Friday, February 1, 2008

Important lessons from breakfast

The meal we most often take for granted. Also the one we are most likely to skip. But, even the humble breakfast has lessons in it. Last fall my little information network brought me word of a local potato field being harvested. The good news was the farmer was more than happy to let people into his field to glean what his machinery missed. Now modern machinery misses alot, especially at the ends of the rows. Big machines don't turn around that easily and rows are straight. That means the last 40-50 foot of row is usually left in the field. In my mind the healthiest way to spend a day is in the great outdoors. I gathered up my two stepdaughters and headed out with every bag, box and basket we had. The first round lasted about an hour and we went home to unload. After this the older of the two girls anounced she was tired, but, the youngest begged to go back. Who am I to look a 11 yr old frugal gift horse in the mouth. Of course we went back. Twice! Now a Chevy Aveo doesn't hold alot. And surely there are better vehicles more suited to truck duty. But, my wifes little econobox has never paused at a load. The day netted about 400lbs of potatoes into our cellar and about an equal amount either given to friends, donated, or culled. The next day, I taught the girls to make potato pancakes from scratch.
The following weekend we visited our friends at Harper Hill Farm. The girls got the full tour and even got to go into the henhouse to gather eggs. We came home with several dozen huge eggs. That sunday before church the girls got a lesson in omelette making. They were some of the best omelettes I've ever eaten. As you can see in the photo, we also made home fries from our gleaned potatoes. Not shown is the cider pressed from apples found in abandoned orchards and purchased as culls from local farmers.
My children will never confuse a supermarket as the origin of thier food. They will know where it comes from. And having expended the sweat to aquire it, I doubt they will ever take it for granted. They even giggle at the idea that other kids think food just comes from the store.


Kindred Nutmeg said...

You should keep this up Woody.. You have much to share..


woodsrunner said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm working on it. Two jobs and a major remodeling project have been eating up my time lately. I'll be posting on a more regular basis soon.

scoutinlife said...

Woodrunner I enjoy you reading your blog keep it up! I agree the simple pleasure at are great I love the fresh eggs I eat from the chicken I raise sometimes the simple blessing's are the best.

Carrie said...

I just found your blog through 35x90's interview on a homesteading blog. We're originally from WNY, now living in England, and about to return! It's nice to see what you've been able to accomplish on a small plot there. There are definitely some great places for foraging in the area.

I'm interested in how you went about getting permission from the potato farmer. Was he an acquaintance?

woodsrunner said...

I tend to network pretty heavily. Especially with the old timers in the area. There is a older gentleman that keeps in contact with us and gives us leads on such things. He usually knows the person we need to get permission from, or knows somebody that knows somebody. In this case the farms hired hand and his family had rights to whatever was left behind. We were put in touch with him and in exchange for leaving a portion picked up and in his baskets, we were allowed to take all we wanted.