I was called a troll yesterday on one of my favorite shows because I’m staunchly anti-vegetarian, unlike the hosts, who are vegetarians.It wasn’t the hosts themselves who called me a troll, because they are not adult-children, and they can stand some backlash from the peanut gallery.
No, it was fellow peanuts in the gallery who called me a troll, and an ugly troll at that!My sin?Stating unequivocally that vegetarianism does not bring one closer to nature.
I could’ve gone on.Vegetarianism is not sustainable.It’s not more compassionate.It’s not more healthy.It’s not how our ancestors ate.And more.
But none of those are even the most serious of the issue.
The vegetarian lifestyle feeds directly into an agenda of Globalism.This is because the vegetarian lifestyle requires massive centralization and vast supply chains.
It’s a question of economics.If folks were closer to nature, and grew their own food, they’d know it’s impossible in most places to grow enough vegetables and grains on a small farm all year long to sustain even a large family without livestock.Certainly there are exceptions in small heavily-populated regions like California and Hawaii.
I understand that vegetarians think they are being more compassionate toward animals and nature, but what about the farmers?How much compassion do you have for them?Vegetarians are making matters much worse for the small farmers, and they are the solution to Globalism.
Of course the industrialized meat system is cruel and disgusting!Yes, please, avoid it if you can!
But the answer is not keep the industrialist food system alive and thriving with veggie burgers and soy shakes.
Without a local market to sell their products, farmers can’t make it without these vast supply chains.The solution really is to buy local and eat seasonal, this is what’s good for the soil, and therefor the soul.
Find Nutrient-Dense Foods – The Weston A. Price Foundation TAKE THE 50% PLEDGE! Help us celebrate twenty years of accurate information on diet and health by strengthening your commitment to support local farms. Spend at least 50% of your food dollar purchasing raw milk and raw milk products, eggs, poultry, meat and produce directly from local farmers and artisans. email@example.com.)
I couldn’t agree more with Max Igan when he repeats that losing our life skills is assuredly one of the most serious vulnerabilities of modern civilization.
Of course, I can’t agree with his ‘no private property’ stance, but that’s another post.
Igan’s outlook reminds me when I was first introduced to the theory of Spiral Dynamics, when my fellow students (mostly middle-aged women of a relatively superior income class) immediately ‘recognized’ themselves in the ‘highly evolved’ stage of ‘Turquoise’. Big surprise.
I was far too polite when I refrained from pointing out what was obvious to me even as a novice, having already been ploughing away on the wee homestead by then for several years.
“Your Turquoise is built on a house of cards, Madame,” is what was obvious to me immediately, and which I longed to express. If it were built on a house of sand you’d be far safer, I’d then add.
Even my favorite synopsis of this social theory fails to highlight the significance of ‘Beige’ — the foundations of civilization.This stage is considered to be subsistence living, hand-to-mouth, barely advanced to basic tribal existence.
The theorist here, Don Beck, demonstrates respect, even some reverence to their ancient wisdom, but with the assumption, it seems obvious to me, that an evolved civilization has technological immunity to such bio-psycho-social devolution that would accompany this exceptional vulnerability of modern life.
You think butchering and gardening, farming and foraging are skills beneath you, Family Silicon Valley?
Or, in the tolerant, nostalgic age they are, at best, quaint lost skills to pine about and imitate in your Petri dishes? Ya’ll can’t possible recognize your feeble attempts bound to fail as you attempt to fit all of creation into your teensy-BIG Smart World?
Think again, former friends. Here are the real skills armies and resilient cultures are built on.
Me, a cheese-maker? Didn’t see that comin’!
Here’s your reality, Family Turquoise, if the grid goes down, you can’t survive, not even for a fortnight. Psychic breakdown would occur almost immediately, due to lack of any authentic earthly connections or spiritual foundations in your personal or family or community unit.
Then the true reality of your vulnerability would hit home for real. You have NO LIFE SKILLS, at all! Not spiritually, not physically, not emotionally.
Most Americans these days can’t even cook from scratch.This skill was lost in barely two generations.And what’s worse, they can’t even fathom what happens to the individual mind, let alone the family and in turn the collective consciousness, when faced head-on with annihilation.
