BETTER TIMES Access to sustainable, simple, & frugal living.

"There is no such thing as a return to nature, because there is no such thing as a departure from it. The phrase reminds one of the slightly intoxicated gentleman who gets up in his own dining room and declares firmly that he must be getting home." -- G.K. Chesterton

Volume III Number 1 + January 2001 + Published irregularly to cyberspace by the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, 1524 NW 21st, Oklahoma City, OK 73106 + Robert Waldrop, webservant

Links & Articles ... Words of Agrarian Wisdom ... 171 New Links this Issue ...

Energy Conservation News & Resources, new Justpeace sister site, our most comprehensive energy on-line resource, includes the text of the four tabloid-size page Special Energy Edition of the Better Times Almanac, published January 31, 2001, containing a discussion of effective ways to cut your energy consumption during the present energy crisis. Incorporates the texts of our "printable flyers" regarding saving money on energy in the summer and the winter, plus lots ofadditional info. Click on the link to find out how you can get a FREE copy of this just-published printed edition. (Bundles of 25 and 50 are also available to distribute to friends, family, neighborhoods, churches, etc.)

The world will be saved by Beauty. -- (Dostoevsky, often quoted by Dorothy Day)

++++++Welcome to the new Better Times Webzine, now with its own virtual domain. (Don't forget to update your bookmarks and links!) This issue has 180 new links, so all together there are 640 links at this site. (We still have 540 in our file to check out for future editions, and more arrive every day, so there will be no shortage of material.) During the coming year, we will continue to chronicle journeys of justice, peace, and sustainable living, with an emphasis on the practical, "them that's doin" style that we have established in the three previous editions of this webzine. Each edition will feature an original article, new additions to our growing collection of links, and other announcements and bits of information that come our way.

++++++ We enjoyed feasting on fresh garden produce last year -- we managed to harvest black-eyed peas, cherry tomatoes, corn, squash, pole beans, & oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, spearmint, sunflower seeds, and lemon balm. The potatoes and tomatoes in buckets didn't produce, pumpkins, cabbage, broccoli, and the first planting of zuchinni and butternut squash were withered by heat and bugs.

++++++ The tomato in a bucket was doing fine until it got knocked over, and all of the growing liquid spilled out; it never recovered. We replanted the squash on the other side of the house and it did fine. Now we're looking at the seed catalogs, planning an orchard of dwarf fruit trees in our front yard, and getting ready to double the size of our garden this year. Plus we're making another try at container growing of tomatoes and potatoes. We're also trying to decide if its cedar bushes alongside the house for insulating/wind break purposes, or blueberries and raspberries.for eatin'. Maybe we can manage both? (If you have an idea about this, send us an email. .)

++++++ We are pleased to announce that a third edition of our Better Times Cookbook and Almanac of Useful Information for Poor People is in preparation, and will be published early in February. As always, it will be distributed free of charge. Information will be posted here once it is published about how you can get a copy -- or even a bundle. If you are interested in helping to sponsor this edition by donating, please send me email or mail it to us at the address on the masthead above.

++++++ Enjoy looking at your seed catalogs, and we hope this site will be useful to you. Tell your friends! Don't hesitate to let me know if you find something that ought to listed here. Sign our guestbook and encourage us! God bless! RMW.


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Links and Articles TOP

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

New Links this Issue: 171!

All the Better Times Links!, the 640 links from all the editions of the Better Times Webzine, including the "new links this issue".

Three Year Energy Diet, a sample "plan" for an energy "diet" leading to independence from the electrical grid, even for us city folks! And even if you don't go for complete energy independence, following this plan will certainly save you money. Yhis article is "share-right 2001", which is to say, as long as you're giving them away free of charge, feel free to copy, reprint, and distribute.

The Homestead School, We are nurturing a relationship with Bruce and Barbara of the Homestead School in far northeast Oklahoma County. This is their winter letter, announcing their workshop schedule for the year 2001. They live in on a sustainable five acre farm, which is not connected to the electrical, natural gas, sewer, or city water line. They have 350 watts of solar cell generating power, and 1,000 watts (peak) wind generating capacity. They have solar water and air heating, an organic garden, electric bicycles, a battery-powered lawn tractor, and cook on a woodburning stove. Bruce also bakes a very tasty mixed grain loaf of bread. Here is their January letter. They are not on-line, to contact them send them a letter at the address on their letter, or call their phone number. Homestead Workershops RMW

Seven habits of personal, family, and community resilience, what it takes to make it through the daily challenges and opportunities of life.

The following pages are located at our Justpeace sister site

Better Times Cookbook and Almanac of Useful Information, 2nd edition, online version.

A Cyberbook of Practical Wisdom, 18 pages, collected from internet conversations and newsgroups.

Printable Flyers, to help you or your neighbors, these are Share-right 1999-2000-2001, and as long as you are giving them away free, they may be copied and reprinted for distribution.

Sustainable Living Bookstore, purchase books on-line or take this booklist to your library or local bookstore. It's a good list.

Simple Living at Justpeace, located at another OKC Catholic Worker site, a discussion of simple living, with links.

Works of Justice and Peace

Words of Agrarian Wisdom ... TOP

The survival of farmers, then, depends upon two complementary efforts. The first is entirely up to the farmers, who must learn--or learn again--to farm in ways that minimize their dependence on industrial supplies. They must diversify, using both plants and animals. They must produce, on their farms, as much of the required fertility and energy as they can. So far as they can, they must replace purchased goods and services with natural health and diversity and with their own intelligence. . . . If farmers do not wish to cooperate any longer in their own destruction, then they will have to reduce their dependence on those global economic forces that intend and approve and profit from the destruction of farmers, and they will have to increase their dependence on local nature and local intelligence.

The second effort involves cooperation between local farmers and local consumers. If farmers hope to exercise any control over their markets, in a time when a global economy and global transportation make it possible for the products of any region to be undersold by the products of any other region, then they will have to look to local markets. The long broken connections between towns and cities and their surrounding landscapes will have to be restored."

-- Wendell Berry, Another Turn of the Crank.

++++++If you would like to receive an automatic email each time this page is updated, subscribe to my announcement-only Better Times listserv, I moderate three other email listservs: Catholic justice & peace announcements, low volume list for news and other announcements; Catholic justice & peace discussion, an irregular/moderate volume open discussion of justice & peace issues, featuring resident (and vocal) Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Marxists, distributists, Vincentians, and Catholic Workers (from several countries); Caelum et Terra, a conversation that continues from the magazine of the same name, rural, agrarian, Chestertonian, small is beautiful, practicalities and praxis.


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This new virtual domain for the Better Times Webzine was published to cyberspace on the Remembrance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Prophet of Justice and Confessor of the Faith, the 15th of January, in the Year of our Lord 2001.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

The site is under the patronage of St. Francis of Assisi and Blessed Kateri Tekawitha.