ANZ's Farms

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gone Granola

A friend recently visited my home. As he gawked at the goats lounging on their spools, chewing their cuds, and heard the chickens clucking in the back yard, he asked, "When did you go granola?"
I have indeed gone granola ... if it means getting back to the earth and doing things more simply and naturally. Going granola is more about how you live than what you do. Homesteading is a lifestyle, not a hobby. It is a full, relaxed way of living that is in harmony with nature. It matters what time the sun rises and how cold the nights will be. It matters when the rains come and how strongly the winds blow. It enriches the meaning of expressions like "don't let them get your goat", "hen pecked" and "butting heads". It makes for sore muscles and a good night's sleep.
Homesteading is experiencing a renaissance. People are exploring the notion or have taken the plunge. The online meet-up group called Triangle Area Homesteaders began in February of this year and already has 266 members, with more people joining all the time. Reasons for homesteading are varied, but one important aspect is self-sufficiency. I value homesteading as a viable option to the rising costs at the grocery store (California tomatoes picked green and shipped cross-country for $3/lb!), recalls of tainted foods and unhealthy processing of the foods we eat. What's not to love about salsa made with garden fresh tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeƱo peppers, onions and garlic. Nothing beats a cake made with fresh eggs and goat's milk. And I wasn't a big yogurt fan until I made my own. Yum!
Last night was our first freeze of the year, so the quiet of winter has begun. It's time to clean up the garden and put the soil to bed until spring. The strawberry patch is under straw and the tender plants have been moved to the greenhouse. I'll be reading up on what to do with the grape vines (I'm not quite sure if I prune any now or wait until February) and contemplating what goals I want to accomplish in the new year. There are a few more leaves to get off the lawn -- the goats are good help with this. I put them on leashes and walk them around the yard for an afternoon snack!

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