Live and Survive Within 25 Miles of Home


 

Please Shop Local

You  know, I spent the last couple days shopping within 25 milesof home. We have been only buying what we absolutely have to purchase and for sometime we have bought meat when it’s on sale and purchasing extra to freeze so that we don’t have to buy meat every week. I also have Vegetarian Meals also. We have friends that bring us things from time to time which helps a great deal. Our garden and the church garden has supplied much for our table. The local farms and farm markets supply the rest. I love giving my money to the local farmer and not to CA, WA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and China or some other foreign country when it’s in season here. I see these states or countries constantly at the grocery store. It isn’t that I don’t want other countries to have my money.The reason I feel this strongly about this is the jobless rates here in the US. As a loyalty to my fellow countrymen, I want my money to benefit my local community. If things were better, I would have no thought about spending money for the benefit of any another country.

Soaker Hose for the Garden

During the summer months, there are so many things available to us locally. Fish from the lake is one thing that we are able to do to stretch our food budget. It provides a tasty choice for us and is restful, stress relieving, and enjoyable. I have not tried it yet but I have thought about frog legs and turtle as a food source that we could try in the meat area. As for vegetables and fruits, as different crops come to harvest, if I buy locally, it keeps our local economy going and provides food for us all year-long by freezing and canning. I bought corn on the cob and was able to put some in the freezer. The drought has been hard on our farming community. We were having trouble getting our garden to produce. My husband went to a yard sale and bought 2 soaker hoses for $4.10 and we laid them up and down the rows in the garden. Our beets and carrots went crazy and they grew to amazing sizes. I just love what comes from the garden. Very healthy and so good too.

Our grand-daughter went with us to the farm markets.

Watermelon with yellow flesh

Watermelon with yellow flesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They had a melon cut open on display. it was a small size watermelon with a yellow insides. We gathered corn and a regular sugar baby watermelon. We were at the checkout when she came carrying the yellow watermelon that was cut in half up to the check out wanting to buy it. I said to her, “I don’t think they want to sell that one. That’s so people can see what it looks like inside.” Then I turned to the woman who was helping us with our purchase and said, “I think my grand-daughter wants this and a spoon!” She just laughed with us. We did bring home one of the yellow fleshed watermelons and it was delicious.

We went to another farm market and bought eggplant which we don’t have in either garden that we get our veggies from and blueberries along with a few other garden goodies. In the summer, I need two refrigerators to keep up with the vegetation that comes through our house. Again, I am so thankful.

There is a potato farmer that lives about 8 miles from us. We like to buy our potatoes and onions there. When fruit comes in season, Darnell will help me can some for the winter. Tomatoes are something we use a lot of all year-long, so we need to can some of them.

Food and Farmguide

I was looking on the internet, and saw that if you search for “food and farm guide” and put your zip code, town, state or county, almost always, you can find a guide to find local resources. I looked under my county name here in Michigan and found this site: http://vanburencd.org/farmguide. Here is the actual print download for this guide: http://vanburencd.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/FOOD-GUIDE-2012_1.pdf

I even found Food and Farm information available for the UK at this site: http://www.bigbarn.co.uk/ and I imagine many countries have those resources available online. Please support your local community by purchasing what is needed for your family from resources within 25 miles of your home.

I hope this is helpful to each of you.

Come and visit me again as I journey along the garden path.      Jan

 

Homesick!


A Little Bit of West Virginia Heaven
Near Stattes Mills in Jackson County                   By James Easter 2012

