26 April 2004


It's amazing how involved we can get in hypothetical conversations. Batya and I have been discussing our commune for years now. There are several other parties knowingly involved (who shall remain unnamed until they tell me whether they want blog aliases or not), along with a scattering of friends who we're going to pull along for the ride, even though they don't know it yet. The whole thing started with our frustration with the education system--specifically Jewish education--along with some base desire to shut out the rest of the world. It occurs to me now that the commune has no name; we'll have to work on that.

The first big issue I remember us discussing was where to set up house. I like snow, Batya likes warm weather, and one of the nameless people wants to live in the trees. Not just in a clearing in a forest, mind you. In the trees. Like the Swiss Family Robinson in the summer, I guess. After years of debate and many discarded potential locations, I think we've decided on the Galil. Nice weather most of the year, a little snow in the winter, good vineyards, and lots of trees.

Tonight's discussion with Batya oscillated between dietary issues and monetary issues. Yeah, kind of free-ranging there, huh? It seems we disagree on the proper amount of animal-source protein, specifically dead-animal-source protein, needed in our diets. I'd like the commune to raise all of the animals from which we will benefit (milk and eggs, wool, plowing--along with meat, becuase we're not vegetarians). That makes it difficult to have chicken and beef every night, and considering that a diet high in dead animals is not exactl the healthiest in the world (no matter how lean the meat is), I'm OK with that. There are plenty of other protein sources (soy, quinoa, brown rice, other beans and grains), most of which are generally more ecologically and econimically efficient. I suppose we'll have to get fish from elsewhere--farmed salmon isn't the best thing in the world, after all--but ideally fish consumption would be limited to once or twice a week. High mercury deposits and all that. I suppose if we can get a good source of low-contamination fish, we'd have it more often. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are wonderful for you, and fish protein isn't so bad either. Still, I think most of us are too enthralled with eating dead animals, and just haven't sampled a wide enough variety of vegetarian meals. (Watch this blog for a more in-depth discussion of my dietary views at a later date....this bit is getting too long.)

Anyway, Batya is worried about our children being malnourished, and she is further concerned that people who won't or can't eat dairy--like herself--will have problems as well. Looks like we'll have to bring a nutritionist on board to help me with the menu-planning (I've appointed myself in charge of the commune's pantry and kitchen). I also suggested having a few family meals each week, rather than only communal meals. That has a social benefit as well, since we all need a break from the larger group and could certainly do well to build up family intimacy. It would probably result in fewer food fights, though.

We've just started to tackle the financial stuff. To be honest, I don't have the head to get into it all here now, so it will have to wait for another posting. Still, Batya wants it known that while I will describe her as advocating modified communism, "it's not communism in a monetary sense." Gotcha.

No comments: