Want to Know About My Homesteading Childhood?
My childhood has influenced me in many ways…
I grew up in a small coastal New England town in a dairy-farming community, in quite a different manner than most of my peers. While everyone else I went to school with had cable and video games, I had gardens and animals. We had a small self-sustaining farmette that provided most of our food. My parents were very passionate about raising their five children off of the land.
Picking the ripe raspberries and cherry tomatoes was a summer-long chore that I remember fondly. We had gardens everywhere and preserved or fermented what we didn’t eat fresh. My mother encouraged diversity in the garden to keep the insect population happy and well-balanced. She had an eye for attractive chaos in her layout and still does to this day on the same land. You can visit her Humble Jungle at Grammy’s Potager on Facebook. Everything was grown organically, of course. My parents wouldn’t have it any other way!
I remember watching my mom milk the goats and feed the chickens. We had some beautiful Nubian goats that provided all the milk we needed to drink and to make into cheese. We had chickens, ducks, and geese that gave us eggs and meat. I remember raising a hog until it was big enough to slaughter for our freezer. I never remember being sad when we ate our food because they had a good life and provided for our family in the end.
We never had processed foods in our house unless Grampa came by with some treats for us kids. My mom refused to allow white sugar, flour, or rice in our pantry. Instead she would get things like raw almonds and honey in 5 gallon buckets from the local co-op she co-founded. Our only source of heat in the winter was a wood-stove. We were all cloth-diapered and breastfed. No chemicals were used as we could clean just about anything with vinegar. Most illnesses were treated with homeopathic remedies. It was a very natural home with plenty of nurturing and affection.
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