What does comfort and security mean to you? I think it changes from time to time throughout our lives… for many people comfort and security usually involves food. This can be the ice cream that you eat after a bad break-up or the holiday meal made with the traditional menu you’ve had since you were a small child.
Lately for me, feeling comfort and security is centered around my feeling of guaranteed access to my foods of choice. A more concise term for this is Food Sovereignty- the claimed right of peoples to determine their own food and agriculture. In our times of increasing control by the government and large (non)food manufacturers- we’re in great danger of losing that right. The Highest Courts in our land have ruled that we, as Americans, do not have the fundamental right to our own food choices. A recent ruling in Wisconsin set precedent that we don’t even have a basic right to the milk we get from our own cows. We are living in a time where I do NOT feel comfort and security in regards to access to my food source…. ironic when many believe our country to be spoiled by too much easy access to food. Sadly the “food” that is referenced in this belief is just food-like edible substance… not FOOD at all.
Over the past few years, I have become increasingly focused on amassing my family’s food source here on our property. Security to me means stepping out my back door to harvest what I need. This model includes Fruit Trees- apple, cherry, apricot, nectarine, pawpaw, pear, peach, plum. Berries- raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. Nuts- pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds. Vegetables- working here on year round harvests using our greenhouse and field crops. Protein- eggs, chicken, duck and turkey. Grain- I plan to trade for grain or grow small scale.
The missing piece until recently has been dairy. We are members of a herdshare here in Ohio- the only legal way to “buy” raw milk in this state. As more and more farmers are subjected to black helicopter, guns drawn government raids in the FDA’s war against raw milk…. I grow increasingly convinced that my access to a herdshare is not “secure”. Enter Zira, a beautiful mini-jersey. We just put a downpayment on a family cow and will be going to pick her up within the next couple weeks. The feeling of relief at this last bit of my security puzzle dropping into place is akin to sitting down to a big table of mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing and all the fixings…. I feel warm, safe, secure. I know I will be able to provide my family with fresh, raw milk cheese, milk, butter, yogurt, kefir, ice cream and the list goes on and on!! In celebration, I made my first batch of butter. Check out the natural, dark, yellow goodness we’ve been spreading on toast the past couple days!
This coming February 18th and 19th will be the 33rd annual OEFFA conference. The theme will be “Sowing the Seeds of Our Food Sovereignty”. In my opinion, there’s another component to my food security plan above… and that’s healthcare. On our farm we also grow the herbs that I need to care for my family in case of illness and accident. At the OEFFA conference I will be speaking during a session I’ve titled “Healing Herbs and Your Health Independence.” It’ll be the first morning session on Sunday. Be sure to check out OEFFA’s site here for conference info and registration. http://www.oeffa.org/conference2012.php
This conference sells out every year, so get your tickets early!!