There isn't much to write about today. I woke up to rain and it hasn't stopped yet. We really needed this so I can't complain. It's been so hot and humid the past week that we were beginning to worry about the garden. Yesterday we had a thunderstorm, but it was nothing more than some high winds, lots of thunder, and less than 30 minutes of light rain. So, this steady soaking rain is a welcome sight. It'll do wonders for the garden.
Everything that we've planted is looking good, other than the gourd seed. If nothing is popping up above ground by Monday at the latest, I'll check the seeds and resew the area with something new. Maybe celery. All of the other plants though are doing well. The sweet corn is even standing close to 16" tall already. It looks to be a great garden year.
This morning I'm going to do some re-working in the basement. The little chest freezer I picked up for free last week will be going in the walk-in closet in my room downstairs where we store all of the canning supplies and goods. My plan is to turn that area into food storage since we planted so many potatos and onions. We plan on using that small freezer for chicken, but that could change at any time. I've already butchered three freebies, and there are five more outside that will be getting the same in another week or two. I'm hoping to get back into rabbits as a supplimental food source, but I haven't seen any breeders for sale at a reasonable price. I'm watching for some, but it's not all that important right now.
Over the course of the past few months, Lisa has dramatically changed her diet. She has changed due to wanting to lose more weight and to lower her cholesterol. So far she's lost 62 pounds, which to me is amazing. Just by cutting back portion sizes and all the work I've been doing outside, I've gone from 228 to 186 myself. We've both been doing more research and reading into food and what we eat and have decided to make a giant change in some things. We will no longer be buying any meat of any kind from ANY grocery store. Though Lisa has become vegetarian, I haven't. And if her cholesterol checks out ok tomrrow when we both go back to get checked, she'll return to just white meat. (red meat has never agreed with her system anyway) We'll find sources for local meat or work with our friend in southern Ohio
This decision has been made for several reasons. First of course is what is IN the meats we buy at the grocery store. Growth hormones, forced antibiotics, all kinds of nasty stuff. I want to know where my food came from, and what it's diet was. There are links to all of those chemicals and additives to disease that plagues this country. That we want to avoid.
Secondly is how those animals are treated. I'm never going to be a PITA member or any other similar organization, but I have to look at how these animals live. Chickens live their lives in a giant warehouse in a tiny box that they can't even stand up in. Cattle are fed feed full of growth hormones to make them grow fatter and faster. They eat strictly corn and feed. Cows just aren't designed for that kind of diet. Chickens for meat have been cross bred into mutant-like birds that grow so large and so fast that they are prone to broken legs and just dropping dead from heart attacks. Some people may say "it's just a chicken" or "it's just a cow". Look next to you at that dog or cat laying at your feet and say the same thing. Really, do it. It's just a dog. Stick it in a tiny doghouse that it barely fits in and feed it garbage. No? What's the difference? Where do we draw a line? I not only want to know what these animals have been fed, but also how they have been treated. Read FOOD INC. and it will open your eyes to a lot of things. Do some research online on how "factory" farms treat animals and you will be disgusted. I can no longer with any kind of concience support that way of production. We have found several places locally that raise and butcher their own on-site and will be buying from them now on. Sure it will be more expensive. Yes, the buy1-get1 meat sales from the big chain store will be gone, but what price do you put on your concience? I wish more people would do some reading and research, but most either don't care or are happy being totally blind to it while they jam fast food burgers down their throats. Well...no more of that for us. If we can't raise and butcher it ourselves or get it locally from someone that we can trust, then we just plain won't bring it into the house.
The same will go for other food products as well. No more canned anything from the store. I don't want to eat canned vegetables from god knows where sprayed with herbicides and pesticides that more than likely aren't even legal to use here in the U.S. Home canning will be taking a giant leap this year, which is the reason for reworking the basement storage area. Some things will be unavailable to get locally, but we'll keep those at a minimum. It's time to not only take responsibility for our food, but for our health and well being. This will be another big turning point for us, and we've yet to take one of those turns that hasn't worked for the better.
Sometime in the next few days Mike and I will be returning to his brothers house to get more things that he planned on leaving behind. The list includes 12-15 flourescent shop lights, a trampoline, 16-20 pieces of 6ft privacy fence, some storage shelves and possibly some workbenches. There is some carpeting laying inside that was meant to go in his dining room, and if it is still in decent shape, it will come here and go into either my room or Lisa's sweing room, or course depending on size. My garage is going to glow like a tanning bed by the time I get all of these lights up. Again, I don't feel like I'm taking advantage of a bad situation and a friend. This is mostly his own fault, and why leave things behind that will most likely just be thrown in a dumpster.
For now, I'm off to check eggs then start moving things around downstairs. Luckily this small freezer doesn't weigh as much as the last chest model we had...whew.
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