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Post by Chilli-head on 7th January 2015, 8:37 pm

This is the first time I have sent one these newsletters. As you may know, Adrian has successfully filled his Homemade life with smallholding, caring for two children, and his home made greeting card business, so leaving less time to devote to the forum. As of December I have taken on the forum administration. I'm happy to say that Dandelion, who has done a good job of keeping things going for the last year, will also stay on the Admin team.

Inheriting the forum has made me reflect on what it is that Homemade life is about. At its root, it is a green forum, so you will naturally find talk of reusable bags, energy saving lamps, boiler efficiencies etc. But Homemade life has always been about the bigger picture of the Earth-centred life. Adrian's journey led him to smallholding in Nova Scotia; now many of us may not be able (or willing) to make such a big change in our lives, but as he put it, there can never be a "right" or "wrong" way to be green, there can only ever be the way that you, as an individual, as a family and as a community choose to live. 

A lot of the talk on the forum centres on growing things, and crafts. This to an extent reflects the interests of active members. To a degree, they are eco-friendly activities; growing food reduces food miles. Crafts – especially Heritage crafts – tend to involve natural materials and processes. But more importantly, it seems to me that these activities are inherently “green”, in the sense that making things, and growing things, ourselves gives a true appreciation of their worth – not in monetary terms – but in our own time and effort, and the satisfaction of having (or eating !) something made by our own hand. It distances us from the “throw away” culture which wastes so many resources. 

I was inspired to have a go at green woodworking by others on Homemade life. In the year that has gone, I made my first chair, from an Ash log and some seagrass, using just hand tools. I posted pictures of the process to the forum as I went along. I felt a real excitement as it was taking shape, and I hope that more of you can feel, and share with us, that excitement of making things. 

A couple of things to mention. Now Christmas is out of the way, the Homemade life seed swap will be getting started shortly – thanks Dandelion for organising. The chance to share your surplus seeds, and perhaps be inspired to try growing something new. 

One final thing – Homemade life supports Kiva (http://www.kiva.org/). This charity provides loans that empower people to build their own lives and businesses to support themselves. It is IMHO a brilliant cause, and a great match with the forum's ethos. I'm pleased that Adrian has agreed to continue coordinating our Kiva support.

- Tony (aka "Chilli-head")
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Chilli-head
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