Image from the Institute for local self reliance.
We try to promote those things that make leaving your house worth-while. I’m guilty of not doing this enough. I keep making excuses as to why I can’t… mostly the lack of money… but I start getting restless with cabin feaver when I haven’t left the house in awhile. To me, home starts to feel like a prison and I start feeling like a caged animal. I even get on my own nerves. Sure even mundane things like trips to the grocery store are better than sitting and staring at the same ceiling and walls. But we've got free drive-in movies - schedule below! - and that's a pretty good excuse.
Selling flowers to be planted in gardens or buckets across the community is beautiful work. They’re nice to look at, they smell pretty good and there’s something to be said about working with dirt and seeds. There’s a kind of satisfaction in planting a seed and watching it grow into something beautiful… Also, flowers attract bees… and we need bees… or we die.
Put up a swing - Because who doesn't enjoy the feeling of weightless flying?
Then preserve the food you grew in your own garden with your canner. There’s nothing like popping open a jar of homemade jam on a blustery winter day, as our grandmothers knew all too well. Once maligned as unnecessary and labor-intensive, home canning has undergone a renaissance. A new generation is discovering that there’s something uniquely satisfying about preserving the season’s best produce.
Start a tradition - and we believe in starting meaningful traditions like the 18 mile Hillsville flea market, our summer movies, and going to see our wind-turbine provide clean energy in the Appalachian mountains. It's pretty small at only 100 feet and powers just one farm in Fancy Gap- but it's all this local business could afford. Tom Largen was quoted when we celebrated the powered-by-free-fuel machine beginning, "It's about doing everything you can - with what you have - every change you get."
We hire neighborhood young people for odd jobs like building our home-grown wind-turbine, setting up our drive-in movie screen, or taking pictures of cowbell for our website. The sense of entitlement some young people have today is flabbergasting, but on the other hand, kids shouldn't be treated as slave labor either. They need that common-sense work ethic we've been passing along in the Red Hill family since we stated.
We need a more humane and sustainable definition of success that includes well-being, wisdom, wonder, empathy, and the ability to give back. There is a big conference on this - and article "Beyond Money and Power (and Stress and Burnout): In Search of a New Definition of Success." This challenge - just like seeking to understand - requires participation individually and collectively. We can no longer go throughout our days unaware and uncaring. We must be mindful, present in our experiences, and determined to figure our the best ways to do things and how we can create them.
Subscribe to our blog (using the menu on the right)! We'll talk about wind's economic viability in Carroll County and how it might save our farms and heritage from housing development. You won't want to miss this.