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Relearning the Old Ways

December 21st, 2014

Atavism [atuh-viz-uhm] noun – the reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some remote ancestor that have been absent in intervening generations.

found while reading The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens

Yesterday we spent the day butchering our pigs. They were slaughtered last Saturday and hung on our back porch during the week. Neil came back yesterday and we cut, ground, salted, and packaged up the meat. We got them almost 100% processed. The only thing I have left is one type of ham brine to mix/boil. That’s quite a feat, last year I spent an entire week working on this process.
pig butchery 3
As we worked I thought about all the older people I have met recently that have told me about how they remember slaughtering hogs when they were kids. My grandfather’s wife was one of those people. She spent a long time telling me about how they used to raise 5-6 hogs each year to feed the family (she had a lot of brothers & sisters). ¬†Back then they grew food because they had to, now we do it because we want to.

Have you experienced talking to people from previous generations about their memories of growing/raising their own food? 

Quote of the Day: Brett L. Markham

December 14th, 2014

“Home food production is an important proficiency that contributes positively to the physical and financial health of the family. Along with this, it provides and important physiological and spiritual boost by reaffirming our connection with nature and nature’s laws, reconnecting us with our ancestral roots, and providing the feeling of competence that comes from ensuring the supply of a basic necessity – food.”

Brett L. Markham (Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre)

pigs 1
Today is the day for our piggos to go to Iceland. It’s a somber day, not a day we look forward to and a day that is difficult to talk about. In fact it takes a week or two of preparing yourself mentally for what happens on this day. It’s not easy, but we feel like it best honors our pigs and the lives we tried to let them live. It brings us peace knowing that they don’t have to take a trailer ride or spend the night in a strange place. They can have a peaceful end in the place they feel at home. Peaceful for them, not peaceful for us.
pigs 2
We are happy knowing that they led happy piggy lives, rooting and wallowing, running and eating, snorting and being with another of their kind. It was especially nice that the last week has been warm so they could spend their last days happily rooting in the woods, exactly what pigs relish doing.

Reading & Watching

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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.