Common Sense Home Good News Letter 4/16/23

“The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.” – Charles Dickens

I’ve been thinking a lot about “whys” lately.

Why do we take the time to raise our own produce and meat when it would be a heck of a lot easier to simply buy it?

Is is some yearning to “get back to the land” or “live like our ancestors did” or “embrace what it truly means to be human”?

Nah. Not really, though some of those things might happen as part of the mix.

Mainly, I don’t like or trust the industrial food system. Heck, I have my doubts even about farmers market sellers after listening to the chitchat between customers when we worked at a local market.

The guy who sold the most produce (he made sure he had the cheapest prices) talked about how if he saw any bugs, he doused his whole garden in pesticides. He’s also pick once at the beginning of the week, and haul the same produce to several different markets. When the customers were there, he’d smile and tell them how it was fresh picked and naturally grown.

With the stuff in the grocery stores, you know there’s travel time and shelf time. Eggs may be a month or more old. “Fresh” produce may be months old. There’s a food coating called Apeel made of purified monoglycerides and diglycerides that can help produce last much longer, which is good, right? Except monoglycerides and diglycerides may contain transfats, and we’re supposed to be avoiding those.

The organic label doesn’t mean pesticide free, it just means that they’re not allowed to use certain pesticides. It doesn’t mean the produce is ripe and delicious, as demonstrated by the sad organic kiwis sitting on my counter that I bought because I was craving fresh fruit. Those poor things have been sitting for weeks and still aren’t soft.

I just want real food that tastes good and is nourishing, without garbage in it or sprayed on it. Nowadays it seems like the only way to get that is to grow it myself, or buy from people that I know and trust. To me, both are worth the money and time investment.

I do think that people are wired so we get more satisfaction out of food that we’ve taken from seed to table, too. I always got a kick out of it when the boys were little and they couldn’t wait to feed guests “their beans” or “their potatoes”. When you know what it takes to get food from planting to harvest, you appreciate it more.

I dunno – maybe I’m a nutter, or old fashioned, but I’d like to see every table blessed with real, healthy food – not bugs or 3D printed “chow”. I like knowing that even if there are more supply chain disruptions, I have food in the garden or storage, or both, depending on the time of year.

I watch with anticipation as the many different trees, shrubs, brambles, and vines start producing or get closer to production. (We have over 30 different types.) Yesterday Duncan and I planted three types of peas – and tomorrow there’s snow in the forecast. Every season is a new challenge and a new opportunity.

If you want to garden but don’t know where to start – start here. You can also use the manage subscriber settings at bottom right to sign up for mini gardening focused emails.

All our best to you and yours,

Laurie (and August IV, August V, and Duncan)

This week’s featured articles…

We’re not quite into asparagus season here in northeast Wisconsin, but for those who are, you may want to try out this roasted asparagus with parmesan. Roasting is easy, and it mellows out the sometimes strong flavor of the asparagus.

roasted asparagus with parmesan

August started digging deeper into rechargeable batteries and chargers, turning our newly finished bonus room into a testing area complete with video surveillance. The results were not what he expected.

We’ll be updating existing articles on the site based on what he’s finding, and adding new reviews. Here are the first two in the series:

The Best USB Solar Charger – If you’ve been thinking of getting a solar battery charger for camping or emergency power, there are a couple things you need to know (some phones don’t like their solar power served straight). We picked a unit that is affordable, portable, and a good value for the money.

solar charger

Sometimes rechargeable batteries don’t hold a charge as well as they should, but you can improve their performance with some chargers using a Condition or Refresh mode. The PowerEx MH-C980 eight bay AA battery charger is one way to do this. You can read the full review here.

PowerEx MH-C980 eight bay AA battery charger

Popular on Instagram this week – August’s high tech battery and charger testing area and a friendly reminder to take care of yourself when switching work routines.

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