Thursday, January 19, 2012


Artisan Organics Farm Share, 9/28/10
As it is for many carfree families, our fuel is food.  Feeding seven of us, including three teens, we've gotten great at hauling it!  Save time and carbon emissions with delivery by cycle of your Artisan Organics farm share to your home or office.  You'll feel great being green, and a portion of proceeds will support Resources for Health’s youth programs.

Jacob and Annee delivering groceries
How do I start my farm share delivery?
Simply email Annee or call (503) 690-8348 with the following information:
  * Name
  * Phone
  * Market pickup date
  * Delivery destination address
  * Market pickup location (Orenco or Tanasbourne)
If you're not a current subscriber, please visit Artisan Organics to learn more.
How much does it cost?
$4 per mile roundtrip from market to delivery destination and back.

How early should I schedule my delivery?
You can schedule as early as you like for as many dates as you like during the season.  You also can schedule up to 9pm the night before the market pickup date.

What are my payment options?
At this time we accept cash or check paid in advance, upon delivery, or billed later.  Credit card payment options coming soon!
Orenco Station Farmers' Market 2011
Tanasbourne Farmers' Market 2011

Artisan Organics

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The end of the one-car-family dilemma

Saturday was a typical day for a homeschooling family with multiple children: two different activities scheduled in two different places at the same time.  Looking back at my old calendar from the non-liberated minivan days, we were in two (or more) different places at the same time quite frequently.  Back then, Minivan-Mom might have lamented about our one-car-family dilemma, not to mention having only one able-bodied parent to play chauffeur.  I probably would have dropped 3/5 of the kids at the earlier activity, driven the other 2/5 to the later event, driven back to collect the first three, swung around for the two, and finally driven home.  After all, the two activities were each less than five miles from our casa, and only two miles between each other.  A 16-mile roundtrip would have consumed only about one gallon of gas.  

The benefits: 5/5 of children attend activities while Handi-Dad rests quietly at home
The costs: stressed mom, carbon emissions, $3.50 in gas, no assistance for Handi-Dad at home 

Still, I would have commended myself for a job well done:  keeping activities <5 miles from home, combining trips, keeping costs low, and still not giving in to the American two car family standard.

Prepping a hole for tree planting
Not so for Carfree Family!  After a year of being liberated from our one mini-van, we’re proficient with mass transit mapping and travel via TriMet.  Handi-Dad has been transformed into Carfree-Dad, 120 pounds lighter, suffering less pain, happier, reconnected with nature and himself, and more involved with the family.  On this Saturday, Carfree-Dad enjoyed participating with 2/5 of the kids at their activity, while Carfree-Mom reveled in planting trees with the other 3/5.

The benefits: 5/5 of children attend activities, unstressed parents, quality parent-child interactions, low carbon emissions (busses run on bio-fuels), outdoor enjoyment, increased physical activity
The costs: $10.50 in bus fare, 20 minutes extra travel time each direction

If you’re not already convinced that the carfree scenario wins out in the cost-benefit comparison, here is additional food for thought:

The $10.50 bus fare is really less expensive than $3.50 in gas, considering the other monetary costs associated with owning a car.  This may be important information if you are weighing monetary costs more heavily than environmental costs.  

The 40 minutes total extra travel time is exaggerated considering the total time Minivan-Mom would have spent chauffeuring between activities.  It also counts for less when considering the travel time spent walking to and from bus stops, which was multi-purpose for achieving physical activity and fresh air time goals.

The value of quality family time, increased physical fitness, decreased stress, and being outdoors : PRICELESS.  Going carfree has been not only the end of our one-car-family dilemma, but the beginning of more joyful times ahead.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Humble New Year

The recent media attention has us feeling like we've reached semi-celebrity status.  I wonder if this what Andy Warhol meant when he predicted in 1968 that "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."  In response to this attention, carfree mom is feeling a bit humbled.  After all, we're not the first family or the only family in town not to own a car (and certainly not in the greater metro area).  We see plenty of families on TriMet, although not quite as many traveling as a group on bikes.  So why all the attention?  Is it because we went carfree by choice instead of by need or circumstance?  Does it really make a difference?  Recently while waiting with my bike trailer one early morning for Trader Joe's to open I observed others in the parking lot.
Photo by Icepick
One woman was sitting in her idling car with a small dog on her lap.  Another snoozed under blankets next to the grocery cart overloaded with all her worldly belongings in a corner of the strip mall.  Knowing nothing other than what my eyes could see about either one, I contemplated their impact on the planet at that moment and what influences and circumstances might have brought these women of similar age to such different places.  I will not judge either.  But our neighbor with the grocery cart will receive my gratitude for living gently upon the Earth.  I am grateful to all people for choices they make to care for the planet, and also to those who live gently without as many choices available to them.  Thank you.