Sunday, May 15, 2011

Discussions for The Dirty Life (Question #9 and 10)

Join our discussion of The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

Question #9
As a new farmer, Kristin struggles with where she fits in the socioeconomic spectrum. It bothers her when a neighbor brings over some kitchen things because she thinks Kristin is needy. Later Kirstin writes that farming makes her feel rich even though she's not.
What makes people feel poor or rich?
How much is the feeling related to money?

Question #10
Why do you think Kristin goes from being a vegetarian to an omnivore after helping Mark slaughter a pig?

Further discussions:


The Pocket Farmer said...

Question 9: You are rich when you know that at the end of the day your efforts have not gone in vain. The sacrifices you have made will come back as rewards many times over when you realize how important your contribution is in the big picture.

cloudberryjam said...

I really like what The Pocket Farmer said about being rich. So true. I think that people feel poor when they feel helpless and void of the ability to make choices. Farming and gardening counter those feelings without money because you make choices, you take an active role in producing what it takes to nourish yourself, and you spend the season concentrating on life.

Anonymous said...

Rich is a mind set, not how much money you have. I can't see the future, but if I can raise/grow my own food this season, I am rich and I would never pick a hefty 401-K over being a farmer!

Anonymous said...

Being rich is not about having MONEY... it is about having the ability and means to have choices.

Kerani said...

Begining Farmers has a wonderful quote on their Urban Farming page (here:, concerning the wealth of people who have sufficent food to eat, and which they control. Despite how much I love this quote, I do feel that farmers face a lot of poverty: they are poor in free time, in material goods, in security in the future. The richness in other ways - their community, (if they have it) the beauty of their balcony/yard/fields, the security of constant work - all of this makes up, for some people, for the lack of wealth in other areas. But to each their own poverty. Some people's lives would not be made better if they traded a radio for a chicken. In a perfect world, we would not all be rich, but would all be able to choose in what to be poor, and be content.

L0rdsServant said...

I agree with cloudberryjam. "People feel poor when they feel helpless and void of the ability to make choices."

Before we made the move back to my home farm, my husband and I made three times what we make now. We had a big, 5-bedroom house. We could have entertainment, dining, or almost anything else that one could want within 10-15 minutes. The sad thing? We were miserable! We didn't want those things. We wanted a life for our family where we were each other's greatest joy. Where community was more than just what area of town you lived in. We wanted to watch our children grow happy, free, and learning something about life every day. Now, we're making what qualifies for WIC and food stamps (and boy do they push it at you!). We live in a late 1800s farmhouse with two bedrooms and one bathroom (with four kids!). It's a ten-minute drive to the closest town and at least an hour to a sizable city. Strangest of all? We feel completely rich! Our lives are full! We are more contented now than we have been our entire lives.

As for question 10, I can only assume it's because Kristin was able to see the entire fruit of an effort. She watched that pig from the very beginning and saw its place in the cycle of things.

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