Growing Food is My Form of Protest


“Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do. Plus you get strawberries.”

– Ron Finley

In light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests across the US and around the world, I’ve been thinking a lot more about where I stand, what I stand for and what form my activism takes.

Just to make it perfectly clear, I stand with the Black Lives Matter movement, and if I lived in a city where protests were happening, I’d be out there marching for change too.

But protesting is about more than taking to the streets with signs and megaphones. It’s about the choices we make in our everyday lives. 

It’s about who (and what) we choose to support with our dollars.

It’s about how we use our voices AND what we say when we speak.

It’s about questioning the system and the status quo, and taking meaningful action to resist the parts that are corrupt and broken. 

From the systemic racism that permeates all facets of daily life for people of colour, to the corporate food system that’s keeping all of us sick and dependent, we can take small but meaningful steps every day to protest against systemic oppression, corporate greed, political corruption and abuses of power in all forms.

I already talk a lot about the importance of self-reliance in this day and age when the vast majority of us are simultaneously reliant on and trapped by this system. And of course when we talk about self-reliance, the first thing that usually comes to mind is growing and raising your own food.

(Do you see where I’m going with this?)

 

Growing Food is A Form of Protest

You see, homesteading and growing food is my form of protest. At its core, this is my reason for homesteading. It’s the “why” that keeps me going day in and day out, even when it would be easier to just get take out and call it a day (and yes, that does still happen from time to time… I’m only human!)

I know there are some people who think that my taking a stand with the Black Lives Matter movement has nothing to do with homesteading, and that I should leave “politics” out of it. But, you see, homesteading is political in so many ways.

Every time I talk about the broken food system, that’s a political statement. 

Every time I stress the importance of being self-reliant and “taking your power back,” that’s a political statement.

Growing food is about more than just sustenance. It’s a powerful act of rebellion against the status quo.

It’s also why I’m so passionate about teaching others how to grow, prepare and preserve food too. Because the modern homesteading movement is just that; It’s a movement that’s so much bigger than just me or you. And the more people that pick up a shovel and start planting some seeds, the closer we get to disrupting the system and effecting real, positive change.

This excerpt from an article on medium.com sums it up nicely:

“This is real action, it is very effective, and as it becomes more mainstream to set up gardens in your yard and on your block, we will witness the re-emergence of the kind of society we just cannot create by playing by the rules of a rigged system.”

(By the way, I highly recommend reading this powerful piece about gardening as a form of political activism and rebellion, as well as this one, about how growing food is our greatest protest).

 

Overgrow the system, one homegrown vegetable at a time

We’re at a pivotal moment in history right now where everything we do (or don’t do) is a political statement. Homesteading, homeschooling, marching in the streets, speaking up for human rights, not saying anything at all…

My grandfather used to say that “the air we breathe is political.” So too, then, is the soil we plant in. 

At the end of the day, it’s much easier to just write about how to grow a bumper crop of tomatoes or share my recipe for homemade strawberry jam. But beneath it all is an undercurrent of political activism that’s inseparable from the modern homesteading movement. 

It’s not necessarily about “right” vs. “left” politics though. It’s about the people vs. the power; The David vs. The Goliath.

Modern homesteaders come from all sides of the political spectrum, but we tend to have one big thing in common: we all believe in the core values of freedom, independence, self-reliance and self-determination, and in the importance of growing our own food as a form of personal empowerment.

Since the murder of George Floyd that sparked the most recent set of protests, I’ve run the gamut of emotions from anger to sadness to hopefulness and also hopelessness at times. But more than anything, I’m fired up and feeling more motivated and inspired than ever to live a life that’s in line with my values and that takes some power away from “the system” and puts it back in the hands of the people.

Every homegrown vegetable; Every jar of homegrown food; Every loaf of homemade bread, even, is a small act of resistance. But those small acts add up, and if enough people join the movement, we’ll eventually hit critical mass. That’s when real change happens.

Make no mistake: growing food is one of the most influential forms of political activism there is, and at its core, that’s what the modern homesteading movement is all about.

 

 

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

9 Comments

  1. Rebecca

    I love that you are talking about difficult topics. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading 🙂 found you through the Ultimate Bundles and I’m happy I did!

