I don't know about you, but I need a break from headline news ... it's not that I want to stick my head in the sand; it's just that I need to devote a little "head time" to my own needs. And I guess I've arrived at this moment as I'm approaching my annual Labor Day assessment of our self-sustaining lifestyle.
Both PLW and I are striving to become more self-sufficient and "organic" in how we live. We just filled the freezer with fresh, hormone-free beef, and picked up our bi-weekly supply of raw milk. And we are blessed to be part of a growing network of friends who are embracing this lifestyle, as well. Although we don't mind being called "preppers", it's become as much about being as healthy as we can, and making our own decisions about what we put in our bodies.
Although we are rather new to this lifestyle, we are eagerly learning what works best for us in our climate and growing seasons. Our next big move will be to square-box gardening, in the hopes that we can conquer our ever-present nemesis, the weeds. Any suggestions from those of you who have perfected this method will be gratefully appreciated. We're hoping that the use of wicking beds will also help us fight this unrelenting drought. And PLW is even going to introduce a worm motel! Oh, the joys of unconventional gardening!
But, seriously, this lifestyle is coming more and more under scrutiny in our over-regulated culture. It is not only a matter of small farmers, who choose to sell directly to the consumer, and are battling Big Agriculture; but we private citizens are under the microscope for daring to raise our own cattle and butcher them without the all-important USDA stamp of approval. Making your own cheese, or fermenting cabbage to make sauerkraut are all suspect, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is becoming such a problem, that there is even a "food rights" movement!
Certainly, they're not going to try to convince us that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are safe or healthy ... are they? Because I'll take my chances with raw milk or grass-fed beef, before I'll choose food that has been subjected to fertilizers, pesticides, high fructose corn syrup, and aspartame.
I hate it that everything is becoming a struggle between private citizens and an encroaching government. It's not enough that our health care is no longer between us and our doctors; now, they want to take away our choice of the very foods we eat! But I figure that if I can eat more organically, (minus the additives that will slowly erode my health and send me to a government-controlled doctor), that I will, very simply, be healthier. And there's an additional benefit: I am, in my own small way, asserting my individual rights and control over my own body. Bon appétit!
1 Corinthians 6:19 "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,"