Homestead like the Mugwumps

By | November 27, 2017

The era of one-hour Amazon deliveries, grocery store curbside pickup, and abundant farmers markets, is in full swing, and doing rather well in the current economy.  However, this appearance of abundance may be giving us the misconception that food will always be so plentiful, and therefore making us more dependent on the “system”.  According to, grocery stores appear to only have a 3-day inventory of food on hand  Three days, well that’s not even enough sustenance to last the duration of a Tennessee ice storm!  I’m sure there are lots of variables; such as logistics, local market, and shelf life which play a part when determining the exact amount of food on hand, but one thing’s for certain, the possibility of extenuating circumstances interrupting this fragile process, is rather high.

Take for instance those who have lived through the recent hurricanes, I’ll bet there are a few changed perspectives on the subject matter.  Most of us (myself included) are shamefully dependent on the food chain to provide us with our next meal.  We would be hard-pressed to survive a week without the nearest publix to avail ourselves with a host of high-quality grub.  Sure, we relish the convenience of being able to saunter into Whole Foods at 10 PM in search of our organic staples, but what if it were all interrupted?  Do you have a back-up plan if the food chain becomes somehow, inaccessible?  No worries, I don’t either.  But, as Bob Dylan so eloquently composed a song about; Times are a changing!

For starters, I’ve built a greenhouse!

Greehouse buildWhile I admit, I’m no “prepper”- that derogative term our fair and balanced media has bestowed upon those good folks who prepare for the worst, as being somehow out of the mainstream of thought- but I am interested in ending my complete dependency on our fragile food ‘system’.  I’m taking baby steps towards food security.  Now, I’m not going to lie, I’ll still go to Whole Foods, still buy some organic flare, but the idea is to taper it off as I get our own system in place.  Our system will begin with this greenhouse, which I plan to grow various leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and carrots. So, if we were forced to survive on salads with ingredients we grew in this greenhouse, we will be ready to do so.  However, we will probably need some protein to go with our salads.

Pasture raised chickens would be a nice garnishment to top our spinach salads with.

I’ve had this 16-acre plot for nearly 5 years, which so far has been one big lawn mowing extravaganza.  I would like to turn this into a productive food forest, with chickens doing the yeoman’s work of preparing the land for planting.  Chickens are multi-dimensional, natural foragers; they eat grass and bugs all while aerating the soil.  Then they come back through with fertilizer, in the way of manure, which is the foundation for a hardy growing environment.  I can already see where my greatest struggle will be related to these feathery friends; having to butcher one for the first time.  I know it will become second nature, but that first encounter with the knife in one hand, and chicken in another, will bring in a whole host of second thoughts.  But I can do it!

What say the Mugwumps:

So, what would the Mugwumps think about modern day folks relying on the “System” for its only source of food?  You guessed it, they would think we’re a bunch of fools!  Not only are we doing harm by ingesting chemically laden, nutritiously starved food into to our bodies, but we are paying obscene prices in order to do it!  Double Whammy!  Mugwumps, would in no way approve of our dependent ways.  In fact, they would be holding seminars and meet ups for whomever would listen, in an attempt to try to rectify our thinking.  So, because of my affinity for Mugwumps and my concern for mine and my families health, I am going to open my mind to a new way of eating.  Will you join me?