I’ve been in Michigan since 1971 but the air, mountains, rock,  and water from West Virginia are ingrained in my heart and soul. I utterly miss everything about WV. The mountains are majestic and I have great memories of wandering around the woods up on the mountain. I have always loved nature. Some of my best memories were when we lived out in the country when I was five or six. We lived on the side of a mountain so the land was terraced. Where the house was there was a flat terrace, then it dropped down about ten to fifteen feet to a flat area that was our yard and then down another ten feet to where the road was. The drive up to the house cut into the hill and was a pretty steep incline. At the back of the house where the flat part stopped there was a concrete block wall that held the hill back. At one end that was fourteen feet tall and became lower as it progressed to the right when you were facing it. At the other end it was only two feet tall. My sister and I would play on the wall and take chances we shouldn’t have but we did it anyway. Above the wall was one more plateau after you climbed a bit and on it was a hand-built cabin that my Dad built. We loved that cabin which was full size but a small one room cabin. It was a great place to play. It was beautiful on the mountain with blooming rhododendron, birds and wildlife. This is where my love of God’s creation began. The one thing that I didn’t like in nature at that age was snakes. They gave me the heebie-geebies! One day I was up on the mountain and saw a harmless garter snake which spurred my flight response. I started running down the mountain as fast as I could. I was probably screaming my head off but all I remember is running faster than I had ever run. This is not especially a good idea when you live on a mountain. I made it to the wall and started running down the wall toward the shorter end so I could get off. About two or three steps down the wall, I lost my footing and fell down the side of the wall staying in contact with it all the way down. My Mom heard the commotion and knew that something bad had happened. She came out and found me in a crying heap at the bottom of the wall with scrapes all the way down my body. Boy did I look like a mess. All of my memories were good there except for that one.

I learned to ride a bicycle there. My Dad was so frugal. He bought me a brand new, full-sized bike. I was six and short! Luckily that didn’t deter me.  The first part of the drive down the hill was at a right angle to the rest of the down-hill plunge. It was also not so steep as the rest of the drive. I would straddle the bike at the beginning of the drive, carefully step on the first pedal, start rolling and step up on the second pedal and ride down the incline standing on the pedals. In the beginning I almost always crashed at the bottom of the hill till I got the gist of pedal brakes. I would stop it then jump down with both feet at the same time. It was a long time before I could sit on the seat.

I was always the youngest and my sister that was three and a half years older, would have friends over and when they played outside I would try to keep up but invariably would bring up the end of the group. They called me “The Little Red Caboose”. My hair was a little reddish long, long ago.

My Life was good as I grew up and I loved my family. My Dad loved to eat and loved good food so that is where I got my love for food and my adventurous spirit for trying new things. What I didn’t get was good eating habits which brings me to my goal now; to have healthy food that at the same time tastes good cause I love good tasting food. It should be enjoyed.

Well, I didn’t tell you much about my past in West Virginia but I will tell you that no matter how many years I live here nor how much I love Michigan with all its Lakes, I will always miss West Virginia. That is where my heart will stay. My Mother and Dad have both passed away but I have my older sister. After my Mom died my Dad met my Step-Mother and they married and they adopted a little baby boy after I was grown and had moved away. I completely got to know my brother on the phone, computer, and Skype. We have visited a few times through the years but it’s mostly been through technology. I long to see my Step-Mother, Brother and Sister. I don’t get to travel much and haven’t been home in a long time. I am so thankful for Phones and Skype. They make the distance a little shorter! Ahhh technology, I love it!

The picture at the top of the post is taken by James Easter. He lives in Saint Albans, WV and he takes beautiful pictures. The picture that I renamed, “A Little Bit of West Virginia Heaven”, is not the most beautiful scene from WV that he has taken. It is one that I connect with even more than the gorgeous mountains, valleys, bridges, rivers or creeks you would find on tourist postcards. The reason I connect with this picture is that we traveled on many country road and this was a scene I saw repeatedly along those road. Some of these streams would be fed by tiny streams coming down the mountain or would come, like a miniature waterfall, cascading down the face of the jagged rocks that lined the roads. I loved this sight most of all. I loved many other pictures taken by James Easter but like I said this one connected to me the most. Because of things I lived with in West Virginia, I love the

Description: Photograph of a rock fence taken ...

Photograph in Vermont that is like rock fences in WV
(from Wikipedia)

sound of water and amazing rocks both large massive ones or small ones with colored designs running through them. These things have affected the things I do now. I have lots of plants. My affinity for rocks and rock walls has me planting in rock walled beds and living by the water. Every big rock with colorful veins running through it I see along the way, I’ll say to my husband, “Can I have that?” and he will say, “When you can lift it and put it in the trunk, then you can have it.” It’s a standing joke! I would have big boulders around my house if I could. When I die, I would like a boulder with a plaque attached for my grave marker. That’s all, I don’t want much!

Well that’s my story or a little bit of it. Glad I could share it with you. Come and visit again, anytime. I love company!

Tell me about the things that you make you homesick. What things have you taken from your past and brought into the future with you. I would love to hear about it.

Thanks again and See you soon.   Jan

Journey Along the Garden Path

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