Eat what you grow

Martha

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Trying to stick to a self grown plate, has proven to be a little challenging.Coffee seems to be a big set back although we grow many herbs and herbal tea type plants. Sweetner could be on our set back list as well.Our bees hives are not ready for a harvest and we've used others products. We are seeing how spoiled we are. Knowing that ,not many years back, the majority of food came from one's own food plot is interesting.More so, is the fact that many people had larger families and had to provide for them and their own live stock as well.We are impressed with their skills, determination and fortitude!
 
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Geo

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Hi Marha!
I moved this thread from the 'Introduce Yourself' Forum to 'Other (Self Sufficiency Disciplines)'.
 
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Mark

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I don't really think only eating what we can grow is sustainable or desirable in a modern society unless in an emergency or if you have special or restricted dietary requirements.

Having said that, I'm quite enjoying the challenge myself but it's nice to know that we won't be doing it for ever...

The beauty of humanity is how we can live together in communities and share things giving us a much larger selection of goods than we could possibly grow or make ourselves.
 

Geo

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Trying to stick to a self grown plate, has proven to be a little challenging.Coffee seems to be a big set back although we grow many herbs and herbal tea type plants. Sweetner could be on our set back list as well.Our bees hives are not ready for a harvest and we've used others products. We are seeing how spoiled we are. Knowing that ,not many years back, the majority of food came from one's own food plot is interesting.More so, is the fact that many people had larger families and had to provide for them and their own live stock as well.We are impressed with their skills, determination and fortitude!
I agree with Mark, in a modern society it's best to strive for self sufficiency as a community rather than a family (or even a smaller cell like one or two people).

But if when you're looking back at the 'old days' please don't feel down. I have done some research and found out that many of the people in those times were striving for survival and were not concerned with livestock health, sanitation, disease prevention and so on. Yes one family lived off the land and their animals but the way there were going about it was ... let's say "not the best".

I can speak from experience (grandparents and grand grand parents used to live like that) and they weren't what we imagine a 'farmer' is like today :). But I was so into this that when Mark said "he can't keep a cow because of the space he's got" I was like "Well my folks use to keep a herd... in half the space... what's going on there..." :)) - but it seems that the regulations that are now in place with regards to keeping livesock, while they do impose and make it harder to accomplish, keep both us and the animals safer and healthier ;)

Bottom line... I agree that we should strive to work as a community and be as self sufficient as possible, while also following the rules. Should a real disaster hit and we throw the rules "out the window" ... I think it's manageable :)
 
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Martha

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Thank you for moving the thread.
I'm thinking that growing a completely balanced diet is possible. We haven't been trained to do it 100%-yet I believe it's possible. We are use to buying our junk food goodies, and not SO necessary items-giving up those creature comforts is the real issue for many people. .it's all about training and perspective.
 
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Martha

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Thank you for moving the thread.
I'm thinking that growing a completely balanced diet is possible. We haven't been trained to do it 100%-yet I believe it's possible. We are use to buying our junk food goodies, and not SO necessary items-giving up those creature comforts is the real issue for many people. .it's all about training and perspective.
My mom,who was a "self sufficient homesteader" during the 70s& 80s,says it's almost impossible.she says she had to buy sugar, tea, coffee and oil.i think thats still pretty good for a family of 5.
 

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This is cane harvesting season. The cut cane often spills onto the side of the road and I think I might pick up a few pieces and grow it then I can have sugar. It's really easy to crush and get sugar syrup from.

Also a stevia plant will definitely give you sweetener to use in your cooking.

Does bartering come into being self-sufficient?
 

Geo

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My mom,who was a "self sufficient homesteader" during the 70s& 80s,says it's almost impossible.she says she had to buy sugar, tea, coffee and oil.i think thats still pretty good for a family of 5.
In our family (old generations) the only thing that was bought was sugar and that only for the Christian Holidays (Easter and Christmas). Cooking was done in lard taken from the animals they grew and there were a lot of chickens being eaten (as well as their eggs). We had a substitute for coffee which I can't remember, some blend of oatmeal and spices - really poor tasting :)) - but we didn't buy tea until quite late even in my life. I think I was in college (or final in high school) when we started buying "exotic teas". To this day I make tea from my own plants, maybe I'm used to the taste :))

Does bartering come into being self-sufficient?
I believe this ties into mine and Mark's original point: being self sufficient as a community more-so than an individual. I think bartering is really good for self sufficiency.
 
