Butch here! We are not married (to each other) but have a mixture of previous spouses and lovers who come and go. We heat our one-room post and beam house with logs made from rolled up newspapers procured at the transfer station that we ring with repurposed cans from ethically-sourced tuna (if you don’t think that’s an oxymoron). When it gets really cold we sneak onto the back road of a wooded area in the nearby conservation easement and chop down trees for firewood. Living off the grid requires constant ingenuity and careful scanning of what’s available on freecyle.com. We have a solar shower with a collection tank on the roof, though it’s become infested with snakes this year. In the winter it’s better not to wash anyway because the body’s natural protective oils help keep you warm. When we want cheese and crackers we go to a book signing at the Moldy Leaf Book Store and live it up.
My get-rich-quick scheme for retirement is a Christmas Tree farm, but the trees seem to be infected with a strange fungus which the Tree Healer is not able to identify. The Agricultural Extension Office won’t return my calls. Figures you can’t expect anything from the government. Our son Zeke has a behavior problem and undiagnosed Dyslexia. For days at a time he will refuse to eat or drink anything but the kale kefir Margot makes for him. Each year we scape together just enough paper money for half Zeke’s huge tuition at the nearby Purgatory Chasm Waldorf School and barter our services for the rest (re-thatching roofs, digging a trench for the new leach field, mucking out pigsties on the model farm, brewing kombucha for the faculty lounge). It can be hard to keep up with the rich bourgeois capitalists who have driven up the tuition at Purgatory Chasm WS! But we live in earth’s plenty. There is always a pot of sauerkraut cooking on the woodstove and enough jars of it to get us through the winter. Every year we pluck more feathers from the pet ducks that we raise for meat and Margot makes another duvet for our sleeping loft. There’s more than enough room in the loft for any Burning Badger alums who happen to be in the area! Please come and share a glass of sauerkraut juice with us.
Photo Credit: Bittersweet Volumbe I, No. 3, Spring 1974