The Haters, The Lovers, The Seekers…..

As I sit in comfort of my plush chair, the fire is keeping this space warm and the smell of the fire reminds me of childhood days of living on the farm. I know that wood I split was well worth the effort as I knew these days were coming, and I would have to keep us warm. It was the same way back on the farm.

Today the world is a whole different place, but there are spots and places that have stayed the same just as I was raised. People are trying to get back to the basics and teach themselves the skills needed to live off their land, I am one of those people. To me, its in my soul, part of my program, what I believe in, what I desire. I was never a ” keep up with the Jones ” or “faddish” type, maybe as a teenager but that has long since been gone.

When we moved here I had many dreams on how I was going to make this land work for us. I have struggled many times with different aspects of living self sufficient. I haven’t gone without, I have always provided, and the food I eat and gather is bar none the best. I know that when we pop open that canning jar, whatever is in the jar was made with hard work and lots of love. Pride is something I feel, but its also my drive to live the way I do. No words can describe to you how I felt in my heart when that day I opened my freezer and all the food that filled it over half way was of my own effort and hard work. The rewards of doing it on your own are many, more than some people can see, but also ones that people seek to understand it.

The Haters
Haters is a strong word, but these are the people that think that meat in a package was grown in a garden or a product made by man. Shake your head if you want, I have a neighbor that thinks just that way, clueless. They are the people who look down on you, or feel sorry for you because you “have to” live the way you are. They think that the efforts you make to make maple syrup is a joke because they can go to the store and buy it without any effort.
Its easy to go to the store and buy a dead processed chicken, after cooking it, its okay to throw some of it away if you want because there is no relationship between that chicken and you. I was at a KFC, yup I said it, sue me, KFC……. When I ordered some wings. As I sat down to eat them, I opened the hot sauce and began to chow down (KFC does have some killer hot sauce). After a couple, I bit into one that had a dark substance all around the meat and bone. Raising and slaughtering animals myself, I knew that was a blood clot caused by abuse. At the hands of a human, that chicken died in a manner less than respectable, at least in my book.
The haters don’t have a clue as to why it was like that… Frozen veggies and fresh…. They sit around and complain about the economy and food prices, but harvesting lettuce in a field is below them. They are the people supporting big Ag companies so that the basic gentle farmer can’t make a decent living at working the land or raising meat to sell. I don’t hate the Haters, I want to open their eyes, teach them, let them taste their own rewards. I want them to raise one chicken and harvest that chicken to feed their family.

The Lovers
These are the people who might not have land, might not understand what we do or how we do it. They are looking at us, reading what we do, and living through us as we get on with life. Lovers are those that understand why/what we are doing. They sit on the side lines because perhaps that is all they can do because they need to learn and be taught how to do something on their own. They don’t envy us so much as appreciate what we do and what makes us tick. They do what they can to recycle, and do what they can to keep the landfills less filled.  Lovers ask questions about what we do as well as love the food we share with them. Some lovers cover their like for us because they don’t think they can do what you do. But they are always the first to stick their hand up for free veggies when we have extra to offer. Believe it or not, Haters can be closet Lovers, in fact a closet Lover will be your seasonal friend. They are easy to snuff out, you just have to see who is kind to you during growing season and dislikes your lifestyle when growing season is past. I am positive you can say ” Hey, I know someone like that! ” Lovers also don’t make fun of us, they are eager to understand because perhaps they will someday be a Seeker. I like Lovers and I will gladly keep sharing what I do, in hopes someday, you will post that you decided to try it for yourself and love the rewards of your hard work and thank me.

The Seekers
I am a Seeker… Seekers are those, ( I will remind you, at ANY LEVEL) that are seeking a new/better way to provide for their family by doing it themselves. They seek out like minded people to join with to learn and understand. They want to join those people that are doing it and get their hands dirty. They want a wood fire, they want to pop open the canning jar, they want to understand how basic needs can be met by hard work and understanding how to do it. They respect others who have to live that way, they look at those who have to live that way as a friend. A Seeker can cover themselves with a blanket that was sewn with yarn and understand the warm they feel was made with a pair of hands not a factory loom. They embrace the smell of a wood fire, and will even cook a meal right in the living room because while the open fire heats the room, it can also cook a meal in a pan. ( Did you ever image looking at your fireplace that way?) 

