Journal Entry 6-24-2012:
Being out here, off the grid, I reflect upon a time in college when, because of all the DIY, sustainability and gardening books I ordered through inter-library loan, more than I could possibly read on top of my studies, my boss at the library asked if that was my major. I smiled and said, “I wish!” Not really sure how to pinpoint what that was, I knew that I had a strong interest in what I’ll now call self-sufficiency. Now, about three or four years later, I can declare any major I want in my self-guided, self-funded school of life. I believe I’d like to choose the “green path.” Wwoofing is proving to be a huge step in the right direction as I am perpetually meeting others with similar interests, goals and the tendency to practice what they preach. Upcoming classes: herbalism, herbal gardening, medicine-making, traveling light, mushroom identification, and probably so many more I cannot begin to anticipate.
Life skills I have learned so far through wwoofing:
- how to run a farm stand and sell vegetables
- yes to mulching, no to tilling
- citrus and side veneer grafting, some plant propagation
- need quantity and quality vegetables: need quantity to be less reliant on store-bought, to have excess for bartering, to make value-added products, to put up for the off season
- how to make a bark bag, corn tortillas, effective cooking fire, canned tomatoes
- some wild edible mushroom identification, wild blueberry and blackberry identification
- goat care and milking and how to build a milking station
- chicken care and why to build a mobile coop
Looking at the life skills learned list, I realize how awesome wwoofing has been for my school of life! There are probably so many things I’ve learned which are not on the list, and just having these experiences is invaluable to me. It has been very interesting to practice my cooking technique over an open fire! The homestead I am at now relies solely on wood fires for cooking. The rudimentary temperature control and weather definitely make it more of a challenge! Above I am stirring some goji granola over our camp fire during the tropical storm Debby!
We had to stir it pretty constantly so that it wouldn’t burn. It turned out delicious, much like oven-baked granola: crispy and golden-brown with a hint of smokey flavor!