One young Catholic family on a Journey towards Intentional and Communal Sustainability. One Artist, one full time Mama and two babies, we'll tell you about all our successes, and failures, as we try to make it in our overly Consumeristic society on just the bare necessities.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Power of a (super cute, irrisistably adorable) Smile

Britt briefly mentioned the other day the sweet score we got on discounted butter because our daughters are cute. Today, we continued to reap the benefits.

As I alluded to on my last post, we have a crab apple tree. I was just excited to have access to something that is fruitful (literally and figuratively) on my own property. However, an unexpected benefit to our harvest was that we were able to arrange a trade of crab apples for some peppers and a handful of other produce from one of the vendors at the farmers' markets which we frequent. Beyond access to free peppers, the biggest benefit was that this transaction opened up future barter possibilities.

Today we asked the mother/daughter duo (typically a father/daughter duo but he is struggling with kidney troubles, please pray for him) if they had any fruit that was past its prime. The mother, who incidentally is an awesome old southern grandma, said that she had some peaches that were pretty much not going to last past the end of the day. Since we've lately been trying our hands at both wines and canning (thanks to some seconds tomatoes which we got from this same vendor a few weeks back) we were all over getting these soft soft peaches.
The icing on the cake though wasn't these fuzzy lil delights, but rather the fact that both the mother and daughter couldn't resist how pretty Charlotte and Beatrice were in their bonnets. Because of our past conversation and interest in these peoples' lives, our frequent patronage of their stand, and our pretty little girls the sweet southern grandma threw in a bag of free pickling cucumbers which we were eyeing. She said we could grab anything else we wanted too, but not wishing to be greedy we said that our peaches and cucumbers were already more than sufficient. In response she pinched Charlotte's cheeks and then threw in a tomato and a clove of garlic, completely unprovoked by us.

The point of this post isn't to brag about my daughters (well...not exclusively) but rather to emphasis the importance of building relationships as not just a means to procure resources, but rather as a resource themselves. People are always more likely to give you deal, lend a hand or just in general help you out, if they know you. In short, people will treat you like a person if you treat them as one.

Next time you are at the Farmer's Market at Havana and Yale in Aurora on a Monday, or at the intersection of Colfax and Peoria on a Tuesday be CERTAIN to stop by and get some great deals on fresh fruits and veggies from Alice, Daryl and Alicia.

I gotta tell you, this kind of interaction, and the bag of free garden squash at church yesterday, is precisely the kind of thing I dream of in our world. I think that "self-sustainability" is both a pipedream and worse, disordered. However, I am a BIG advocate of community sustainability, some might call it distributivism, I just call it loving your neighbor.


  1. I would love to live in a community like this! The closest Farmer's Market to me is probably 30 minutes away. I should check it out sometime though.

  2. Have you guys thought about setting up a RSS/ATOM feed or an email subscribe button? It's pretty easy to do.