The more ‘superior’ one calls themselves in the modern world is directly related to how vulnerable they really are.Perhaps that’s what the well-quoted Bible translation meant in claiming, “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
As a wise woman in an era of uncertainty, who are you going to put your confidence in—the wealthy CEO of Fiction, USA with a San Francisco loft worth a few million on paper—or the ‘poor’ man who can trap, shoot, butcher and even cook the meat for your table?
That the ‘A Class’ woman chooses poorly in this situation doesn’t surprise me at all considering our current state of affairs and the fact that of the many supporters as well as volumes discussing this social theory of Spiral Dynamics, I’ve yet to find one who gets the full nuance of Beige.
Modern folk just don’t want to go there.It’s like the old lyrics, “How ya gonna keep them down on the farm once they’ve seen gay Paris?” It’s hard work after all.
It’s not just whistling Dixie in your Tu-Tu, thanks anyway, Grandma.
So we get Soy-Boys who are good at sales, rather than competent men who can bring home the real bacon.The ‘elite-class’ calls this ‘evolution’.This is ‘spiritual’ advancement.
Why might they promote this among the plebs and their entertainers? Heaven knows!
If one isn’t capable of hurting a fly, then we’ve evolved to societal sainthood, according to these shysters. This is their Utopia.
As for the adult-children bolstering these Pied Pipers?How long shall the competent among a functional colony support them, I wonder?
If you plan to join the growing number of hobby beekeepers the very first step should be to define your goals.I learned that the hard way.
It’s a wonderful thing to see the popularity of beekeeping keeps increasing.I love beekeeping for many reasons, but when I was first starting out the learning curve was very intimidating. And that’s coming from someone who usually adores learning.
Not only was there loads to learn about the bees themselves, but also about how to manage their colonies, which changes depending on your hive type, which is dependent on what your goals are as a beekeeper.
The first question to answer for yourself as a newbie is if you are interested in beekeeping as livestock or as habitat provider, or maybe both.
I had several mishaps in my first years because I hadn’t asked myself this most fundamental question.I hadn’t asked myself this because in all the books, forums, courses and club meetings I’d attended, no one asked this question.The general assumption is always that the beekeeper is interested in bees as livestock, because that’s what most want.
In this case, follow the commercial standards, using their Langstroth hives and peripheral equipment, their treatment schedules for pests and diseases, and their feeding programs and supplies, and you should be good to go.You can buy nucs (nucleus colonies) in the spring, and if all goes well you’ll have some honey before winter.This is by far the most popular route to take in beekeeping.
But it’s not for everyone, including me, which took me a few years to figure out.Honey, pollen, wax, propolis, royal jelly, queen rearing, and other processes and products from beekeeping are the main goals of this style of beekeeping and there’s lots to learn from the commercial operators who have mastered many of these skills for maximum efficiency and profit.
However, if you are interested more in providing habitat and learning from the bees, and creating truly sustainable, long-term, self-sufficient colonies in your space, following commercial practices is really not the way to go, and can lead to a lot of expense, confusion and frustration.
In the hopes of encouraging more beekeepers to become honeybee habitat providers rather than livestock managers only, here are a few tips and resources.
The conventional practice is to keep all your hives in a ‘bee yard’ for reasons of convenience and space.This is antithetical to bee colonies’ natural proclivity to nest far from one another. It creates problems of diseases and pests that spread rapidly in conditions of overpopulation, which is why so many treatments are needed, and then feeding when nectar/pollen flow is scarce, as well as being hyper-vigilant in your regular hive inspections to find issues immediately before they spread.Now that I have spaced my 6 hives out around a very large area I’m having far more success. But, only time will tell!
What else I’ve learned:
The typical Langstroth hive is made for easy transport and standardization purposes for the industry mainly, but they are not ideal for the honeybee habitat provider, because they are made with thin walls in order to be lightweight. This means they are poorly insulated and so not suitable for the long-term stability of the hive—getting too hot in summer in southern climates and too cold in winter in northern climates. Our top-bar hives and nucs have thick walls and insulated roofs.
