Monday, July 4, 2011
Can You Really "Live Off the Land?"
A 30-something, former city-boy asked my parents that question 30 years ago while he was touring their farm for the possibility of renting it. My parents -- both country folk -- snickered under their breath and said, "sure." To an individual that never experienced farming or a garden, it IS a question to be asked. But to a native country, daughter and granddaughter of generations of farming and gardening, it's not even something to think about -- it's just done. Most of us have gotten spoiled in the past 40 or 50 years. Conveniences galore: fast food, pre-packaged food, humongous servings at a restaurant, and super-sweet tasting, luscious ice-cream stands. Why would we go to all the hard work to live off the land? Why raise chickens when you can get eggs for $1.50/dozen and the whole bird for $5 bucks at your local Walmart. Well, our grandparents did it because they had no choice. Money was hard to come by, there simply wasn't plastic bags of already-frozen ready-to-eat meals and there wasn't a grocery store on every corner not to mention the choices were slim-pickens in those stores. But many people today are going back to the land or never left it like the Amish. "Homesteading" is growing in leaps and bounds while others choose to get off the grid and grow their own food for environmental reasons. My husband and I may soon join these ranks. I was planning to disband this blog due to lack of time to update, but now that the possibility is very real that I may become a full-time homesteader in 4 months, (well, my idea of homesteading focuses on the food production, not-so-much the extreme life changes like no refrigerator or using a composting toilet), I'm going to continue posting. Why might we be homesteaders? Early retirement - forced for hubby (awaiting final word coming on Thursday) - by choice for me. Stay tuned and watch for lots of posts on living off the land and early retirement.