Self-Sufficiency: Feeding Ourselves
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Self-Sufficiency: Feeding Ourselves

One family's challenge of being self-sufficient
   We have all become so dependent on our local grocery store or Big Box retailer to provide food for our families.  We willingly purchase produce grown in neighboring countries and transported thousands of miles to reach our local stores.  We've suffered through health scares such as the huge egg recall this past summer and bad tomatoes the year before because our large corporate farms are more products plans then producers.  Why are we depend on others to feed us?  Lack of time?  Lack of knowledge? Or, is it simply convenience? 

   This coming year our goal is to feed ourselves by growing and raising our own food.  What we can't produce, we will obtain through bater with other farmers and as a last resort, will purchase locally.  We raise poultry on a small scale, have laying hens, several dairy goats, and will be adding a few pigs in the spring.  We already bater with a neighboring farm for beef and honey.  We have a local farm that produces organic wheat and other grains that we can purchase.  Our vegetable garden continues to expand and we have added several hoop houses to extend our growing season. Our challenge is citrus, such as oranges, lemons, and limes which do not grow in our area.  We will have to purchase yeast, some oils, and a few other items, but our grocery bill should be extremely small.

   This project will involve a great deal of work.  Baking bread rather then picking up a loaf or two from Krogers will take valuable time.  Making cheese and butter are also time-consuming task.  Learning to eat seasonally will be fun.  We can't have a fresh tomato in January here.  This will be an educational journey as well as a challenge.   We also have to be prepared for poor growing seasons.  A drought or early frost can damage a garden quickly.  Keeping predators away from the chicken and turkeys can be a challenge.  We don't want the local coyote or fox enjoying our dinner. 

   Why go through this process?  Because we want to challenge ourselves and others.  We want to eat healthier, know exactly how and where our food is produced, and be less dependent on others to survive.  We will share our challenges, successes, problems, heartbreaks, and recipes with you.  Each week we will provide an update and a copy of any grocery store reciept.  Our challenge will begin May 1st 2011 and run through April 2012.  We invite you to join us.  Even if you can't produce everything you need, plant a small garden and simply lessen the amount of food you have to purchase.  Find local farmer's markets where you can buy local.  Join a CSA or seek out local farmers.  Start small and expand.

   Join us for our Self-Sufficieny challenge!

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