How We Source Our Food
One of the things (or should I say the main thing) that I am obsessed with here on our village homestead is buying as much food produced locally or producing as much food as we can ourselves (as some of you may be).
Where we live, it is very easy to get meat from farmers/ranchers. This is what we do for beef and chicken. We did have a pork source but the farmer stopped doing that. The meat was so much superior to what we have bought from the store in the past that I no longer eat pork.
If we can’t find a good product we just won’t buy it.
Eggs are fairly easy to get locally but in Canada the public sale of eggs by private individuals is prohibited so people give them away. We purchase honey from a couple who live three blocks away.
The basics are usually what give us trouble in finding. We need to buy flour from the store (even though we are surrounded by grain fields), and anything else needed to bake. Nuts obviously are not grown locally with the exception of wild hazelnuts if you can find them.
We actually grow our own beans (regular and broad beans) and peas and then dry them for later use. But right now we need to buy other grains like barley, wild rice, lentils and buckwheat. I would love to be able to grow enough for ourselves. Maybe one day.
Dairy is one thing that we can’t get from nearby farmers. We have to buy it in the store. We buy cheese that is produced in our province from milk also produced in the province but milk for drinking (like in coffee or cereal) is not local. I no longer drink milk as is nor use it in cereal.
For fruit and vegetables we now only buy bananas, cauliflower (because we have not been able to grow any substantial amount in our own garden), locally grown mushrooms and the occasional sweet potato as long as it is grown as close by as possible.
In season once a year we buy cherries, blueberries and sometimes strawberries. We have our own local sources for the “Saskatoon” berry and cranberries otherwise known as the Serviceberry. We have more of our own apples and raspberries than we can handle.
Ernie recently read an article about sweet potatoes and found out that the majority of what we get here comes from China. Unless it specifically says that it is from a closer place, I won’t buy them anymore.
We all know that it is crucial to be able to get as much food as you can on your own. Getting food locally is important for the experience of enjoying the food, knowing where it comes from, how to procure it and use it, and being thankful for it.
The disconnect between humans and their food is obviously affecting our health, most especially children. This also applies to those who no longer eat meat (not everyone but some).
The idea of food being “cruelty free” food is impossible. Other animals and many many insects always die as a result of plant harvesting methods – even in organic agriculture.
And unless you are buying certified organic, most grains have been sprayed with herbicide in the fall to “burn” them so the farmer can harvest everything at the same time. Did you know that %75 of conventionally produced sunflower seeds are “dessicated” this way? See an article about that here
Another reason humans need to be aware of where their food comes from is so that they won’t worry about how to survive on the occasion that there is no food available for purchase.
I think I’m interested in trying the 100 mile diet, or here in Canada the “160 kilometre” diet, where you source all you food from places within that radius.
I know I don’t have to tell all of this to any of you who are homesteading. This is something that homesteaders already think about just by their nature.
Happy Food Procurement!
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