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Cathy

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I believe this ties into mine and Mark's original point: being self sufficient as a community more-so than an individual. I think bartering is really good for self sufficiency.
This past 3 or 4 months I think people have realised the importance of community. For all the negatives that we are shown the experience of my local community is a coming together emotionally and supporting each other as needed.
Last time that happened was during the aftermath of a cyclone and we had no power for over a week but that didn't seem to get people thinking about being self sufficient like this has.
 
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spector

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I have never tried it, because coffee is sacred to me <g>, but I have read that dandelion root can be used as a respectable substitute.
 
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ClissAT

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In the 'old days,' the grocery shopping list consisted of flour, sugar, tea and salt.
My exposure to this shopping list came from working on cattle stations where there were families, single men and indigenous people living independently in a community of humpies who didn't get room and board as part of their salary but received some basic rations.
They were partly paid in these food items and the rest they had to source for themselves.
Due to the large numbers of people employed on the larger, more remote cattle stations, there were some people who ran small businesses on the property as well, to supply various goods and services to the workers and their families.
Workers also included indigenous people and their tribal relations who also lived on the land or whose land the cattle station was originally and who were allowed to stay living in the region.
There would be a very basic shop supplying some food items and tools as well as other basic requirements for a more comfortable existence, a hotel, barber, maybe a tailor and later along came a postal service. Sometimes the station owner sold salted meat or added it to the rations to prevent those people going out to shoot it (steal it) for themselves.
So they lined up once per month at the shop window to receive their rations in the form of bags of flour (for damper) and small bags of sugar. salt and tea.

Those basic food items were the only things people couldn't produce for themselves.
I think that is still the case today. Although it wouldn't be too hard to produce tea or coffee given time for the trees to grow.
But making sugar and salt isn't that easy and flour can be hard due to the area required to grow enough grain or nuts, no matter what type you chose to use.
If you lived in a grain or nut growing area, you could barter for the raw product maybe.

I know a lady who makes her own salt by evaporating water she collects from a Sunshine Coast beach. But as I said to her, that water is probably more polluted than she thinks! I would rather buy salt made in central Australia off the salt pans where there is a pretty good chance there's no pollution.
 
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spector

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I suppose, if I were really dedicated, I would drive to Utah once a year to collect salt from the flats. ;)

Reminds me of a movie I watched, a long time ago, where a man from the past gets transported to the future. He is astonished by the abundance of salt and how cheap it is. For some reason, that always stuck with me.
 
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Martha

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I suppose, if I were really dedicated, I would drive to Utah once a year to collect salt from the flats. ;)

Reminds me of a movie I watched, a long time ago, where a man from the past gets transported to the future. He is astonished by the abundance of salt and how cheap it is. For some reason, that always stuck with me.
Or we could grow celery I also saw on BBC, Ruth Goodman was crushing some type of rock..boiling it down for the salt
 
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Martha

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I have never tried it, because coffee is sacred to me <g>, but I have read that dandelion root can be used as a respectable substitute.
Idk..dandilion tea is a bit bittery.and chicory is strong ( dilute?)..
 
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Geo

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I was gonna go for cultivated rock salt (it's more common in my country) but you guys make such a compelling argument... first one to make homemade salt of any kind MUST showcase it! :)
 
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spector

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My goal is not necessarily to grow everything I need, but to have something that I can harvest, despite the season. There is something delicious about walking outside and being able to pick a fresh strawberry, or a peach, or a lemon, or a cucumber, etc, no matter what time of year it is. I try, every day, to find something that has ripened and is ready to eat, and whatever it is, it doesn't usually make it back into the house!
 
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Geo

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My goal is not necessarily to grow everything I need, but to have something that I can harvest, despite the season. There is something delicious about walking outside and being able to pick a fresh strawberry, or a peach, or a lemon, or a cucumber, etc, no matter what time of year it is. I try, every day, to find something that has ripened and is ready to eat, and whatever it is, it doesn't usually make it back into the house!
Since I've been doing that for years while living with the parents (except for the winter months) - I know it's possible. Good luck!!
 
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spector

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If I can count my chickens, then I know I can "pick" at least 6-9 eggs every day. :) Winter is citrus: lemons, oranges, grapefruit. And the herb gardens are booming every day of the year. Summer is obviously the "boon" time, but I am starting to experiment with lengthening the harvest by planting early, mid, and late season versions of the same crop.