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Thank you so much for your support!
      As Anna’s Assistant, I can honestly say that the support of you and others is what keeps us both here!

      Reply
  2. Billie D Frye

    You talk about the system. What is the system that you are against? I want to know what in the system you are protesting about.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      The industrialized food system, big AG, big pharma, unfair laws that dictate who can grow food where and how, that dictate what type of food you’re legally allowed to purchase and what you’re able to do with your own property, the system that consistently puts profits before people and aims to keep people dependent on outside resources while simultaneously making them unhealthy, systemic racism that exists in every part of our system (ie. food, legal, housing, etc.), the system that always puts the economy first while health and the environment come second (if at all), and so on. Basically, I don’t agree with how our current world is being run or with the direction it’s headed in. I feel that the systems that have been put in place and established over many, many years work to benefit the few at the mercy of the many, and I see homesteading as something that I can do to effect positive change by not buying into of these systems. While I’m certainly nowhere near perfect, and I know that no one person is ever going to change the world, that doesn’t mean we can’t take small actions toward the kind of world we want to live in. This is the philosophy I live by and it’s why I show up here consistently and encourage others to take small actions to effect big change in their own lives and in the lives of others too. There are too many problems in this world for me to devote myself to all of them, so I’ve had to choose my “hill to die on,” so to speak. Food, sustainability and breaking free of oppressive systems through everyday actions are what guide and motivate me to live this way, and to teach and inspire others to do the same.

      Reply
  3. Anna

    I appreciate so much your open stance in support of important movements in society right now! I am also very moved by your explanation of homesteading as an act of protest, something that can change our country. Reading your blog, recipes, and canning safety today have been very inspiring and I look forward to following your homestead.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Thanks Anna! It’s not always easy to do the right thing but even with my tiny little platform in the homesteading world, if I can use my voice or make even a small difference then it’s my responsibility to do so. Welcome! Glad you’ve found my little corner of the Internet:)

      Reply
  4. Danielle

    Thank you for speaking up in support of Black Lives Matter. I think we all have our roles and a part to play in working towards a more equitable and ethical society. For my family, it’s anti-racist parenting, supporting BIPOC-owned local businesses, donating to causes that support BIPOC communities, and participating in local/state/national politics.

    That said, I would like to point out that the marches and protests happening around the United States (and around the world) have already led to meaningful changes such as arrests of officers, investigations into deaths by police, and local policy changes, as well as bills in the works at the national level to curb police brutality. They have also brought to light concerns about erosion to freedom of speech, right to assembly, and freedom of the press.

    Marching or protesting isn’t the only way to make a difference, isn’t the best fit for lots of people, and you don’t have to make excuses or justify why you aren’t participating in a protest. There are so many other ways to make a difference! However, the final quote you included by Finley seems to discount the huge amount of good protest can do. I don’t think this was your intention, but just wanted to mention that that’s how I interpret it.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Danielle!

      Thank you for such an insightful comment. You’re absolutely right, the protests have led to some real change as of late and that makes me so proud of everyone out there doing their part.

      I could see how my words (or quotes that I shared) could have been misinterpreted to mean that protesting isn’t as effective as gardening (since that’s pretty much what the last quote said). I should maybe add a note at the bottom to include the fact that these protests actually have been very effective.

      For me, the point is just that there are many things we can do to protest that which we stand against. But to make it clear, I absolutely do think protesting is effective as it puts pressure on authorities to make meaningful changes.

      Thank you again for joining the conversation!

      Anna

      Reply
      • Danielle

        Thanks so much for your clarification! I just discovered your website and instagram, and have really been enjoying it. I love your message of starting where you are, and completely agree that gardening is one amazing and wonderful way to contribute to the community and protest unsustainable established systems in these uncertain times. I very much appreciate the time and effort you take to share your knowledge and experience with others.

        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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As homesteaders, winter offers us a reprieve from the busy seasons; A time to rest, relax and recharge until next spring. But after a while, we can become restless and cabin fever can start to set in.

Folks like us tend to like to stay productive, even while living slow, intentional lives. We like to feel like we accomplished something every day, whether that means tackling a new project, learning a new skill, preparing a new recipe or simply reading and acquiring some new information that will serve us down the road.

