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When a friend brings you 14 cases of blueberries, you channel Bubba from Forest Gump. Instead of all the ways you can use shrimp, you think in terms of blueberries. Blueberry jam, blueberry syrup, blueberry cordial, blueberry pie filling, blueberry sauce, blueberry juice…..

It’s what you do.

 

 

When a friend brings you 300 pounds of white rice, you share some; store some; and make a casserole or two.

It’s what you do.

 

 

When your garden is overflowing with vegetables, you freeze some, you preserve some, and you share some.

It’s what you do.

 

 

When you find five cases of grapes on your table, you start juicing. You make jelly; do like Tessa at the Homestead Lady and make raisins; and grape juice. You add them to a fruit salad. You eat them by the handful. But not one goes to waste.

It’s what you do.

 

 

 

When you are curled up on the sofa on a cold wet winter’s day, and go overboard on the seed order, you head straight to your garden planning notebook (with the cool Garden Planning Printables) and get busy planning, just knowing that this is going to be ‘the year’ for the greatest garden!

It’s what you do.

 

 

 

When you find yourself with cases of Chick Peas, you make a marinated bean salad; you toss them in a vegetable stew or a bean soup; you may even treat your chickens to a can or two.

It’s what you do.

 

On a homestead, you don’t think twice when you have an abundance. It is a blessing, and your mind goes to all the ways you can store it, preserve it and use it. Resourcefulness takes over. You take care of business, and do what you need to do. There is finally enough to try out that new recipe. You make a casserole to send to a sick neighbor. A box is packed and delivered anonymously to a young family who is struggling.

 

 

 

You grab juice extractors, canners, canning jars, bowls and strainers. Your kitchen counters are lined with ingredients and measuring cups.  You can’t see your stove for all the pots on it, and you get to breathe in those wonderful aromas.  Towels stand at the ready on your table for hot jars straight out of the canner.   And you know by the end of the day you will have a variety of delicious soups, jams, jellies and condiments to add to your winter stores.

We also are fortunate to have a cellar. The rice and canned goods can be stored down there until needed. There is nothing better than having a ‘grocery store’ beneath your house. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a cellar or basement, then a pantry or seldom-used closet works well.

 

 

 

What you don’t do is say ‘no’. There is no chance all that food will go to waste. You may not know how to use all those Chick Peas at first, but you are armed with cookbooks and handed-down recipes that can help.  There is a piece of security knowing you can feed your family. You sigh with relief when your grocery store receipt is less than it could have been. And maybe, just maybe, your budget will balance for a month or two.

You smile when you prepare dinner. You can breathe easier knowing your larder is full. And you give thanks. Thanks to the one who delivered it, and thanks to the One who provided it.

It’s what you do.

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Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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