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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Why are homesteaders obbsessed with food?

During the blogathon a new reader asked me why homesteading seems to revolve around food. I answered short and sweet because it was late. But now that I have a little more time, maybe we should go a little more in depth about the subject.

We do seem a little obsessed with the food thing, don't we. You have us talking about baking in the winter time, seed ordering and planting in early spring, harvesting and planting in late spring, Harvest and canning in the summer, harvesting and canning in the fall. And always, always talk of local foods, and local food hook-ups. And recipes galore. We just can't stop!

Eating is a necessity. You have to do it to live.

Growing and raising your own food stuff, is one of the easiest cheapest things that a person can do to be self-sufficient. Not to mention the pride, and knowing what is in your food, that comes along with it.

We go through the first expense of buying the seeds, after that you get into seed saving and the price to grow your own food is reduce. Of course you have some people out there that will tell you that the price of growing your own will run more than buying it because of the labor involved. But we do the labor because we want to, and love doing it. The food that comes at the end, is just one of our payments.

There are a few companies out there, that are creating things that makes it seem like they want to control the food supply. Even if you are not the paranoid sort, it still comes across this way. And this would be another reason that some of us homestead. We have our own control issues.

As long as you need food items to survive, homesteaders will make this a central part of our lives, no matter what our reasons.

So love it, hug it, and call it George. Food will always come up in a homesteaders blog.


Anonymous said...

Hi Phelan!

I wanted to thank you again for the apple butter recipe. I have been reminded now how much good stuff you have in your blog. I'll be rading your more regularly.

I went into my blogathon account to fulfill my pledges this morning but I don't see a way to do it in there. Do I have to wait for the email from them? I haven't gotten it yet. As soon as I do, and am able to fulfill the pledge, I'll email you.

Phelan said...

yes, they will be emailing you today or tomorrow.

Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

Great post! It's so true! I also think food is one of the ways many people who want to be more self suffient or frugal start. Growing a garden, raising poultry for eggs and/or meat is how many people start down the path and it usually grows into much more. Feeding yourself is central to self suffiency, I think. (It must get boring to the non-gardeners/canners/animal raisers amonst the readers though, huh?!)

Phelan said...

Farm mom! Ha! I don't know what I would be doing without raising my own food. Reading perhaps?

Mark said...

Hey Phalen.

Since I'm the one who started this mess with my questions, thought I ought to weigh in.

My thoughts on this are still evolving, so forgive if this isn't entirely coherent.

This started from my comment that the green / sustainability / homestead people spent lots of time talking about food.

My mistake was grouping those very different groups together. The homesteaders I understand. Both sets of my grandparents were poor East Texas farmers who largely lived off of what they could grow themselves. Anything related to putting food on the table was mostly the first topic of conversation (well, after all the talk of rampant immorality in the community).

I probably fall more into the sustainability group. I live in an urban environment and have little hope of being able to feed my son and myself from my backyard garden. Food independence isn't really an option. (Particularly since Houston won't even let us keep a few chickens in the city limits.)

I'm concerned about living a sustainable life because I want there to be something left for my son when he grows up. Well, and also because I'm fiercely independent, frugal by nature and rather cantankerous. I don't see that our society can continue down the path that our corporate, money-driven culture has us on. There will be an end to our culture of frenzied consumption. Food and energy top my lists of concerns.

With the rising cost of energy and the resultant increase in the cost of food, how long are we going to be able to continue to airlift lettuce from South America or melons from Africa? I'm worried about how America is going to feed itself. I'm worried about how I am going to feed my son.

Also, have to say that I love food. Love to cook, love to eat. And since adopting my son, I've become very concerned about what is in the food he/we eat. I worry about all of those additives and chemicals and try as much as possible to feed him unadulterated food.

But then I'm a worrier :-0

Just read your "I'm Not Green" post. And mostly agree. Certainly being "green" is quite fashionable in certain circles. And becoming more so. And like any fad, people with drop it for the next thing to come along, when it does.

But only if we let them.

I had a recent experience with someone from a Freecycle group here. (Freecycle is basically an internet group for giving / getting free things that people have but don't need. It's great.) I'd offered some wicker baskets and Anne replied that she wanted to pick them up. Great. She arrives at the appointed hour and tells me how excited she is to get these because "it's so important to recycle things to save the planet." I glance out to the driveway where her brand new Hummer (the large one) that she has driven in 30 miles from the suburbs sits with the engine running so her poodle doesn't get too hot. And I smiled and nodded and said goodbye and closed the door.

I let her get away with it.

But I shouldn't have. Should have laughed in her face and told her she wan't green, she was idiotic. She'd just burned over $30 in gas to pick up $2 of some else's crap.

Oh well. Maybe next time.

I'll get off of my soapbox now.

Continuing to enjoy the blog. Hope you have fully recovered from your marathon.

Mark said...
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Mark said...
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Phelan said...

Hey Mark, you are right about people beig hypacrits. On reason I decided to lay no claim to the whole green thing. I drive a F150, yet recycle ad reuse and as other's call it repurpose. There is really little you can do to convince this woman that her choice in vehicles is slightly, well, let's call it uncoth. She will not listen. You just have to pay attention to what you are doing. And maybe you will become the leader, and others will follow. No lecture will cause that.

I do have a problem with SUV's. But not because of the amount of gas they use. I still don't see a true purpose for them except statis symbol {live in the flatlands, no reason to have a hummer} but I have had several friends killed because drivers in SUV's didn't see them on their motorcycles.

Green your life, and be patient. Others will see your hard work and at lest attempt to improve their own lives. They might not do it on the level that you are, but ya know, to me, the fact that they are trying speaks volumes, and makes them a stronger person in my eye.

El said...

"We have our own control issues." Snort!

Vickie said...

Nice comment on the reason for focusing on food. I think more people certainly should think about ways to become as self-sufficient as possible and growing your own vegs and fruits is certainly one way to do it. Even if you just take baby steps you can start learning ways to become less dependable on others providing for you.

Phelan said...

el, hehe. Only the truth.

Vickie, thank you, and you are right. . .baby steps.

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