In this autoethnographic depiction, I tell a story of change and renewal. In the narrative, I present a story of personal choices and epiphanies that have changed the course of my life. At the turning point, I portray the process of learning new skills regarding food self-provisioning. I come from a privileged, but de-skilled, middle-class suburban background, and the past four years has been a diverse journey of insecurity, alienation, and fatigue, but also of learning, empowerment, and self-realization. From a person with limited skills, to an at least somewhat skilled food neo-self-provisioner, I have partaken in a process of becoming, which is rich in experience but psychologically and physically demanding. The challenges of living a sustainable and ethical life, amidst contemporary societies, are plenty, but in this research the main hurdles are located in the shortage of time, and rootlessness, in the form of eroded communal bonds, lack of peer support, and broken intergenerational relations.


autoethnography, food self-provisioning, skills, eco-phenomenology, evocative

Author Bio(s)

Toni Ruuska (D.Sc.) is Lecturer in Food Economy and Adjunct Professor of Sustainable economy at the University of Helsinki. He is the co-editor of Sustainability beyond Technology (Oxford University Press, 2021) and the author of Reproduction Revisited: Capitalism, Higher Education and Ecological Crisis (Mayfly Books, 2019). In his research, Ruuska seeks to find avenues for alternative agrarian political economy. Theoretically he is involved in critical theory, ecological Marxism, and (eco)phenomenology. Please direct correspondence to toni.ruuska@helsinki.fi


I want to thank the editor and reviewer for their insightful and constructive comments.

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