Sunday, January 27, 2008

Of sewing machines and Victory gardens

"I don't sew anymore," I said last summer. I don't mend, I don't make curtains, I just don't sew any more.
This is a statement that does not make any sense in my family. My parents both quilt. My mom has carried her sewing machine on an airplane as carry on luggage. I think they bought their fancy new camp trailer in part because a sewing machine would fit on the kitchen table.
So my mom's response to that statement was to loan me her old Bernina for the summer. Obviously, the only reason you don't sew is because you don't have a sewing machine, right?

Everybody else just ignored me. In the Renaissance Festival culture where grommet setters are as common as square wooden plates, it wasn't a statement worth commenting on.

So, I was probably the only person who was surprised to find myself in the back room yesterday, building a table for my Kenmore sewing machine. After 14 years as a costume designer, I am very picky about my sewing tables. I found extra bobbins, a whole box of sewing machine needles and a rolled hem foot in my desk drawer. I moved my rocking chair in front of the table, settled the sewing machine and went back to sewing.

What caused this turn-around?


When I went to get the canvas bags that we have been using for our Learn to Spin and Learn to Triweave kits, I found that they had almost doubled in cost. Suddenly, it made economic sense to make the bags.

Price increases are showing up everywhere. Did you ever think you'd be paying $2.00 a dozen for plain old store bought eggs!

Suddenly, my friends who have market gardens are getting excited. They'll be able to sell their produce for less than the Evil Giant. They don't have the huge transport costs built into their cost of growing and marketing their produce. Most of them are planning bigger gardens.

We are hoping to have a market garden, too, this year. And toward that goal, I planted peas and lettuce today. Peas along the fence, lettuce under the tent. As I was planting, I was musing about the whole "buy local" movement and economics. While I love the idea, heck, "know your food producer," has been my soap box for decades, I was wondering where it was headed and which direction our nation's food focus would go next.

Victory gardens, of course. Probably not with that name - but definitely the concept of producing your own food, growing your own garden, taking your food choices right back to the earth.

Not you, you say?

Well, I don't sew any more...

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