As the winter approaches, we are taking stock of our "stock", I guess you could say. We've packed our freezer with all sorts of veggies, from swiss chard to golden zucchini, from broccoli to hot peppers, and more. We've canned tomatoes, green beans, wax beans, salsa, bbq sauce, and spaghetti sauce. We dried and bottled herbs, including basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, tarragon, and rosemary. And we made jars upon jars of sun-dried tomatoes.
As for meat, we have 4 whole, frozen chickens (4 very large chickens, about 10-12 pounds each). But a dive into the freezer over the weekend revealed we are seriously lacking in beef, which means it must be time to head over to Lake Village Homestead in Portage, MI, the organic farm where we get our naturally-raised, grass-fed, hormone-free beef.
For now, we still have to purchase our beef and pork from outside sources. Our plan is to be raising our own within a year. When we do buy, we buy our beef by the quarter, and our pork by the half-hog. That way we get a much more reasonable price per pound, though it also means we have to have a spare freezer to hold all that meat. This last quarter came out to about $4.28 per pound for 95 pounds, and included ground beef, chuck roast, steaks, liver, salami, and a few other cuts of meat.
I looked forward to having an excuse to head out to Lake Village Homestead. It's a peaceful, quiet place, and a bit of an inspiration for my husband and me. With about 15 families living and working together in this "eco-village", Lake Village has been engaged in communal farming and living for nearly 40 years now. I spent some time wandering through their fields and land, enjoying the rustic surroundings and the fresh air, and getting some new inspiration and ideas for future projects. I never tire of visiting other farms.
Our freezer is now full to capacity. It is an indescribable satisfaction to know that our food needs are, for the most part, taken care of for the next 6 months or so, much of it thanks to our own labor. This is very different from our former urban life. To us, this is the self-sufficient life, the simple life, the good life.