Shyanne’s Graduation

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I love family occasions.  My other two children finished homeschool.  Shyanne was such a little socialite that she decided to go back to a traditional high school her sophomore year.  Her graduating class numbered twenty.  She had four teachers and has made wonderful friends.

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I am so proud of Shyanne, not because she graduated high school, education is a life long pursuit and can be obtained in many ways, but because she made a decision and worked hard for what she wanted, in this case, a diploma from the school of her choice.

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Her boyfriend, Dillon, joined her in cap and gown and received his diploma as well.  Dillon has been coming around the house for over four years now trying to get Shyanne’s attention.  Strictly friend status, they had a great friendship which evolved into a wonderful relationship last fall.  They are enjoying their newfound freedom dirt biking, camping, and working towards that quintessential apartment in the mountains close to snowboarding and hiking.

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Congratulations Shyanne Mae!  May all of your dreams and goals come to fruition and may you find yourself laughing and having a great time in this life!  Mama’s proud.

Growing Potatoes Two Ways (with fiends and barrels)

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Long rows of potatoes or potatoes in containers?  What is best?  Well, y’all know our potato addiction over here so the answer is both.

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My potato order didn’t come until late this year but I still go them into the ground.  In three long rows I planted potatoes a foot apart.  Red, white, and blue potatoes because I fell prey to middle of winter seed catalogues.  It sounded super fun to have flag colored potatoes underground.  The green shoots are just coming up.  As they come up I will then cover them snugly with straw, mounding it over the hills to suppress weeds and to keep the growing potatoes from receiving light.  This turns them green and makes them a bit of a tummy ache.

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This year, I beat myself to the punch and put out the straw as I planted them.  The straw thirstily drank up all the water and didn’t let the ground beneath it get wet.  So, we moved the hay off.  Now that we have had a rain storm and daily waterings the straw will keep the moisture in longer.

Back up two months and a look in the basement would find shriveled potatoes from last year’s crop with antennas reaching for the high, bleak window.  Last year, I threw the three foot long rooted potatoes in the compost.  This year I ignored them until mid-April.  The eyes had sprung crazily forth but thinking back to olden days through books and stories made me ponder, ‘What the heck do I think folks planted each year?   What do I think I just got for a pretty penny through the mail order catalogue?’  Last year’s potatoes, folks, that’s what.

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So, I planted them in the two trash cans outside that I planted potatoes in last year with a see-what-happens attitude.  Last year’s didn’t work.  In the fall we dumped out two trash cans of very damp soil, not a potato to be found.  Already wet and composted and one with the earth.  This year we are watering the barrels less.  I planted the potatoes with the antennae-looking things pointing up.  A few weeks later I realized that those were probably the roots!  Well, somehow they have righted themselves and are coming up beautifully in the barrels.  They will be done before the long rows, didn’t cost me a thing, and made me feel like a homesteader.  (Oh my gosh, we are so far removed from our ancestors.  They are in heaven laughing I’m pretty sure.)  This year, I will save out potatoes to plant on purpose.  No seed catalogue order next year with any luck!

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The thing I do like about the barrels is that I do not have a pest problem.  See this mound of dirt?  They are all over the potato, garlic, and onion patches and are heading due east to the pumpkin patch, which is fightin’ words.  This is Pumpkin Hollow Farm after all.  The voles have lost all cuteness, but I can’t find a hole, and I can’t even see them.  Every day there are vegetables missing and a new mound to show their path.  I wish I were in Looney Toons and could just stick some dynamite down there!

Potatoes like water but they don’t want to compost yet either.  If you stick your finger in the soil and it is dry to the top of your second knuckle, water it for twenty seconds.  That seems to be two inches here in the prairie.  Do this daily if needed.  In the fall, we’ll peel back the straw and carefully dig up our bounty.  In late July, we may sneak a few baby potatoes leaving the rest to finish growing.

Potatoes are a staple in many cultures, a homesteading must!  Plant potatoes and you won’t be hungry this winter.

 

 

Preparing For Dreams To Come True (even when you can’t see)

My friend and fellow blogger, Debbie, wrote that my blog yesterday was just what she needed to hear.  In fact a few folks said that it was lovely and optimistic.  It doesn’t come naturally all the time.  I have the same antsy feeling that everyone I know has when their roots are shaky.  Debbie is looking for the perfect property.  Lisa inherited property but now is working on the driveway, well, barn, eventually the house, but I know she is anxious to wake up in her new kitchen one day and have it finished.  Amy and Rob (I talked about them in Cohabitating Homesteads) are waiting for the darn bank and contractors to start working together to get the ground broke so they can stop living in their RV!  My cousin, Julie, and her husband are plotting their escape to the forty acres his dad owns in the mountains.  The beginning of their off grid journey, which while they live with another couple, seems like a million plans away.

