Practical Skills + Personal Resilience = better care for our Selves, our Familiesand the World around us.

Practical Skills + Personal Resilience = better care for our Selves, our Familiesand the World around us.

Practical Skills +

Personal Resilience = better care for our Selves, our Families, and the World around us.

You value ethical living, real food, and healthy families. You want to live in ways that don't keep unraveling life on earth, so your kids and grandkids can get a fair deal.

AND, you need to do it in ways that are manageable for you

You need small, actionable steps that make your life easier, not harder. 

And you need to hear ideas and concepts that bring a sense of relief and hope, not more anxiety, overwhelm, guilt, or despair.

Is that how you feel?

Me too.
Hi. I'm Kate.

My purpose is to change the health of the world, one small, heart-centered choice at a time. 

Everything is connected...

  • What we eat impacts our own health and also the health of food-growing communities and ecosystems.
  • What we clean our houses with and put on our skin impacts our own health and the health of soil, air, water, and all things that live on and in them.
  • Our physical health is connected to our mental/emotional and spiritual health.
  • An individual's health is tied up with the health of their family. (Don't believe me? Try this: leave your family of origin for 5, 10, 20 years, then come back and see if those old patterns, connections, and triggers have dissolved!)
  • A family's health relies on the social and ecological systems that surround it.

No matter which angle you take, health is complex. No matter which rules you follow, health is unique to each individual, family, community, and ecosystem. That's why it doesn't matter where you start and no action is too small to matter. When you tug on any one thread in the web of life, whatever you do there reverberates along that thread to touch another... and then another...

That's why one, small, heart-centered choice at a time can make a difference.

Hi, I'm Kate

I’m a homeschooling mother of two, an advocate for real, local food and simple, natural living, and a writer and teacher.

I’m deeply interested in health. I believe that “health” is not only physical but also has social and spiritual dimensions, and that for individuals to be healthy our families, communities, and environments must be healthy. And vice versa. It’s all connected.

That’s why for the last 15 years my mission has been to learn to care for myself and my family in ways that build and regenerate all aspects of health.

It’s complex. I don’t have it all figured out yet, far from it. But I’ve come a long way, I feel confident in my direction, and I’m ready to help you do the same for yourself and your family.

A Real Green Life is about...

  • growing some of your own food in small, easy ways
  • making some of your basic bathroom and healthcare needs with ingredients from your kitchen and garden
  • increasing your awareness of how simple and inexpensive it can be to care for yourself and your family in home-based ways (as opposed to relying on institutions, governments, and experts to tell us what to do)
  • less anxiety and overwhelm; more meaning, purpose, hope, and empowerment
  • parenting your inner self compassionately, so you can take better care of whatever your outer self needs to take care of
  • understanding that everything is in relationship to everything else, and that tugging on any one strand in the web of life makes the whole thing reverberate (in other words, even the smallest of your intentions and actions matters)

"Well researched, honest and inspiring..

Kate is a regular contributing author to Permaculture News and I always look forward to receiving her articles. They are always thought provoking, well researched, honest and inspiring. Kate's articles either present different perspectives (Personal Skills) or share valuable knowledge, hints and tips (Practical Skills). I know the wider Permaculture community also appreciate Kate's contributions; many comments are shared on her posts. Thanks Kate."

Anna

Permaculture News Editor - PermacultureNews.org - 2023

Practical Skills for Sustainable Living and Personal Skills for Building Inner Resilience

I write about two broad topics on A Real Green Life; here's a bit more about each of them. 

1. Practical Skills for sustainable living

This is about practical skills to help you decrease your dependence on industrial foods, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and cleaning products. I write about how to:

  • grow some of your own food (One Small Serve is my new book about how to grow and use 7 beginner friendly plants to establish a home-grown food habit that's easy to maintain).
  • gradually replace packaged convenience foods with real, whole, foods and wise, frugal kitchen strategies, without taking as much of your time as you might be thinking (check out my free guide as a starting point, or these free posts)
  • ditch the two most toxic aisles in the supermarket—the cleaning aisle and the bathroom aisle—and replace them with simple, healthy alternatives that you can make at home from basic ingredients for a fraction of the cost
  • make some of your basic healthcare needs cheaply and simply, to reduce your exposure to the health threats hidden in pharmaceuticals

You can browse all of my free Practical Skills posts here.