Winter presents us with the perfect opportunity to do all of the above, because as much as there may be snow on the ground and we may feel as if our hands are tied as far as certain outdoor activities we like to partake in the rest of the year, our time is suddenly freed up to focus on all sorts of different things that we often don’t have time for during the spring, summer and fall months.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, we’re highlighting some of the ways that we can keep entertained and productive and continue learning and adding new skills to our repertoire during the winter months while still taking time to slow down from our usual pace and celebrate all that we’ve achieved over the past year.

In this issue, you’ll find:
🧶 Projects & ideas to help you keep busy and stay productive this season
🐓 Chicken boredom busters to keep your flock healthy and happy all winter
🍄A deep dive into edible and medicinal mushrooms, including how to grow them, forage them and use them to optimize your health
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But the best part is that if you subscribe by the end of December you’ll also get a FREE one-year subscription to gift to someone else.

To subscribe or check out a sneak preview of the winter issue, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

Or message me with the word “Subscribe” and I’ll send you the direct link.

As homesteaders, we spend the better part of our year preparing for winter. Now that it’s here, how will you spend it??
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human beings, whether they spend their days⁣
at home working the land or in the city working⁣
in a cubicle. ⁣

On the other hand, slowing down and⁣
settling in can lose its lustre after a while.⁣
Cabin fever can start to set in by January or⁣
February and we may find ourselves restlessly⁣
waiting for spring.⁣

But there is a happy medium that we can⁣
find between boredom and busy-ness that, in⁣
many ways, only winter can offer us. Because⁣
even though our gardens may be lying dormant⁣
and the trees may be bare and the hens may⁣
not be laying and the wild critters may all be hibernating, there is still life and activity all⁣
around us, even in the depths of winter.⁣

In my latest issue of Modern Homesteading⁣
Magazine, we’re highlighting some of the ways⁣
that we can keep entertained and productive⁣
and continue learning and adding new skills to⁣
our repertoire during the winter months while⁣
still taking time to slow down from our usual⁣
pace and celebrate all that we’ve achieved over⁣
the past year.⁣

And the best part is, until the end of December, all new subscribers to the magazine also get a FREE one-year subscription to gift to someone else, which makes a great holiday gift! ⁣

Click the link in my bio to subscribe or visit: https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/
...

44 3

I don't know about where you're from, but around here the Christmas decorations have been on store shelves since August and the first carton of eggnog I saw at the grocery store was in September! ⁣

I'm all for celebrating the season, but I think it loses something when it becomes Christmas all year long (or at least when it spans 2 or even 3 seasons!)⁣

I like waiting until December to decorate and put on Christmas tunes, and I definitely won't take my first sip of eggnog until the advent calendar comes out!⁣

That being said, when it is time for Christmas, I enjoy savouring every bit of the holiday season, and that means that when it comes to eggnog, store-bought just won't do. Instead, I whip up my own homemade eggnog, which is way tastier in my opinion, and has less added and unnecessary ingredients, thickeners, etc. It's just eggs, sugar, milk and cream, some liquor if you choose, and a little nutmeg and a cinnamon stick to garnish!⁣

It's also super quick and easy to make yourself.⁣

Grab the full recipe via the ink in my bio @anna.sakawsky or visit https://thehouseandhomestead.com/old-fashioned-homemade-eggnog-recipe/ ⁣

Do you like to start celebrating Christmas as early as possible or do you prefer to wait until December like me?⁣

Let me know in the comments 👇
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42 9

What’s in your bug out bag??

Yesterday I was in my Stories sharing a bit about emergency preparedness and what I’m doing to get prepared for whatever the future holds.

I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

This got me thinking it was high time to pull out my bug out bag and go through it because it’s been a couple years since I last did so. I decided to share it with you here and show you what I keep packed and ready to go and go through what needs updating and what I’m missing.

If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

Also, if getting more prepared for anything and everything from a power outage to a natural disaster to a medical emergency to a man made disaster like a war or a cyber attack is a goal of yours, be sure to check out the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is packed with great advice on emergency preparedness for any situation. (Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com)

I’d also love to hear from you!

Do you keep a bug out bag packed?

What do you keep in it?

