A gal over at Throwback at Trapper Creek wrote a blog a while back about There Ain't No Stinking Learning Curve She isn't kidding. No matter how long we do this homesteading adventure there is no point in which things become far more easier and your knowledge level almost complete. Years ago I asked an older gentleman, now passed on, about raising sheep. He told me that he had been doing it since he was a kid and every year something new happened that he had never dealt with before that humbled him.
Not everyone says this, just those that truly want to improve. There are ranchers and farmers who have been doing things the same way for ever. They don't last long in this changing and difficult world that doesn't value the farmer. They shrug their shoulders when something new comes along but it will spell their disaster in time. These are the farmers and ranchers who have gotten caught up in the world and hence, they are raising GMO foods. Someone else knows what they are doing so lets jump on the bandwagon mentality. I just learned today my favorite chips whom I thought were more healthy, though not exactly healthy, are GMO made, Tostitos and Sun Chips. No wonder I've been feeling the urge to learn to make home-made chips. I promise you as you begin the journey to self-sufficiency you will be guided what to do next.
We as a society once connected our food with the farmer - no longer. People now think the store does it, so far are they removed from their roots. One young lady told me that chickens grow up to be turkeys. Cool!! How long does that take because I've known some hens that made it past ten or more years old and they still haven't become a turkey in the literal sense. A gentleman asked me what you fed the chickens to get the different colored egg shells? People have no idea about the food they are eating. No wonder they are so swayed by the latest eating trends like almond milk is good for you and rich in protein. Yup, your body just can't use it. Really it is a duh, because when was the last time you saw a farmer milking an almond? This is just like our body can't absorb the iron in the pipe swing set we built. But I suppose someone would be dumb enough to think it was good for them. And last but not least of course the store supplies our food right? The food we want and have come to enjoy will always be there, right? Ever watched the movie Atlas Shrugged? Something to think about in the latest trend for the public good being the most important thing. Other countries have tried this and fallen into ruin. Anyone been to Sochi lately? Look back in history. They touted the, for the public good button also.
As for the FDA looking out for us -- that is a joke. Even Mexico has outlawed GMO foods. Over 40 countries have to label GMO products, not us. The FDA's bottom line is the all mighty dollar. Did you know the FDA allows so many bugs in every frozen package and can of food you consume. If you doubt it, read the following.
To a degree I understand the bug thing but I'm not buying it any more than I have to.
Thomas Jefferson has long been a hero of mine for his willingness to make a stand and for his wisdom. You are seeing these rants a bit more because I think I too need to start making a stand as do all Americans who aren't happy with the way our country is going. With Autism I'm limited as to my avenues so I will use this blog on occasion to spread the word. There are too many Americans in the dark and too many ranting about how someone else needs to fix things. Other than protesting they sure aren't about to do a thing. Not that I'm against demanding change. Just that change shouldn't solely be the other guys responsibility.
Thomas Jefferson was a keen observer. He studied the nature of man and its relation to government. He studied agriculture, was an inventor and an innovator. He was an extremely intelligent and a wise man. Someone I highly regard and one whom I look to for his wisdom. He said the following to James Madison.
1787 Dec. 20. (to James Madison) "I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural." 
LESS THAN ONE PERCENT CLAIM FARMING AS THEIR OCCUPATION IN THE UNITED STATES.
I've long said that when people left the farms and ranches they left common sense behind. Common sense is created through experiences. The city incubates people and cares for them not allowing them the opportunity to learn the basics which are often painful lessons. It is knowledge and the been there done that, that allows us to bridge this store of knowledge to wisdom and helps us shift it to new experiences so that we can move forward effectively.
Our oldest daughter once observed a run away railroad car derail and hit a power pole in a small city. People came out of their houses from all around with their little kids to see the site. The police were struggling to get them to go back home to safety. To them it was like an amusement park completely unaware of the huge danger. When one grew cranky with Toni, she told them the only reason she was still around was that she was the eye witness and figured she had to give a statement . Could they please do so, so she could go home to safety?
Electricity travels through the ground in often unpredictable paths. We've had lightening strike in our yard and just behind us a number of times. Once it struck the street just in front of our house and destroyed the street light in our yard. It traveled up the yard beside our house on the one side damaging only the clock on the microwave oven in the kitchen and nailed the neighbors appliances on the opposite side of our yard as the strike. Yes, electricity does not travel in a straight path underground. This same daughter knows what happens when you hold someone's hand and they touch the horse's electric fence.
In this small community in which we presently live, we've had a tornado strike some years back. Some were furious they weren't warned soon enough. It is not like we don't have small tornadoes on a regular basis in the surrounding country side in the summer. One might stop to think about learning a thing or two about them but no, the government officials are responsible to save them. Our kids tried to out run the path of a tornado in a Geo Metro as they put the pedal to the medal on the highway. They barely made it as cop cars closed in behind them blocking the road as the tornado came ever closer in its perpendicular path.
So where were our oldest daughter and I when the tornado struck the town? In the basement of course, we had been watching the weather and saw the warm and cold front collide. We saw the clouds get ugly and look like a tornado would form. We saw them turn turquoise and knew we were in BIG trouble. When I lived on the ranch there was no alarm system like there is no alarm system in most of the country. If you aren't looking to pass the buck to the next guy, you learn that knowledge and wisdom are the keys to survival. Not someone 40 miles away with there hand on a key board who might sound the alarm sirens in time to warn us to take cover and does not care about your safety personally.
I don't believe the store will provide me with nutrition. I don't believe hardly a politician cares a hooten toot about the people they are suppose to serve. I've seen too much locally, especially in the last year, and nationally. I don't believe a policeman is there to keep me safe. We know policeman from all over the US and they say the same thing. They are there to pick up the pieces when it is all over. I don't believe in hand outs. They always come with a controlling clause. If not that then always at a cost. The dignity of self-reliance that gives you confidence to move forward on your own. I believe in hand ups where the reward is earned.
Our daughter when she lived in the city noticed striking difference in the way people walked. It was meek and vulnerable. Unlike the I can tackle the next thing because I've tackled everything that has come my way before and I'll figure I can tackle what comes my way in the future. It will be tough but I CAN DO. It was the rancher's walk she grew up with. Not arrogance because that comes from falseness and stupidity. That is how we spied the 'Want To Be's,. Just a walk that shouted confidence that is earned. You can see it in the young and the middle aged, and the old.
Thomas Jefferson said -1785 Aug. 23. (to John Jay) "Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it's liberty and interests by the most lasting bands."
Unfortunately today even the farmers and ranchers more often than not, do not process their own meat and buy someone else's from the store. I've talked to the local grocery store owners. It slays me. How is this logical. If they won't even eat your own product, why should I? Yes, America has changed to a dependent lot and it will be our down fall.
I salute you. All those of you who are becoming as independent as possible in your unique circumstances. We will know who you are. Your walk will tell us that you've been there, done that, and are ready to meet the next challenge.