2. Personal Skills for building inner resilience

In this category of writing I explore topics like these:

  • why tending to our inner world is critical if we want to make a positive difference in the world around us
  • developing our ability to live a self-directed life as opposed to a life directed by the consumer culture that surrounds us
  • how our attention, interpretations, and intentions shape our lives and our world 

I share stories and ideas about empowerment, perspective, and hope. My goal with this part of my work is to examine the stories we've been living in--our stories about how our world works and our role in it--so that we can make a conscious choice about whether we want our lives to extend these same stories or tell different ones.

You can read more about my Personal Resilience philosophy and browse my free posts here.

"Food for thought...

I subscribe to quite a few homestead/green lifestyle newsletters. Yours is so relatable, informative, and gives excellent food for thought; Get Off the Bus is a great example. Thanks so much for your work. Cheers from a Nova Scotia!"  

Jessica 

Raven's Ridge Permaculture

"Wisdom I can sit with...

Kate, I really like "When Nothing You Can Do Makes a Difference." It's wisdom I can sit with -- wisdom I've been looking for as I think about how to prioritize things going forward. I have it right next to my journal as a reminder."

About the "real" and the "green" in A Real Green Life

I use the word "Real" in the sense that it's focused on what's real and important to you. It's living according to your values, as opposed to allowing your life to be driven by capitalism and consumerism. 

I use the word "Green" in the sense that it's about making choices that are as regenerative as possible, or at least that do as little harm as possible. Industrialization and colonialism have conditioned us to live in ways that are  extractive and destructive. A Real Green Life explores ways to undo that conditioning.

When you sincerely commit to simply caring for your self and your family with a focus on your truest values, you are indirectly taking care of the Whole because you and your family are inextricably connected to the Whole. This is what I call living a Real Green Life.


"Business as usual" vs "a real, green life"

Business as usual

Real and green

Industrial farming and food manufacturing, supermarket food, fast food, people eating in a rush or eating alone

Real food, grown in healthy ecosystems, local, seasonal, slow, homemade, people eating and sharing with enjoyment

Giant mono-culture farms, depleted ecosystems, shrinking biodiversity, disappearing top soil and dwindling indigenous knowledge about food and place

Small diverse farms, cottage industry, stable farming communities and ecosystems, room for indigenous people to continue their traditional lifestyles and ways for them to share their wisdom and perspectives

A growth-at-all-costs global economy dominated by a few giant corporations who sell to the entire world

A steady state economy dominated by millions of small businesses who serve local communities

Low-quality mass produced products, poorly paid workers,  world-wide distribution, a linear progression from raw material to disposable products to landfill

Locally made, fair trade goods, designed to last, a circular economy recycling and re-using materials

Dependence on supermarkets, superstores, government institutions, and experts; loss of personal autonomy

Increasing self-reliance, learning/remembering how to think for ourselves, re-building the skills of self-sufficiency and interdependence

People living lives of quite desperation on the up-sizing treadmill

A meaningful life, with fewer possessions and richer connections to family, community, and nature

On HOMEGROWN FOOD (Practical Skills)


Recent PERSONAL SKILLS Posts


"Honest, genuine, thought provoking...

As a homeschooling Mum pursuing a more meaningful life for my family, ARealGreenLife supports me in questioning and expanding my existing world view."  

Melita

"Love your non-threatening, easy to read, commonsense style. Reading A Real Green Life offers people the opportunity to question why they live the way they do."

Gina

"Insightful ideas and concepts...

I love your stuff - you come up with very insightful ideas and concepts. For example, I never realized that essential oils had become such a big industry that it was impacting on the environment.

Cathy

"Realizing how numb we are...

Dear Kate, Thank you for posting such deep and thought provoking blog posts. ... I think you are doing a great service to make us all aware of the consequences of our actions. It makes me realize how numb we are, and how comfortable it is to be numb, just doing what everyone else does and not questioning the real, true and deep impacts of our lives."  

Anonymous

"No fluff.

So much interesting and important info, neatly packaged, no fluff. "

Gunter

"Lucid insights...

Thank you Kate. You express your insights and understandings lucidly...

I appreciate the broad perspective you share on subjects that are meaningful to you—social, spiritual, environmental, economical—and the research and reading you do to inform your writing."

Meg

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