I love that I harvested almost everything I needed for today’s soup, plus some of our Sunday tea time finger foods, from my garden. Beyond the morning harvest too, I bartered for the eggs that went into dessert, bought my black tea and cream from a local co-op, and ground the wheat for the homemade puff pastry I made this morning in my own kitchen. We foraged some of the blackberries that are in the scones, and I keep the sourdough that goes in them on my counter, fed twice a day, every day. While waiting for the aforementioned puff pastry (for sausage rolls) to chill, I worked on some knitting, one of my kids needs a new winter hat, and our homeschool plan on the next week.
Downstairs the dehydrator is full of plum fruit leather as well as grapes my youngest laid out to become raisins for steel cut oatmeal in the winter. A tray of rosehips are drying on top too, for tea and other remedies. More grapes are waiting to becoming juice on the stove, my eldest prepped them while listening to Minecraft videos on headphones. It won’t be much, but enough to have as a treat with our sourdough waffles tomorrow morning. My spouse is currently working on destemming foraged elderberries so I can make syrup and cough drops this week.
I know not everyone has the desire, or the time investment ability, for all these things (which is part of the reason I sell some of these things, because I can’t barter for the mortgage) so I’m not bragging about this abundance. Instead, just sharing, because I am so grateful that this is the life I have decided to lead.
It is a slower life than most would prefer, financially poorer too – we make less than $24,000 a year at the moment so that we have the time to dedicate to all these tasks. I used to think my credit union account’s flushness defined who I am, that it being low means I am somehow worth less as a person. No. I have skills. I have knowledge. I have so much to offer. Yes, it is hard work. Hard work to build something out of nothing. Long long long days with no retirement savings or hope in sight (as it is for much of my generation.) But all these tasks whisper their sacred nature to me and fill be with a sense of duty and motivation, I hear in that whisper “this is what you are meant to be doing.”
I know it is.
I feel it in my aching fingers as I work on a new salve or jam or meal for my family, as I work on new jewelry and art for my next etsy shop update, as I do a rune reading for a client or friend or myself, as I plan and work and strive and DREAM to make something out of these passions. A way to share, to teach, to continuing learning, to walk in a way that honours myself, the Earth, my goddesses and gods, and the powerful magic that connects us all.
On a side note, and in reflection of the many requests I have gotten through my various social media spots to write a recipe e-book, I have added a new tier to my Patreon. If you love following my foraging and gardening journeys and are curious how I make the foods, salves, tinctures, and teas that I do, there is now a patron level where I will be posting at least one recipe with full instructions each month.