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Since we failed so miserably at finances in our previous life I always used the optimistic tone of, “Well, it’s nice renting.  Someone else fixes everything (we haven’t heard from our landlords in two years), we can move to the next great farmhouse (if they accept cats), we can move wherever we want, no strings attached (true, many of my friends and family that would like to move cannot sell their houses), but still, down in that root chakra somewhere, there is unrest.  We need roots.  We need to feel like we have security.  We want to plant a freaking orchard!  Indeed, anything can happen, all bets are off when it comes to real life.  Our partner could pass away, our businesses could end, our health could fail, the crops may be ruined, so really, everything is a walk of faith.

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Our faith is in the hope that we will have a place to set down roots.  Our next move will be our last (but hopefully not short lived!).  Unlike our friends and family, they have a set area they can see.  They know they can buy a place, or have already inherited the place, or already have had help buying a place, but we know nothing.  We walk completely blinded up the hill holding hands and holding onto faith that when we get to the top of the hill (next year when the lease ends), our future is beautiful.  That the yurt…cabin…farmhouse…hell, shack at this point…will be waiting for us with open arms, the future barns and gardens waiting to come to life (or could they already be there?….woo hoo!).

Lack of contentment is one of the main reasons for unrest and unhappiness.  I have no desire to waste a full year being antsy and unhappy.  Just like when I saw the ad in the paper for the house in Elizabeth when we needed to jump ship from our house going underwater, or when I had to pick up Emily’s boyfriend and drove past this house, the next place is already planned out for me.  Patience and making the most of right now are the goals.  There is always the chance that we will not be alive next year, may as well enjoy life now.  However, this is something that we constantly have to remind ourselves.

We have prospects.  We intend to live with Amy and Rob if all goes as planned.  We could move with my cousin if it all worked out.  God may have a completely different plan for us.  But in the meantime, we are preparing for the unknown.  Did you know that if you express your desires and intentions, they will always come true?  That is where the sayings self fulfilled prophesies and careful what you wish for came from.  I wish for a homestead that I can stay at for the rest of my life.  I wish for barns and outbuildings, a huge garden, a view, a farm, a homestead.  It would be better with another couple to help with the huge task of homesteading.  Now, I prepare.  I can’t see what the future and timing holds but I can be ready when God says go.  The piano is back on Craigslist.  Why do I have seven sets of dishes?  Beats me.  I have a bit of an obsession with beautiful china.  The dishes are next.  One…okay two…sets of dishes are quite sufficient.  I will get down to 1/3 of my possessions.  I haven’t raised my prices in almost five years.  I will raise everything one dollar.  Enough clients have encouraged me to do so.  I am still cheaper than the health food store with better product.  My costs have gone up, there is no reason that I shouldn’t.  That dollar goes into the proverbial coffee can for the move next year.  I walk blindly, but I walk in faith.  Prepare for your goals.  Your dreams are about to come true!

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Home Sweet Home (old home sweet farm)

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I know folks love three day weekends.  After three days of graduation parties, farmer’s market, barbeques, and a bad tummy ache, I am happy to be home today.

There is magic in an old farmhouse.  My cousin came over the other day to drop off a wedding invitation.  She was friends with one of the original owners of this house.  They were here many years, she said.  The kitchen is exactly the same.  There is a lot more clutter here now.  The original Mrs. of the house kept a sparse, clean home.

“They didn’t have much”, Janet recalled, “but it was always pristine.”

A couch.  A large rug.  Everything in its place.  Makes me want to run through and get rid of some more stuff.  The original Mrs. wouldn’t be too happy with me.

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The light filters in the large south window in the kitchen illuminating everything as I make coffee early.  Other friends came over to visit yesterday and pointed out the cabinet handles.  Something I never noticed.

“They are like sterling silver,” Trish ahhed.

The house speaks to me.  It is filled with promise and hope.  The old well is covered up in the back yard.  Bits of the coal chute and furnace are here and there.  Original steps to the cellar to heat the house with the coal stove.  The old kitchen and its beautiful white farmhouse sink, now showing its use and age.  Glimmers of wall paper show through the paint.  The original chimney, now not attached to anything, falls in with fatigue.

