Here's my awesome urban homesteading hubby cooking up a mean spaghetti sauce with fresh garden herbs and making home made whole wheat sour dough bread the other night. Someone once called Ron a Renaissance man, and it's true, the man can accomplish anything he attempts, and better than most. Add to that the fact that he's wicked smart and a very hard worker, which makes for a power horse of creativity and production around here. Truth be told he's hard to keep up with, but I manage.
Honestly, I'm not crazy about cooking, as much as it pains me to admit it. I "tolerate" cooking. I think it's more of a time issue; by the end of the day I'm wiped out after driving my kids to and from school, dance class, and doing errands and the like. The last thing I'm excited about by then is cooking up something from scratch. Now that we've discovered cooking with home grown veggies and fresh herbs gone are the days of throwing a store bought marinade sauce over chicken and baking it at 350 degrees for an hour. There is no going back, period.
The other day Ron asked me to cook and I told him it would be a "sauce on chicken" night. He said forget it and rolled up his sleeves, cranked up NPR, got out the cast iron and went for it. I have my specialties, generally Thai cuisine such as sticky rice and magoes, pad thai, and the like, but overall Ron does the lion's share of the cooking lately. I'm learning slowly and adding to my cooking skill set, really I am. However, I don't have the natural sense and talent for cooking that he has. He just seems to intuitively know which herbs to use, how much to use, when to use it, and his dishes always turn out delicious. I see no need to change the status quo around here anytime soon. In fact, I really need to start posting his recipes here: "Ron's Recipes"....has a ring to it don't you think?!
I've been thinking a lot about women and men's roles in the home in current society and their roles in the whole urban homesteading movement as well. It seems like our movement has much more tolerance for role reversals since we're doing our own thing on our land "our way" anyway, so who cares who does what? I've noticed though that most of the urban homesteading cooking blogs are written by women...actually most of the blogging is done by women in fact. The urban homesteading facebook page I started is comprised of about 70% women and 30% men, which shows me that women are most likely the biggest presence of urban homesteaders on the net. But I would estimate that a lot of men are out there doing the work; it's like that with Ron and I anyway. He does the brunt of work out in the garden and the kitchen in fact, and I'm totally fine with it. I get to photograph it, blog about it and research it endlessly. I'm always telling him about the latest gardening idea I've read about and how we can get it done effectively, or letting him know which local classes are being offered. He's going to an aquaponics class in a week or so, per my recommendation.
I'm the one who takes the lead with the sustainable end of things as well, making sure we're doing things as eco-friendly as possible, shopping at thrift stores, searching blogs for ways to balance the grocery budget so we can afford organic food, etc. Then the artistic side of me is at work in the garden as well, painting things and doing mosaics like crazy on every flat surface....well, not every flat surface, but you get the idea. Ron will bring home some free item and I'm all over it, figuring out a way to use it in the garden creatively. I'm the healthy eating proponent around here as well, pushing my healthy eating agenda on the entire family, pour souls. I love my green smoothies, and have figured out ways to hide the kale flavor in fruit smoothies so BOTH kids love them - huge accomplishment.
I've designed a children's clothing line in the past and used some up-cycled fabrics in my clothing as well. I love to sew and craft, and have been trying to incorporate hand made items into our lifestyle as much as possible. I made a fabric birthday banner a while back that I hang on our birthdays. I love the simplicity and functionality of it, and the fact that it's not made out of plastic! I know I have a long ways to go with sustainable living, but it's my main focus here on the homestead these days and I'm proud of the progress I'm making lately.
Yesterday I scored this amazing vintage hand made farm landscape needlework at an art trade from my gym. The piece I traded it for wasn't nearly as stunning, but a trade is a trade!
So what are your roles on your urban homestead? What are your thoughts on gender roles on the urban homestead?