Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips (For When You Can’t Avoid the Grocery Store)


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Things to Consider When Buying Food | What to Look For When Grocery Shopping | What to Avoid At the Grocery StoreWhen grocery shopping, remember that not all food is created equal! Here are a few healthy grocery shopping tips to help you choose better!

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If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, it probably comes as no surprise that I don’t exactly love relying on the grocery store to provide for me and my family, and that sentiment is only getting stronger as time goes on and the world gets more unpredictable.

Between supply chain issues, rising food costs and the plethora of unhealthy ingredients, chemicals and GMO foods on grocery store shelves, I’d rather toil in the garden and kitchen all spring, summer and fall to grow and preserve my own food than have to rely 100% on grocery stores to provide for me.

Aside from the desire to be as self-sufficient as possible, one of the main reasons we choose to grow our own food is to ensure the quality of the food that we eat. We grow 100% organic and cook with real, whole food ingredients because health is a top priority for our family.

All too often, taking care of our health gets left out of the conversation around self-reliance, but it’s much harder to be self-reliant if you don’t have your health, so it’s actually a really important aspect of self-sufficiency and independence.

But our family is admittedly nowhere near completely self-sufficient. Very few people truly are. We all need to go to the grocery store sometimes. After all, even Ma Ingalls had to go to town for provisions from time to time!

That being said, when I do go grocery shopping, there are a few important things that I always consider before I add anything to my cart.

 

Produce Your Own and/or Buy local whenever possible

Before I go on, I will say that I still try to shop local first and foremost.

We’ve switched to buying all of our meats locally. This is one area where I’ve made a commitment to purchasing only local, ethically-raised, grass fed/pasture raised meats (save for the odd pack of bacon, deli meats or organic whole chicken, which we usually get from Costco).

Besides our meat, we never purchase eggs from the grocery store since our small flock of backyard laying hens provide all that we need. If we did run out, I would only source local free-range eggs for the same reasons as listed above. If your only option is the grocery store, opt for organic, free range eggs whenever possible.

Oh, and I also never really buy bread anymore. I typically bake my own bread, so we don’t tend to buy loaves of bread from the grocery store. Every now and then I do buy bread products from the grocery store though.

Aside from that, in the summer we literally never buy fruits and vegetables from the grocery store as we grow most of our own produce and source everything else locally. However I know we’re lucky to live somewhere where there’s a big farming and local food culture and that not everybody has access to these things nearby.

Save for the odd “exotic” ingredient like bananas or pineapples, we get pretty much everything from as close to our home as possible in the summer and preserve it to eat throughout the winter.

But come late winter/early spring, a lot of the food we preserved the previous season starts to run out, so this is the time of year (between now and late spring when the first fruits and vegetables are ready for harvest in our garden), when we tend to rely on the grocery store the most.

My advice is always to produce as much as you can, supplement with organic, whole foods from local farms and food producers and then fill in the gaps with food from the grocery store. But I understand that everyone’s situation is different, so I just encourage you to make the best decisions for you and your family based on your unique situation and the resources you have available to you.

Related: 10 Tips to Help You Save Money At the Grocery Store

 

3 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips (For When You Can’t Avoid the Grocery Store)

My thought process around food has evolved a lot over the years  –especially in the years since we first started homesteading– and it continues to evolve all the time. I’ve upgraded my food choices slowly but surely, one-by-one, day after day and year after year. And the more I learn, the more these food choices evolve.

Still, I am in no way perfect with all of our food choices all of the time, and I’m still learning about the dangers and downsides of some foods while continuously learning about the health benefits and advantages of others.

Likewise, wherever you’re at in your health and/or homesteading journey, I want you to know that you don’t need to be perfect either. Real, sustainable improvement in any area of life happens little by little, one step at a time. So go easy on yourself!

That being said, I believe in doing the best we can with the knowledge and resources we have. This applies to all sorts of things, but for me, it’s extra important when it comes to what we put in our bodies and what we spend our money on.