If you want your bees adapted to your area and climate you don’t want to do the conventional practice of buying new queens every couple of years.Ideally, you’ll want your colonies to produce their own queens.Queen-rearing will remain an essential skill for a more advanced beekeeper, because occassionally you may still want to make splits to increase your numbers or to replace weak colonies, or to re-queen another hive displaying poor genetic traits.
When the colonies are weak, depending on the issue, they may need to be culled. This is rarely suggested by professional beekeepers who promote regular treatments on which the weak colonies then become dependent, while still spreading their weak genes on to subsequent generations and their diseases and pests to other colonies.
Just like the faulty logic of ‘herd immunity’ in the vaccine debate among human populations, many commercial beekeepers use the same complaint about those of us who want go au naturel,that is, treatment-free, with our bees.
Many scientists and researchers are trying to raise public awareness that this is not how herd-immunity works, not in livestock or in humans, and I applaud their efforts. I personally find referring to populations of people as a herd to be insulting. I think it actually trains individuals through neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to think of themselves and each other not as unique and separate individuals, but rather as cattle to be managed.
You’ll also want to mostly forgo the conventional practice of swarm prevention.The goal is for the bees to become self-sufficient, as in the wild, where colonies can live for decades with no hand from man to aid or to disturb.Some of these colonies are enormous, like one we found in an old oil barrel, there for over 15 years and thriving with multiple queens in the same colony, which most likely swarmed annually.
Swarming is a natural, bio-dynamic process performing many different functions for the colony, hygiene being an essential one. Everything the beekeeper takes away from their natural processes is a stress on them which must then be alleviated by other, most likely artificial, means.
Plant perennial and annual crops the bees like for your area and climate.Here in the south there are plenty of plants that bloom at different times most of the year, giving free bee buffets from early spring to late fall, like: bluebonnet, white clover, hairy vetch, wild mustard, vitek, morning glory, trumpet vine, yaupon, and lots of garden herbs and crops, too.It is my greatest pleasure to harvest cucumbers, peas, beans and arugula surrounded by forging bees—they love them as much as we do!
Experimenting and observing is the most fabulous feature of the honeybee habitat provider!
I know a homeschooling homesteader with an observation hive in their house that the children treasure.Not only do they learn from these fascinating creatures about how they operate in the hive, but how they are connected to the seasons and to their environment.They’re learning constantly from the colonies’ successes as much as from their failures.
I practice slightly different techniques with each hive to discover which methods work best here on the wee homestead: one hive has a screened bottom board, one I keep with a reduced entrance all year, one’s in full-sun and another partial shade, and so on.Not that this will necessarily solve the mystery of colony failure, but every bit of data helps!
Some unconventional resources:
The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters by Simon Buxton (2004)
The Dancing Bees: An Account of the Life and Senses of the Honey Beeby Karl von Frisch (1953)
Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health by Les Crowder & Heather Harrell (2012)
Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture by Ross Conrad (2013)
The Girl Scouts was as close as this suburban girl ever got to learning any kind of traditional skills growing up.I quit it early on, considering ‘badge earning’ to be well beneath my expanding “cool kid” facade.
But if there’s a badge worth earning, midwifery would be up there with the loftiest of them. I’m humbled and proud to say I got to experience it last night for the first time.
I bit of critical background:I’m squeamish.Considering we didn’t have children of our own and I didn’t have my own dog to take care of, let alone any pet previously to our dear Papi, at about age 42, it seems to me squeamishness pretty much comes with that territory.
It’s because I was well aware of this personal limitation that I NEVER imagined we’d have so many animals.
Chickens, for us and many other clueless homesteaders, are the Gateway Livestock.Then came ducks, turkeys, sheep, pigs, and more dogs.But we both swear we’ll never get cows or horses.(Ahem)
Considering my penchant for ‘Too Much Information’ I’ve now been acclimated to loads of poop, vomit, blood and morbid sounds of all sorts.It also got me scared, very scared, about all that can go wrong with pets and livestock.And how painful that is, and knowing this truth in advance is useless.It does not help the pain by expecting it.It does help though to be prepared.So far I give us a C+ on that when it comes to the critters.
