Botulism & Home Canning: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe


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Botulism is a serious food-borne illness that can develop in home canned foods. Learn what you need to know to stay safe while home canning and keep your family safe from the threat of botulism. #botulism #homecanningBotulism is a serious food-borne illness that can develop in home canned foods. Learn what you need to know to stay safe while home canning and keep your family safe from the threat of botulism.

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There’s a lot of unsafe canning and home food preservation advice out there. And I mean A LOT.

With the Internet and social media what it is today, it’s easier than ever for anyone to share anything online, and it’s more difficult than ever to weed out the fact from the fiction and the good advice from the bad. While that can be frustrating at the best of times, it can actually be deadly at the worst.

Right now, as I write this, it’s mid-September and we’re in the thick of canning and preserving season. So naturally there seems to be more bad advice circulating about home canning and food preservation than at any other time of year, which is what made me decide to write this post today. Because while I am a HUGE proponent of preserving food at home, I’m also a huge proponent of not dying or poisoning your entire family. And I have a feeling you probably are too.

Still, there’s a lot of controversy when it comes to home canning and food preservation. There are people who believe that today’s safe canning advice and list of do’s and don’ts is some sort of conspiracy to scare people off from being self-sufficient. There are many others who argue that their mothers or grandmothers did it a certain way (that is no longer recommended) for years and never had a problem, so they continue to do it the same way even if it’s deemed unsafe by today’s standards. Still there are others who simply don’t know what dangers may be lurking in a jar of improperly home-canned food, or who don’t understand the science behind home canning, PH levels and food-borne illnesses. 

Unfortunately when it comes to home food preservation, what you don’t know can hurt you. In fact, it can kill you. Therefore it’s of utmost importance that you follow safe, up-to-date advice and stick to tested recipes and methods of home food preservation, because not doing so can put you and your family at major risk of contracting one of the most deadly illnesses known to mankind: botulism.

Let me be clear about this: I am not trying to scare you. Rather, my goal is to empower you with knowledge so that you stay safe and keep your family safe while preserving healthy, homegrown, homemade food with confidence.

That being said, lest you roll your eyes and tell me I’m over-exaggerating, let me present you with a few facts about botulism…

 

Some chilling facts about botulism

  • Botulism is a serious illness that’s produced by a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum which, when activated, produces a neurotoxin that can paralyze and even kill its victims. 
  • Botulism is the most lethal toxin known to man, and just a single gram is enough to kill over a million people (source).
  • Due to its extreme toxicity and lethality, it has actually been weaponized and used in warfare as a bioweapon (source).
  • Botulism can be contracted through contaminated foods, wounds and through inhalation, (although for the sake of this article we are focusing on food-borne botulism).
  • The number one way that people contract botulism in the U.S. is by eating contaminated home-canned foods that have been improperly canned. Improperly-canned vegetables are the most common cause of botulism from home-preserved foods (source).
  • Other common sources of food-borne botulism include garlic and herb-infused oils, baked potatoes, cured meats like sausages and ham and canned and fermented fish.
  • Botulism is odourless and flavourless, and does not typically cause any visible signs of food spoilage (making it all the more insidious and hard to detect in home-canned and preserved foods).

If that’s not enough to make you think twice about using grandma’s canning recipe, consider the following…

 

Symptoms of botulism

Symptoms of food-borne botulism include:

  • Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea
  • Double vision and/or blurred vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Symmetrical muscle weakness on both sides of the face
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Slurred speech
  • Paralysis

If left untreated, botulism can be fatal, although if caught early, an anti-toxin is available and can stop the spread of botulism and paralysis. There is currently no vaccine to prevent against botulism.

For survivors of botulism, recovery often takes weeks, months or even years. One man who contracted botulism after he cut the processing time short on his home-canned venison never regained his sense of taste. Others have had to relearn how to walk and/or have lost full mobility.

Suffice it to say, it’s a serious illness and should be taken seriously.

All of that being said, there is absolutely nothing to worry about so long as you follow safe canning procedures and tested recipes.

So, what do you need to know to make sure you never have to worry about botulism in your home preserved foods??

First of all, you need to understand the science behind home food preservation (canning specifically) and botulism. 

 

The science behind botulism and safe home canning

First of all, you should know that botulism spores are everywhere. They’re in the soil, in our intestines, on our vegetables and meats, in the water and probably at the top of Mt. Everest too. But they’re dormant unless they are allowed to germinate and produce toxin under the right conditions. 

