february. gleanings from

Gleanings From February

Gleanings is my monthly “link love” post where I share some of the interesting articles I’ve come across the past month.

Lots of links this month… There were so many excellent articles and bits for me to chew on this month, it was hard to choose!

Agrarianism: Forward or Backward Thinking?

There was a comment made during my radio interview with Scott Terry which struck a chord with a lot of listeners. In fact I’m guessing quite a few homesteaders have heard it in one form or another too. It is the idea that agrarianism necessitates the abandonment of all technology, of all things modern. Many a homesteader has been accused of being a hypocrite for using cell phones, power tools, and the internet.

GMO Labeling: New Lies From the Chemical Companies Bringing You “Food”

As we have been expecting, a coalition comprised of industrial food, Big Ag and chemical corporations made an announcement supporting a federal voluntary GMO labeling initiative. This “initiative” only accomplishes more of the pro-GMO corporations’ goal of keeping everyone in the dark.

They have given themselves the lofty, nausea-inducing and typically misleading, title “Coalition for Safe Affordable Food.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, here are a few of the untruths found on their website:

Food as Ministry

We’ve all got at least one thing in common — we all need to eat. When someone we know is experiencing a difficult time, whether it is illness, birth, death, or relocation, we can meet their needs with the one thing we all must have. Food!

Delivering a ready-to-eat meal on someone’s doorstep during a difficult time shows unselfishness, unity, grace, and generosity. You took time out of your busy schedule to lovingly prepare a meal, take it to their home, and share in their sufferings. Isn’t that what believers in Jesus are called to do anyway? In the words of Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

•Why is it Acceptable for the Church to Change Historical Doctrines Such as Condoning Birth Control?

Because the church can err. The church is the Bride of Christ. He has promised to be with us. He sent His Spirit to guide us, gave His perfect Word to direct us. He is about the business of removing from us every blot and blemish. But that must needs remind us that we have blots and blemishes, that we can and do err.

AW Pink on the Household and Glorifying God

Corporationism vs Independent Patriarchal Units

The combination of farming, families, failed social schemes, the corporate takeover of all areas of life and culture (including government), and the impossibility of a continuing democracy, in one paragraph, is a lot to consider. Are these things all connected?

Well, they surely are connected, and Bailey’s understanding of the importance of independent families (“separate patriarchal units”), living on the land, as a bulwark of freedom, makes this man one of the most prescient social commentators of his time.

Getting Boys To Enjoy Work

Young boys need down-to-earth, truly manly role models that, among other things, work hard at creative and productive work, and enjoy their work.

13 Things We Need To Learn From Our Ancestors

For many of us our parents, grandparents, or even great grandparents knew how to do things about which we have no idea or no desire to learn. While I can see the argument that we have advanced beyond the need of these basic skills, I respectfully disagree. We don’t have to leave these skills as they are per say, but can modify them to fit our modern lives and be all the better for them. I was extremely blessed in that I not only was able to know my grandparents from both sides, but also had 3 great grandmothers that I was able to meet and get to know. My grandparents were children or young teens during the Great Depression. Their memories of that time shaped their entire lives and how they looked at the things they owned. My great grandmothers were all adults during the Great Depression, so they saw things from a different light as well. I loved all of their stories and the lessons they taught. I am going to try to share a few nuggets of wisdom they taught me.

Training Children: It Starts with Love

Am I the only mom who wonders if she’s doing it right, reads one author’s parenting method and second guesses everything she’s ever done? There are “new and better” ways right?

I’m Ready For a Slow Down Revolution

What if we worked toward improving how we feel inside our own skins and inside our own homes–on building lives that we want to live for the rest of our lives–instead of on how quickly we can race toward arbitrary, unsustainable goals?

What if we left our comfort zones in the dust?

What if we slowed down?

Nature Study… Agrarian Style

The first and most important thing that everyone needs to remember is that for children to understand the natural world and God’s creation they must spend time outdoors. Although good literature, accurate field guides, and the like are important; nothing can replace spending time in the outdoors observing the wonders of creation. Seeing it…feeling it…smelling it….tasting it, these are what matter most. While all people rely on the natural world for food and fiber, our family does so in more direct way than most. We make our living from the land and our work is primarily outdoors. Our jobs and chores ebb and flow with the seasons and the weather. For our family, the outdoor world is not unfamiliar or foreign. It’s more like an old friend. When not working outdoors, we spend our leisure time there as well. Depending on the time of year, we might take off after chores to pick wild blueberries or black caps. We might decide at the spur of the moment to hike into the backwoods and build a camp from scratch, cook up some supper on a cast iron fry pan, and sleep under the stars. In the fall, we scout for fur and set traps. We often just take walks to see what we can see.

