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as the threshold to safe levels. At November 2010, we’re at 388.59ppm and rising, and as the 350.org site says, “make no mistake—getting back to 350 means transforming our world”.

The irony is that I believe it involves transforming our world for the better.  I don’t believe it involves making sacrifices, not real ones. I believe it involves shutting our ears to the Siren calls singing corn-syrup sweetly but in reality just luring us to death and disaster.

Sure electricity and petrol will be dearer, a lot dearer, but there will be much less opportunity for “accidents” like the Gulf of Mexico spill, or reason to sacrifice the Liverpool Plains wheat, corn, sunflower seed, barley, chickpea and bean crops for coal, more reason to get fit walking or turn the TV off and go play with the neighbours.  To me they’re trades, not sacrifices, and very good value trades.

It was out of that idea of being part of transforming our world that The Witches Kitchen was born.  Food seems to me such an obvious place to start – small changes that lead to a better lifestyle at every level. The personal and the political, self interest and idealism, align so perfectly. Cooking and gardening are not work but sensual play and so make great ear wax against the siren call of industrialised fake food that is not a small part of the problem.

I’m not sure which way to take it in 2011.  I’d love your advice.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Gavin December 30, 2010, 8:05 pm

    Hi Linda,

    Happy 1st blogiversary! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughtful posts this year.

    As for which direction you should take your blog this year, I can offer no reasonable advice except to follow your own heart and see where it takes you.

    Gav x

  • dixiebelle December 30, 2010, 8:30 pm

    Congratulations! I have only come to your be reading your blog recently, but it’s always enjoyable, esp. those awesome recipes!

    I find my blog reflects what I am going through at the time, whether it be more about the garden, or what I am cooking, or how mad I am at the world, or even just being so busy, having little time to blog. I am looking forward to seeing where yours heads…

  • dixiebelle December 30, 2010, 8:32 pm

    Oh, and brilliant job on the quilt. I am reading a series of books about quilting at the moment. This one looks like it was very involved, but a labour of love I am sure!

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial December 31, 2010, 7:18 am

    Linda, happy anniversary!

    What I’ve found, through your book and blog, is that you offer sensible, doable changes that can help all of us live more sustainably. Does 2011 need to be a new direction? Because I’m still learning enormous amounts from you, and I’d love to see more of the same!

  • Larissa December 31, 2010, 7:19 am


    I have throughly enjoyed reading your blog. Having three kids at school and preschool I have found the lunchbox ideas great and have tried a number of them. We moved into our new house last January and have been starting a fruit and vegetable garden (our previous houase had a great garden and it is hard to start all over again). I have found your gardening tips inspirational and seeing what you have in season and how you use it in your recipes. Thanks so much for blogging.
    I hope you gain some ideas for next year!

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial December 31, 2010, 7:19 am

    Bugger, clicked send too soon, meant to compliment your community on your magnificent quilt! Well done all!

  • Anonymous December 31, 2010, 8:50 am

    Happy Blogiversary. I’ve just found your blog. I’ve just bought your book, although i’ve already built one mandala garden (used a library book). Thanks for your book I must say. Could you please write a book about fake food. It’s one of my current bugbears – low fat everything, thickened with gelatin bulldung, not allowed to sell your own quality eggs madness unless you pay $300-400 per annum, glycerine is better than sugar lies, thai market people not allowed to sell homemade sticky-rice-sweets that-never-killed-anyone unless they get a licences costing over $500 soul-destroying rules, restaurant hypocrisy and on and on. We’re all so hygienic these days we’re making ourselves sick; reducing our immunity, getting fat and diabetic.

    I’m far from being a purist too. Its great that people are having a go but yesterday it dawned on me that perhaps the best way to improve the sustainability of the planet is to earn less money. I think middle class people might be the worst offenders with all their numerous airfares around the planet for business, conferences and multiple holidays to far off destinations and frequent restaurant and takeaway meals (where there is so much waste and plastic in use). So i’m not really optimistic about the planets prospects. However, it good for everyone to do their bit and we mustn’t give up.

    Ok this is a bit negative for a birthday greeting sorry but its my first comment and I couldn’t hold myself back when i read your comment about fake food.

  • Ying Tee December 31, 2010, 9:11 am

    hi Linda. just wanted to thank you for the periodic refreshing inspiration that comes from you via your blog ! The lure and pervasiveness of the seemingly beautiful “Siren’s” song would have me completely engulfed permanently if not for blogs like yours and others who have the power of conviction that a better world is for our making. thanks again 🙂

  • Fiona January 1, 2011, 7:58 am

    Linda, congratulations to you. Your blog is an absolute inspiration and I check in daily. You need to feel proud of the impact you are having on so many. Your book is the most looked at in my collection, lying on the lounge chair now, as I was thumbing through it just last night. I can hardly believe it myself, but we are eating vegetables from our garden (all thanks to you). We produce our own meat, eat our own eggs, milk our own cows, and now grow our own vegetables (and I can’t believe how easy it is with my chook dome roaming through my garden). So, if nothing else, I am hopeful I am giving my four children the best fuel I can give them, as well as an appreciation of food, its origin and its flavour!
    Please keep doing what you’ve been doing. You are a hero!

  • Fiona January 1, 2011, 8:01 am

    Linda, just a little gardening query:
    In my first site I planted corn, which is now finished (and just quietly, the most flavoursome juicy corn I’ve ever tasted)! Would you remove the plants and re-plant that bed, or wait for the chook dome to come back around. I’m a little unsure how to handle the corn bed, as far as re-planting. Any hints most welcome.
    Thankyou, Fiona.

  • Linda January 1, 2011, 11:43 am

    My corn is just about to come out of the bottom bed too. It hasn’t done brilliantly this year – too wet and not windy enough for great pollination – but it’s still 100 million times better than anything you buy! I’m going to follow mine with a mixed bed of capsicum, tomatoes, eggplants, beans, and baby carrots mixed with spring onions. They’re all pretty advanced seedlings in pots of compost mixed with creek sand, and because corn is such a heavy feeder, I’ll give the capsicum, tomatoes and eggplants another handful of compost as I plant them out. If I didn’t have seedlings ready, I think I’d follow with a vine like a melon or a legume staple. Either way, I wouldn’t remove the corn stalks, just chop them off if necessary and mulch over.

  • Ali Jane Smith January 1, 2011, 11:14 pm

    I love your blog too – I’m with the more-of-the-same crowd.

  • Fiona January 2, 2011, 7:35 am

    A quick thankyou for your advice Linda.
    I’ll be right onto it!

  • nadeeka January 13, 2011, 8:28 am

    Your blog is a fantastic read. Thank you, and more of the same would do me just fine too 🙂

  • teak outdoor furniture March 31, 2011, 10:22 am

    Awesome post, will be a daily visitor from now on!

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