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A Deep Sense of Appreciation

March 15th, 2011

I think the biggest reason I encourage people to take an active role in their food production is because it helps bring a deep sense of appreciation for good quality food. I was thinking about this yesterday as I was storing all of our maple syrup in the basement pantry. We put a bunch of it up in these little one cup jars to give away as gifts. As I wiped down this jar I started to think about the amount of sap that went into producing this small jar of syrup. It takes 6.25 quarts of sap to make one cup of maple syrup, at least with our non-sugar maple sap.

Mr Chiots and I have always been mindful of waste, trying our hardest to not waste food, but once you work hard at making something like maple syrup, you see the value in it and you make sure not a tiny drop is wasted. You see first hand the amount of work that goes into it, from drilling the taps, to collecting the sap, to straining it, boiling it down, straining it again, and bottling it.

I also am more appreciative of those that take the time to produce good quality products that I can’t grow/make myself. I’ll never roast my own coffee, but I sure appreciate that Al takes the time and effort to micro roast it so I can enjoy the best coffee. I don’t have a milk cow, so I appreciate that Mike and Dawn take the time to bottle up delicious creamy raw milk for us to drink. I don’t have chickens, and I sure to appreciate that Martha takes the time to let them out each morning so they can roam free and lay the most delicious eggs.

What product that you grow/make do you appreciate most? Is there a product someone else produces that you really love?

17 Comments to “A Deep Sense of Appreciation”
  1. Jennifer Fisk on March 15, 2011 at 6:15 am

    I have my own egg chickens whose eggs I sell to pay for their pricey organic feed. Last year, I raised 2 turkeys, meat chickens, and meat rabbits. Every time I eat some of what I’ve raised, I reflect and appreciate it. I get my raw Jersey milk at the farm down the road. This all seems like a throw back to a kinder gentler time and I love it.

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  2. kristin @ going country on March 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

    The maple syrup seems like it takes the most energy to make (ours and the wood burned), but there’s a hell of a lot of work involved in growing a tomato, too. Or planting, hilling, and harvesting potatoes. And then there’s the lambs.

    I appreciate it ALL.

    I also bow down to anyone who takes care of a dairy animal and milks twice a day, every day of the year. That’s one thing I have NO desire to do.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  3. Kathi on March 15, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I really apprciate the local syrup I buy. We have access to many little producers here in Ct. Can’t believe anyone would by it from a grocery store. What kind of canning jars are those? They are adorable

    Reply to Kathi's comment

    • Susy on March 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

      They’re Weck jars. I love them because they have glass lids. I also like using the old wire/bail jars, but those are difficult to come by, so I buy some of these each year.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Kathi on March 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm

        thanks, will check them out!

        to Kathi's comment

  4. Emily Jenkins on March 15, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I have the most respect probably for our pears. Our pear trees are part of an ancient orchard (estimated to be between 80-120 years old) and they are overgrown and gnarled. Each growing season, they work diligently despite their geriatric scale and canker, and somehow they still produce edible, beautiful and delicious fruit for us to enjoy.
    My respect isn’t so much for the human involvement obviously, but for the hard work of the tired, old trees.

    Reply to Emily Jenkins's comment

  5. Jessica on March 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I make bread every weekend. My husband recently asked why I knead it by hand when we have a bread machine, and I didn’t really know how to explain that I prefer to do it myself. It makes it more mine (plus I do three loaves at a time, which wouldn’t fit in the bread machine.) I wouldn’t feel proud of it if I used a machine for everything.

    I also appreciate the delicious eggs that we get from local farmers Vista and Mike. In the summer, I get pick them up at the farmers’ market, but in winter when the market’s closed, they’re good enough to deliver them to my house!

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  6. Brittany P. on March 15, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I most appreciate my chickens right now. Everyday we (my kids and I) go out to look for the little treasures left by the hens. We have had our 10 bantam chickens for only about 3 months now and they have given us so many eggs and now we get higher quality eggs for the price of feed but I feel so good about feeding the high quality fresh eggs to my kids, particularly my youngest Savanna (6), who is a cancer survivor and needs to eat good food, not food loaded down with hormones and who knows what else. Actually her cancer battle is what “opened our eyes” and made us start to think and investigate more about where our food is coming from.

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  7. Brittany P. on March 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Still waiting and hoping that I won the Cooking Light Cookbooks. :)

    Reply to Brittany P.'s comment

  8. Morgan G on March 15, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I love the fresh greens we grow – spinach and two kinds of lettuce. Still blows my mind that such a tiny seed produces so much abundance. We have a local farmer with a really old fig tree. They are so beautiful and so delicious.

    Reply to Morgan G's comment

  9. trashmaster46 on March 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I’ve been making my own butter by hand (seriously – shaking cream in a jar by and pressing the buttermilk out by hand) for about two years. I started just because I wanted to give it a try, and I just never stopped. I tried making making it in my Kitchen-Aid once, but that somehow felt like “cheating”. It was just… wrong. Now that I’m moving in with my new husband and MIL, I don’t know if I’ll keep it up, especially as I’d be making it for 3 instead of just 1 (my tendonitis forces me to make hard choices about what I do with my day), but the idea of going back to buying butter feels weird too.

    Reply to trashmaster46's comment

    • Susy on March 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      I know what you mean, I make my butter by hand as well.

      As for your tendonitis you should try Ruta Graveolens it’s a homeopathic remedy that finally helped me get rid of my tennis elbow that gave me fits for years! I also LOVE the Tendon Rescue Cream from Peaceful Mountain.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. amy on March 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I love the most…my homemade breads and cheeses. And I am ecstatic over the butter I get from the Amish.

    Reply to amy's comment

  11. Teri Walker on March 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I love my homemade peach jam and the pork we get from our pigs. The flavor of the pork is tremendous and I know exactly what they ate (all healthy) and were injected with (nothing.) I feel very grateful to them for their sacrafice for our family.

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  12. Issa on March 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I appreciate my pigs the most – they are such a joy to have around and then I love the variety of pork in the freezer throughout the year. My partner does an amazing job gardening for us, and it’s quite a wonder to enjoy all the bounty from the garden. Except the squash. I haven’t learned how to appreciate squash yet! :-) Lately, I’ve been enjoying canned foods. Most of the ingredients come from the store, but it’s almost like magic to me that they can mix together in a giant recipe, go through the pressure canner, and then I have yummy chili or beef stew lined up on the shelves waiting to be enjoyed. It’s an extra bit of magic to have my own hand involved in the creating.

    Reply to Issa's comment

  13. margaret on March 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I appreciate everyone that works hard and making, baking, and growing everything I need. I have a small veggie garden and 9 chickens, I sew and knit, cook and bake, so I know first hand how hard it is. I appreciate all those folks out there who do all these things as their main source of income and on a greater scale…allowing me to buy local fresh, organic, handmade items when my time is limited, or I’m feeling a little lazy.

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  14. MAYBELLINE on March 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Growing/making things myself makes me appreciate the item all the more. I am less wasteful by far. My salsa is at the top of my appreciation list along with my homegrown, homemade spaghetti sauce.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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