So, what are the right conditions for the botulinum toxin to form?

Botulism spores germinate and grow in moist, low-acid, anaerobic (low or no oxygen) environments at temperatures between 40º-120ºF (5º-49ºC). Yup, the exact conditions in a jar of home-canned jar of (low-acid) food sitting on your pantry shelf. 

Botulism is a serious food-borne illness that can develop in home canned foods. Learn what you need to know to stay safe while home canning and keep your family safe from the threat of botulism. #botulism #homecanning

Sealed canning jars packed with low-acid foods like green beans present the ideal environment for botulism spores to germinate and become deadly.

Botulism spores cannot be killed in a boiling water bath canner because the water doesn’t get hot enough to kill the spores (water boils at 212ºF/100ºC). However, botulism spores can be killed by heating to upwards of 240ºF/116ºC in a pressure canner.

So, that being said here are the cardinal rules of home canning that you must know and follow to ensure a safe finished product…

 

6 cardinal rules for safe home canning

There are a few cardinal rules when it comes to canning and preserving food at home that, when followed, make preserving food at home a safe and healthy way to feed your family, save money and avoid food waste. Here are the top 5 rules you must always follow:

 

Rule #1:  Low-acid foods MUST be pressure canned.

While high acid foods (including most fruits, jams, jellies and pickles) can be safely canned in a boiling water bath, all low acid foods (including meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables that are not pickled) must be pressure canned.

Low-acid foods are foods with a PH higher than 4.6. This includes meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables that are not pickled. So, for example, you could safely water bath can pickled green beans, but you must pressure can regular green beans that have not been acidified with vinegar.

One of the most common causes of botulism from home canned foods is not adhering to this simple rule.

Botulism is a serious food-borne illness that can develop in home canned foods. Learn what you need to know to stay safe while home canning and keep your family safe from the threat of botulism. #botulism #homecanning

ALWAYS use a pressure canner when canning low-acid foods like meat and vegetables.

In 2015, more than two dozen people became ill and one person died after eating potato salad made with improperly home-canned potatoes at a church potluck. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the attendee who prepared the potato salad with home-canned potatoes reported using a boiling water canner, which does not kill C. botulinum spores, rather than a pressure canner, which does eliminate spores.”

Moral of the story? Always, ALWAYS pressure can low-acid foods. I’ve seen some people argue that their family has been water bath canning green beans (or peppers or tomatoes… which we’ll get to in a minute) in a boiling water bath forever and has never had a problem. But just because you’ve never had a problem before doesn’t mean you can’t have a problem in the future.

When we’re talking about an illness as serious as botulism, why take the risk?

 

Rule #2: Follow up-to-date canning procedures

Proper canning procedures include washing and sterilizing jars & bands before filling them, always using new lids and and always processing jars of food in a boiling water bath or pressure canner (according to food type) as opposed to oven canning, open-kettle canning (putting hot food in jars and letting the lid seal on its own) or inversion canning (flipping the jar upside down to seal the lid).

Again, just because you or your mom or your grandma have always done it this way doesn’t mean you should risk it going forward. It’s so easy to just put the jars in the canner, why not make sure you’ve got a safe finished product to enjoy and share with your loved ones?

 

Rule #3: Always follow a tested canning recipe 

Canning is a science, not an art. While I encourage you to get creative in the kitchen when it comes to preparing meals from scratch, when we’re talking about food preservation, you can’t just wing it.

While it is possible to put your own spin on home-canned goods, such as adding or adjusting things like sugar, spices and dried herbs in small amounts, for the most part you need to follow tested recipes to a T to ensure they are safe. 

This means you can’t skimp on the amount of vinegar or lemon juice you use in a canning recipe, you can’t cut the processing time short and you can’t just add any ingredients you like to a canning recipe and assume it’s still safe.

My go-to sources for safe, up-to-date, tested canning recipes are the National Centre for Home Food Preservation and the Ball Complete Book of Home Food Preserving.The Ball Blue Book is also a highly respected and trusted source for safe canning recipes.