Sounds Like A Plan To Me

I often struggle with balancing the different aspects of the children’s education but maybe it’s simple. Maybe land and dirt and seeds could be added the list of school supplies.

Out of the Health Maze, Into Gods Peace

Many times my desire for good health has caused me to be gullible and vulnerable to every slick advertisement, product testimonial, website, or published book that falls into my hands. I have found that seeking after health to give me what only God can provide will never bring spiritual fulfillment.

(Be sure to read all 5 parts!)

You Can Take Your Quality of Life and Stick It: On Perspective and Being a Civilized People

What is civilized about a people who will verbally protest against the entities who “take their rights, their money, and their religion” away, but aren’t willing to give up a few comforts in order to stop being dependent on those very entities to live?

Vaccinated Children Five Times More Prone to Disease Than Unvaccinated Children

The numbers are even more divergent for asthma and chronic bronchitis, where vaccinated children are about eight times more likely than unvaccinated children to develop such respiratory problems. Vaccinated children are also far more likely to develop hyperactivity, hayfever, and thyroid disease, with their likelihood three times, four times, and a shocking 17 times higher, respectively, compared to unvaccinated children.

Can Vegans Stomach the Unpalatable Truth About Quinoa

There is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture.

Pregnant Ewes, Lambing Season, and When Things Don’t Go Right

There are high highs and low lows. Birth and death are a part of the farming deal and you are required to deal with it often. Sometimes the lambs show up without incident over night, other times you are out in the barn or field at midnight trying to save your animal. That’s the raw deal, real life farm deal

Technology: How Should We View It 

If we are honest with ourselves we will have to admit that with all the promises of technology saving us time and effort we are as busy as ever, maybe busier. We have been duped by the allure of what we are told technology can offer and have bought into a lie. A lie that says leisure is just around the next technological corner but what we will find around the corner is another corner and another marvel to buy and another marvel to consume our time and affections. What happens is that once ones appetite for technology is whetted you then begin to work all the more to be able to get that next time saving advance all the time giving up the present for what you think the future may hold.

7 Lessons From My Hungarian Great-Grandparents 

The Art of Self-Education

The system we have put in place is not about nourishing healthy minds, but about giving them Hostess Twinkies instead of steak and potatoes. They step up to the vending machines we call public schools and then press the appropriate buttons until we pronounce them “educated,” but their minds are filled with empty conceit or a dread of a hopeless future.

Home: The Center of Agriculture

Agriculture forces a family to work together for their livelihood. It brings worth to each member of the family, and satisfaction in the accomplishment of surviving together. But more than that, nothing creates a dependency on God more than trusting Him to provide “our daily bread”. The beautiful, visual analogy of seeds being planted, then dying, then bringing forth fruit is important for our faith.

My favorites and yours from off the Pinboards and around the web…

Containing herbs to prevent overgrowth… a great idea especially for members of the mint family.

3-Bin Chicken Powered Compost System

An idea for an outdoor canning kitchen…. because who wants to be cooped up indoors canning all summer?? Not me!!

5 Ways to Treat a Fever Naturally

12 Homemade Organic Garden Remedies

Would it be a “gleanings” post without a little pantry envy?

Homemade Natural Makeup

Home Cured Bacon without nitrates… It’s almost bacon season in our home and last year we did use pink salt (has nitrates) to cure our bacon. This year, we’ll be trying it with sea salt instead, thinking that we don’t need the salt for actual preservation since the bacon will be preserved by freezing, so why risk it with the nitrates?

DIY Watercolor Paints

Garden Hen House – Isn’t that classy!??

It’s official. I’m moving. As delicious as Maybelle’s milk is, I need to get myself a Jersey cow that will give me enough cream that I can easily turn into beautiful, healthful, cultured buttermilk like in this video. (One acre of pasture isn’t enough to support a larger, more needy cow like a Jersey.) Besides, would it be a “gleanings” post without a resource from The Promiseland Farm?

Growing Your Own Forage Blend for the Laying Flock

What have you been gleaning?

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