Monday, June 7, 2010

A Different Point of View

Perhaps I have an unusual point of view. Prepping, to me, does not involve lots of cans and boxes of commercial foods, specially sealed seeds, and such things. It's always been more of an 'older' point of view, of having enough food that I have put up to get through the next year or two (ideally) with minimum estimated food incoming. That way one bad year in the garden wouldn't leave a family in a bind.

My guiding thought for prepping and homesteading is, and has been, "What can I produce on our farm?" Now, that farm is all in my head - I'm limited in what I can grow on the balcony. In place of an actual farm I used my mental image of a New England farm of the late 1700's. I chose this based on my own curiosity of both the time and the place, along with already having some very basic knowledge and knowing that they tended to be maintained mostly by the family living there and not a lot of hired hands.

For food, that means thinking in terms of what is fresh, and when; and what keeps in the root cellar and for about how long. What can I make from what the farm produces, and what would need to be bought? Snickerdoodle cookies, for example. Cinnamon needs to be bought. Granulated sweetener can be made from boiled down maple syrup, and honey or maple syrup used in the dough. Flour can be grown in the area; baking soda would have to be bought. Salt would be another purchase, but perhaps could come from the Atlantic shore.

In winter we eat more chicken - think of thinning the flock over the winter. In summer I eat more eggs - egg salad, fried eggs, etc., as I would to keep up with the flood of eggs this time of year. The farmer's market provides us with a great deal of fresh, local food, and I attempt to keep up. Fresh veggies for most meals, salads, and putting up for winter's needs as well. Learning to cook meals that don't need meats to be filling and nutritious.

I think, too, of seasonal chores. In the spring, to make more soap - I prefer goat's milk soap, and spring is when we'd have the extra milk for that. In spring, summer, and fall, to gather dye herbs and dye the spring shearing and last winter's spinning, and have the wools and flax ready to be spun on winter evenings by the fire.

Even if I'm not able to do all of these things, the awareness of the work helps my life be more mindful, and helps my mind prepare for things we'd like to do in the future.

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