I really like it when people tell me that they tried something I have taught them to do, or they buy a book that allows them to make something all on their own. It isn’t my goal, but an added benefit to teach others while I learn myself. I know some of you have been with me a few years now, and as I have hit the bumps along the way, you too have hit them with me. Thanks for hanging out with me and I hope your doing something SS if you weren’t already doing it yourself. Jason


  1. Jason this was truly well written. I nodded my head all the way through it. This guy get’s it, I was thinking. Thank you for being out there. I don’t know how old you are but you may know me. I am a rememberer. a rememberer recalls learning to can not just vegetable but also meat and fully prepared dinners because that is what they did when her grandmother learned and she was being taught by her side when she was a young lady. She recalls traveling the mountains and learning where the wild things grow that you can eat or use for medicine with that same grandmother who was raised on that mountain. She learned to garden (back then it was organic gardening because there was organic soil and you planted your plants by the Almanac and used companion plants and let your chickens keep the bugs down). And I am a person that is aware that I need to pass these things on. I passed them to my kids who are grown and will teach their own kids. But I am not done yet. I need to pass it further on to young mothers and fathers who have no idea that the chicken you spoke of was not grown in that package. My life experience has had me in close contact with young people and others who are barely hanging by a thread, emotionally, financially and spiritually. I inherently know the answer. It is imprinted in me the same way your doing what you do is imprinted upon your own soul. Your life purpose has gone beyond self sufficiency. You are now a teacher. I have a burning need to fulfill what I see as an answer to the suffering so many, many people in our bountiful country have come labor under with no eye to their own future other than a welfare check. We can Cocoon.

  2. I am both a Lover and Seeker. I am canning, preserving…and stocking up for things to come. I am re-learning things my grandparents taught me years ago. At 55 years old…I am passing this knowledge to my children and other close friends. Love your posts on Face Book and here. Thank you for being you!

  3. Drisana Peters says:

    I am a seeker! I am dragging my stuck in the middle husband and kids along. My husband grew up in a Mennonite family on a huge farm. He wants to farm,but doesn’t want to give up his Alarm/Security tech job in the city. 4hr driving a day(just to go back and forth)over mountain passes. Sigh. So the seeker in me seeks out people like you Jason to help me find ways to lighten his burden to make $ to survive. Bankrupcty sucks(as so many know)…thanks for having your wonderful blog.

  4. As of right now, I am a lover. I hope to be a seeker one day. I guess in one sense I can be described as a seeker in that I am collecting as much knowledge as I can before striking out with my little family into the wilderness that calls my soul home.

    I’ve always been drawn to the forest and I know I will reside there one day. It may not be soon, but it will be. Thank you for your post. We lovers appreciate it. 🙂

  5. We are seekers as well. Trying to learn to become more self sufficient day by day. Expanding the garden to provide more year round food, getting chickens for fresh eggs (can’t grow “meat” animals per our zoning), learning to can/dry our garden veggies/fruits. Hopefully passing on our thinking to the kids. My “city” boy isn’t yet totally “country”, but I’m working on him 😉

  6. We are seekers. We are doing what we can; teaching ourselves as we go along. Sometimes we are lucky enough to meet other seekers who can also give us tips and suggestions, but for the most part we are teaching ourselves. We are slowly (some time as slow as molasses it seems) getting to where we want to be. We dream of having more land one day to expand what we have learned and can learn even more.

  7. I just found out, from your article, that I am a Seeker. I seek the better life of self sufficiency, even if I haven’t attained it…yet. I recently got 10 chickens (9, now, since one was murdered by a hawk last week, convincing myself and my husband to finish the work on their fenced yard and cover it). They are now producing eggs. (Got them on the 1 of April and raised them in my house until they were big enough to go outside) and Oh, those eggs are spectacular. Brown, rich and delicious. My goal, now, is to put in a fall garden. Living in coastal North Carolina, I should have quite a bit of a growing season ahead of me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Your post is right on. We are seeker too and are learning. We just found your blog and will be reading up on your posts and tips. Thanks for sharing.


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