In our local newspaper there was an insert dedicated to the volunteers of our community. One lady had been volunteering for 70 years! She is now 90 years old and still volunteering when she can. She talked about in ‘the old days’ when a neighbor needed help you simply helped out in any way needed. There wasn’t a question of if you had the time or if you would be paid in return for your work. It was just the right thing to do. She also talked about how she helped her mom preserve 3,000 – 4,000 jars of food each year. Most of it was used for her family but some was taken to the Canteen where it was used to feed the service men that stopped in North Platte on the trains during WWII. I’m pretty proud of myself when we put up 80 jars of tomatoes but to can 3,000 – 4,000 jars of food is beyond my imagination! I can only imagine the size of the garden they had. In that time, ALL food was local, seasonal, organic, fresh, or naturally preserved. A family grew nearly all, if not all, of what they ate – not for the romance of it, but for the necessity of it. If a garden didn’t produce or a cow didn’t give milk, the family went without.
When our own garden starts producing and we are in full force of making salsa and canning tomatoes, I feel like I’m reviving a past art. The difference is: if I decide I don’t want to make another batch of tomatoes, I don’t; whereas in the ‘old days’ that wasn’t an option. It’s good to see that more and more people are choosing to become backyard farmers (gardeners) and choosing fresh foods over the pizza delivery guy. I think it says a lot about our future. :)
*Thought for the day*
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.