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But the house has promise, even a renter can see that.  We are happy to be working around the large yard, in the gardens that would have made the original owners proud and provided sustenance in the cold winters.  Walking around history and making new history is a mesmerizing task.  This week I will paint the porch, perhaps robin’s egg blue, and tend to the vast beds of vegetables and herbs.  I will make cheese from our goat’s milk, and get the ducks a swimming pool.  I will hang clothes on the line and swat at the Miller moths.  I will stay home and be a farm wife just as the great women before me did.  We will watch our granddaughter discover her surroundings and we will make new memories, new history, in this old rental house.

Home sweet home.

Chicks and Ducks (the first six weeks and joining the flock)

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The mini-quacking from the chicken coop cannot help but bring a smile to my face.  The ducklings are so amazingly adorable.  The chicks are cute running about in hysteria.  Yes, the babies have been moved to the coop with just a little worry on my part.  Last year we were absolutely paranoid when we transferred the new chicks to the coop.  The hens look larger than life when you compare them to six week old chicks!  They also seem pissier.  But we have found a way to do this successfully each time.

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1 day old through four weeks old we destroy the bathroom.  The bathtub is safe, weather free, continuously warm, and dry (except for the ducks).  We set up a plastic tub in the bathtub with a little straw, their feeder and a cup of water.  We attach the heat lamp rather low, just above the box.  We dip each chick’s beak into the water to get them drinking. We check for poopy bottoms that need to be cleaned (just yank it off) the first couple of weeks.  We see if the chicks are huddled under the light (too cold) or in the far corner (too hot) and adjust the lamp from there.  The chicks should be running around.  Raise the lamp a little each week.

There are only two adversaries of bathtub chick.  Cats that can get through the door (thankfully no issues here), and an open toilet seat.  I am afraid Decaf could not swim.  She hadn’t even flown out of the box yet when Emily found her.  How did she get over there?!  Conspiracy theories fill our heads.

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On their fourth week birthday the bathtub is again available for use.  The chicks move to the garage.  We bought a large metal portable fence rather inexpensively at the farm store.  It folds up or out and becomes whatever size you need.  A folding table covered the top with about a foot open on one end to allow the heat lamp to shine through.  Same procedure, see if they are running around, make sure they are comfortable and loud.  Sure sign of happy chicks.

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On their fifth week birthday the whole contraption moves inside the chicken coop.  The chicks (and ducks) stay in the cage for another week while the ladies get used to them being there and all the ruckus.

On their sixth week birthday night we prop the door open a few inches.  That way they can come out and run in but the big girls cannot get into the cage.  The next morning at the crack of dawn I am out there checking to make sure there were no massacres.  No one seems the wiser and the interest is in food and freedom.  While the hens are out running around enjoying the lawn and the day, the chicks and ducklings wander the coop.  They will at some point discover their way out only to have to be corralled back in when they cannot figure out reentry.  It is one of our jobs here, rounding up chicks.  Not a bad gig.  They will eventually grow even bigger and be a part of the flock before we know it.  Look who else is trying to join the flock!

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City vs. Country Farming (which is best?)

There are a lot of pros and cons to farming in the city and the country.  As renters who farm, we are always trying to weigh which is better.  Right now we live in a small town.  We have close neighbors and city ordinances but also have the problems of farming in the country!  Here’s a look at the pros and cons of farming in the city verses the country so that you can decide where to set up shop, or just be happy where you are at!

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Top Three Reasons to Farm in the City

1. Less predators.

Colorado Springs just passed an ordinance that allows goats!  Denver allows goats too.  Chickens are allowed in more cities now.  More and more cities are getting on board with the homesteading movement.  With chickens, one gets predators.  In the city, there may be the occasional coyote running through, but nothing quite like what you get in the country.  Chickens and other animals are generally safe in the back yard of a city lot from foxes, coyotes, and hawks.

2. Less pests.

We have a terrible vole problem right now.  How the heck do you get rid of these dudes?  Every  morning there is a new mound of soil pushed up over the grass and many vegetables in its path simply disappeared.  Pulled straight through the ground to unknown tunnels feeding sumptuous parties of voles somewhere down below.  Ticks me off.  I was not even invited.

The primary pest in the city is squirrels, which really cannot do the damage to a garden that a bunch of hungry deer, tunneling voles, and smiling rabbits can do.

3. Wiser garden planning.

You know when you read a menu that has so many good options you don’t know where to start?  That is how farming in the country is.  In the city you start in the back yard, maybe the front, or with pots all over the deck.  One can get creative with intense planting techniques and make a fabulous urban garden right at home.

