By KRISTIN WHITE, the “Chicken Librarian”
Dear reader, we’ve mentioned a number of issues right here in Our Country Home these previous few months: chickens, homesteading, what to not do on a homestead, tips on how to get your homestead began. And at this time we’re going to debate a vital subject: agriculture within the rural group.
This subject is so close to and pricey to me. It’s why I dwell right here. It’s why I’ve a homestead, or no less than have goals of a homestead. But what does this should do with you, pricey reader? It has loads to do with you! It means connecting to our native communities via agriculture.
As you in all probability know, our space is centered on agriculture and small companies. Just take the place I dwell for instance. Within 10 minutes of my homestead, I can discover a café that makes use of native merchandise, from tea and low to native produce and bread. I can go to the farm market on Saturdays. There’s the cutest farm stand I’ve ever seen (extra on farm stands in only a minute). There’s a brand new basic retailer promoting native merchandise. And that’s simply the New York aspect of the river. If you drive in the other way, into Pennsylvania, there’s a thriving farm stand that not solely sells their very own produce however now gives a big selection of things from that state. And simply throughout the road from that farm stand is the native apiary the place you should purchase jarred honey the old style approach—from their entrance porch, utilizing the “honor system.”
Why am I telling you about this? Well, it’s primarily to color an image of the place we dwell. If you’ve been following alongside, and even if you happen to haven’t, and also you’ve been fascinated with making the leap into homesteading in our group, now’s the time. We are flush with nice alternatives to essentially dwell and thrive in our communities. There are so many great sources, actually outdoors our entrance door, to buy native, to assist native. You don’t should “do it all” in your homestead as a result of there are such a lot of farms and different smaller “farmsteads” that we will all assist each other.
There are native companies, too, you could store from, and also you by no means have to go to the “land of plenty,” as I wish to name the big-box and chain shops. I imply, you may go to the land of a lot for plenty of issues, however not essentially to seek out methods to assist your homesteading wants. Shop on the native ironmongery store, store on the native grocery retailer, or on the native farm market. I like to buy on the farm market and get what I can there, after which head to the grocery retailer on the town and end up my buying.
I additionally search for different methods to fill in gaps. I take advantage of a number of milk in my day-to-day operations on the homestead (a touch in my morning espresso, 4 cups for making yogurt, a bit within the freezer for making cleaning soap later, a gallon for making mozzarella) and I really like uncooked milk. So, I discovered my native (authorized) uncooked milk provider. And the perfect half? He has a pickup system! Yes! I don’t have to consider it. Just ship a word saying what number of gallons I would like after which a pickup time. Perfect.
There are so some ways to work together with your native farmer or homesteader.
What are a few of these native sources? What precisely am I speaking about? For starters, your native farm stand. (Remember how I stated I’d speak extra about that?) I believe that once we begin speaking about consuming locally and supporting our native farmers, typically we neglect to consider these individuals who develop a backyard and need to share the additional bounty with others.
You’ve seen these stands as you drive across the space. You would possibly move them and assume “Oh, that’s such a cute stand. And they have lots of produce. But I don’t have time to stop today. Maybe next time.”
Dear reader, I’d encourage you to take the additional jiffy and simply cease! Support that individual. They’ve labored laborious to develop that backyard. And belief me, it isn’t straightforward to develop a backyard. It takes a number of time and power—and also you want the climate to cooperate!
Not solely do we’ve these cute farm stands sprinkled round our space, however we’ve farm markets! Oh boy, do we’ve the perfect farm markets or what? You’ve seen them. I wager you’ve been to them, too. Callicoon. Jeffersonville. Hancock. Barryville. These are solely just some of the great sources we’ve. You can purchase wine, cider, wood bowls, flowers, produce, vegetation, cheese, meat, pasta, grains, cleaning soap, and different selfmade goodies. You actually by no means should step foot in a big-box retailer once more, if you happen to don’t need to. And moreover, you may have native, employee-owned grocery shops in your yard. And let’s not neglect about all of the small retailers alongside the principle streets of our cities.
So, associates, now is a superb time to be in our space. We have so many individuals transferring right here and desirous to dwell this idyllic life, however maybe they don’t know tips on how to get began. Let’s be the position fashions for them. Friends, meet your native farmer. Visit these farm stands. Hop on over to your native farm market and assist the native grower, maker, homesteader. Don’t neglect the small, native companies! And then take into consideration your homestead and how one can get began by yourself cute little farm stand!