I LOVE my Minnetonka soft-soled moccasins, but with all this wet weather we have had, I haven't got to wear them much outside for more than a few minutes... I am considering getting these hard-sole bootie ones:
With the threat of the power going out for days last week, I felt pretty good about the fact that I was gonna be able to stay warm, cook, and most importantly still be able to brew coffee in this 'blizzard' (ha!), but while getting excited and ready that the power may go out, I realized all my whole bean coffee needed to be ground before we lost power.... which brings me to my 'need' this week: A coffee mill grinder. I will be getting one of these before next winter for sure!
This is Christian's pick for me this week (actually he gave this to m last week, but with the excitement of playing in the snow, I never got around to posting a 'want/need/hear/read' post)
When I started my little farm, I had just watched "Food Inc." and that film immediately changed the way I thought about food. With very little research, I started to incorporate organic foods into my diet - well, bought those labeled organic when possible. Even only bought meat that was labeled organic - chicken, beef, and pork. I even found a local beef producer that raised some of his cattle on grass alone - he didn't finish them on corn like a lot of 'grass-fed' beef is raised and finished. I met with him and toured his property, made friends with him and started buying his beef. It was not labeled 'organic', but in our conversation I realized that I too could never be an 'organic' farmer. You see, when animals are raised for consumption - whether it be for meat, milk, eggs, or any animal product, in order to be certified organic, it must have never had antibiotics. That means when you have a sick animal for whatever reason, you cannot medicate it with conventional antibiotics or medicine. This was a game changer for me. I had chickens and goats at this point and wanted to live on a more natural diet, but knew that if one of my animals got sick and required medical attention, I would not let them suffer or treat them and then have to get rid of them. My chickens eat an organic feed in the winter when bugs and grass are slim pickins, but in the summer they are just supplemented feed and most of their diet is forage. The goats eat only grass in the summer and hay in the winter and are given the occasional black oil sunflower seed snack. I have had both a few sick chickens and a few sick goats. For the most part I do whatever I can by natural means, like for Milly, she HAD to be administered a powerful dewormer for the meningeal worm, but was given probiotics and Thiamine daily when she was sick daily as a more natural mean of therapeutic treatment. She will never be a milk producer, but I am fine with that - I love her as my pet as I do all the animals at the farm. This is why I could never be a conventional farmer (where if an animals is not producing an income, they are culled) or an organic farmer (where a sickness cannot be treated with conventional meds).
This brings me to my reasons for picking this book: In the three and a half years since starting to grow and produce my own food (which I use only non GMO and organic as well as heirloom seeds), my main goal in all of this is to be more self reliant. It started with wanting to eat better, but grew into wanting to learn how to grow my own food, produce my own food, and barter or buy from others that grew and raised food in an ethically conscious way. This week's book is Homegrown & Handmade: A Practical Guide To More Self Reliant Living. This warm weather has gotten me anxious to get my garden going. I have been flipping through an Indian remedy book as well with lots of herbal remedies as well, and will share that book next week. For now, check out 'Homegrown & Handmade' if you want to learn about raising your own dairy herd, growing your own food, etc.