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Top Three Reasons to Farm in the Country

1. Less ordinances.

The HOA is the enemy of homesteaders and gardeners.  Cities make rules, I swear, just to have something to do.  Out in the country, no one cares, or no one can see!  Either way, don’t ask, don’t tell! If you want to have sixteen goats and twenty five chickens and dig up every square inch for a garden that isn’t pasture, so be it.  Freedom is a lovely thing.

2. More space.

The flip side of the intensive gardening is that it would be nice to have lots of space to grow food.  One could grow wheat, or hay, lots more vegetables, an orchard, and still have room for sixteen goats.

3. The ability to be more self sufficient.

A well makes one more self sufficient.  Not being subject to city water is gold.  Being able to stick up solar panels, or go totally off grid, is an option.  Being able to supply nearly all of one’s family’s food needs is indeed a plus to living in the country.

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Top Three Things We All Have in Common

1. The weather.

The rain, golf ball sized hail, and tornados hit Denver hard this week.  We got a scant three drops of rain.  We could easily have received the brunt of the storm.  Mother Nature is a beast no matter where one lives.

2. Community.

Whether it be a small town of like minded folks or friendly neighbors who want to learn how to grow tomatoes, one can find support, family, and solace in the community around them.

3. Dirt.

Potting soil counts.  Dirt can be found anywhere and if there is dirt, there is life and vegetables!

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There are pros and cons to either place one wants to live.  The key is making the most of where we are planted at the moment!

 

Making Fruit Cordials (delicious sippers from windfalls)

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Making fruit cordials is a great way to preserve fruit.  It also makes great gifts and a pleasant treat in the evenings after dinner.  Virtually any fruit (and debatably any vegetable) could be used to make a cordial.  Sometimes called Bounce or Liqueur, these cordials are easy to make (and even easier to drink!).

Fill a two quart canning jar (or any glass container) half way with fruit.  Think rhubarb, or choke cherries, sour cherries, apples, plums, raspberries, blueberries….any fruit or combination!

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Add half the amount of sugar as fruit.  For a two quart canning jar I add two cups of organic, raw sugar and four cups of fruit.

Fill the rest of the way with alcohol of choice.  For chokecherries gin is amazing.  For sour cherries try brandy.  For blueberries maybe rum.  Plums are nice with vodka.  Use a 80 proof alcohol.  No Everclear!  Also do not use wine.  You need enough alcohol content to preserve the fruit but not so much to burn your throat!

Sandy adds more sugar half way through the process, I tend to forget and feel it is sugary enough, but the Chokecherry cordial she made from my berries last year cannot be beat, so do as you please.  It is kind of like jam, yes you use a lot of sugar, but you only partake in a small amount.  I have a scant ounce when I am sipping.

Now, label it well with contents and date and set it to sit for four to twelve weeks.  Strain and bottle.  Enjoy!

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Other nice combinations might be:

Strawberry and rhubarb with rum

Raspberries and a cinnamon stick with vodka

Blueberries and vanilla beans with brandy…..drool….

Try crabapples or pears with herbs infused with it like basil or rosemary.

In the evening, take some time to relax and have an after dinner sip.  It will relax the system, release stress, and helps you use up any windfalls of fruit!  Cheers!

A Rooster In The Kitchen Part 2 (canning broth)

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Elizabeth: “Why did you soak him in milk?  Who told you to do that?”

Me: “I don’t know.  I heard that you soak game in milk.”

Elizabeth: “Roosters aren’t game!”

Me: “Oh.”

My homesteading friends are invaluable to me.  They are not only avid supporters of what I do, but great sources of knowledge and delightful to be around.  I am lucky to live in an area saturated with an eclectic blend of old hippies, old ranchers, young homesteaders, and back to the landers.  They may look at me and shake their heads when I do something like soak a rooster in milk, but they are also proud of what I do on this little farm.  I am just thirty plus years behind on my learning about how to cook meat.  My friend, Addie, also confirmed that soaking it in anything was a no-no.  Just leave it in the fridge for a few days.  Fresh kill makes it harder to cook correctly.  Elizabeth mentioned that what I should have done is what she and her grandmothers do, stuff him with garlic and herbs and maybe some stuffing and roast him slow all day.  I soaked and boiled the heck out of him and ruined him.  No wonder he was slimy!  After writing this, my homesteading friends came out of the woodwork that do indeed eat roosters.

