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Quote of the Day: Bernd Heinrich

October 28th, 2012

As for the “news,” most of what I hear I can do nothing about. This year I want all of my energies and all of my sympathies focused on where they can matter.

Bernd Heinrich from A Year In The Maine Woods

I was thinking about this quote the other day as I found myself annoyed the political conversations that was go nowhere and sensationalized “news” stories that contain no facts and are filled with “unconfirmed” “alleged” information. Due to my distaste for politics and drama, I find myself voting where I feel I can actually make a difference.

I vote every day with my dollars and with where I spend my time. I focus my efforts on building and growing my community and on becoming a better person. Every time I go to the farmers market and avoid the grocery store I’m casting my vote for the change I want to see in my country.

Every time I choose not to buy something and do without, I’m living a little closer to my convictions. Every time I buy what I need from a small local business or an individual who makes it themselves, I’m doing my part to bring the big world a little closer to home. Every time I turn off the TV and read a book or visit with my neighbor I know I’m limiting the advertising I am exposed to, learning something new and investing my time in relationships.

In our society where liking something on facebook is now seen as action, it’s refreshing to meet others who are also investing their dollars and time in something that makes the world a better place. I challenge you to spend at least equal time investing in your community as you do talking and reading about politics and news.

What is one thing you do that you feel makes a difference?

21 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Bernd Heinrich”
  1. jennifer fisk on October 28, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I think I’m with you on this. As much as is possible, the food I eat is grown by myself. For that which I can’t produce, I look first on MDI which would include beef and milk. During the season, I shop at our Farmers Markets. I expand statewide and then New England wide when necessary. While the Podcast of Freakonomics tries to prove that it is ok to buy produce from California, I still can’t accept well traveled veggies are a good idea economically or nutrionally.

    Reply to jennifer fisk's comment

  2. Maybelline on October 28, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Grow as much as I can on my own.
    Live frugally.
    Educate myself as much as I can.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  3. Marina C on October 28, 2012 at 8:09 am

    We grow some of our own vegetables, buy a summer and a winter CSA, preordered a goat and 2 lambs for the freezer, buy from our local butcher locally produced meats, pick up goat and cows milk at the farms, eggs from 2 neighbor. Buying from local businesses, and when not doing so, I find that Amazon is more pleasing than big box stores.
    We don’t need to buy much, but I must admit to having discovered Weck canning jars, and buying quite a few to replace jars given away.
    I am looking into helping at a local school to do something, anything, about our deeply rooted educational problems… And following your blog for inspiration!

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  4. daisy on October 28, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I so agree with you. We stopped watching the news long ago. We don’t eat fast food. Our relocation is going to be based mainly on finding a community that supports our values, and that we can in turn, support. The commercialism turned me off to shopping retail and instead I find used items at thrift stores.
    You really can live what you believe.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  5. Kim on October 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

    You are so spot on. Ever since my husband and I read Fast Food Nation many years ago, we have changed our habits with food. From what we eat and where we buy, I would say we are much more aware of quality and also putting energy into ensuring we are eating ‘real’ food. We have tried to eliminate processed foods from our life.

    I often feel that, as I get older, I just simply crave something more simple. From what television I watch to what I eat, I just want to eliminate the unnecessary and try to focus my energy on what I enjoy or what just simply makes me happy.

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply to Kim's comment

  6. whit on October 28, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Great message today. We homeschool. My hubbie and i weren’t happy with the educations we received at public school and how much time we spent bored out of our mind. Our daughter was the same way when she first entered preschool, so we cut the cord. We feel that idea of public school, that everyone deserves a good education regardless of “class”, is a good idea, but the system we have now is failing the advanced kids and the kids who need a little extra help due to learning styles or disabilities.

    I stay at home, we do without vacations and things, but i won’t trade any of it because i have a child with a curiosity still, how is kind, loving, well mannered, engaged in learning opportunities she finds exciting and rewarding, and on a day to day basis is involved in her community-at-large and not an artistically draft science experiment where people of the “same age” are herded together like cattle and taught the same ideas by one adult who is trying to juggle too many bodies in a class.

    Reply to whit's comment

  7. Jessica on October 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I get very frustrated in election years for this very reason. I don’t watch much news anyway because it’s usually depressing, and there isn’t anything I can do about it. Every once in awhile I get riled into some kind of indignant comment in a conversation or on Facebook, but I try for the most part to avoid political discussion. We live with a political system that is entirely influenced by big corporations. It doesn’t matter who you vote for – they’ve all been bought, and it always seems to me a matter of voting for the lesser of two evils more than anything else. The best way to fight THAT particular evil is to grow your own and shop at the farmers’ market and small, locally-run businesses.