In general, I’m pretty intentional about the food choices I make for myself and my family, but I also like to keep things simple (ie. I don’t follow any restrictive or complicated diets or rules). When it comes to the grocery store, there are really just three main things I make sure to look for or consider when grocery shopping…

 

1. What are the ingredients?

Whenever possible, I opt for whole foods and staple ingredients (ie. fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, etc.) But I do purchase packaged foods, condiments and other processed food items from time to time. When I do, the first thing I check for is the list of ingredients.

This might seem obvious, because (duh) I just rambled on for multiple paragraphs about how I care about what we eat. But I’ve learned that many commercially produced processed foods can be pretty deceiving, and if you’re not diligent about checking the list of ingredients, you could very easily purchase something that looks healthy, but really isn’t.

This has mostly to do with smart marketing and packaging, as well as where things are located in the grocery store. For example, there are many things in the “health food” aisle that really aren’t very healthy for you at all.

Some of the ingredients I try to avoid at all costs include any type of food additives and artificial sweeteners, including (but sadly not limited to):

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) 
  • Synthetic Food Dyes (Blue 1, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 3 & 40 are common ones to avoid)
  • Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, etc.)
  • Artificial Flavours
  • Natural Flavours (they may be derived from natural foods, but they’re still extracted in a lab)
  • Xantham Gum
  • Guar Gum
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Nitrite
  • Sulfites
  • Carageenan
  • Maltodextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Phosphates (sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, etc.)

I’m sure there are many others ingredients that I’m missing, but that’s a pretty good place to start in terms of ingredients to avoid.

I also try to avoid high amounts of added sugar. Especially if sugar is the first or second ingredient listed, I generally try to avoid it. I also prefer organic cane sugar whenever possible.

Same goes for salt;  I try to avoid it in excess and opt for sea salt or simply “salt” over sodium (ie. sodium phosphate or sodium chloride), and definitely over MSG!

When it comes to oils, I avoid highly refined vegetable oils, including canola oil, grape seed oil and sunflower oil. These types of oils are often extracted with chemical solvents and refined at high heat, which chemically alters their composition. They’re also high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause dangerous and even chronic inflammation in the body. Whether I’m purchasing oils for my own home cooking or checking the ingredients list on a processed food, I try to stick to healthier cold pressed oils like olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil.

When I’m reading the list of ingredients on a food label, I look for simple, whole, natural ingredients. The fewer the ingredients, the better.

For example, I went to the store to buy sour cream the other day, and almost every brand that I checked had a laundry list of ingredients including thickening agents like guar gum, xantham gum, carrageenan, carob bean gum and modified corn starch, sodium phosphate, propylene glycol, cellulose, sodium phosphate and sodium citrate.

After checking the ingredients on a handful of different brands, I finally found one brand’s premium version of sour cream that listed only cream, milk, skim milk powder, bacterial culture and microbial enzyme. That’s as close to all-natural sour cream as you’re probably going to get in the grocery store, so I opted for that one.

However there was literally nothing to distinguish this sour cream from all the rest aside from the list of ingredients. It took me consciously checking the list of ingredients on each brand to know that this was by far the healthiest, most natural sour cream product of the bunch. Plus, it was the same price as all the others to boot! But honestly, even if it was a couple bucks more, for me it’s worth the extra investment in my (and my family’s) longterm health.

Clearly, checking the list of ingredients in processed foods is super important, but it’s worth mentioning because too many people are caught up in the health claims on the front of the package or with the nutrition facts on the back, but they fail to consider the actual ingredients and the sources of the nutrition in the foods they’re eating.

While certain health claims can and should be important when it comes to processed foods (ie. I prefer to choose organic and/or non-GMO verified foods when given the choice), they’re often more of a marketing ploy than a reliable way to tell if a particular food item is actually healthy.

As for nutrition facts, they’re certainly important if you’re trying to stick to a particular diet like low-sugar, low-sodium, keto, etc. However I generally don’t even look at the nutrition facts. For me, the ingredients list is the best indicator of whether or not a food product is healthy or not.

 

2. Is the food organic?

Just as important as what’s in our food is what’s not in it. Chemical pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified foods are high on my list of ingredients to avoid, so I always opt for organic foods whenever possible.

According to the Environmental Working Group, “nearly 70 percent of the fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potential harmful chemical pesticides.”

When choosing produce, I always try to avoid the dirty dozen (the 12 foods that typically are found to have the highest concentration of pesticides and chemical residues). 

