Monday, November 1

Book Report


Farewell, My Subaru
By Doug Fine

"When garden weeds are your biggest problem, life is pretty good." I am inclined to agree.

Doug Fine, off the grid, goat raising, rattlesnake fearing homesteader, is roughing it in New Mexico on Funky Butte Ranch. And his story is very entertaining. Ideas and trial-and-error abound in this read which makes it all the more interesting.

With numerous political references and comparisons to in-the-news celebrities, this book had just enough to be funny, but not over the top. I like a good reference laugh as much as the next girl, and I was able to read this one without feeling like I was reading a list of witty quotes.

I particularly related to his ideas about LBG (life before green - my new way of referring to the 'good-old-days'). I have been giving a lot of thought to this lately - missing my carefree days of not knowing.
"my overall situation at the moment was starting to make me miss the time when I could just turn on a water faucet or a light switch without guilt - before I realized that I wanted to eliminate utilities from my life. I was nostalgic for my innocent carbon ignorance."
How I also miss my innocent carbon ignorance, as well as numerous other forms of innocent unknowing that I have had to trade in for conscious ignorance.

He also spends a lot of time on his solar panels, which eventually powers the whole homestead, including the water pump. He states that the "average American household uses 888 kilowatt hours per month. Funky Butte Ranch used 86 kwh in June 07." Pretty impressive. We are only down to 600 kwh per month here, but it is a start.

This was a very entertaining read - a quick read - which is good for me. Lots of good references in the back too.

A few great quotes:

"I liked the idea of paying my property taxes partly in produce."

"As a result, at seven a.m. I was treated to an exact rerun of the nature documentary. This time i lost my rooster and the two chicks that my jet black hen Agatha had just hatched. Agatha survived with rumpled tail feathers, but when i found her cowering under a juniper, she was suffering from an understandable case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It wasn't a good day. Michelle came home that evening to an angry boyfriend sitting on the porch with a beer, a laptop, and a shotgun."

"Living local and green was not an all-or-nothing proposition. Each day I had another chance to make good choices, to move toward a healthy, independent, sustainable life."

"I was going to stay with it. Whether the green fad faded or gas got cheap again. And not just for planetary reasons, but for personal ones."

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