Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Little Cabin in the Woods

Jason's gone back to Las Vegas to gather his stuff in the wake of his layoff. He should be back to blogging by Thursday, when he's due to arrive here at the homestead. More bad news on the family financial front: we got word this morning that Jason's brother has also been laid off, following his promotion about six months ago. This must be sort-of like what times were like for our grandparents during the Great Depression...brings to mind the movies like "Cinderella Man"--soup kitchens, counting pennies for milk, and taking any job that will hire you. I have to say, I've never been so glad to live in the country.

When we lived in Las Vegas, we always used to joke that if ever a disaster happened, we'd make a beeline for our place in Texas, because I grew up here and knew I could feed us from what we could grow and gather around here. Times might get tight but we wouldn't starve. How surreal that we're quasi-dependent on this summer's gardening efforts. Also surreal is the fact that we are so enjoying getting back to a simpler life, but now we're forced to do so!

I can remember my grandmother telling Depression stories, about how the farm families did so much better than the city folks, because at least they had the land to feed them. They bartered food for stuff they couldn't grow. I don't think it'll come down to that, but if I can pack the freezer and pantry with stuff that we planted, maybe feeding our family of four won't be so stressful. I guess we'll be getting that pig after all!

That's been a subject of great debate at Casa Chambers...I don't know if I'd be able to send Pet Porky to the butcher after feeding it all spring and summer. The LAST thing we need is a 400 pound pet eating us out of house and home, and I personally can recollect wondering where Fonzie was when my grandfather was feeding us ham for Sunday lunch. I think the kids might be scarred for life. Though it is true that my older daughter is affectionately known around here as the "pork product kid" for her love of all things bacon. I guess we'll be putting that on our list of things to do. I've already steeled myself in preparation for this year's meat chicken endeavor, which will start this spring.

It should be warm enough soon to order the chicks from McMurray's Hatchery. Might also get a few turkey poults and ducklings and see how they fare...I definitely see a war with the coyotes coming on. The hardest thing to remember is to do one thing at a time--first plant the garden, then build the chick tractors, then order the chicks, and so on. It's VERY difficult to want the results immediately, before you are ready for the next step. We'll keep you posted.

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