(All photos in this post by Mr. H.)
It is July and the garden is putting out so much food that the guys need to keep thinning everything to make room. I’ve grown so accustomed to going to our local co-op and farmers market that it’s almost weird to realize there just isn’t a ton that we need from the store anymore. Sure, there are some things like fruit and milk and cheese, but other than that we are kind of set around here.
This tiny taste of independence has me thinking about the future and what I want for my kids and my life. I’ve always loved the idea of going entirely off-grid and giving the man the ultimate bug off, but my interest in this has resulted in the discovery that it is a lot (like, a LOT) harder than you might think; the entirely off-grid thing.
So if we can’t go “all” how about a middle ground? For us, at least right now, that means growing some of our own food. Hopefully every year we will be able to grow more and more. The seeds cost practically nothing; the time commitment probably ends up costing more than it would to buy produce from the organic grocery store, but the experience of harvesting food you planted yourself is absolutely priceless.
So what can you do? Do you live in the city on the umteenth floor? Do you have a window? Plant some herbs in a little planter by your window and break off a piece of rosemary or thyme to add to your meals. Smell your fingers and realize how amazing nature is. Cities are actually some of the best places for farmers markets! Get your raw milk there (if it is legal-if it is not legal I’m sure there are ways to procure it, and yes I absolutely support you in doing so), get your cheeses, eggs, veggies and fruits. Buy your bread from a baker there, or even better, make it yourself. Taking one little step toward independence is sometimes all it takes to get a real taste for it.
To tell you the truth, I have a really hard time eating out anymore. I can’t enjoy a restaurant unless I know they go to great lengths to ensure their food is grown by farmers who give a crap. I don’t say organic because organic is just a name now. There is so much more to growing sustainably and chemical free, that I feel it does come back to trusting your small farmer. It doesn’t take long for big agriculture to home in on what makes money. They create labels and farms that will sell to that demographic, but they don’t operate with integrity. In fact, they quite often blatantly lie about their products.
It’s isn’t just big business that does this though. Recently a girlfriend and I were going out to a farm in WA state to get raw milk and gmo free eggs (yes I have chickens, no, they cannot keep up with my baking), and after a few weeks of going there, we discovered they were lying to us about their practices. Something in me died when I realized it. If a tiny farm in rural Washington state is willing to lie to my face about their product, what is a huge company going to do?
No, it’s not funny baby Dub. It’s scary. I just want to make sure my babies don’t eat something marketed as healthy and labeled “natural” that turns out to be full of toxins and poison. That is why I cook from scratch.
A couple of years ago I started asking questions about food. Now food is a huge part of our life because we realize we need to be 100% involved in it in order to protect ourselves. You do too. Maybe you don’t have the ability to cook three meals a day. Maybe you think you don’t have the money to eat organic. I bet you have the ability to cook one meal a day. Even if it is hard, even if you don’t know how to cook. I can promise you that organic produce will not break the bank. Processed organic foods just may, but those foods are still full of ingredients, many questionable, so we should all steer clear of those anyway. I want to teach you what I know. It’s simple and easy, and I promise you if I can do this, you can. All it takes is a desire to learn and the tenacity to push past what is convenient.
One little step for you might be a planter with herbs, or a trip to the farmers market. Get an onion, some celery, carrots and garlic. Melt butter in a pan add these minced vegetables and just smell your kitchen. Delicious food is SIMPLE, you just must start with good ingredients.
That makes Dub happy, which makes me happy, which makes each new day an opportunity to learn more, and teach more.
Happy Independence month, and happy eating.