Thursday, February 7, 2013


There's so much talk in blogland about Prepping. About Preppers. About Survivalists.  It scares me AND it certainly makes me think. A lot of people talk like this is something new, and it's not. I'm pretty sure that when our ancestors stored food for the winter, they weren't doing it for any reason besides an effort to ward off starvation.  Most people, from the beginning of time, have opted to LIVE through the winter when there wasn't any food growing out there. lol  One of the things that humans have evolved into is a a big gasbag of ego.  I am stunned by folks that think they invented all this stuff.  And I mean ANY of it...the "prepping", the fear, the techniques.  And I am as bad as anyone--don't get me wrong. I'm not necessarily pointing fingers here...just making observations. 

  My own personal stand here: (like you care, right??) lol  is as much this as anything: We have abused this planet for such a long time and the abuses are getting more and more toxic by the minute.  I have an opportunity to make  a difference in not only my own life, but in the life of Mother Earth. I have the opportunity to do this by nurturing and learning and acting wisely.  

 I prefer homesteading to prepping.  Mostly because, when I look up the word "stead" I get this definition:

tr.v., stead·ed, stead·ing, steads.
To be of advantage or service to; benefit.

  I can be of service, I can benefit, I can be an advantage.  OR--I can hurt and harm and take, take, take.  It's as much a spiritual philosophy as anything, isn't it ?

  When I read  Prepper blogs (which I don't much), I read about extremists a lot, who are stockpiling guns and rations and  supplies.  When I read homestead blogs, I read about real people, growing and putting up real food.  People co-existing with animals, and using them for food, and accepting the responsibilities that go with that.  People learning to live in harmony, not in fear that somebody is coming to take what's yours. 

 Before you start to think that I'm some kind of Pollyanna...I recognize that people who are scared do drastic things. If indeed things got so bad that people started looting and doing whatever they could to feed themselves and their families,  I'm sure it would affect people like me, who do what they can to keep a stocked pantry so my family doesn't go hungry.  Violence might be inevitable. Nobody knows. But my point is that we are not in that situation right now, but constantly focusing on that scenario might bring it sooner rather than later.  It's called Fear Mongering.  That's the stuff that scares me.

 I have a seed vault on my pantry shelf. I make plans every year for more diverse things to grow. I experiment with what I think does well in our ever changing seasons here in the midwest. I inventory my pantries to see what we used more of, or less of, or ran out of too soon. I make lists and I consider all these things. What do we like more? Which lettuce stayed good later into the summer and how did things do in the drought?  I buy canning supplies a little at a time all winter long. I gratefully accept donations of jars and rings by people cleaning out their basements and finding a "stash of old stuff that was my moms, that I have no use for".   I am reading and learning to save seeds. I am getting better and better at raising my own seedlings for the garden instead of buying them...although I do still buy some from the early Farmer's Markets.  Sometimes I buy things there that I don't REALLY need, because I want to spread the wealth around a little.  (Not that I'm wealthy, by any stretch of the imagination, lol..but you know what I mean.)   Someone asked me once if I tithed at church. I said, well....I don't go to church, but I tithe at the farmers market all the time.  lol

  I'm not sure what got me started on this little rant today.  Maybe it's not really a rant, just part of the process of looking inside myself. People say to me all the tme "Why would you put yourself through all this work, when you can just buy this stuff at the store?"  They don't understand.  Some days, I don't understand either.  But that doesn't change anything for me. My heart is in this. I love good healthy organic food. I love getting my hands filthy dirty.  I love gathering eggs every morning.

 I love the feeling that I'm part of something bigger and better and healthier than the status quo.  I love my liuttle piece of dirt out here on Honeysuckle Hill and my fruit trees that I planted myself and my modest little cottage.  I love the blackberries that grow wild and the raspberries that didn't.  I love making peach jam every year and  eating it in the dead of winter...getting that feeling on my tongue of July in the middle of February.  I love making supper and going into the pantry and carrying out jars of green beans and tomatoes and pickled okra.  It feeds my soul.  

 It's a good life. One based on love and service and trust and hard work. And I think I'll keep doing it as long as possible.  We raise chickens and we eat the eggs and the straw and manure nourish the soil. We compost everythng we can and that goes into the soil as well.  We garden organically without the use of pesticides and chemicals, so we know exactly what we're eating.  We live and we learn and we give it all we've got. And most years we prosper and some years we don't. And it's all okay.  It's the circle of life.

  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  Happy 'Steading, everyone !


  1. Argghhhh...don't know how I messed up that background, and don't know how to fix it.


  2. I really miss having a garden. Jim and I had one each spring and we saved seeds too. I didn't can but I had a freezer in the garage and I froze a lot of stuff.

    1. Beth--saving seeds is a very good idea. I have saved some, but not the majority of my garden...I think I have edamame, squash, peppers back there. I need to get better about it, but in the back of my mind I keep thinking I can't really do it, that I NEED to buy them (which is exactly what they want you to think).

  3. WOW. You totally took the words out of my head! I have a draft on my blog folder of a similar discussion. I see blogs talking about prepping and yes, we prep, we prep for hurricanes because we've lived through several and the weeks without electricity. So now that we have the farm, we are making it a prepared place to go if a hurricane comes this way. But a homestead is what has been around for hundreds of years. I'll have to reword my article so it doesn't sound like I copied, you, ha. I too said I like the word "homesteader" instead of "prepper".

    1. Great minds and all that, lol. I can't stand the fear mongering~~I don't want to have that be the basis for anything I do. I do, however, want to commune with the earth. I do want to be that person who gives as much as she takes. At least.

  4. Annie, I get you. Out here we don't have the paranoia of America in 'lock down' but we do have neo-globalism and land turned over for biofuels while people go hungry. Not to mention dams and deforestation and Monsanto breathing down our necks.

    Homesteading, yes, that I understand.

    1. Well, dear girl, I KNEW you would. lol Seems like it's the same everywhere, and the base of it all is greed. I live in the heart of Monsanto country and I shudder at the thought of no matter how hard I try, I'm still at risk of contagion from the crops growing all around me. But, we do what we can, right? And we hope hope hope for the best. As far as the others go, they can live that fear based life if they want. Not me...had my share of it already.

  5. Although I follow your other blog, didn't realize you have this one. I absolutely love this post, and to say you "tithe at the farmer's markets" almost brought tears to my eyes. How profoundly, simply, beautifully said. You give me something to aspire to, on our own tiny patch of land with our three chickens and handful of garden beds. Thank you so much!


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