40 pages, digest size, free, by Kim - contents of this zine and more at >> storiesofcreativeecology.wordpress.com
Loads of suggestions as to ways to opt out of "The System" in this zine. Chapters include:
Forage. - Gleaning tips (for fruit and vegetables), dumpster diving, food court opportunities, wild food, native plants, roadkill, hunting, entomophagy (the practice of eating insects (one suggestion being Bogon moths, which I have been meaning to get around to trying ever since hearing that they taste like butterscotch when fried. Yum-o!)
Stuff. - Hard rubbish collection days, dumpster diving, op shops, government departments, building sites, and fixing things.
Shelter. - Housesitting, squatting, free camping, work exchange, share housing.
Adventure. - Wilderness survival, urban exploration, stormwater drain exploration, peeing outside, talking to strangers on the street.
Grow food. - Seeds, plants, mulch and compost, tools, community gardens, guerilla gardening, and more.
Garden things to make. - Compost bin, bamboo tipi for climbing plants, worm farm, organic liquid fertiliser, and more.
Ferment. - A way of keeping food for longer than a few days that doesn't involve refrigeration or chemical preservatives. [Interesting chapter - I didn't know that after taking antiobiotics (which I avoid unless absolutely essential anyway) it's important to eat fermented foods to restore your gut's bacteria, and that fermented foods include miso, sourdough bread (my favourite bread!), yoghurt, cheese, sauerkraut, soy sauce, vinegar, wine, beer (yes! can do!) and cider.]
Health. - Another interesting chapter, and no doubt provocative, since it encourages the avoidance of western medical practices, and to do all you can to stay the hell out of hospitals. There are also claims in here like "people have cured themselves of cancer and AIDS purely by tuning into the needs of their bodies." Also mention of "trendy nutrients", which at the moment include iron, folate, omega-3 and niacin).
Technology. - How to make a rocket stove (the centrefold of the zine is an illustrated guide to make one), a zeer pot (a non-electrical refrigerator made from clay pots), solar cooker, haybox cooker, and more.
Hygiene. - Deodorant, shampoo and skincare products are unnecessary, and most of the hygiene products on the market are poisonous to our bodies. There's a list of alternatives to sanitary pads, toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent, sunscreens and moisturisers.
The final chapter, Culture, contains some hippy dippy ideas that are hard to take seriously (unless you are tripping, or extremely drunk) :
- Point out rainbows, sunsets, the rising moon and interesting clouds to strangers.
- Sing, dance and play on the streets.
- Rearrange items on the street for hard rubbish into something more creative. Maybe an outdoor lounge room, or a magical furniture monster.
There's a page of resources listed at the back. too (including some that I heartily recommend myself, for example Thoreau's Walden, and the French documentary The Gleaners & I [2000, Directed by Agnes Varda]).
One final thing - right at the beginning of this zine is a legal notice that contains an alarming item:
"Some US cities ban the growing of food in backyards." What the fuck? Who the hell is gonna stop somebody growing tomatoes or carrots in their own goddamn backyard? And for what reason, may I ask? If I lived in a city like that, I would start growing food in my backyard on principle.