Sitting by the fire the other night, the Homestead Husband and I were chatting about some of our bigger farming goals, after making a meal together from scratch; freshly ground beef in our own kitchen grinder, mixed into meatballs seasoned with our own garden herbs, homemade sauce, pasta made using eggs from our own chickens, and freshly shredded parmesan cheese right off the block. It takes a lot of extra time to make each of those items, but we did it together and it gave us time to talk, time to bond, and in the end we had a savory, special meal. On a Tuesday no less.
While we sat there, twirling our forks in the rich, saucy pasta bowl, we asked one another why anyone wouldn't do it just this way? We understand cost factor - we deal with it ourselves (hello, 50+ mouths to feed folks!). We understand lack of time - we didn't sit down to eat until 8:00pm (that doesn't work for us every day). What we came down to though, was that you don't have to do it all, and you don't have to do it every day. What everyone should do though, is try. Try to get back to your roots a little. Try to make something on your own, fresh, without packaging and defrosting. At a minimum, support it.
There are so many facets to homesteading. It can lend itself to any number of things including gardening, animal husbandry, orchards, bees, knitting, pottery, soap making, bread baking, quilting, wood working, candles, and more. It should really be called "from scratch living". That got us really contemplating... It's not so much that we think everyone should make their own spaghetti from hand-kneaded dough, or that we believe everyone should have their own chickens and backyard eggs. It is more that we believe this whole homesteading passion applies to everyone in some way.
Years ago, we knew, as a society how to do these things without Google (that being said, we heavily rely on the ole' Google machine - thank you modern day technology). All these things gave us purpose. We had honed talents and skills and they were important. We worked hard, with our hands, and created thoughtfully and purposefully. While a lot of this was out of necessity, the act of making provided a sense of responsibility and made us proud. Proud of who we were, what we could provide, and how well our efforts had paid off. It made us special. Before life was completely automatic, we were grounded in our roots. We were all makers, creators, inventors, and farmers. We knew exactly where our ingredients and materials came from, and we appreciated them fully knowing how valuable they were.
While talking, we looked down at the leather-bound coffee table book, containing romanticized images of farmers and the words of Paul Harvey (a reading that has inspired us from within) - sponsored by Ram trucks nonetheless (with ours sitting right in the driveway). The words on the cover hit home more than ever, right then:
For the farmer in all of us.
That was it. There is a farmer in all of us and we believe in that whole-heartedly. Although the recent generations of either of our families did not own farms, at one point we all came from it, so let's not entirely forget it. It doesn't matter the scale. You don't have to go as far as we do, or maybe you go further. You can grow a container garden in the city, shop local, or ranch 100 acres out west. You can find something that gives you purpose, direction, and a warm glow inside when you do it. Even if sometimes it gets hectic, our homestead life brings us inner peace. We hope you find that, too - and share it! If you ever needed encouragement for eating more vegetables - grow your own. There are few things in life more satisfying than watching a seed become a full grown pepper (I did not believe it until I tried it), that you can then use to nourish yourself and your family. In a world now full of empty instant gratification, I can, with the utmost assurance, tell you that from-scratch living will bring you joy, self-fulfillment, and a sense of primal completeness - it will hit you smack-dab in the middle of your ever-loving soul.
Proud of our past, looking forward to our future, knowing that our heritage is not forgotten, nor will be our legacy. Give yourself a challenge - try something old (but new to you!). You will always find yourself among friends, when you free yourself to farm.