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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? 

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.