    Reply to Jessica's comment

  8. Denimflyz on October 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I drive 100 miles round trip to pick up fresh beef, pork from a butcher in a very small village. My dollar is spend in that village to the owner, where he can do his part for his village and neighbors.
    I shop very, very little in a big box grocery. I do shop at our local Wally, which I detest as they are the only place I can purchase bulk staples like flour, rice, and my other staples I use as I cook from scratch. I grow 50% of my own produce, can it, dehydrate it, The produce I cannot grow, I get from farmers market or local producers coming into town. I try to keep my dollar as close to my community as I can. It really bothers me I have to use Wally, but where I live, there is little regard to local,and there is no choices with grocery shopping, but it is coming about slowly but surely here, by the shopping at the farmers market.
    I shop generally the thrift shops. Buy very little clothing. I have tv, but I have shut it off because of the political garbage that goes on. Like
    many have said here, there is little I can do about the world, but I have already early voted for the lesser of two evils. I cocoon myself in my home and concentrate on myself and my family and very selfishly worry about my home.

    Reply to Denimflyz's comment

  9. kristin @ going country on October 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    We do a lot of things that make difference for us, but I think our most important contribution to a different future is raising our kids the way we think is best, which is almost entirely different from the way most of America thinks is best. Or maybe most people wish it could be different for their kids, but don’t know how to teach their kids to be any different. I don’t know. Our oldest hasn’t started school yet. That’s where the true test of our convictions as parents will come, I suspect. We’ve considered homeschooling, but for a variety of reasons, I would really like my children to be able to attend school with other kids. We’ll see.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  10. KimH on October 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I think the biggest thing I do is to share & educate others in all manner of things. Food, spirit, & actions.
    Living what I teach others is second.. I do what I can, when I can, how I can. I cant always do all I would like, but I do try. Thats all I can do.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  11. dkswife on October 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    We grow and raise as much food as possible. That includes milking our own cow. I haven’t bought milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. for almost a year now. I haven’t purchased green beans, squash, lettuce and potatoes for over two years. Every year, we add a veggie or two to our list of things that we do not have to purchase anymore. Small steps make a difference.

    I buy second hand clothes or make my own 99% of the time.

    I do not vote for the lesser of two evils. I refuse to contribute to the hoax called a presidential election.

    I am with you. Be self sufficient and vote w/ our dollars.


    Reply to dkswife's comment

  12. Mrs. Mac on October 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    We buy milk, eggs, beef, chicken, turkey, pork from local ethical farmers. Grow/can our own produce. We just installed a wood stove that was made in a local factory one town over. Drive paid off older cars. Shop at local shops as much as possible. Last winter I bought my hubby hand made sheep skin slippers from a small leather shop in town. I stood by and watched the finishing stitches from the craftsman. These will last much longer that the ones I took back to a dept. store that were made in China and fell apart after the first week. Not enough time to get our own firewood this year, we employed a local man by buying his chopped wood. It takes budgeting and planning to set $ aside each month to buy meat from a farm all at once. Good topic

    Reply to Mrs. Mac's comment

    • Susy on October 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Would love the name of the slipper shop, I’ve been disappointed with any slippers I’ve purchased in the past and have been looking for a small shop to get some from.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Mrs. Mac on October 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        Here’s a link to the shop. The slippers with the American flag next to the pictures are made in their shop.

        Maybe you can find a pair.

        to Mrs. Mac's comment

      • Nadeanne on November 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        Susy, I absolutely love your blog! I am just wondering where you buy your clothing? Every time I go to buy a pair of jeans or a shirt it’s made somewhere other than the US or is not made from quality materials. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

        to Nadeanne's comment

      • Susy on November 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        Nadeanne – that’s a tough one. For the most part I try to get organic clothing made in factories that don’t employ child/slave labor and made in the USA if possible (but that’s quite difficult at times). There are a few companies that profess to have this and that I support. I tend to buy a few well made pieces that are expensive over many less expensive ones. I also try to focus on investing in good wool clothing with lasts much longer, wears better, and needs washed less often than other fabrics. Clothing like this is often an investment that last for many, many years.

        The companies I like are:
        Horny Toad

        to Susy's comment

  13. Erin on October 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you for this refreshing post. People get so caught up in the hype, they forget that casting your vote on a ballot isn’t the only way to “vote”.

    Reply to Erin's comment

  14. Norma on October 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Just remember folks, that not to vote doesn’t necessarily mean “no vote”.
    As I pointed out in Australia to my grown up children. When they do a census and you say nothing to everything, but a small majority say yes, then their vote gets counted towards them. Think about that!

    If you are in a group of friends, who are gossiping and you say nothing, that doesn’t mean you aren’t gossiping. For your silence is accepted as agreement! Think about that.

    Reply to Norma's comment

  15. Rocky Top Farm on October 29, 2012 at 3:07 am

    I too seek to live a frugal life, to love more. I have had a difficult time with some of the current events in our nation. We have not had t.v. in our home all of our married life (with the exception of the Olympics and a few March Madness years :) I buy local, buy less, teach my children the value of good food, people over material things, the importance of.Faith. I want them to invest in our great nation and right now it feels really difficult to do this because of, as you said, all that is happening. What I continue coming back to is God is still God no matter who is President and I agree Susy, doing our part in our communities make a ripple to influence our country. I will vote but more importantly I will continue to trust in God and know He truly has the world in His hands.

    Reply to Rocky Top Farm's comment

  16. Emily on October 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Wait…you know Local Roots? In Wooster? How cool! I know one of the instigators!

    Reply to Emily's comment

    • Susy on October 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Yes, when we lived in Ohio I shopped there all the time!

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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