Of course, the canning recipes on this site are also safe, tested recipes that have all been adapted from the above sources. Some may contain less sugar, a different type of 5% acidity vinegar or an additional spice or flavouring ingredient (like the vanilla in my Strawberry Vanilla Jam recipe) but these are all safe adaptations. As you get more comfortable with home canning you learn the small tweaks you are able to make in a recipe and that’s the margin that allows for some creativity. Otherwise, your best bet is to do things by the book.

 

Rule #4: Tomatoes are considered a low-acid vegetable

This “rule” is actually one of the most contentious and controversial ones in canning circles these days. Just as there is debate around whether tomatoes are a fruit or a vegetable, so too is there debate over whether they are considered high or low acid. 

Here’s the deal: tomatoes have historically been considered a high-acid fruit/vegetable (we’ll leave that debate for another day;), but due to hybridization over the years they have become less acidic. At least, that’s the story, In truth, even many of today’s heirloom varieties are low acid.

It’s difficult to know exactly which varieties fall just above or below the acidity limit of 4.6 on the PH scale, so to be safe, you should always assume that tomatoes are low acid and process them accordingly. This means either adding lemon juice or vinegar to tomatoes or tomato sauce when water bath canning or pressure canning them. Again, stick to tested, up-to-date recipes and you’ll be fine:)

 

Rule #5: Memorize the “Do Not Can” list

There are a few items that just CANNOT be canned safely at home, and those items include 

  • eggs
  • dairy
  • wheat/flour products (ie. noodles)
  • pumpkin purée and pumpkin butter.
  • nut butters
  • fats, oils and oil-based products (ie. pesto)

I know there are people out there who have consumed home-canned milk and pickled eggs and pumpkin butter and even regular butter and who have lived to tell the tale, but this is another thing you just don’t want to risk.

Botulism is a serious food-borne illness that can develop in home canned foods. Learn what you need to know to stay safe while home canning and keep your family safe from the threat of botulism. #botulism #homecanning

While it’s possible to can pumpkin in cubed form, it is NOT safe to can pumpkin purée or pumpkin butter.

In lab tests, it was impossible to kill all of the botulism spores in the above products using a home pressure canner so there is no safe, tested way to can these items at home. If you’re wondering why you can buy cans of pumpkin purée and chicken noodle soup at the store, it’s because commercial canners can get up to higher temperatures than home pressure canners and can penetrate and kill all of the botulism spores.

In the case of canning noodles, it’s also a quality issue as noodles will be turned to mush in a pressure canner. Don’t ask me how they preserve the integrity of the noodles in commercial canning, but if you have any clue I’d live to know so leave a comment!

 

Rule #6: When in doubt, throw it out

The most cardinal of cardinal rules when it comes to home food preservation: when in doubt, throw it out!

If a jar of food is leaking, has lost more than half the liquid, looks moldy, smells bad or you’re not sure how it was processed (ie. a jar of home canned green beans from a friend), don’t risk it. 

Also, remember that botulism is often odourless, flavourless and invisible to the naked eye, so don’t rely on these senses to tell you whether a jar of home-canned food is good or bad. If you have any doubts about the safety of your home-canned food, toss it. It’s just not worth the risk.

 

Other considerations

Remember how I mentioned earlier that other common causes of botulism include baked potatoes, fermented fish and infused oils (among other things)?? Well, keep that in mind when preserving food in other ways at home too. 

In the case of baked potatoes, do not store cooked, baked potatoes in aluminum foil as it creates the type of anaerobic environment that botulism loves. And store in the refrigerator (not at room temperature).

In the case of fermentation, it’s nearly impossible to get botulism from most fermented foods because they’re exposed to oxygen and are highly acidic. However there have been a number of cases of botulism caused by improperly fermented fish in Alaska, by and large involving traditional native foods like fermented fish heads, seal oil, fish eggs, beaver tail and even beluga flipper. So maybe steer clear of those foods?? I would. But then again, I’ve never had fermented beluga flipper. Done correctly, I’m sure it’s a delicacy and a half;) 

Finally, do not infuse oil with herbs and/or garlic at home. Or sun dried tomatoes or peppers or anything else. Oil provides the perfect anaerobic environment that botulism loves to grow in, and garlic-infused oil has been the culprit in a number of cases of botulism, including this one from 1989.

It is possible to infuse garlic and certain herbs (including basil, oregano and rosemary) in oil for consumption, however you must immerse them in a 3% solution of citric acid and soak them for 24 hours before infusing them in oil. For more information, read this guide to making garlic and herb-infused oils at home.

