There, I said it. We are living in a rigged political system, and anyone who does not think so only needs to look at the debates between ‘Feel The Burn’ Bernie, and Hillary Clinton. Especially the one where he said, “I don’t want to talk about her emails.” Right then and there I knew this would be no different, that it is rigged. Did you see the debate between Trump and Clinton? Oh boy, definitely something going on that we did not know about, and neither did Trump. Did you see her signal Holt every time she wanted to use one of her scripted zingers? It was so obvious that it isn’t even funny. These are just two recent examples. I could go on and on.
Oh, so you say the economy is doing great? Gasoline is low, and the stock market is high, even though the markets are being propped up by the FED. Have you noticed the inflation rate? Have you noticed the unemployment rate? (Actually in Maine, we are blessed with a lower than nation wide unemployment rate.) Our president wants to take credit for lowering the unemployment rate, but so many people are working two or more jobs, that are part-time. The Federal Debt is at an all time high, and has doubled in just the past seven years.
The system is rigged, folks. Plain and simple. You will need to take care of yourself. You will need to become sovereign. Did you ever lie awake at night, and wonder how to take care of your family in these uncertain times? This is why we are homesteading. We had a successful, longtime retail business before we began homesteading, but sold it all and left the work force early to do this, to live this way. Homesteading to us is more than having a little garden out back. More about that in a moment. To me, homesteading is deliberately doing as much for yourself in providing for your food, shelter, and clothing. In our case, we believe that someday, in the not too distant future, those staples of life will become very difficult to come by, and expensive to acquire when you do find them. The more you can do for yourself the less frightened you will be by reading the newspaper.
So, what do you do about all of this? If you are living in rural Maine, or rural anywhere, you are at an advantage. If you have an acre or two you are better off still. Chances are that your small town will allow you to keep a half dozen chickens. Maybe they will even let you have a small garden. If you wish to devote more time to this, you can grow an even bigger garden.
So, how do I get started? you might ask. I saw an interesting thing for sale at the local grocery store when we stopped in for our monthly coffee and grape seed oil acquisition. I am always interested in the produce aisle, and noting how empty of shoppers it always is. It boggles my mind. (They are all down in the processed foods aisles, buying boxes and cans.) There I spotted locally grown garlic. It was this year’s, and it appeared to be of good quality. What is the best thing you can do right now, for your family, but you don’t know what it should be? You don’t know where to start? I would purchase ten of those bulbs, or from a farmers’ market, and in a few weeks plant the cloves. Depending on how often you actually cook from scratch, you might have just planted enough garlic to last a year. It would save you from having to buy the imported garlic from China. Google Chinese garlic sometime to see how nasty that stuff is; 80% of store bought garlic is from China. Will growing all of your own garlic make your family sovereign from the food markets, no. But it is a symbolic gesture at the very least, and it is something that you can plant and grow, this fall.
We are currently growing probably 90% of our own food. Last year we would say that it was 85%, but now that the goats are in milk and we are producing all of our own butter, yogurt, and even hard cheeses the percentage is higher. This year we successfully grew red Hungarian peppers which will be made into paprika. Imagine that! This is the first year we committed ourselves to cutting and splitting our own firewood, as opposed to going to the market to buy it at $275 a cord, 6 cords. Now we don’t have to worry that our firewood guy will finally retire, or that the price will go up. We are now independent in another area. In a year and a half we will have paid for the equipment with the savings, by doing it ourselves. Granted, we do have more work, but that is what homesteading is: Bread Labor. And it is great exercise.
I took last week off from the blog. We had company in for two days from New York, and then we went to the Common Ground Country Fair. Hopefully I am back on track, now.