But, he wasn’t a total loss.  I got six quarts of delicious, organic chicken broth out of the ordeal.  After stewing him for five hours with onion and garlic and handfuls of herbs, I had a delightful pot of broth.  I poured them into hot quart jars after straining it through cheesecloth, replaced the lid, and set the jars in the pressure canner.

Fill the pressure canner with three inches of water.  Place the jars in and secure the top of the pressure canner.  Use all the weights, 15 lbs. of pressure, no matter what your altitude.  Turn burner on high and when the top starts ticking (used to sound like an approaching bomb to me, now sounds like salsa music), start shaking your hips and time 25 minutes.  When that is done, let the steam completely dissipate and the valve come down, then carefully open the lid and savor your jars of chicken broth.

Note: It takes a bit of time to pressure can but in my laziness, I have attempted to freeze in freezer bags (the bag ripped when I pulled it from the others), froze it in canning jars (the jars can break), and left in the refrigerator sure that I would get to it soon.  Just can it.  Then you have it!

Note 2: And for heaven’s sake don’t soak the rooster in milk!

A Rooster In The Kitchen

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I never in my lifetime thought this would happen.  What happened to the nice vegan girl from the city?  I was so cute in my PETA t-shirt and my veggie chicken.  Having animals humanely raised has been one of the highest priorities in my life and in my small neck of the woods (I mean prairie) there is a flock of chickens, ducks, and goats living the high life.  But there was trouble in the coop.

When Nancy shot her rooster in To Love Or Shoot A Rooster I asked her if she ate it.  She looked at me strangely and said no.

“How come people don’t eat roosters?” I asked Elizabeth…and Nancy…and Monte.

“They’re tough.  Have to stew them.”

“Ohh,” I would reply, pretending like I understood.  I was vegetarian for a VERY long time before last fall so I am still new at cooking up chicken.  But I have read a fair amount of French and Italian cookbooks so I know how to stew.

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Remember when I told you that Ethel had her head cut open but didn’t know how?  I figured that she got caught on something.  She is forever roaming the driveway and front yard.  Then Peep looked like a brain surgery victim.  Finally I noticed that Laverne no longer would go near the coop.  Her head was so mutilated she looked like a burn patient.  I started to panic.  The chicks and ducklings go out to the coop this week and whoever is causing havoc in the coop will surely take them out.  I had to figure out who it was.

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Sandy and I sat in the back yard two weeks ago nursing our glasses of wine, talking about everything at once, when we heard commotion.  Shirley was hollering and Henry was trying to get her in…ahem…position.  “She’s down for you, you Dummy!”  Sandy yelled at him.  Even though Shirley had squatted, Henry was pecking her in the head.

This created a moral dilemma for me.  I have been avidly designing a farm with an environment that if you are here, you are safe.  Henry was screwing this up for me.  When he ripped Ethel’s comb clear off her head I mentioned it to Lisa.  She said that he was a really mean rooster and that was indeed not normal.  But he’s so nice to me!  I cried.  Henry has been very nice to me and everyone that comes around.  He won’t sit on your lap or anything, but he isn’t one of those roosters that chases you down, talons bared.  And he is so damn good looking.  Such a shame.  I called John.

John was raised straight back woods.  His joke is that they had running water when he was a kid, you had to run to the creek to get it!  If there is indeed a crisis or apocalypse, John’s gonna be alright.  I am going over there in such a scenario.  I tentatively called him and squeaked, “Do you know how to process a chicken?”  He laughed.  Of course he does, he and his son processed thirty chickens last fall.

“You didn’t name him, did you?” John asked.

“Who, Henry?  No…”

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“But what if it wasn’t him hurting the hens?” my last deranged attempt at reprieve.  Doug just looked at me.  He loaded Henry up in a dog crate and took him to John.  A few hours later John brought me an empty dog kennel and a bag with a plucked chicken in it.  “Oh no!” I cried, as if I forgot what he was asked to do.

I channeled my grandmothers and homesteading foremothers and stuck Henry…I mean the rooster…in the pot.  I filled it with water and half a bottle of wine.  Half an onion, several cloves of garlic, bunches of rosemary, sage, and thyme and set him to cook.  The house filled with the lovely aroma of chicken broth and herbs.  Five hours later I turned the heat off and an hour later went to strip the meat off.  It was stingy and some places tough.  He didn’t look like a regular hen.  I put the meat in a little cream soup and served it over biscuits.

We each took a bite, thankful for the first meat we raised organically and cooked ourselves.  It was slimy, stringy, it was disgusting.  We went and got pizza.

