Raise Your Food

Raise your food – save money and be independent


Written By: Julie

The US (and many other countries) was founded by people who believed in working hard and making your own luck. Growing and preserving food was once a way of life for nearly all families – even the very wealthy had kitchen gardens or kept animals on their estates. As factories began to dot the land, more and more families moved to the cities where it was difficult or impossible to have gardens or livestock.

During the second World War, families were encouraged to grow gardens to provide for their own produce. These Victory Gardens were also encouraged since the government was sending as much food as possible to the men fighting overseas. With hundreds of thousands of home gardens, the thinking was, that much extra farm produce could be directed to the war effort.

When war was over, women were expected to quite their jobs to stay at home – and gardening became an ornamental pursuit rather than a way to feed the family. The suburban lawn grew as a status symbol. Yards were meant to be lush, green and weed-free. Flowers were in, veggies were a bore. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers were touted as the modern way to grow lawns, flowers – or farms.

The 60′s and 70′s brought a resurgance of the independent, back to the land movement. Magazines such as Mother Earth News cropped up to teach these eager new homesteaders how to make the most of the space they had – whether it was a tiny urban lot – or an independent family farm.

Not everyone was buying in, though, and gardening for food again fell out of favor. Self-reliance almost became a dirty word during the 1980′s and 90′s. For many people, the goal was simply to acquire more and to spend more money. For others, just getting by in the 9-5 rush was exhausting. As more and more moms entered the workforce, fighting traffic to get to daycare on time was plenty of self-reliance for them!

However, there has always been a small, but determined, band of rebels who have kept “the old ways” alive and well. I have always enjoyed learning the old crafts and studying sustainable living skills. Even as a child I spent many happy hours reading from the huge stack of Mother Earth News magazines my parents had. Instead of drawing houses, like other kids, I drew pictures of my dream estate. In my 10 year old mind, that estate was a 5 acre farm with a lush garden and a varied orchard that would provide fruit nearly year round.

I am excited that so many people are now raise their own food again. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite techniques here as well as sharing my efforts as I learn new skills. Be sure to subscribe so you’ll know when new tutorials and articles are posted. There is so much to learn! From growing your own vegetables and fruit, to making cheese or raising chickens, there are a nearly endless variety of skills you can master.

You’ll love being able to do these things for yourself and your family – as well as the pride that comes from conquering new tasks.

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