Sunday, August 14, 2011
Almost everything I have done since I married, has been to benefit those I love. Not in a martyr context, I have loved my life and enjoyed most of these things. I just have chosen the harder way for most things in order that my children would learn. For instance, for 6 years we raised dairy goats. Yes, we could have bought milk at the store, but in addition to the many health benefits of clean, raw, milk, we all learned much about dairying, animal husbandry, dealing with ruminants generally and goats in particular. Of course, this led to few years of cheese making and learning to enjoy, goatzarella, feta, chevre and gjetost. Even the birth of my blogging experienced was based on the wonderful kefir we made with our fresh goat's milk. This was a path of great learning for my family. We all emerged more intelligent, more resourceful, and more appreciative of the foods we eat. Plus we had the rare experience of loving our goats.
Over the years, we have done things ranging from living a subsistence lifestyle on a floating log raft in the Pacific ocean for 3 years to living in hotel rooms in Mountlake Terrace near Seattle for 5 months. In each area, we were encouraged by our lack of funds and our thrifty natures to find the greatest source of nutrition for the least money. I can still lead you to some excellent berry picking, herbing and fishing spots in half a dozen states.Most of the time we could have done something differently, but it appealed to us that as a family we could find, process and provide foods for ourselves from the wild. Wow, did we learn a lot.
We moved to Montana partly so that we could teach our children some agriculture skills. Between our local friends and 4-H, we have had experiences we would never have been able to provide for ourselves. We have learned so much abour various farm animals and food production. We have also gotten an education about noxious weeds, probably to our neighbors' chagrin!
This year, we have added the Mineral County Farmer's Market to our lives. It has been a big burden some weeks to get the prep work done, It has been a real joy; however, to get to know the other vendors and to enjoy them and learn from them.. My two youngest have learned a lot about baking, interacting with customers, making change and perseverance. My little one, for the first time yesterday, stayed with me and attended to the task she was doing for the entire 3 hours. Not bad for a 6 year old.
I have loved watching my family grow and learn through the opportunities God has given us. It has been thrilling. As I ponder these things, I realize that in the process, I have learned more than I ever dreamed. I understand many more things than when we started out. I suppose, what I am learning is this...I am still learning. I hope I never stop.
God bless you!