By Allen Hamrick
There is one thing for certain, change is inevitable and sometimes forces us to resort to different measures and move out of our comfort zone to assure us of a future. It is now February 4, 2021, and there is a different feel in the air for many folks who are gripped by the anxiety of the future of the country. It has and always will be a constant war of opinions in this country; it has been that way since explorers first set foot on North American soil. There will always be politics; there will always be fear of the future; there will always be the threat from anyone who disagrees with how we live our lives. Life will always be changing, and opinions seem to change every minute. What doesn’t change though? What are the constant things that dictate how we have to live and not how we want to live? What is it that we have to do as the people who are left behind in the power struggles of governments to pick up the pieces? What doesn’t change? Life, death, and taxes. What do we have to have? Food, shelter, and water. So, what do we do as common folk? Live, cheat death as best we can and face it when it comes, do what our ancestors did who lived through a lot tougher times than this. They entrenched themselves into the ecosystem and became a part of it instead of just taking all the time. They explored, hunted, grew crops, and raised a steady flow of animals for work and to generate food. If there was ever a year for common folk to get back to the earth, it is now.
Across the land, people are getting back to nature. More people are gardening than they ever did. They are fishing, hunting and learning the old ways to make sure of their future. If you listen to anybody in “the know” you would think that we are solely dependent on someone or something else to provide our necessities. I will argue otherwise and that it is time to renew our traditions of playing an active part in our own survival – producing our own food, working with our own hands, solving critical problems with our wits and not a Google crutch. Yes, it is hard work, but by joining modern technology together with our ancestral wisdom, anything can be accomplished. You don’t have to own acres of land or have the finest fields to take charge of your own food supply. Maybe 2021 is the year to get away from the hazards of focusing on the world ending and focus on what you can effectively change … yourself. With February underway, the smell of spring is within the grasp of our senses. You can be a warden of your own piece of land and the possibilities are endless. There is nothing more fulfilling than to be able to be self sufficient because let’s face it, all those multibillionaires would be lost without food and water, and the only way they get it is to pay for it. There is no life without food.
An old Native American proverb says it like this… ”Only when the last tree has died, and all the rivers have been poisoned and the last fish been caught, only then will they realize they we can’t eat money.” So, what do you do? Seed catalogs are being mailed out, and March is just around the corner. It is time to roll over some dirt and get ready for planting for the harvest. Depending on how you garden, the moon is right around mid March to get the garden rolling. There are a ton of options if you have limited space, from cold frames to pots; it just takes a little planning. Fruit trees are available, and they are a constant resource for delicious nutrition. Apples, pears and peaches are not only great tasting but good for your system, and you do not need a huge space to plant them. February is also a good month to tap into your syrup producing trees such as maple. Get ready to collect some early spring greens such as wild onions, mountain cabbage and dandelion. Get your fishing tackle ready because the water will be warming a little, and the trout will be back to biting. If you have a little space, get a hold of some chickens this year. You will not only have fresh eggs but also some great pest control for ticks. With that all being said, do what you must in order to get involved in being a part of our ecosystem. Neither it nor you will be around forever.