A Pioneer in Self-Reliant Living and Teaching: Prudence Boczarski

Reader Contribution by Christopher Nyerges

Recently, Prudence Boczarski was at the Highland Park farmers market showing school children how to raise worms in one’s backyard.  Boczarski and her co-worker were cutting strips of old newspaper and putting it into a large bucket with the worms.  “Worms love to devour the OLD newspaper,” said Boczarski with a  smile as all the children peered into the bucket.  “They turn all this into good soil,” she said.

Boczarski was representing her natural bakery business and the non-profit she’s represented for the past 40 years. The focus of the non-profit, WTI, is – among other things – to show city-dwellers how to live better with less, including using earthworms to help grow our food. 

At the farmers market booth, plants are sold that are propagated from parent plants growing at the non-profit’s nearby headquarters, all growing in recycled containers.  These plants include medicinal plants such as Aloe vera and Peruvian mint, foods such as nopales and nasturtium, and air-cleaners such as spider plant.

Boczarski has been active in self-reliance living and education even before this lifestyle gained its current popularity.

In the late 1970s, she was featured in the Pasadena Star News for her “roving sewer” business where she did low-cost sewing repairs door to door.  Her specialty was advising her clients on the appropriate fabrics for “survival clothing,” and avoiding fabrics that don’t “breathe” as much as possible.

In the mid-1980s, she was featured in the Los Angeles Weekly when she lived in a small shed in Los Angeles for six months without electricity, demonstrating the skills needed to live in the aftermath of an earthquake.  She used lanterns, cooked on an outdoor stove, and washed her clothes by hand.

Boczarski has organized or participated in hundreds of educational field trips, classes, and lectures to teach self-reliance. More recently, with her work with WTI, she has developed a lecture series – soon to be a book – outlining some of the basics of sound nutrition to help eliminate the clutter of confusion on this topic.

“You’d be surprised how much contradictory information is out there,” said Boczarski, “and people don’t seem to be getting any healthier.”  Her book is tentatively titled “17 Ways That Vastly Improve Daily Nutrition (and Physical-Mental Health),” and will include such things as good vs. bad sugars, the oils that sustain, animal vs. vegetable proteins, and much more. Besides working on this book, she gives lectures on the topic upon request.

“If you don’t maintain good health,” she explained, “you simply cannot do all those things that you want to, and need to, do every day.”

Retired from the L.A. Unified School District, Boczarski serves as President of the non-profit, organizing their various educational outreach efforts, and publishing. The organization goes back over 40 years, with a complex spectrum of ways that everyone can be a part of the solutions to our society’s diverse and most serious problems including pollution and over-population.

For more information, Boczarski can be reached at PruWeb@aol.com or check the website at www.WTINC.info.

Nyerges is an teacher of self-reliance skills, who has written many books on the subject. For further information, go towww.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com

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