12 January 2009

Sustainability

We pride ourselves on being relatively self-sufficient, and strive to become as self-sufficient as possible. We love our greenhouse and were thrilled that it and our fields were so well used this last year. I am enjoying taking veggies and fruits grown from our yard out of the freezer for dinner. I admit that in many ways I grew up in a bubble and didn't really connect where my food came from, or heat, or the materials that built my home...
My parents always fished, and I still love to go fishing to this day but I think one of my earliest memories of connecting where my food came from happened when my friend Holly invited me to visit her grandparents dairy farm. I was maybe six or seven?? They had slaughtered a cow that day, and the boys were 'playing' with the entrails. ((Gross!)) But we watched them as they processed the cow. I'd like to say it freaked me out, but I didn't do the vegetarian bit until college. The idealistic I can't eat things with eyes moment in time that many of us go through... That pattern was broken by a great big burger for me. I just love the taste :)>
It has also been so much fun raising our chickens. Granted there is no killing, just taking their eggs. We have talked about raising meat-birds. We have also talked about raising a pig. We have a stall for one in our greenhouse. We have friends who raise one each year. Their three kids pick a name for it, and they feed, water, and care for it for six months before it goes to slaughter. That is their primary meat source for the family. The kids understand this and they know what their pig was fed, they know that he was healthy, and not chemically injected...
Hubby and a girlfriend of mine have been trying to connect to take a hunter's education course. You have to take it one time, and it provides gems like don't run and jump over streams with a loaded gun and don't point your loaded gun at anything you don't want to kill... I am on board with taking the course. Education is never a bad thing, and it may prove to be useful someday.
I have had a varied opinion of guns throughout my life. When I was very young a friend's father used to go elk hunting each year. They were all very excited when he would get an elk to feed the family that year, and quite frankly elk jerky is wonderfully delicious. Right around junior high a few boys in our neighborhood were playing with a parent's gun and one of them was accidentally shot and he died. It was very sad. This certainly left a bad taste in my mouth.
I am not a big fan of using a gun as home protection. Too many variables for something to wrong, and I don't like it. But for food it makes a lot of sense to me. I am not sure I could pull the trigger on a deer at this stage, but the fact is I am willing to eat the meat so it would be a little ignorant of me to say that hunting them is wrong...
This last weekend we went up to Manchester to the gun show. It was really pretty cool to walk through the streets of the Queen City seeing women and men carrying rifles and handguns. You don't see that too often! It was jam packed in there. I think there was a line of maybe a hundred or so people waiting to get in when we arrived. No, there weren't any Ted Kaczynski types roaming around. Definitely a more conservative crowd. Lots of 'Obamination' jokes.
We were there for a few hours. Hubby found the 45 he was looking for pretty much just as we walked in. He got a Ruger 345. He was thinking I would want to get a pistol myself. I did like the Walther P22, but I don't think I am a pistol gal. So I set off to look for a shot gun. I would probably use it for 90% target shooting, and 10% hunting. I loved the beautiful wooden handles they had on the 22's, but other than popping a squirrel in the butt (or rather nearly popping as I would likely miss...) they are used pretty much for target and competition. I did get very excited when I saw that they had a P90 for sale. Not the fully automatic military model, but a commercial version. Still made by the same company and still the same look. I told Art that THAT would be the coolest Stargate souvenier ever!! But there was no way hubby (or myself for that matter) was going to drop $2500 so I could have the same gun that Jack O'Neill and company used in Stargate. I was about to give up when I saw a nice Mossberg Rifle. It was a lightweight, but not all black, had a little gold trigger, and a nice scope, and strap. We'll see what happens from here...

5 comments:

nikkicrumpet said...

Having grown up in a family of hunters I know the value of hunting for your food. I was 16 years old the first time we ever had beef in our home...it was the first year that they didn't get a deer or elk to restock the freezer and were forced to actually purchase meat. I could never hunt myself...but I know as a family we ate very healthy food because my parents hunted. I could never be a vegetarian....I like a big juicy steak to much for that. But I'm more than happy to have the steak be deer, antelope, elk or buffalo...they all taste good!

Anonymous said...

My Dad and Uncle have always hunted. It is rare for us to eat any other meats when they have a good year. I think it is a good thing and I know we are eating healthier for it. Yvonne

Farm Chick Paula said...

Hey there, Shannon!! I've been off line for about a month with computer problems, so I've enjoyed catching up with you today.

Hubby has taken me hunting on a couple of occasions. (although I've never actually got to even get a good shot off.) I've never really had the intestinal fortitude to kill anything (unless it is killing or hurting my own animals), but I have to remind myself that when deer get overpopulated in an area, as they can very easily where we live, they will starve, not to mention the danger imposed on drivers when they run out in front of your car which they do quite frequently around here. So with that in mind, I hope to get one someday myself.

EXSENO said...

Oh that brings back memories. I can't even count how many deer I have carved in the past. But after my husband passed away I no longer hunt or carve deer meat.

James said...

I miss deer meat. Even though I have never hunted, I appreciate hunting and do enjoy fishing.