Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Keeping it Real: Realistic Expectations about your homestead Part 2

As promised I have a part 2 now, building off of my post here, which discussed working, education and land expectations. Today I want to discuss;: FOOD. There will have to be a part 3 now that discusses animals and frugality.

I think that when people start out on their homesteading quest they have grand visions of never purchasing anything at a store to eat ever again. I think I kind of thought that:) But REALISTICALLY you have to decide what you are capable f doing and where you want to spend your time and money. I am pretty proud of our garden. I post about it quite often.

Growing our own:
We have an amazing Spring/Summer garden, and I am venturing more and more into Fall gardening which normally just has turnips, greens, turnips pumpkns and maybe a few carrots. I do can a lot. My kids have never tasted jelly that hasn't been homeade. I make all of our pasta, pizza and other tomato sauces from our garden. We have plenty of frozen corn, squash , etc to get us through the  winter. We also have plums, cherries ( what the birds don't eat!) figs, strawberries, muscadines, grapes, blackberries and more pears than we could ever eat. We have two pear trees that amaze me every year. Other things we grow in the garden: cucumbers, okra, zuchinni, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, many varieties of lettuces and greens, eggplant, several kinds of peppers, green beans, watermelon, cantolope, onions and several different herbs. I can or freeze what I can. We also of course eat fresh all summer which is just magical.

BUT..... we don't grow everything we need. I still like to go to the farmers market for asparagus, which I admit I just haven't mastered yet. We love asparagus and I pay dearly for the beloved veggie. We also go to a local orchard and pick peaches, as well as buy additional strawberries to supplement our stash.

We can't grow citrus here, so I buy it at the supermarket, as well as avacados. Some years we grow potatoes, but we haven't in about 2 years, so I'll pick up some potatoes from the farmers market.
Technically I guess I could grow olives and make olive oil, and although that might be a fun project, I use a lot of olive oil and just don't think I could make enough to sustain me. Same with garlic, we have some, but I eat a lot of it, so I have to buy some.
We don't grow or grind our own wheat. That's OKAY. I still buy cocoa, sugar, flour and other staples. Again, that's okay.

We do only eat meat that we have harvested ourselves.Only deer meat or fish for us. We will eat crawfish ( which we of course call crawdads here in the South), shrimp and other seafood sometimes. I'm happy with that decision.

I do understand that this idea of providing all of your own food is very romantic, it just doesn't work for us. Avacados make me happy. Limes make me happy. Strawberries make my girls especially happy. And hey, we do the best we can,but there are just things that we have to buy.

The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can really embrace those thigs that you DO grow and master them.

Happy Homesteading.....

Linked up to : Monday Homestead Blog Hop and The Morris Tribe Blog Carnival.


  1. You are so right. We try to learn something new every year-this year it is raspberries and gooseberries, but we have to go slowly.

    1. We don't have much luck with raspberries, and I've never tried gooseberries. Good luck with both of those! Hopefully you'll have many pies and cobblers in your future :)

  2. I enjoyed this post! Yes, keeping it real is so much better than what our imagination comes up with! I too, live in the South, zone 7b Alabama. We grow all of those same things here, well not at my homestead, but here in this zone. We're trying potatoes this year and they seem to be growing nicely. The harvest will be at the end of May or so. I love gardening! We add more to it every year. We too, are growing raspberries this year and they already have small fruit on the vines. We may have to add more next year. The strawberries are so delicious that I can't even get enough for a bowl! I hope to be able to master growing a lot of veggies and fruit, as the years go by! Blessings from Bama!

    1. Strawberries are our downfall too. Enough rarely make it in the house for cobblers or cakes....

  3. You are so right. I started researching it all last year with the notion that I could grow everything we eat, but after about a year with that thought, I have left it behind and am just focusing on producing the most food that I can do well, and I am having a much better year!

    1. It would be nice to be able to GROW all of our own food, and I guess technically we could, however we would be limited for sure! I like finding a balance and it sounds like you have found it also.