Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Just Another "Farm-Hand"

Hello to all! I wanted to briefly preface my soon-to-come posts by introducing myself.

I am a wife and mom in addition to many other titles that I hold: freelance writer, blogger, photographer, homeschool teacher, singer, guitar player, bass player and dinner-host when I can pull it off 😀.

I am originally from the Eastern Kentucky mountains, better known as the Appalachian region, where both sides of my family are from, for many generations back. They were land owners, farmers, businessmen, military men, lawmen, government officials, miners, saints of God and more. But they all had one thing in common. A vehement love for their families and land.

My grandfather, a business owner, sheriff, miner and pilot, tending his chicks.


Self-sustainability was a very important aspect of their lives, and grandparents passed it down to grandchildren, and the flow continues, even to this day. Even the wealthiest of my ancestors grew their own gardens, raised their own meat, and built their own farms and ranches, with only the help of other family members.

Plantation of my great-great-great grandfather, in Harlan County, Ky.

Cows were milked, chickens were protected against predators for eggs and meat, and when pig slaughtering time came around, it was a multi-family event. Not only was the meat butchered and put up, but the fat was rendered into lard and every piece that could be put to use was not lost or squandered. Many of the family farms had orchards, vineyards and huge garden plots. I remember my grandmother canning more than 500 jars of food, at least, each year.

Fast forward to my own life, and I find that I am much like the older generation. I put water back and stockpile the pantry, "just in case". I find, more and more often, that I have my grandmothers ability to use home remedies like medicine, using ingredients such as sassafras, plantain, cedar bark and so very much more. The cough medicine I make works far better than anything that can be purchased over the counter, though it doesn't taste much better.

I'm a pack rat too, just like my mother, grandmother and all those that came before. I save Ziploc bags, bread bags, twist ties, old clothes, single socks, bits of string and anything else that might possibly have some future use. And they usually do! Better safe than sorry, right?

And so, I pass along what I know to my own children, and any friends that will listen. In my own circle, it's not unusual to hear my friends say, "If anything bad ever happens, this is the first place I'm going to be!". They know that, as far as I am able, I will be prepared.

Would you like to get in on some of my secrets? I'll be glad to pass them on. You'd be surprised the things I could tell you about. So at some point, I will begin to share those, and look forward to passing the torch to the next interested person.