Walk The Agrarian Path With Us

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bits and Pieces

The drought has caused me to look at things in a different light. It's not that I haven't thought of these things before and not that in the back of my mind I always knew the possibility was there. But it has drawn everything into focus and its time to use the knowledge. Its also time to gain new knowledge, and instead of storing it away for future reference, put it to use now.
After having fed hay all of these years as routine, hay is hard to come by. And if you do find it, many people have raised the price to where you can't afford it. That's unfortunate for many reasons, but one we know is that things won't always be good where you're at.
Last year when Texas and Oklahoma were suffering so with the drought, and while some states were sending them hay for free or for a decent price, we heard that some people in a certain state were selling it to them for a much escalated price. Not only was I very disappointed to hear that they had done such a thing to people in need, but I thought about what a big mistake it was because you don't always find yourself on top. There are good times and there are bad. Sure enough, this state is having a severe drought this year and is dependent on other states for their hay. Maybe we are all learning to pull together for whatever is to come.
I have begun to look at our food and think about using every bit of it somehow. Did you know that in addition to using egg shells in your compost you can wash them and add them to soup for added calcium? Or that you can make a calcium supplement by letting those clean shells dry at room temperature then powdering them in a blender, food processor, or with a rolling pin and then adding apple cider vinegar to them? (This will foam so have it in a big enough container. Use 1 pint of vinegar to the shells of a dozen eggs.) Don't pour that potato water down the drain after boiling potatoes but use it for liquid when making your bread and you won't believe how it improves the texture. Use those broccoli stems to make broccoli soup and either eat the leaves or feed them to your animals. We don't care for the flavor of beets so we use the greens in smoothies ( the greens are loaded with so much good stuff that you only use a couple at a time) and use the beets to make beet kvaas. Beet kvaas is a fermented drink so not only are we getting the great nutrients but also the healthy bacteria. It does taste like beets so we put it in a small glass (you don't need much) and slam it down.
I have also become more deliberate in water usage. Things like using the wringer washer because not only do you only fill the washer with water one time for several loads, but you can let the water run out of the hose on plants or things that you want to water or catch it and use it wherever you need to. Another idea is to fill a sink or dishpan with water for rinsing your dishes instead of turning on the faucet each time. If you have used a dishpan (or other container) you can take the water outside and use it to water something. When using homemade soap, made with animal fats or healthy oils and no synthetic fragrances, to do your dishes you can add the used dishwater to the hogs' feed. The lye in the soap helps get rid of parasites.
It's interesting that these ideas used to be the norm for the way people did them. I guess things are coming full circle.

"He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessings shall be upon the head of him that selleth it." Prov. 11:26

1 comment:

  1. Excellent suggestions! With the warm spring and dry summer, food prices will be going up because of poor harvests. Creative homemaking will be a must.