Back to the Future

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Last night, I started a book that has been sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently for me for several months, now. Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike and Nancy Bubel. (My bushels of potatoes and carrots and beets and onions are all doing very well in the garden at the moment, so I really need to start figuring out how I am going to keep them fresh this winter.)

At the beginning of the Preface, they had a quote that really spoke to me:

Slowly we are carving a new lifestyle. To some it might seem to be one that is looking backward, for it cherishes the homely, the rude, the unpackaged, the unmechanized, the careful. We do not think of it as a blind shutting out of any visions of the future, but rather, for us, the right way to face the future. The carving is not easy. It is often painful. But in it are the seeds of sanity, of joy.

-Mara Cary, Basic Baskets
That is what I feel like I am doing almost every day: re-learning old ways of doing things, so that the future is not a big, scary Place. If/when the oil runs out, if/when electricity becomes a much more precious commodity, if/when food is not trucked into my little Northern town every day, will our family survive? Will we be able to eat in February? And even in the meantime, how do I save money in the current economy, live frugally, be responsible?

The more I look, the more I see that the answer is actually found in renewing many economical traditions of our forefathers (and foremothers, too!) So I am learning to garden, although I still feel like I am forgetting something most of the time. I am learning to raise chickens, even though my heart breaks every time a predator or sickness takes one, and I really wonder how I will have the heart to butcher them in a few months. I am learning to preserve food without electricity. I am learning that the best peace of mind is in knowing that the One who made me has a plan, and He is still in control, even in what I think of as "uncertain times."

I am learning. And I am teaching my children.

That is the best insurance I can think of.

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  1. Ditto! My garden is a first year and very poor in soil :(, hoping next year it will be better!

  2. I've been wondering the same thing.. ....about you and the butchering of your pets I mean......I'm thinking that at that particular moment, vegetarianism might actually have a certain amount of appeal to you. :)
    Love you lots!

  3. Hey, Jennifer!

    I was just denied access to your blog, where I was going to comment. Have you just made it private? I am following it on Google Reader, but if you would prefer it was private, I will unsubscribe.

    Mom - Fortunately, I have had to deal with the death of enough of them already through incidental means that it has prepared me to cope with the rest. I think.

  4. I accidentally did, yes, but feel free now!


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