Oh, and while it may be obvious, I just want to be clear that there is no risk of botulism in frozen or dehydrated foods:)

 

Knowledge is power

I must reiterate, none of the above is meant to scare you away from canning and preserving food at home. On the contrary, it’s meant to educate and empower you!

With all of the bad and, most importantly, unsafe advice floating around the Internet these days, I thought it was important to clear up some of the misinformation out there.

At the end of the day, only you can decide what you feel comfortable with. Nobody can tell you how to run your kitchen or what you can and can’t do with your food. However I strongly advise you to follow up-to-date canning and food preservation safety rules and tested recipes to ensure a safe finished product for you and your loved ones. After all, isn’t the point of preserving food at home to be able to provide our families with healthy, homemade, shelf-stable food all year long? 

There are lots of other ways to be a rebel in the kitchen (if you read my About page, you’ll see why I think preserving food and homesteading in and of itself is a form of rebellion!) But playing fast and loose with your canning recipes and procedures is a little like playing Russian roulette: you might be fine five times out of six, but that doesn’t meant the bullet will never get you. 

Play it safe, follow tested recipes, use the proper equipment and don’t cut corners. And enjoy safe, delicious, healthy home-canned food for many years to come:)

For more information on safe home canning, check out the following posts:

To make sure you always have a trusted source of safe canning recipes on hand, I highly recommend the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving or the Ball Blue Book.

 

Ready to take your canning game to the next level?

Whether you’ve never canned anything before or you’ve done a little canning and you’re ready to take the next step, my Yes, You CAN! complete home canning course will walk you through everything you need to know to get started canning food SAFELY at home.

Over the course of 12 easy-to-follow lessons, we cover both water bath canning and pressure canning, and I show you step-by-step how to can your own jams, jellies, pickles, pie fillings, fruits, vegetables, tomato sauce and chicken stock at home. And of course we’ll go over canning safety, equipment and over all best practices in more depth so that you always feel confident both during the canning process and while enjoying your home-canned food afterwards.

You’ll also get a collection of bonuses including:

  • Printable checklists and cheatsheets to help you stay safe and never miss a step while canning food at home
  • My bonus Jam and Jelly Making Mini-Course to help you make and can your own jams and jellies with store-bought pectin, no pectin and even low-sugar
  • A copy of my Home Canning Handbook, complete with 30 of my favourite home canning recipes for canning everything from fruits and vegetables to jams and jellies to sauces and salsa to stocks, soups, meats, combination meals and more!

But the best part is that, I’m currently offering my Yes, You CAN! home canning course for 25% off the regular price, but only for a limited time! 

So if you’re ready to get started canning (or canning more food than ever before this year!) enroll now to take advantage of this special offer and get started stocking your pantry right away!

I hope to see you in class!

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 


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4 Comments

  1. Sue

    There is no need to “sterilize” jars, lids, and bands. All you need to do is wash them with hot, soapy water as you would any other dishes. You are going to use them in canning, which is specifically for killing bacteria, so the canning process WILL kill any icky things you think sterilizing will kill.

    Also, the photo shows canned food in jars with the rings still on. The article makes no mention of taking the rings off after the jars have sealed and a day or so has passed. You NEVER store the jars with the rings on. It can create a false seal, and THAT can lead to making you sick! That should have been rule #1 in the article. I see so many, many photos on Pinterest of home canned food in jars with the rings still on. That is one of the very first rules I learned when learning to can!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      The article is about botulism, and leaving the rings on has no effect on whether or not canned food may carry a risk of botulism. In fact, the reason you should remove bands/rings is so that you can tell if one of your jars didn’t actually seal. If you leave the rings on and the lid didn’t actually seal, it could create a false seal and your food could mold and spoil, resulting in food waste, so you’re not wrong there (and you’re correct, it was a poor choice of image to use on a canning post, although I admit I don’t always remove the bands and have never had a jar not seal). However botulism comes from jars of food that have been sealed well. It thrives in anaerobic (low/no oxygen) environments, like the type of environment inside a sealed canning jar. The key to avoiding botulism in home canning is to always acidify or pressure can low acid foods according to the directions.

