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Gambling on Easy

Whether you are thinking about raising chickens, ducks, pigs, cows or anything from Noah’s Ark to growing all of your vegetable and fruit needs; never gamble on it being easy. Much like life, growing is not an easy task. If you think that it is going to be easy brace yourself for a harsh reality. There is NOTHING easy about any of this.

The second you get lazy about gathering eggs, or try to pawn it off on the youngest, you’ll soon realize that a weeks worth of eggs just got wasted because youngest is not the gentlest when putting eggs in the egg basket. Then not really wanting to wash the eggs you leave the eggs in the coop to deal with tomorrow. Then tomorrow turns into Sunday, and your delicious breakfast is rotten and smells like death.

If you are canning anything from green beans to spaghetti sauce, and you cut corners whether you are skimping on sterilizing the jars or soaking the lids long enough. Taking the easy road leads you to a mess, and wasted time. For those of you that can you are aware of the disappointment when the lids don’t seal, and you’re left with 20 quarts of smelly green beans that you now have to dispose of, and re-sterilize the jars. There’s nothing funny about wasted time.

Raising critters for food what a great idea we said! Until your favorite hen gets sick and dies. Rooster has nursed along a lot of critters that didn’t make it, and it’s always so heart breaking. So do not think that nothing you raise will die. That is the end product you are looking for anyways, but it may come a little sooner than you want. Animals get sick, they die during labor, or they die in the egg. Either way it always sucks, but knowing deep down that this isn’t meant to be easy, or everyone would do it keeps us going.

Getting lazy is natural. After you’ve pulled a gazillion weeds, canned a million pounds of produce, dehydrated everything under the sun it’s easy to become disenchanted with the whole thing. There are days I stare at the garden, and ask myself why do I do this to myself? Is it even worth it? Some days I am just so sick of it, but then on a cold bitter day in the winter I am reminded of the answer. Whether I am serving up some frozen corn, making a fresh batch of spaghetti sauce, or cracking open some green beans; I am reminded by the freshness and flavor of it’s worth. A crappy jar of Ragu has nothing on my Grandma Ottie’s spaghetti sauce recipe.

I know what was used on all of the produce, and the answer is nothing. We strive to not use any chemical on anything we eat. So, we use nature, companion planting and lots and lots of hope. This is another one of the reasons I remember when passing the plate around the table. Not to mention the amount of pride when the boys tell people “You know my mom makes our spaghetti sauce.” Until the day youngest asked the lunch lady if she’d like the recipe, and proceeded to tell her how much better it is than the schools…. Well, leave it to youngest if anything he is brutally honest.

So yes, I get lazy, and pay the price. You can’t sit around focusing on the regrets though, you have to move on and keep living that simple life.

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