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Sandy Aldridge and Dale Lugenbehl

"We felt we were working to support our house," says Dale Lugenbehl, describing life in San Diego, where he taught philosophy and Sandy Aldridge taught sociology at separate colleges. "We wanted time for other things." And so, in 1994, Lugenbehl and Aldridge quit their jobs and settled on eight acres near Cottage Grove. After five months in a tiny trailer, they moved into the house they were building. Already vegans and avid gardeners, the couple planted fruit trees and started gardens the following spring. "We realized what a wonderful place for growing this is," says Aldridge. "We now grow 80 percent of our food." The couple estimates total annual living expenses of $8000, including $225 for food. "If you don't need a lot of stuff, you'll have more time," Lugenbehl observes. Each teaches a light schedule of classes at LCC. Together they speak on voluntary simplicity and the environmental impact of food choices -- last weekend they addressed the annual E-Law Conference. Spring term they offer a noncredit course titled "Your Money or Your Life." (Details at 942-0583.) "You will hardly ever meet folks who walk their talk like Sandy and Dale," says friend Julie Rogers.


happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 11 March 2004

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