      As for sterilizing jars, you do not need to sterilize them if you’re pressure canning, but you do need to sterilize them if you’re water bath canning certain foods, or at the very least they should be kept in a simmering hot water bath until ready to be filled.. This is according to the National Center For Home Food Preservation and the Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving, which are both trusted sources for home canning information. Better safe than sorry! After all, had I not mentioned sterilizing jars, someone probably would have left a comment calling me out for that;)

      Reply
    • Nadine

      This is a great tidbit of information. I am new to canning and wondered why we are told to take the rings off when the jars look much nicer with them on!

      Reply
  2. Grammyprepper

    A great common sense post, Anna! I am not a canner. I had hoped to try my hand at water bath canning tomatoes this year, but my garden didn’t cooperate. (And I am still scared to death of pressure canning, figured if I could successfuly water bath can, it would build my confidence) I’ve done a lot of my own research, and talked with friends who can regularly. Your article sums everthing up very succinctly regarding canning safety.

    Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Do you dream of escaping the rat race and starting a homestead far from the chaos of the modern world?

It’s no surprise that in this day and age, more and more people are ready to leave it all behind and move to a property in the country where they can grow their own food, live a simpler life and become more self-sufficient and less dependent on “the system.” But as romantic as it sounds, it’s definitely easier said than done.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with Ann Accetta-Scott of @afarmgirlinthemaking to talk all about what people need to know about buying and selling a homestead property.

Ann and her husband Justin recently moved from their two-acre homestead outside of Seattle, Washington to a 40-acre homestead in rural Tennessee. Ann and I sat down to talk about the realities of buying and selling a homestead, moving across the country to pursue your homesteading dream, what to look for when you’re searching for your next property, pitfalls to avoid (if you can!), and what you can do if you’re not ready or in a position to make your move just yet.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first homestead or trying to sell an existing homestead and upgrade to a bigger property, Ann had some great insights to share that can save you time, stress and money when you’re ready to make your move.

Check out the full interview in the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine: link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe, login to the library (if you’re already a subscriber) or view a sample of the current issue!

#modernhomesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #escapethematrix #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #selfsufficientliving
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This is why people don’t trust our medical system!!!

I very rarely go on a rant about current events but this has me feeling really fired up…

My husband and I each got an Amber Alert on our phones the other night along with millions of other British Columbians, informing us of a child abduction in Vancouver. It made the suspect sound like a dangerous kidnapper and said “do not approach. Call 911.”

As it turns out, it was the mother of the child (a 3-year-old boy), who had refused medical treatment without getting a second opinion and follow up blood tests, so the Ministry of Child and Family Services was called, she was arrested and her son was taken from her and was administered medical treatment in the hospital without consent and without a guardian present.

There’s a lot more to this story than I’m able to share in this video or this caption, so I’ll post some links below where you can hear directly from the mom what happened, and check out other IG accounts that have been in direct contact with her and the father. But the point is this was a GROSS misuse of our Amber Alert system, a GROSS abuse of power (turns out the boy wasn’t sick in the end anyway), and has now traumatized this family for life.

Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

This hits close to home for me because I too have been through the medical system and had my concerns dismissed, was misdiagnosed and given wrong information, and was treated with obvious contempt when I got a second opinion.

In this day and age of rampant medical coercion and the erosion of bodily autonomy over our own bodies and over those of our children, this story highlights the dangers of the very slippery slope we’re on.

As parents who only have the best interests of our children at heart, this could happen to any one of us. We can’t let this be normalized. Remember “first they came for (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Check out my stories for the full video that the mom, Wiloh made explaining the details of what happened or check out the comments for links to learn more & support this family.
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I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

#trudeaumustgo

(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
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What would you do if the grid went down?

Imagine not just the lights going out, but all power, all digital communication and information. Would you be prepared?

A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#modernhomesteadingmagazine #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #modernhomesteading #prepping #nationalpreparednessmonth
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The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

I used to get offended by these questions because I felt unseen; I felt like nobody took this life that I’m so passionate about seriously, and thought it was “cute” that I was “playing farmer” for a bit, but eventually I had to grow up and become part of the “real world” once again.

Now I just smile and reply “never:)”

Can you relate? How do you (politely) respond when someone questions your lifestyle choices or implies that you’ll eventually come to your senses and come back to “reality”?

Let me know below 👇
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The fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue you’ll find:

• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
•The ultimate guide to growing garlic at home and it as both food and medicine
• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
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