Thursday, March 1, 2012

Location, location, location!

In addition to being almost giddy about filling the freezer with our recent pork procurement....
Oh, pork sausage, how I adore thee, patiently awaiting your destiny.
 Biscuits & Gravy or Sausage Patties with Fried Eggs - I cannot decide.
.....I'm also happy to know that we're practicing good "Eating Ethics".  Not only do we know that this hog was raised in a humane manner, but it keeps money in our local economy; the local farmer and local butcher.  This hog has traveled a total of only twenty-six miles from the farm to the butcher to our house.

Our beef is also acquired and butchered locally; another round trip drive of less than 35 miles.

Getting milk is a simple jaunt across the yard to the barn.  As is gathering eggs; from hens that we hatched out from our own flock.

Cornish Cross meat chickens are raised on our homestead.  Although technically the chicks do have a moderate drive from Southern Missouri to the local feed store, then on to our house.  But it's still "only" a one-hundred and sixteen mile trip.

The occasional deer, squirrel, rabbit and goat also come from our property.  Not a single drop of diesel fuel was used to transport them to our freezer.

Hopefully this spring, summer and fall, the majority of our vegetables will be a short hop, skip and jump to our raised beds.  Then there are those "unplanned" and "freebie" wild foods like plums, grapes, blackberries and persimmons.  Wild greens like henbit, lambs quarters, amaranth, onions, garlic, poke and dandelions.  Clover and lemon balm for herbal teas.  Black walnuts (icky) and Hickory nuts (yummy).   And I'm sure a plethora (hehe) of other goodies I have yet to find, identify or taste.  All this in the uncultivated areas around our homestead or just a short walk down the road.

There is also a seasonal Farmer's Markets on the weekends, one of them just four miles from our house.  
I'd also like to try and do some more bartering with local folk.  Last year I traded our goat milk for fresh fish, pork and venison.

In the "bigger" town, there's a health food store that sells local produce.  Local as in our County or neighboring Counties.  Unfortunately, even some of the big box stores have been using the word "Local" on some of their produce although it means something quite different to them than it does us.  Yes, those apples are located closer than say, Chile, but still two states away.  Not so much local if you asked me.

Now that I've babbled on about purchasing stuff locally, let me be the first to tell you that I still buy apples at the store in the winter and spring.  I buy bananas that were once packed in huge metal cargo containers and floated across the ocean, traveled by rail or semi truck, then delivered to my local grocery store.  Then I will drive the eleven miles (one way) to purchase those bananas, then drive the eleven miles back home.  Just so Rhiannon and I can indulge in a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  

Same could be said for the bulk wheat we purchase.  Even though I grind it into flour in my own grain mill and bake the bread in my own oven therefore saving the actual wheat berries a trip to / from mills and bakeries, the actual wheat has still traveled two thousand miles from a wheat field in Montana to a distribution warehouse in Southern Michigan, then down to us in Arkansas.

Need I mention how far that Earl Gray Tea I drink so often has to travel???

So even though we don't grow our own grains, mine our own salt or have a heated greenhouse large enough to grow our own banana trees, we do what is feisable in order to reduce our dependence on foods that we
are able to produce or buy locally.  It just takes a little more planning.


  1. Seems to me you're doing a good job of what it would behoove (oh, there is such a plethora of words to use!) all of us to do! As you say, it just takes a little more planning and thinking.

  2. Lovely localvore standards, Carolyn. You are making very good use of what is available to you. We attempt the same on our homestead, but of course much purchase things like bananas and coffee.

    You must be using Wheat Montana wheat? I love their prairie gold and bronze chief. Good stuff! :o)

  3. For me, I have decided I am not perfect, so instead, I work to control what is actually plausible and accept what I cannot. I enjoy banana's and will not likely give them up. But I can raise hens, a cow each year, sheep, goats for milk, and a good deal of my own I am content in knowing as much as I can, I do what I can.


  4. Locovore indeed. You rock!! I always tell the boys if we were eating totally local, they'd never have that amazing PB and B (banana) sandwich that you and yours enjoy as well. "What mom? No peanuts? No bananas?" Well...we all have to make exceptions. :) I think you're doing a fine job!!!!

  5. Any effort is worthwhile and you are doing a LOT. I've been buying any meat that I eat from local folks and, not only does it taste better, but keeps their farms going, too. I can't imagine living back in the city. I think I'd curl up in a ball and dry up and blow away.

  6. You had me until I read about the "squirrel". That is one recipe that I'm waiting for you to post on!

  7. Wonderful post! We try our best also and strive to be better every year, but I'm with you on the Earl Grey!

  8. You and your plethoras!! :)
    I think you are doing an outstanding job eating locally! I can't give up bananas or my Earl Grey tea either!!

  9. Mama Pea, is that your new blog-word? :)

    Mooberry, we do buy Wheat Montana wheat, both Bronze Chief and Prairie Gold from Country Life Natural Foods. I've been looking for a more robust red wheat also, though I probably won't give up on the BC and PG. Think I got the red wheat from Walton Feed years ago and now we're out of it.

    Humble Wife, there have been times when I get upset because I know I can't do EVERYthing here on the homestead, but like you said, there are only so many things that are within our control, so I just focus on what I CAN do and be thankful for it.

    Mama Tea, what DID people do back in the old days before PB&B's?????

    Susan, I'd like to think we'd survive if we had to move back into the 'burbs.....but there would always be something missing.

    Chai Chai, I'll try to remember to post the picture of DH & DD at the dinner table with a whole squirrel on the plate, it's hilarious!!

    Erin, we all do the best we can....and when the going gets tough...the tough drink tea from across the ocean!! :)

    Candy, life just wouldn't be worth living without tea! Well, I guess it would.....but it would definitely be more sucky.

  10. You had me at hickory nuts - super delicious! They aren't local to me, but they're local to my mama, so when we go home we gather them up, bring them home, and then spend a LOT of time getting them shelled to get a cup or two. (Any tips on that front?)

    I also wanted to pop in and talk to you right quick about rabbits - regarding the reply you left for me on my blog. I wanted to make sure you knew that you can get New Zealands in black and red/brown, as well as the white ones. We're pretty sure that Shadow is a New Zealand. You said you'd prefer some color, so I wanted to mention it!

    Have a great day,
    -Laura at TenThingsFarm

  11. I want to know more about the hickory nuts. Do you have to roast them or anything? We have them ALL over the place. And what about acorns? hehehehe

  12. Good for you, we all do what we can!

  13. I am trying my best to get to where you are now... so My hats off to you with all that you have accomplished. I too would love to know more about the hickory nuts. I have a huge tree in my front yard and I usually just leave the nuts for the squirels during the winter then I rake em up and burn them in the spring. Seems like I could be enjoying them as well.