My TMI penchant leads also to so much online and in books about serious diseases and awful complications and the myriad very dirty deeds endemic in the farm life.Talking to others more experienced will also always bring sad stories and sometimes tragic ones.
Maybe I don’t quite deserve my badge just yet, but I’m fairly certain I saved our ewe and her young lamb last night by being at the right place at the right time and doing my usual C-level work.🙂
When our ewes have lambed in the past I was not there to witness the actual event, only woke up to find the lambs delivered, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.On one occasion I found one mutilated by our young puppy and I had to kill it.I cannot speak about this moment still today a year later without tears.It was the most confusing, stressful, tragic, sorrowful day of my life.Like most in the so-called advanced economies, we grew up very sheltered from death and from the act of killing.Hubby would’ve handled it far better had he been home.I was alone and a basket case.
I was alone again this time when Buttercup gave an unusual and very loud bark audible from inside the house that clued me in that something was going down.I went to the stalls and saw mama was in labor.I was determined to watch it all and learn.
I was hoping and intending to remain a bystander to nature’s miracle.
As it happened I could tell something was wrong right away.Then I doubted myself. Then I went back and forth a dozen times, yes, no, yes, no.
Then I concluded, no, something’s really wrong here, get help.Help?Like from who?I called two friends with more experience and they didn’t answer.I looked through our book on sheep, panicky by that time.I call Hubby.He calls his folks and searches online while I pace waiting for the bread in the oven to finish so I can go back to the stalls.
I muse, even in this stressed state: “Oh, we’re both waiting on buns in the oven.”Yes, that’s how I cope with stress, and most things really, goofy humor.
It doesn’t occur to me again that the fetus that the ewe cannot seem to push out is in fact dead until hours later.Yet, I felt it, even considered it immediately, instinctually at the very first moment I saw it. I just tried to over-ride that feeling with too much doubt and reasoning and wishful thinking.
On the phone with Hubby we decide there’s really nothing I can do alone in the dark with no experience and no equipment and no nearby vet.Then he calls back and has changed his mind.He urges me to go back out, put on some rubber gloves, and see if I can help her.
And he was right!As soon as I touched the fetus it was obviously dead and my foolishness at waiting hours to “realize” this washed over me.I strained, along with mama to get it out, knowing if not she would surely die as well.
At last it came free, followed by another smaller, but wonderfully alive little treasure!
I’m happy to report as of this writing about 16 hours later, mama and babe are doing well, eating and drinking and getting to know each other.
Yes, I was alone, but really, it was very much a team effort. Thanks y’all!
We just wanted to share a few updates from the wee homestead, on the winter garden and other news.
Dreary weather whiplash here, hard to say if our holidays will be white, green, gray or brown, but thankfully we still eat fresh, easily, every day.
Growin’ on now are: broccoli, lots of lettuces, carrots, cabbage, brussel sprouts, beets, kohlrabi, garlic, onions, kale, our favorite herbs–dill, chervil, cilantro–loads of collards for us and the critters, planted thick as green manure and spring bee food, too, like hairy vetch.
It’s high maintenance, we cover and uncover the boxes as weather requires, and it’s slow growing with shorter days and an abundance of overcast days.
But, the limited harvest results are DELICIOUS!
Triumph for the season:
I was interviewed about natural living on Crow777, a site I’ve mentioned here many times as a cutting edge, paradigm shifting, life affirming podcast I highly recommend.
Some not-so-random quotes and links, interspersed with happy homestead snaps for better digestion.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”
Frederick Douglass, former slave (1818-1895)
Despite a vast body of scientific knowledge, the issue of deliberate climatic manipulations for military use has never been explicitly part of the UN agenda on climate change. Neither the official delegations nor the environmental action groups participating in the Hague Conference on Climate Change (CO6) (November 2000) have raised the broad issue of “weather warfare” or “environmental modification techniques (ENMOD)” as relevant to an understanding of climate change.