The Dirty Dozen includes:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes

I also only buy organic lettuce, broccoli, herbs, carrots, peppers and garlic.

I’m a bit more lenient with some of the foods on the “clean fifteen” list; Produce that has been found to have the lowest concentration of chemical residues. These include:

The Clean Fifteen includes:

  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Asparagus
  • Papayas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew Melons
  • Cabbage
  • Kiwi Fruits
  • Eggplants
  • Sweet Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower *
  • Broccoli *
  • Sweet Corn *

(The foods marked with an asterisk (*) are foods that I still personally try to buy organic. While I can peel the outer layers off a cabbage to avoid any pesticides that were sprayed, I can’t do the same with a head of broccoli or cauliflower, so I tend to opt for organic. Likewise, sweet corn is often genetically modified, so I typically steer clear of conventionally produced corn on the cob).

As for processed and packaged foods, I look for organic products as well. This isn’t always possible, but I’ll almost always choose organic ingredients when I have the option.

When it comes to dairy products, I do tend to buy conventional. However in Canada there are much stricter rules about how our milk and dairy products are produced and sold, including a complete ban on growth hormones and antibiotics. At almost double the price for certified organic dairy products, this is one area where we do still tend to buy conventional. However if I lived in the US where the dairy products are not as regulated, I would definitely choose organic whenever possible.

Not only are organic foods healthier for us, they’re also healthier for the planet. 

Pesticides and herbicides have detrimental effects on the environment and on the creatures that inhabit it, most notably bees and other pollinators, which are responsible for roughly one third of global food production [source].

And don’t get me started on Monsanto and GMOs. If you’ve never seen the documentary Food Inc. or read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, I highly recommend both as they were each catalysts for me when I first started exploring homesteading as a viable lifestyle “alternative.”

I believe we vote with our dollars, and so I always try to cast a vote for health, people and planet. This definitely applies to grocery shopping, among many other things.

Related: 3 Ways to Get Free Organic Food (Without Growing It Yourself)

 

3. Where does the food come from?

As mentioned above, I’m a big believer in eating as locally as possible. If I can’t grow something myself, I typically try to source it locally from our farmers market or direct from local farms. But this isn’t always possible, so when I have to buy food from the grocery store, I try to be mindful of where it was produced and how far it travelled.

I generally try to source food from as close to home as possible, so even if something isn’t necessary local to my community, I’ll still choose food from elsewhere in my province first, and after that I’ll look for either Canadian, American or Mexican produced next, then South American, European, African and finally food produced in Asia.

In general, Asia (China, specifically) tends to have some of the worst food safety practices and the highest use of pesticides in the world. According to this article from Stanford University, “China is the world’s largest consumer of agricultural chemicals, using more than 30 percent of global fertilizers and pesticides on only 9 per cent of the world’s crop land.” This equates to almost 1.8 MILLION tons of pesticides sprayed on Chinese crops each year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

While not all locally-produced foods are necessarily organic, they do generally tend to be safer than a lot of conventionally-produced foreign foods coming from places with very little regulation on pesticide use. Not to mention, the less miles food travels, the better it is for the planet.

To learn more about my philosophy on local food and tour a few of my favourite local farms with me, check out the YouTube video below:)

 

Other Things To Consider When Buying Food

While those are the three main things that I look for in when buying food from the grocery store, there are also a few other things that I consider (and I hope you will too!)

 

Ethically Raised Meats, Eggs & Dairy

I already touched on this above, but it’s worth mentioning again, because while we don’t tend to buy meat from the grocery store, I know many people do.

When purchasing meats and animal products I try to look for words like “organic,” “grass-fed” (and grass-finished), “pasture-raised,” “free range,” “hormone-free,” “no antibiotics,” etc.

While some of these catchphrases can be deceiving (and warrant a blog post all their own), they’re a good place to start.

 

Local Vs. Organic (And What’s With All the Packaging?? ?)

Sometimes local food isn’t organic, and sometimes organic food isn’t locally produced.

When faced with the choice between organic OR local, I usually choose organic. However if the food falls into the “clean fifteen,” I will sometimes opt for local over organic. It’s a bit of a toss up and it’s a conundrum that confounds even the most discerning among us. Find what works best and sits right for you. 

