August 19, 2016

Memories of a Homesteading Journey :: Knowing Tom

True, I was raised running through mud and chasing cows. But like everything, if you don't use it... well at the very least you could use a refresher course, and last night as I was thinking ~ how did I arrive to this place of desire. This strong desire to run bare foot through grass, pick and glean every useful berry, root, fruit and leaf I can get my hands on. To do it myself. Care for animals, and grow a life wrapped in the rhythms of the Creator's calendar and seasons...

Ever have one those nights, where you ask yourself... self - how did we ever get to this place? Then self starts remembering all the events that brought us to this place. And you find yourself still awake at three in the morning...

Meet Tom.

Tom was a grand introduction, actually I believe it was Providence. So many homesteading skills were gleaned from knowing Tom, and it was he who inspired me to turn my whole backyard into a garden, add chickens and ignited my flame of learning how to market garden.

It was also during that season, when we went door to door on a back country road looking for raw milk. Yes. True Story. Picture with me - a mini van, two ladies and four children of various ages all seeking 'white' gold and knocking on doors like we were selling cookies. It was Tom who sent us on that chase... and yes, we were blessed for our efforts. Raw goats milk for a season...

Tom also taught us how to butcher chickens, hoe long rows, prep for farmers markets, and what 'not to do' for organically grown produce and the importance of knowing your soil. This was also when I began to become passionate about Non GMO, having a serious dislike for Monsanto and Round Up... and became hound dog on intent to find another source for raw milk.

Later came my involvement in a whole foods co-op, a raw milk share and serving at a local church's healthier food store. Sold chicken eggs, tortillas and home made bread, gleaned wild plums and learned to can with a pressure cooker. Part of my daughters home school curriculum was to raise a four by four plot of red winter wheat, thresh the grain and grind it by hand and produce an edible.

I will never forget that dinner, we all sat there after grace staring at the bountiful table with hearts filled with gratitude. There before us, table laid was... home made butter, fresh biscuits and chicken soup... and the only part of the meal that we did not raise ourselves was the milk for the butter

We felt like we had reached a huge success in our lives, accomplished a high set goal and I think that will always be the best meal we have ever eaten, in flavor and in joyfulness.

Yes, knowing Tom, fanned the flame of what lay in my being... rekindled the childhood memories, the clothes line, my desire to learn how to sew and knit, make candles, render tallow and create home remedies...  and even though it was not Tom who taught me all those things, or even shared in each memory. It is who comes to mind first. When I ask myself ~ how did I arrive here?

~ Blessings!

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