Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making Changes

In November of 2009 I wrote a post titled Keeping the Home. In it I talked about cleaning schedules, and how I wanted to start cooking more from scratch. I was overwhelmed by the "real foods" movement, but felt like it was something I really wanted to get behind. I just didn't know where to start. Since then I've done a lot of research, and even watched documentaries like Food, Inc. and Super Size Me. (If you haven't seen either one, I highly recommend them!) That's enough to scare the crap out of you! But rather than scare me it really made me decide on some solids changes we could make around here. The other day at the library I picked up a book titled Radical Homemakers. While I don't think I could get as radical as some of these people, I appreciate what they are doing. It is an inspiring read for anyone interested in ecological and self-sustaining practices.

Some of the things I have tossed around (to myself, Steven and my mom) are:

1) Making our own bread (in fact, I made two loaves today, solo mio using my moms recipe that she used when we were growing up. The house smells so good right now and I am currently eating a piece, covered in butter and dripping in honey. Eat your heart out! lol!)

2) Joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We have found a local Amish farm in our area that is offering 115 shares in their CSA this year. It runs for 32 weeks out of the year (longer than most of the others offered around here) and you can also pay a little extra and get eggs each week. It equals out to about $2.50 a week for eggs but I'm willing to pay that for farm fresh, free range eggs! And I love the idea of supporting a local Amish family!

3) Buying share in a cow, a pig and some chickens. I love the idea of local, fresh beef, pork, and chicken. It is so much healthier and we'd be able to visit the farms they are raised on and check out the conditions they live in, how they are fed, etc. No more antibiotics or hormones in our meat! And once again, we'd be supporting local farmers which is so important!

4) Planting our own garden. We have crappy soil where we live, in fact most of it is rock! So we are going to build 3 or 4 beds and plant some of our own fruits and veggies to hold us over on weeks we don't have CSA deliveries and to use for canning, freezing, etc.

I know this seems like a lot at once, but the CSA and animal shares are really easy, it just takes some money. So we're going to use some of what's leftover from our taxes for that. The bread making is pretty easy too, and will just become part of my routine a few days a week. The most time intensive part is waiting for it to rise (and then rise again!) but I don't have to be standing there watching it, so it doesn't affect me or what I can get done around the house. The garden will be the most time intensive, labor intensive part, but I'm excited to get our kids out there working alongside of us. It's going to be a great learning, growing experience for our family. So that's what we are planning on doing around here to live healthier and more responsibly. What are you and your family doing to live a better life this year?


Diana said...

How fun, I know my kids eat better when I make it from scratch or grow it. The bread recipe I use you put it straight from mixing to bread pan to oven to rise, saves me so many steps and messes.
I am trying to cut back on the kid's TV and increase our time outside. After a year of pregnant/bedrest and newborn baby it's time to get moving. They love to "run" with me.

Michelle said...

Maybe you could invest in a bread machine, which would let it rest, rise, knead, etc. for you, even overnight. There are MANY bread maker bread recipes out there. :)

The Fischer Family said...

Michelle, we have a bread maker but I haven't had much luck with it lately. In fact, the past two times I've made bread in it, it hasn't risen and just became a lump of over baked rock! I know it's not my yeast because it works just fine when I make it by hand. So I think the machine is on it's last legs! Who knows, maybe one day I'll buy a new one!