We just finished making this year’s hay at our family farm.
Haymaking is an art….. It is exhausting….. It is glorious.
It is worthwhile to experience it at least once. You might even want to add it to your bucket list. For city folks, you may be wondering what is this big deal about hay? Hay is like the stuff we find in small bales in October right?
Like most things in life, there is a lot more to hay than first realized. When you are done reading this article, you will have incorporated some key knowledge of country living and keeping animals. It is hoped you will be able to vicariously enjoy the process to some extent as well.
What is Hay?
Hay is dried grass or possibly other green plants. It is not straw. While straw is a dried plant, it is made from the stems of cereal grasses such as wheat or oats after the grain has been harvested. By harvest-time, the stems are turning brown and have almost zero nutritional value. Straw is good for bedding animals. It is worthless for food.
Grass on the other hand is excellent food for grazing animals. It is … Read the rest
Also posted in Living
Tagged fodder, hay
Whenever we set ourselves a goal to “go off grid”, whether the grid means electricity, water, food, or something else, we face a task that is in all probability high unlikely to be accomplished, and maybe impossible, at least at in the short-term. When we finally face that reality we usually become discouraged and just give up or file it along with our other pipe dreams. I have been there. I have also been learning an important principle – a little is better than nothing.
We must stop thinking in terms of “getting off the grid” and more in terms of gaining some measure of independence, no matter how small and then go from there. At first glance, this idea seems ludicrous. After all, if we are still attached and dependent on an electric grid, food supply grid, etc., we are still dependent on them. That is true, however, we must consider the level of dependence as well. When we account for that factor, we begin to see that any measure of independence, no matter how small, will not only lead to greater independence in the future (progress toward our goal), but also vastly increases our security by decreasing our … Read the rest
Also posted in Energy, Living
Tagged energy, food, water
Have you ever wanted to organize your spices and dried herbs better? The grocery store containers don’t just cut it – they are expensive and not uniform in size, making it difficult to organize. Special spice racks and jars aren’t very flexible and usually don’t provide enough jars or storage.
So what’s the solution? This how-to
over at Instructables provides it. The author simply re-uses the small glass bottles that many popular drinks come in. Featured is the same bottle that piles up at our house – Starbucks Frappuccino. It is the perfect size for spices – not too small, not too large. You can probably find other drink bottles that work as well. The Instructable goes even further by coming up with an elegant and permanent means of labeling the bottles as well – etching the names into the side of the glass itself. The author uses a lettering stencil and Armour Etch
which is a glass etching cream. It looks fast and simple to do.
You can go hog wild with this idea. In addition to organizing and beautifying your heretofore haphazard spice rack/cabinet, you could make great Christmas gifts or even sell them on Etsy or at … Read the rest
Posted in Food
Tagged food storage
In my last article, I described three steps anyone can take to drastically reduce their dependence on industrial sources for their food supply without growing any food yourself. By taking those crucial three steps you can be free from food tyranny and secure from possible supply line disruptions due to either natural or man-made causes.
You may have wondered; what about growing my own food? This article will answer that question for vegetables. It will address the various of types of produce you can grow and the options available for raising them. Since it is difficult to grow all our own food, it is profitable to remember one piece of advice from the previous article – buy as much food as you can from independent small family sources. By purchasing from independent sources, you can be free from industrial and government controls immediately, and then gradually replace some of those foods with ones you grow yourself. With this hybrid approach, you have secured your entire food supply without any gaps, and you also maximize your flexibility. If your own crop fails, you can still fall back on your small community or mail order sources.
The first thought that comes … Read the rest
Many of us (myself included) place self-sufficiency in food at the top of our priority list. Despite our best efforts, we inevitably fall short. Why do fail to accomplish this seemingly simple objective? Our forefathers grew most of their own food, so why can’t we? That is the question this article proposes to answer.
If we are to find an answer, we must first define our problem. Is total self-sufficiency what we really want? It may be, but unfortunately, we can never achieve such a goal. Even our forefathers could never achieve such a thing. They may have performed what appears to be impossible feats today, such as clearing forests with their own backs, but nevertheless they still depended on a wide-spread system of production for many of their needs. They bought their tools, and many of their basic foodstuffs like coffee, sugar and flour. The first colonies in America half-starved the first year, and were dependent on supplies shipped from England. While we have the aid of vastly improved technology since our ancestors, that makes us even more dependent on established industry for our tools and many of our supplies.
While the first problem with complete self-sufficiency … Read the rest
Microwave Oven (via Wikipedia)
There is a popular belief that microwave cooking alters food at the molecular level in ways that render foods cooked in it unhealthy. Phrases like “energetic vibration of molecules” and “artificial alternating current microwaves” are often bandied about in support of this idea. Here at ProvideYourOwn we are not in the habit of supporting politically correct or other common conventions support by industry, but we don’t shy from the truth either, even if it does happen to be mainstream . So, are microwaved foods safe to eat and still healthy? We will answer that question and give the supporting science in this article.
For many years the Daniels’ family avoided microwave cooking. We stopped using it several years ago after reading a spate of articles containing the “energetic vibration” phrases. These phrases were scary (they are meant to be), but what really got my attention was the mention of an incident where someone inserted a spoon into a hot drink straight from the microwave and the contents exploded. My thought was that maybe there was some kind of super heating at the molecular level that may cause unhealthy changes to the food. I even … Read the rest
While to some this question may be obvious, to many it is not. Food in America is both abundant and cheap. Go to any grocery store, and you will be presented with a cornucopia of food. Fresh produce is always available even when out of season. Sandwiched in between the meat/eggs/dairy section and the produce aisle is the bulk of the store, teaming with every kind of convenience and pre-made food imaginable. A person doesn’t even need to cook anymore – just a trip to the kitchen freezer, one can usually find a pre-cooked meal ready to be heated and eaten. So why should anyone even cook their own food, much less grow and process it?
Here are some reasons to ponder:
Independence is what being a Provider is all about. Americans don’t realize just how dependent we are on large corporations for one of the most basic and essential needs for life – food. Our food supply is carefully managed and controlled, with the power over it concentrated in only a few hands. Production is carefully controlled by just a few large corporations, processing and distribution by those same corporations, and the retailing by another small set of … Read the rest