The clash between official negotiators, environmentalists and American business lobbies has centered on Washington’s outright refusal to abide by commitments on carbon dioxide reduction targets under the 1997 Kyoto protocol.(1) The impacts of military technologies on the World’s climate are not an object of discussion or concern. Narrowly confined to greenhouse gases, the ongoing debate on climate change serves Washington’s strategic and defense objectives.https://archives.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO201A.html
Late summer here is my personal version of hell and I bitch about it every year.
What better time to take a break from my current reality where I feel like an indoor prisoner and wake up daily wanting to lash out at all the idiotic Geoengineering causing drought here and weather chaos all around the globe.
I even want to take a break from my last post pondering passivity and violence and just notice for a day, or so, all the little things and little ways we have improved upon since I last felt this level of droughtrage.
I know I am just a bit more blessed this year than last, mostly by my own sheer will and resilience, and that of Hubby as well, no doubt, and that of some inspiring neighbors and cyber-friends, and perhaps if I dwell on that fact just a bit, next year will be just a bit more blessed in turn.
Last year’s late summer garden
Or rather, lack there of 🙂
Last year’s late summer garden vs this year’s, not great, but still better!
A new young friend who loves plants as much as I do helps me identify the hardy, native heat-lovers of our area, and diligently and graciously watched our wee homestead so I could join my extended family at a reunion in July. I look forward to returning the favor when her family vacations in October. This is the sort of small steps a resilient community is made of, not the top-down control of Rockefeller’s ‘Resilient Cities’, because it’s the neighborly reliance that brings real hope and treasures and peace of mind.
I still don’t like okra, but I’m harvesting it anyway for the pigs and neighbors! Every once in a while I throw a few into a meal, along with other traditional Southern favorites we didn’t grow up with, but are learning to appreciate, like collards and Southern peas, eggplant and jalapenos, all which have survived the heat, but would not be here now without regular irrigation.
It’s very hard to keep up with the constant weeding and mulching requirements in such circumstances, but these plants, along with the sweet potatoes, are actually successfully competing with the grasses in some cases. Amazing!
I won’t mention the melons, because I’m hell-bent on keeping this post positive. So let’s mention instead the ‘mouse melons’, aka sanditas, or, Mexican Sour Gherkins. 🙂
Instead, let’s mention the fact that the young sweet potato vines and okra leaves are edible and quite tasty!
And the fantastic find this summer which I’m most excited to expand next year considerably, the Mexican Sour Gherkin.
Crop of the year, in my humble opinion!
Even in the dead of summer, of brutal heat and no rain, we enjoy meals raised primarily on this land. As an added bonus now my raw milk source is 5 minutes away, whereas last year at this time it was 5 hours round-trip!
The aging fridge is full of cheeses we will enjoy all winter: Cheddars, Goudas, a Parmesan and an Alpine, several Brie almost ripe, a Muenster even! YUM! Last week I taught a couple of neighbor ladies to make 30-minute mozzarella and we had such a nice time.
Next they will teach me skills they’ve acquired—spinning, dying, soap-making–a few more small steps in our agorism adventures. Skill-sharing has been such a crucial aspect of our most successful ancestors and I would be challenged to express how rewarding it is for me still, at 50 next month, to be learning so much that is new for me. It is indeed a sort of middle-age renaissance!
I also foraged for elderberries, mustang grapes and peppervine berries, dried some and made some syrups and preserves.
And, Another 400 pounds of pears, or so!
I do believe still that’s thanks to our bees. For several years we thought it was a weather issue, late frosts, whatever, but I am beginning to suspect it was a pollinator issue all along.
We will see, that’s just a hypothesis so far. And in any case we continue for another year to benefit from the cider, the preserves, the cobblers, and the pigs are getting their fill, too!
The Datura remains an absolute favorite of mine, blooming in crazy heat and exhaling the most exquisite fragrance into the evening air. The thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano are gracefully resilient as well, I appreciate all y’all!
And our dear Tori, who just as I was typing this post chased an enormous coyote off our chickens!
The blessings are very close at hand, the frustrations a million miles away. I vow to maintain that truthful balance deep in my heart as I brave the coming days.