My last post about having to work for our food by way of cooking it from scratch got me thinking. Well, I had a little help from Joel Salatin and his latest book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal.
If you’ve never heard of him or read his books, he is a farmer in Virginia. He raises grassfed cows, woodland pork, chickens, rabbits, etc. He calls himself an ecological farmer, because for him, it’s not enough to just refrain from using chemicals, etc, he also wants to be improving the land, and operating in harmony with the natural cycles.
Anyway, in his book, he talks about how it’s not historically normal to get all our food, fuel, and transportation with no effort expended on our part. You used to have to work (aka use your muscles and your brain) to get things to eat.
I’m also reading the Little House books to Caleb. We started with Farmer Boy and read it three times back to back, and now we’re on our second time through The Little House in the Big Woods.
Those books really make you realize how little we actually do now. They made, grew, or killed almost everything they used or ate. What are we doing with all our time that we can’t even find the time to cook 3 square meals a day??
One of my primary goals when I moved into my own home was to grow a substantial amount of my own food. And for the most part, all I’ve done is TALK about growing my own food.
Most of my food still comes from other people. And I am wondering how much of that is due to the lack of land, and how much of it is due to my own laziness.
So in the interest of finding hard work to do, I decide to undertake the age-old chore of farmers: clearing land.
I’ve been lusting after this nicely mowed empty lot across the street to make into a mini farm, and I realized that I have way more land available to me than I am taking advantage of. It just happens to be choked with weeds and wild grapevines.
Do you see the overgrowth uphill of the second box? Well, I took half the day yesterday and gave that box a little breathing room.
It was hard work, and by the picture, doesn’t look that impressive, but look at the mound of grapevines.
There was an equally large pile of sticks too, that we burned for our Sunday night fire.
This hill is going to be my fall and winter project. By spring, I want it completely cleared so I can plant more fruit trees, and grow more tomatoes and celery and squash and all the delicious things that I like to eat.