Canning and Putting By

I'm slowly gathering enough tomatoes to make sauce, the yellow crookneck squash is outdoing itself and the sunflowers are crazy with blooms this year. Autumn is definitely coming on.

As each year rolls through its phases, promises of renewal hang in the air. Autumn, rather than being the end of something, seems to be the beginning, all over again.

I love to see the pantry shelves filled with gleaming jars of green beans and tomatoes and other good food waiting for winter. It's a throwback to when our ancestors had to put up enough food to last through the winter because if they didn't, they would starve to death before spring.

We don't have to worry so much about that any more (maybe? See Food Prices), but still, putting up pickles and beets and corn and squash gives one a feeling of satisfaction and security.

If you don't can, freeze or dehydrate summer vegetables, you don't know what you're missing! It's not all about the goodness of the food or saving money on it, although those are very valid reasons. A big part of it is the satisfaction of a job well done and looking forward to a less hectic, more secure winter.


Food Freedom

Back when I was growing up (yep, another one of those), we drank milk from the cow, chilled and skimmed for cream, which was used to make butter. It was good food. It still is.

Daddy BigGov seems to think that it's not and that we don't know enough to choose for ourselves. Enough said about that. And then there are zealous law enforcers who arrest kids with lemonade stands.

I think it's time to stand up and I'm far from alone. Tomorrow, August 18, is Lemonade and Raw Milk Freedom Day. If you don't do anything else, whether you agree with me or not, please read it.

Here's to family farms and child entrepreneurs - two of the many who make America the land of the free.

A Welfare Nation?

One in three Americans are on welfare. One in three. Our economy is in a mess, but that's not an excuse.

I guess I'm old fashioned. We were taught to work for what we needed and to work harder, think more and become more creative if the work we were doing didn't supply our needs.

We were taught that being on welfare was shameful and if it was occasionally needed, we were expected to get off of it as soon as possible.

We were taught that TV, fun and games and new shoes were not a necessity and charity certainly shouldn't be expected to provide them for us.

I know. There are those who really need it. I have to say that every time I approach this subject, because there's always someone who gets huffy about it. If you NEED it, get it. If you don't NEED it, get off it.

Take care of yourself and then you can make your own decisions.

Don't have money for food? Learn to get it in other ways. Grow a garden, learn to forage, trade for something you can do, take a dollar bill and see how much you can get at a discount or dollar store. Make do.

An old adage that would do us well today: Make it, make do, or do without. Try it.


Food Prices?

It's not news and I'm not alone in warning you to stock up as much as you practically can. The drought is driving up food prices already. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Learn.

This is the year to learn to can and dehydrate. It's time to learn to shop the sales efficiently. Learn to use a price book. Learn to look in other places besides the grocery store for food. Learn to glean; to take advantage of free food; to use that food; to cook from scratch.

Learn where to get farm fresh eggs and how to forage for wild food. Learn to shop at farmer's markets and salvage stores.

When (if) things get back to normal, you'll be far ahead of the game.

Don't just think about it. Do it.