So, that is why you don’t eat a rooster.  Let’s hope the new chicks and ducklings are all female!  All of the hens have returned home and are happily and safely wandering around the coop.

 

The Problem With Blanket Statements (making our own way)

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“The meat industry is the largest contributor to global warming and pollution.”  I knew it! said my vegan self years ago when I heard this statement.  That was before I moved to the country.  What the statements and news articles should have said was that the factory farms and huge dairy and meat operations were the cause of so much mass pollution and run off.  John’s fifty head of cattle or Deb’s humanely raised and killed beef are not really huge contributors to the world’s pollution problem.  In fact, by raising healthy, grass fed, humanely raised and processed meat they are actually saving the planet by providing local food.  Smaller footprint.

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“Milk is bad for you.”  Many articles are promoting this right now.  On the flip side the posters put out by the USDA in schools tout that “Milk is good for you!”  What?  My vegan self saw the first one and said, “I knew it.”  I know that conventional milk causes excess mucous, brain fog, and contributes to osteoporosis. (Pasteurized milk leaches calcium from the bones.  America has the highest population of dairy consumers and the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world.)  I was smug.

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A few years ago a student of mine, Liz, who works on a dairy farm in Fort Collins, sent me an email so not to cause an argument in class.  She said that I was wrong about my blanket statement.  There was a big difference between raw milk from a small dairy, humanely raised cows and goats, and the large conventional dairies and pasteurized milk.  I don’t know about that.  She went on to tell me how her allergies had been decreased and she felt better after drinking raw milk.

Liz was friends with Nancy.  Nancy shortly after brought me a pint of raw goat’s milk.  “You don’t have to drink it,” she said.  We were gluttons, looking for more milk.  One taste and something in our bodies begged for more.  Chocolate milk became our vice and we felt great.  So, we started eating other dairy too, conventional dairy.  The same problems we experienced before we went vegan (stomach problems, weight gain) happened again.  Raw goat cheese and raw milk do not have that effect on us.  Goat’s milk used to be used as formula replacement if a mommy couldn’t nurse.  It is packed with nutrients and vitamins and is so easy to digest.  It is very similar to human breast milk.

Now that we have our own goats, we are even closer to the source and can control daily kisses and hugs, what they eat, and provide a local source of milk and cheese.  Smaller footprint.

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“All gluten is bad for you.”  I know a lot of people that will repeat this.  But, it is a blanket statement.  A diagnosis that a doctor will give if they do not know what is wrong.  Yes, processed flour products and non-organic flour are pretty bad.  They have a lot of additives and non-organic flour was hybridized to increase gluten content to extend shelf life so it is harder to digest.  It is also a highly sprayed crop.  Fertilizers and pesticides do affect how we feel.  Processed gluten-free alternatives are probably not much better.  Organic grains, especially whole grains, provide needed energy, nutrients, and anti-oxidants.  They contain anti-cancer properties as well.  Bring on the homemade wheat baguette!

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“All vegetables are created the same.”  Please be aware that if it isn’t organic in the store than it probably has been sprayed with pesticides and may be a genetically modified crop.  If you don’t know about GMO’s yet, please research them!  Stay far, far away from non-organic soy, canola, and corn.  If you see a few and far between article on their safety, see who is benefitting from the “research”.  Monsanto?  They are the attempted killer of the farmer that you know and love.  Also remember that just because the store has a clever marketing slogan (Sprout’s Farmer’s Market) or if it is at a real farmer’s market, that doesn’t mean that it is organic.

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Then there are the blanket statements that change, yet we listen all the same.  One glass of wine is good for the heart, two causes breast cancer.  You must only have this much salt (sodium in processed foods is not the same as the use of sea salt in your own home)…oh wait, now you can have more sodium.  This is the perfect number for blood pressure.  That number was recently changed.  Brown eggs are better.  Wait, brown eggs are the same as white eggs, people.  Eggs are bad.  Eggs are good!  We are constantly at the mercy of USDA food pyramids, the medical community, and research put out by whoever will benefit.  Our government and large companies are paid ridiculously large sums in order to keep us a consumer, keep us in fear of not being healthy, fear of this ailment or that. (They will have a medicine for you though.) Enough relying on everyone else telling us what to do.  No wonder Americans are so stressed about everything!

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Does that food make you feel good?  Was it locally produced?  Did you produce it?  We can trust ourselves to see what is causing harm to our environment, what foods are healthy for us, what our bodies should feel like and function like.  We can grow our own food, we can milk our own goats, we can make our own medicine.  We can have a second glass of wine!

We can make our own statements.