Friday, January 04, 2008

We was green when green wasn't cool

I enjoy the growing trend of people being aware of what they consume, where it comes from, the impact their actions have on the earth. This eat local thing is not new to me it is how I was raised and something I never gave much thought to. My wife a city girl, comes from a family of frugal folks and it shows.

Her family always shopped at a place in Buffalo called "The Broadway Market" an original buy local since 1888. My family is old school grow your own. Always had a large garden and livestock growing up and we continued that trend after we got married. When I say my wife is a city girl it only means she was raised in the city and had a country girl waiting to get out.

Wild game was a winter staple at our house growing up and wild rabbit is still my favorite meat. I have eaten the following things, deer, possum, raccoon, muskrat, bear,squirrel, pheasant, quail, pigeon, woodcock, turkey, woodchuck, elk, moose, morning dove,and that is just the wild stuff, oh yeah fish too. When you are raised like that it seems normal. My wife had country family and them folks all knew how to eat too!

To this day we stock a larder that will last all winter if it has to. Canning, freezing, dehydrating, root cellar, smoked meat, sausages of several sorts, homemade kraut, wild mushrooms, all part of our routine. The wife even does most of the butchering when I deer hunt. She is fussy and I have never taken anything to a processor including hogs, beef, goats, lambs, chickens, geese, or turkeys. Let me tell ya my bride can cook and I think it comes from loving good food.

The same principles are in place for most aspects of my life. I repair all my own equipment, build my own buildings, plumb, do electrical, and have not called anybody of fix anything for me, in fact I am the guy all my friends call. My Dad was the same way. My youngest son is like this also, so maybe genetics come into play.

So if I had to put a label on myself what would it be?

Redneck? nope I don't drink and do not have a gun rack in any of my trucks.

Country Bumpkin? nope I can read blueprints and I low high tech as much as the old ways

Homesteader? maybe, but I am never going to do any of those trendy things, like live on 12 watts or not buy for a year, I will use horses to pull my farm equipment around, hell sometimes hundreds at a time depending on what piece of equipment I fire up.

The way I see it this whole way of life just kind of grew on me. I am happiest when I am getting dirty. If I am not building something all the time I get in a funk and I need to be outdoors every day just because.

This retirement thing coming up has me pumped. It will be so nice to be able to work on projects and not have to get back to them because earning a living got in the way! My list of things to do on my hill farm grows by the minute and I look forward to a very productive summer.


Casdok said...

Hope your summer is productive!

MarmiteToasty said...

What a lovely post... to me its all about getting the balance that works for YOU, doing your part as you see fit....I would LOVE to have a small holding, but alas I doubt that will come to fruitian now, but it dont mean I cant do me little bit of whats right for ME in this world :)

Hppy Belated New Year....


Wizened Wizard said...

Hey, Slip, nice to make your acquaintance! You might be a not-too-distant neighbor of mine, or maybe you're in the "southern tier" or one of those other states that has a "north country".

Congratulations on (almost) reaching retirement. I'm looking forward to watching what you do with it.

Your visit gave me a lift and stirred a few memories - thanks.

DirkStar said...

Wow, very cool blog!

Hello, nice to meet you, welcome to the neighborhood.

Ol' Lady said...

When you retire the only thing you will be short of is time. Ol Man and I are twice as busy since retirement...we did slow down a bit but still there isn't enough hours in a day.

Anonymous said...

I envy you, with all that knowledge tht was shoved into your head at a young age. Now it's just old hat to you. I am totally one of those that's part of the "green trend" ... I think the trend is due to the fact that cities aren't natural, and deep down inside us our instinct is to be closer to Earth ... a primal rebellion of sorts.

Gina said...

Like Goddess of the Woods, I have to consider myself to be one of the "green trend" beings too. However, that being said, I am the progeny of parents that grew up po' (my dad was from the hills of SW Virginia and my mom grew up in the poor part of a small town). They both grew up canning and gardening and did this as I was growing up. We were very frugal and did not get namebrand clothing and such even though my dad worked hard and made a good living. I seemed to have inherited these traits (especially more than my siblings who rebeled). I even grew up wanting to be a farmer.

I guess if I need a label I'd say I am a hippy-ish sort of person with a modern edge. Ok, a hillbilly maybe. I don't know! I like the sound of "back-to-lander", but "homesteader" seems to the PC label these days.

Really, the goal in my mind is to not be ignorant of a planet that's been in trouble for longer than any of us have been here. I want ot be proactive and I can only do this truly on a personal level.

I loved your post!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

There are no labels for you. You are an American original, the kind that built this country, and the kind that will always survive the worst messes our politicians get us into.

I admire your insistence on living your life your own way, taking what serves you from new technologies and avoiding the silliness that typifies so many lives today.

If I were wearing a hat, I would take it off to you.