eatin’ better

Let me say, I love the book I’m reading (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver). I told my husband the other day that I feel inspired and ashamed at the same time since I live in the mountains of beautiful southwest Virginia and have access to so much fresh farm food as well as the ability to grow so much of our own food. Needless to say, I’m starting with small changes that I hope will accumulate to big changes.

Small change examples:

  • Visiting the farmer’s market to buy fresh, local peaches, blackberries, and vine-ripened tomatoes. I made sure they were as local as possible and it made me feel so good to be part of something that’s helping “the little guys”.  The farmer’s market is only about 5 minutes from the grocery store, but it seems like it’s always “too far” out to get to. I plan to make it my FIRST stop before going to the grocery store so I can stop up on better produce and help the local yocals.
  • Buying milk from a dairy that’s only about 40 miles from my house (and it’s Jersey milk – I hear the best tasting milk you can get). It costs $4.60 a gallon, but again, I’m helping the local farmers. I’m still giving my son organic whole milk, but I’m buying my husband and I the other milk. I need to talk to those farmers and see if there’s a way to get that milk in organic form…
  • Cooking up a spaghetti squash that was given to me yesterday. My mother in law called saying a lady gave her some spaghetti squash. Having never cooked one myself, I got online and found a lasagna like recipe that I whipped up for dinner. It was a hit with all family members, including the carnivore husband AND 18 month old sometimes picky eater.
  • Digging my own taters! I saved that one for last because it’s been years since I did that and I felt a sense of accomplishment after that. My father in law and husband planted a big plot of potatoes this spring and there are nice potatoes in the dirt underneath (side note: in the book, she talks about how some people don’t know there is a part of potato that grows ABOVE ground…are you one of those people?) Granted, I only dug up 5 or 6 because I was wearing shorts and a t shirt and fighting those darn briers is a losing battle.

My future plan includes the following improvements (to be implemented over the next few years)…

  • Raising chickens to produce fresh eggs
  • Having a Jersey cow to milk, then making my cheese, butter, and more right here at home
  • Growing a garden to produce a good bit of our food supply for the year
  • Canning and freezing food for the winter

I know those are high hopes, but I truly think I can fulfill them. My son is getting older every day, and I plan to involve him and my husband in my farming efforts. My husband is sweet and agrees when I tell him about my plans. I know in the back of his mind, he’s wondering if I can hack the manual labor that comes with all those responsibilities, but I plan to make it a family affair; however, I won’t be delegating all the work to the boys. Sometimes, I find myself wasting so much time laying around that it’s pathetic. I value rest, but I don’t value laziness, ya know?

Anyhoo, if you’ve not read the book, I highly recommend it. There’s also a blog, but I’ve not had time to check it out yet. I plan to do that very soon.

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