What types of emergency situations are you preparing for in your area?

Let me know in the comments 👇

#emergencypreparedness #preparedness #prepping #bugoutbag
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Do you have what you need on hand to take care of yourself and your family in the event of a worst case scenario?

With everything going on in the world these days, we’re getting more and more serious about equipping ourselves with the tools, supplies and skills needed to handle emergency situations if the need arises.

Between growing nuclear tensions, the ongoing threat of pandemics, cyber attacks and a looming energy crisis, medical staff and supply shortages, and general “everyday” medical, financial and other miscellaneous emergencies, we’d all be wise to be prepared BEFORE the next emergency happens.

One of our neighbours passed away very suddenly last week (just 50 years old 😔) and it reminded me of just how quickly things can go sideways. As far as we know he suffered a heart attack, and while his wife did everything she could to save him, by the time the ambulance arrived it was too late. It was a wake up call for me, that not only do we need to be prepared with supplies on hand, but with knowledge and skills too. I’m definitely looking into booking a refresher First Aid course and highly recommend everyone reading this do the same if this is a skill you need to brush up on!

This is all part of being more self-reliant, and these skills are becoming more and more important in the world these days.

My hubby @ryan.sakawsky covered many emergency scenarios and how to prepare for them in detail in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can subscribe and read the latest issue via the link in my bio, or by visiting https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/

I’d also love to hear from you! What are you doing to prepare and/or what skills and resources would you recommend that everyone acquire now before it’s too late?

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32 3

If you feel like your garden struggled more than usual this year, or that many of your homesteading efforts were in vain, you’re not alone.

In fact, I heard from more people than ever before this year who were struggling with their gardens; With extreme or unpredictable weather; With pest problems that seemed worse than usual; With all manner of things that seemed to be conspiring against them and their efforts to grow food.

The fact is, gardening and homesteading comes with an inevitable amount of failure every year, and some years are going to be worse than others.

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, Mike Fitzgerald of @omnivore.culture gets vulnerable and shares his own homesteading struggles, and the insights he gained from a rough year in the garden.

“I held in my heart an overwhelming level of optimism for the 2022 growing season… I couldn’t have been more wrong and could not have possibly prepared for what awaited me in the upcoming months that paved the way into summer,” he begins.

To read the full story, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or log in and read the latest issue 🍁

(Quote in the reel by Mike Fitzgerald, “Rolling With the Punches,” Modern Homesteading Magazine | Issue 29 | Fall 2022).

#homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #selfreliance #gardenersofinstagram #humanswhogrowfood #modernhomesteading
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The world is changing faster than ever.

We’ve barely had time to adapt to the “new normal” and still things are continuing to shift, change, and in some cases spiral more each day.

From rising inflation and persistent supply chain issues, to a looming recession and food shortages that are expected to get worse after a very tough farming year, to a war on European soil and the threat of cyber attacks and (God forbid) a nuclear attack, to the future of digital IDs and increasingly pervasive government control over every aspect of our lives, it’s no wonder more people are looking for ways to escape the matrix and “opt out” of the system.

I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be reopening the Society doors for a limited time starting next week, and wanted to give you the heads up NOW so that you can get on the waitlist and make sure you don’t miss out when enrollment opens.

To learn more or get on the waitlist, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

#homesteading #selfreliance #livefreeordie
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171 5

It’s October, and that means pumpkin spice season is officially here 🎃

This year, instead of spending $5 or more on a PSL loaded with questionable artificial ingredients, why not make your own pumpkin spice syrup at home with REAL PUMPKIN and all-natural ingredients!

All you need is some puréed pumpkin (I make mine with fresh pumpkins, but you can use canned), some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice and ginger, a splash of vanilla extract and some water.

Bring everything to a boil and then simmer and reduce. Strain into a bottle or Mason jar and store in the fridge for up to a week or so.

Add a tablespoon or 2 of this syrup to your coffee or homemade latte for a better quality, better tasting PSL for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at a coffee shop.

You can also add this syrup to homemade kombucha, or drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, French toast or even ice cream!

Grab the full recipe via the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-pumpkin-spice-syrup/

#pumpkinspice #psl #homemadetastesbetter #falldrinks
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129 7

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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