Currently In Stock
Sandbeck preaches a return to a more primitive way of life-a life with more joy and fewer household products. Green Barbarians demonstrates that by mustering a bit of courage and relying less on many modern conveniences, we can live happier, safer, more ecologically and economically responsible lives..
About the Author
Ellen Sandbeck is an organic landscaper, worm wrangler, writer, and graphic artist who lives with (and experiments on) her husband and an assortment of younger creatures -- which includes two mostly grown children, a couple of dogs, a small flock of laying hens, and many thousands of composting worms -- in Duluth, Minnesota. She is the author of Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles and Eat More Dirt.
Excerpt. ® Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I got the idea for this book as my husband and I were eating a picnic lunch in front of a bonfire in our back four. (We own five acres. A back forty is beyond our capabilities.) My husband, who is more domestic than I, brought a tray loaded with a lovely post-Thanksgiving feast: hot spiced apple cider in a jar; capicola ham; smoked cheese; homemade bread; goat cheese; apples; and pumpkin pie. I was happily contemplating the prospect of enhancing my garden beds with charcoal dust from the soon-to-be-quenched fire, and wondering whether I should wipe the capicola grease on my husband's pants, since he had forgotten to bring out napkins, and his pants were dirtier than mine, when it occurred to me that a barbarian would wipe her hands on her slice of bread. So I did, and as I did, I realized that it might be time to resurrect the concepts of bread-napkins, trenchers, and other premodern conveniences. After much labor, and many more than nine months later, this book was born. It is filled with domestic strategies both ancient and modern-many delicious, all amusing-that I hope will improve the lives of ecologically minded people, and perhaps serve as a guide to the more feral side of life.
Those who walk the wilder, less-trodden path have always served as scouts for the rest of us. These venturesome souls are the explorers, the discoverers, the early adopters who help blaze the trails that will eventually take the rest of us where we need to go. Human survival has always depended upon intrepid individuals who cannot wait to discover what is just around the bend, on the other side of the river, or beyond the hills. They call to us from cliff tops, treetops, and mountaintops, saying, ""Look! We've just found a new food or water source, a good place to make camp, or tool-making material."" Nowadays, many of these seekers wave to us from bicycles and skateboards, from cars that belch french fry-scented exhaust, from thrift stores and rooftop gardens, even from Dumpsters.
Almost immediately after the atrocious attacks in September 2001, the Powers That Be strongly urged us to go shopping; they informed us that our economy rested upon the backs of shoppers, without whom our entire culture would collapse. This may have been the first time in recorded history that a government deployed shoppers to protect a country from attack. Now perhaps the renegades among us who delight in thumbing their noses at (and sometimes even sticking their thumbs into the eyes of) the agro-pharmo-military-industrial complex may reasonably be considered members of a new tribe of barbarians: the Green Barbarians.
The classical Greek and Latin definitions of barbarian simply meant one who was not of the dominant culture, and who was therefore considered strange or bizarre. Green Barbarians are those who define themselves by what they do and what they create, what they save and what they preserve, rather than by what they buy and what they consume. Thus the horde of Green Barbarians marches firmly upstream, against the flow of consumerist propaganda.
Taking the free advice Big Business so generously provides has enticed us into a trap baited with toxic food, drink, and playthings.
- ISBN: 9781416571827