Having an online shop when you are anti-capitalism

This is an edited version of a recent newsletter to my subscribers.

There is nothing like a heatwave to make the climate emergency come into sharper focus. As well as the relentless watering and mulching of the vegetable beds at the woodland, our water supplies ran out. It also makes it very hard to do the hours of work required for building a smallholding from nothing when it's over 20 degrees all day every day. Even wearing factor 50, covering up my pale skin which is very prone to burning and wearing a sun hat. Digging and moving wheelbarrows of soil all day just isn't possible.

There have also been some climate milestones reached recently and there is now no way of saving the summer arctic ice. I knew this was on the cards but it's always devastating when it's so final. This triggered a fair amount of climate doom scrolling and it's been a tough month all round. One of the ways I can remain positive and hopeful and try and dig myself out is by pouring all my energy into our land and growing our own food, picking and preserving the wild plants we have growing in abundance and connecting with our local community.



This sort of climate doom cloud settles over me often but this time it made me think clearer about all of my other commitments and how to move forward. I will sadly no longer be working at the lavender farm, my weekend job just six minutes up the road. I'd also taken on a theatre design job which I'd originally turned down, was persuaded to do, and it's ended up being really stressful and all consuming. I won't be doing any work like that anymore or at least not in the summer when I could spend 10+ hours working on the land, building resilience, improving our soil and creating systems that provide our basic needs.



I've also been giving The Moon and the Furrow a major re-think. I am anti-capitalism but I have a shop, how do I make this work for me and the planet? How can I justify bringing more "stuff" into the world when we have such finite resources?? I have always been quite strict about this and have resisted plastering my artwork on endless things just to make more sales but even that doesn't seem like enough. I have to also say that business has been so quiet recently I'm not even covering the cost of my online shop hosting or my newsletter hosting.

So, I've come to some conclusions:

I will not get the majority of tea towels, art prints or cards re-printed. I still have plenty so the shop will be well-stocked for a while but for most items, when they have all been sold that will be it. There are a few designs due to be launched later this year that'll still go ahead and I might keep some things like the Witches Kitchen and Wise Women's kitchen going as these are informative and help people connect with plants.

 I am still planning on producing a calendar for 2024 and that will have 12 new artworks. I might get some of them printed onto organic cotton to make handkerchiefs but the numbers will be small, limited edition and possibly have only one run. I now won't re-print a lot of my handkerchief designs so again, when they run out they will no longer be available. 



I've taken down all of the marketing campaigns (apart from the newsletter sign-up) and discount offers and deals from my site and simply lowered most of my prices. I don't want to try and persuade people to spend money with discounts and endless emails. 

I won't sell the current version of Full Moon Incense anymore. I just wanted to use up the ingredients from other countries that are included and in the future I will create a blend that is all grown or foraged by me.

 One of the biggest things I want to try is opening my shop for just one week a month. This means the hosting costs are reduced and I can manage my time better. I also feel better being less available for people to spend money... I realise this all sounds a bit strange. I love orders! And I need money! I just don't feel comfortable with how things are right now. I'm going to experiment this month so the shop will close on 11th July until the next Full Moon which coincides with Lughnasadh.



Something I am really excited about is what I might offer moving forward instead of things being printed. I'm thinking of offering a small number of seasonal boxes, for each Wheel of the Year festival. They will contain handmade things from our woodland. Instead of creating work which uses a computer and needs to be printed, I would create original artworks by hand. For example a box may contain a selection of the following: dried herbs, hand pressed hazelnut oil, seasonal notes, original artwork, dried mushrooms, drawing charcoal, herbal tea blends, hand made salves with our beeswax, tinctures, wild crafted incense, wild plant seeds and bulbs, hand dyed textiles... I have loads of ideas, all low impact, using what we have in abundance to share.

The work would be handmade, personal, original, seasonal and useful, from our land working with regenerative practices. This won't be for all of you I know, but I hope it will appeal to some of you. I won't start this until 2024 but I'm planning the work now as I work closely with each season in our woodland. 



Thanks for reading about the future of The Moon and the Furrow and for supporting what I do. I do hope you'll continue to follow our journey.

If you are struggling with climate anxiety, Here are some resources which I will continue to add to:

This is a great listen - Building Tomorrow, 2050 if we get things right 

Accidental Gods podcast episode with Charlie Hertzog Young

Charlie's book - Spinning Out

Climate Hope is Everywhere That You Are

How to cope with eco anxiety - Natural History Museum

Five reasons to be hopeful - Wildlife Trust

A friend on Instagram shared these Climate Cafes with me

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