Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sustainable Living on a Budget(workshops): Monique Dupre

(some recent veggies from my garden!)---they are so beautiful to photograph)

I would not be fair to this series of local resources if I did not include Monique Dupre's contribution to my education.  Three years ago, taking her first workshop was the catalyst that truly began my proactive journey towards changing our lifestyle and learning some skills...Sure, there were plenty of "seeds" for that before I met her, but her words were what I needed to hear to get started.  She was the "kick in the butt" for me and full of ideas and actual skills that were a springboard for me and for many other people in this area.

Her inspiriation, I believe is Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions and Weston Price's research.  But, I believe she has been on this track for many years and has a perspective on "simplicity" that is refreshing to me.  I am not even close to getting to where she is in her food budget or her purity, but she continues to be an inspiration to me as I often refer back to the workshops I took with her.

She teaches about the importance of sustainability and that you truly can buy organic (how can we not when the alternatives are pretty bleak...cost of food or cost of healthcare (take your pick)--but she really has figured out how to do this on a very minimal budget..  Being a foodie does not mean you have to be rich or elite.  I like that about her perspective, because I defintitely don't consider myself of the "elite"--

I've been to her house several times and she truly does live in a peaceful, simple way..taking care not to rush, and not to acquire too much to "take care of"  Her daughters' playroom consists of simple toys (and not a lot of them) that are made from natural materials (nut shells, handcarved wood (possibly made by her husband), homemade waldorf dolls, etc..  There is not a TV in her home. She has chickens in her backyard and grains soaking on her countertops. She grinds her own wheat, makes her own bread..

 Monique's daughter Solenne in their yard

a HUGE cabbage from Monique's garden!

Monquie also loves to fish!!

She gives some basic information, but then she gets nitty gritty and gives you some wonderful skills: how to make yogurt, creme fraiche,  how to make bread, how to ferment foods, how to cook a wide variety of whole grains (and to make sure you soak them first!)--  I highly recommend that if you are a beginner, her classes are a great place to start if you want to learn some valuable skills.

Another positive contribution that I believe she has made is that she has also helped create a community in the area that can draw support from one another.  She has a google group where members can email each other, share tips, and ask questions.


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