AWW Feature & Review: Honeycomb Kids by Anna Campbell

 Welcome Anna Campbell

I had the pleasure of meeting Anna Campbell recently when she spoke at my local library about her book, Honeycomb Kids: Big Picture Parenting for a Changing World, and to Change the World. Anna is a mother, beekeeper, balm-maker, public speaker, and sustainable-living educator. She and her husband are having loads of fun (and facing lots of challenges!) raising their kids “Honeycomb” style at Honeycomb Valley Farm, not far from where I live.  I’m going to let her tell you about why she wrote Honeycomb Kids

In the movie The Matrix, Keanu Reeves’ character ‘Neo’ discovers the life he lives is actually a simulated reality. He goes through disbelief, fear, anger and finally action as he comes to terms with the new reality, and takes it on. Now I might be a lot more comfy in my PJ’s with a toothbrush than a black trenchcoat with a bazooka, but a few years ago I found myself feeling a little Neo about the world our family was living in.

The world of abundance we’d grown up with as a middle class western family started to seem like it would be a distant dream when my own kids were adults. Not only were there now 7 billion people on the planet competing for the same non-renewable resources, but prices of essentials were rising, health issues and waste were increasing, terrorism was rearing its head and our kids seemed to be wanting and consuming more while contributing less. It was also getting harder to pay the bills and nature seemed to be labouring from years of extraction without renewal. What, I wondered, was a parent to do? How could I make the most of the day-to-day with my family, while preparing them for the faraway when these issues might be even more intense?

A book lover from way back, I started searching for a parenting book that would give me the ideas, tools and inspiration to make a start. But though I searched high and low, there wasn’t one that covered off on the big issues relative to family life. So I spent the next few years researching, interviewing, thinking, experimenting (on my kids, not animals of course!) and writing it. A few weeks ago Honeycomb Kids: Big Picture Parenting for a Changing World and to Change the World was released in the US, Canada and Australia. The process of writing and researching it helped me take a fresh look at all the things I’d always done, bought and believed. It helped me frame parenting with the question:

“Will this choice/action/purchase be beneficial for the kids when they’re adults on the planet post 2025?”

 That’s why the book ended up with chapters ranging from housing to nutrition, careers to community, education to perspective and more. It also offers up more than 300 ideas and activities to help shore up kids to be resilient, capable and community-minded. So go on… swallow the “red pill” and read it!

Title: Honeycomb Kids: Big Picture Parenting in a Changing World.. and to Change the World

Author: Anna M Campbell

Published: Cape Able Publishing May 2012

Synopsis: Honeycomb Kids is a parenting book for the 21st Century. Including more than 300 practical ideas and activities, it comes with two priceless benefits: not only does it help you prepare your children for an uncertain tomorrow, it also helps you shift to a better family life for today. Reading this book will empower your family to make the most of a world increasingly defined by over-population, rising prices, poor health, fast depleting natural resources and an unstable political, social, environmental and financial landscape. Feeling daunted by these realities? Don’t be! This book shows you how to nurture the timeless values and resilience your children will need to become contributors, not just consumers.

Status: Read on May 01, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

As individuals in western society we grow ever more reliant on ‘someone else’ to provide us with the basic necessities of life. In the future, as essential resources shrink and prices continue to rise, our children may need the skills society has lost in the advent of the technological age, to provide themselves with the basics such as food, energy and shelter. Honeycomb Kids encourages parents to provide their children with the tools that will allow them to create and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle.

Writing with humour, heart and hope, Australian mother Anna Campbell, shares practical ideas, advice and activities for families who want to raise happy, resilient children who are willing to contribute to the solution, rather than the problem. The issues are world faces may seem overwhelming but Anna is certain change can begin with small steps that better the environment and community within which we live. We can start by nurturing in our children the ability to contribute and be active participants in life, rather than just passive consumers of it.
While the idea of caring for a large vegetable garden may be overwhelming or just impractical if you live in an apartment, growing a handful or even just one herb in a small indoor pot is a step in the right direction. Growing something as simple as parsley can teach your family many valuable lessons including the practicalities of caring for an edible plant, the financial saving, the deliciousness fresh food and the pleasure in sharing an abundant crop with a neighbour.
Honeycomb Kids is about more than simply growing your own food, reducing energy use or recycling, it is also about connecting children to their community. Anna believes that nurturing strong ties amongst neighbours offers benefits to everyone. Sharing resources, experience and skills strengthens the community as a whole and takes some of the pressure off time poor or cash strapped families who can share a lawnmower, childcare or meals with a simple informal barter system.
A stronger community also means a safer environment for our children who can roam further than the front yard, as we once did, confident that should they need help someone will be nearby to offer it.

Honeycomb Kids doesn’t ask you to throw away your child’s computer game or start wearing hemp clothing, it simply encourages you to consider the ‘big picture’ and offers over 300 proactive suggestions to strengthen your family, your community and the world. This is an easy and inspiring manual for change.

Available To Purchase

@ Amazon I @Book Depository I @B&N

@ Honeycomb Kids website (Aust only) I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tien
    May 29, 2012 @ 08:30:40

    I need this book!
    Thanks for your post, Shelleyrae. Consider me challenged!
    And I see they do farmstay as well – I will have to keep this in mind for our next holiday 🙂

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  2. Kim
    May 30, 2012 @ 00:16:07

    So glad to hear about this book! I need to get my hands on it.

    Like

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  3. Margaret Lynette Sharp
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 14:26:44

    Facing the reality of living on earth, with its limited resources, is a must for everyone. Wonderful to hear of this inspirational book!

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    Reply

  4. perkinsy
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 20:50:52

    It would be interesting to do a follow up post in say a year’s time about someone who has implemented the suggestions in this book and their effect on the family and community around them.

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