A dear friend of mine wrote a lengthy and educational note in response to my MoneyMoneyMoney post of a few days ago . I think it deserves it’s very own post! Nancy is a veteran of healthy eating and has been in my mental Hero’s Hall of Fame for quite a few years now. She also recently became our local Weston A Price Chapter leader. Below is Nancy’s note. Enjoy!
LOVE your enthusiasm! This will be a fun blog to follow. We’ve been privileged to sample some of your concoctions, so I know you’re up to the task!
Just as I’ve learned everyone’s definition of what constitutes a “family-safe movie” is relative, so is people’s perception of being “financially tight”. There are those of us who would love to buy in bulk but don’t have the cash flow to do so. From my experience in that mode, I will add to your bargain-gathering ideas:
Make friends with gardeners. They get overwhelmed with their abundance and will be glad to unload extra produce (especially cucumbers and tomatoes!) on you. They’ll also love to have you “glean” when they are sick of picking and dealing with green beans, etc.
For healthy meats: Make friends with hunters. I put a tiny sign on the bulletin board of a country store where hunters register their kills. It said, “If you don’t want to fool with the deer you just got, our family could really use the meat. We’ll do the processing. Call 123-4567.” Hunting season just concluded, and we were given SEVEN deer, just from that little note! (Even if you live in an apartment, you can do this. Hunt down a private stand of trees somewhere to skin and quarter the deer. Stick it in a large cooler and do the rest in your kitchen. There are guide books for this, but I still just fill our freezer with “mystery hunks” in ziplock bags. Works fine in the crock pot!)
Even in many suburban neighborhoods, one can keep discreetly a couple of milk goats (I suggest Alpine. Nubian goats “talk” a lot. Both have lovely butterfat and sweet milk.) This would entail bringing in lots of hay and maybe some freshly fallen branches full of green leaves (for treats), being diligent with herbal wormers, and an area the size of a small backyard. Bucks (man-goats) stink, but does (lady-goats) are quiet and gentle and clean. They could be taken for a “fling” at a goat producer’s when breeding time came. This would provide raw milk and wonderful compost!
Same goes for chickens. Google movable chicken pens online. Great photos of backyard chicken pens designed so they can get fresh grass and bugs everyday! And you get fresh eggs and meat!
A drive to the area outlying a city will usually reveal a local meat processor or two. I’ve found they often will have bones for free or cheap. You can ask to reserve them when they know the animal was grass-fed. Healing bone broths for soups and cooking liquid for grains are the result!
In hardwood parts of the country, late summer/early fall woods are full of hickory and black walnuts. They’re a pain to pick out, but nuts are so expensive, it might be a good source. Country roadsides and old fields often offer blackberries and elderberries the birds will eat if you don’t. (Just be sure it’s not a polluted or sprayed area, and wash them well.)
One more: Get a book on eating from the land. Especially in the springtime, the land is ABUNDANT with green edibles! I’m still learning this art, but last spring, we made delicious smoothies in the blender with plantain, chickweed, clover, violets, and more along with avocado and other odds and ends thrown in. A good blender breaks down the cell walls of the greens to make all their goodness available to us. The most organic produce from Whole Foods doesn’t have half the nutrition of these greens!
The hard part about all this food scrounging is that it take time and extra work. The reward is a deep satisfaction of having participated in bringing it in and the surety of its healthfulness.