Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Difference Between Where I Am NOW, And Where I'd Like To Be

My first deer
As a budding homesteader, I've dipped my toe into the gateway homesteading arts.  I've made my own soap and candles, I've learned how to trap and dress out squirrels, I've learned how to pressure can low-acid vegetables, and I've shot and dressed out my first deer.

I feel proud of what I've accomplished so far, but there's just so much more I want to do!

Hank Shaw's blog, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, really captures in many ways the level of competence I'd love to one day achieve.  He forages for wild edibles with a sure hand, secure in the knowledge he won't accidentally poison anybody.  He pulls cooking techniques from a huge range of cultures to highlight the taste of wild game.  He smokes, cures, laco-ferments, uses parts of the animal I didn't know you COULD use, and even confits.  Swoon!

In my more logical moments I know that the me from 5 years ago would be blown away by what the current me has mastered so far.  In those moments I even can acknowledge that given enough time I'll eventually learn these things.
Homemade venison stock

But most of the time the gulf between what I'd LIKE to be able to do, and what I know how to do NOW seems about as wide as the Grand Canyon.

In a lot of ways this is a good thing.  One of the things that draws me to the homesteading lifestyle is the fact that there's always something else to learn.  There's always something to optimize, an experiment to try.  There will definitely be ups and downs, but there will never be a 'boring day at the office'.

Inoculating mushroom logs
This urge to hurry up and do all of the things I'm dying to do is a big reason it's been so hard to wait and set up the farm in an orderly fashion.  It's a good thing Jack and I are making these decisions together and it's not just up to me, or I would have skipped right past building a real house and gone straight for clearing farm land.  10 years later I'd be living in a crumbling shack, but with a really awesome orchard and garden.

Well, I guess no matter how much I'd like to charge forward and do everything RIGHT NOW, I have to take it all a day at a time like everybody else.  :-)

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