Another thing I consider is how much packaging comes with a particular food item. I try to avoid single use plastics like the plague, but somehow they still they find their way into our home on almost a daily basis. Still, packaging is something I’m conscious of for environmental reasons.

Plus I can’t STAND how quickly our recycling box overflows with plastic packaging when we’re not careful! It drives me BANANAS (just ask my husband) and I actually get a bit offended when I’m forced to accept a bunch of plastic packaging or bags with my groceries. 

This is one major downside to eating organic foods from the grocery store: SO. MUCH. PACKAGING!!!

While this isn’t always the case, I often find that organic produce comes wrapped in more packaging than conventionally-grown produce, which poses another moral dilemma for folks like me.

Luckily we have an awesome zero waste store in our town called the Local Refillery where you bring your own jars and purchase in bulk. This is where I prefer to do my shopping for things like spices, flour and baking ingredients, nuts, seeds and bulk ingredients, as well as refillable hand soap and shampoo, etc. Wherever you live, it’s worth checking to see if there’s a refillery or a zero waste store near you! 

When it comes to certain ethical dilemmas or even having to choose between what you can afford and have access to and what’s best for your health, there just aren’t any “right” or “wrong” answers in some cases. It just comes down to what matters most to you, what you’re most comfortable with and what resources you have.

Like I say, we vote with our dollars, and the money we spend on food should also be considered an investment in our health. No matter how much (or how little) money you have to spend, there’s always something small you can do to improve your family’s health, or at the very least avoid the very worst processed foods lurking on grocery store shelves.

At the end of the day, my best piece of advice for you is to continue learning about healthy food choices that also align with your own personal ethics and values, and then head to the grocery store armed with that knowledge. And of course, don’t forget your shopping list;)

If you have any of your own healthy grocery shopping tips or guiding philosophies that inform your decisions at the grocery store, I’d love to hear them! Drop a note in the comments below and let’s keep this important conversation going!

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
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NATURAL LIVING

3 Comments

  1. Gisele Sharun

    Hi my name is Gisele and I do have a comment, this article really pushed local and organic, I live in Edmonton Alberta, and know the island and British Columbia very well grew up in BC anyway I have noticed that the place you get your seeds are from the USA, why aren’t you getting your seeds local or Canadian at least, I understand that the place you get your seeds is organic but there are a lot of organic seed stores in BC, Alberta and throughout all of Canada, pushing local and buying cross border is really not a good thing hope you find something more local

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Gisele,

      I actually do get my seeds locally. I get most of them from West Coast Seeds, which is from Delta, BC. I do work with True Leaf Market as well (I’m assuming this is the company you are referring to). They are based in the US and are a great source of seeds for many people in the US. As the vast majority of my readers are in the states, it makes sense for me to recommend True Leaf Market to my U.S. readers, however I do recommend West Coast Seeds for Canadians, especially if they are on the west coast. That being said, if you have a local seed source already, I would absolutely recommend going that route first.

      You can check out my full seed-starting process in one of my latest YouTube videos here (where you will also see my stack of West Coast Seeds;).

      I hope this clears things up!

      Reply
  2. A.S.

    Love this!

    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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Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

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When I graduated from university with a degree in journalism many years ago, I remember thinking that while I knew how to write, edit, interview, shoot, and handle just about every part of creating a publication from the editorial standpoint, I really had no clue how to actually get published, let alone how the printing process works.

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It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

(Continued in comments…)
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I’m all about practical gifts; Gifts that will truly make life easier and contribute to my and my family’s wellbeing. And our family includes our animals!

One of the ways we make sure our chickens are taken care of is by letting them free range during the day, but making sure they’re locked up and safe from predators at night. But who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to open the coop, or wake up to a bloodbath because you forgot to close the coop the night before?

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23 5

Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

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But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

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Click the link in my profile or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to check out the latest issue, purchase an all-access pass to the digital library and/or preorder the print issue today!

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It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

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That’s where I’m at now. Life today looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago, when our homesteading and self-reliance journey was just beginning.

Back then we still lived in our city condo and were just beginning to dabble in all of this stuff. But my husband Ryan and I felt a sense urgency to start pursuing a more self-reliant lifestyle, and we committed to taking small steps, one day at a time to make that vision a reality.

Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

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203 5

There are so many reasons to grow your own food at home:

💰 Saves you money at the grocery store
🍴 Healthier than conventionally grown food
🔑 increases your overall food security
🫙 Gives you an abundance to preserve and share

But perhaps the number one reason is because it just tastes better!

Not only does food taste better when it’s freshly picked or allowed to ripen on the vine, there’s something about putting in the work to grow something from a tiny seed and then getting to see it on your dinner plate that just makes it so much more satisfying than anything you’ll ever buy from the store.

Plus, having to wait all year for fresh tomatoes or strawberries or zucchinis to be in season makes that short period when they’re available just that much more exciting!

With the world spinning out of control and food prices continuing to rise, it’s no wonder more people are taking an interest in learning to grow their own food at home. But that also means changing our relationship with food and learning to appreciate the work that goes into producing it and the natural seasonality of organically grown fruits and vegetables.

(It also means learning to preserve it so you can make the most of it and enjoy homegrown food all year long).

In my online membership program, The Society of Self-Reliance, you’ll learn how to grow your own food, from seed to harvest, as well as how to preserve it so you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor all year long!

You’ll also learn how to grow and craft your own herbal medicine, detox your home, become your own handyman, and so much more (because self-reliance is about more than just the food that we eat… But that’s a pretty good place to start!)

The doors to the Society are now open for a limited time only. Click the link in my profile or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

#foodsecurity #homegrownfood #homesteading #selfreliance #selfsufficiency #homegrownfoodjusttastesbetter
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If you’ve been watching events unfold over the past few years and you’re feeling called to start “cutting ties” with the system and begin reclaiming your independence, The Society of Self-Reliance was made for you!

When I first launched this online membership program last year, my goal was to create a one-stop resource where members could go to learn and practice every aspect of self-reliance, as well as a space to connect with other like-minded people pursuing the same goal. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you join!

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn inside the Society:

🌱 Food Security and Self-Sufficiency: Learn the art of growing and preserving your own food, ensuring you and your loved ones have access to nutritious meals year-round.

🌿 Natural Living and Herbal Medicine Mastery: Discover the secrets to creating a low-tox home and and to growing, making and using herbal remedies to support your family’s health, naturally.

🔨 Essential Life Skills: Learn essential life skills like time management, effective goal setting and practical DIY skills to become more self-sufficient.

As a member, you’ll enjoy:

📚 Monthly Video Lessons: Gain access to our ever-growing library of video lessons, with fresh content added each month.

📞 Live Group Coaching Calls: Participate in our monthly live group coaching calls, where we deep dive into a different self-reliance topic every month, and do live demonstrations and Q&A’s.

🏡 Private Community: Join our private community forum where you can ask questions, share your progress, and connect with like-minded individuals.

I only open the doors to The Society once or twice each year, but right now, for one week only, you can become a member for just $20/month (or $200/year).

In today’s world, self-reliance is no longer a luxury, a “cute hobby,” it’s a necessity. Join us inside The Society of Self-Reliance and empower yourself with the skills you need to thrive in the new world!

Link in profile or visit thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

#selfreliance #selfreliant #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #sustainableliving #modernhomesteading #homesteadingskills #preparedness
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Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

(Continued in comments…)
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Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-guide to get your free copy!
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#garlic #garlicharvest #homesteading #selfsufficient #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #selfreliance #homegrown #groworganic #growfoodnotlawns #gardenersofinstagram #homesteadersofinstagram
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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-summer/
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#houseandhomestead
#momentsofcalm
#pursuejoy
#simplepleasuresoflife
#thatauthenticfeeling
#findhappiness
#artofslowliving
#simplelifepleasures
#lifesimplepleasure
#simplepleasuresinlife
#thatauthenticlife
#authenticlifestyle
#liveanauthenticlife
#livinginspired
#savouringhappiness
#livemoment
#localgoodness
#simplelive
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#frugallifestyle
#homesteadingmama
#offgridhomestead
#modernfarmhousekitchen
#crunchymama
#rusticfarmhouse
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#farmhouselife
#modernhomesteading
#backyardfarmer
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