Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Finding a Sustainability Group

Moving to Portland, OR to a small rural town in West Virginia has been an adjustment for our family.  Something as simple as grocery shopping has turned out to be a treasure hunt of sorts. In Portland, we shopped at New Season's Market where all of the meat is vegetarian fed without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones.  Finding hormone-free chicken at a store here can be somewhat discouraging and there isn't even hormone-free sausage available.  And need I mention that the nearest glass and plastic recycling is 15 miles away?  Being a newcomer can be rather tough in general and finding those who share similar values can be even more of a challenge.  Jon and I have talked at length how we would like to get in-touch with those who have a sustainability mindset; but how do we find these people?

Last summer Jon and I checked out the local Farmer's Market that had about 5 vendors and stopped by Mil-Ton Farms to learn about their local meat business.  Before leaving, I grabbed their business card so I could place future orders.  This card was then tucked away in my desk drawer until Jon and I recently had a craving for some homemade biscuits and gravy and gumbo, but we couldn't find good quality sausage at the grocery store.  I sent an email to Mil-Ton farms to place an order and was directed to their Facebook page which introduced us to the Tri-State Sustainability Homesteaders group.  We were thrilled to find that this group is meeting for the first time March 16th. For those of you who know me, I am not a Facebook junkie and spend minimal time on the computer so it was a diamond in the rough that I found this group!  Jon and I are really excited to find a group here that we can connect with, share resources, and learn more homesteading skills!  Perhaps we can finally begin our dairy interests within the next year.  Our challenge is finding someone who can take care of the animals when we are on vacation.  In particular we are thinking about raising milking goats.

This weekend I cooked up a batch of vegetable soup and a loaf of Boule Artisan Bread.  The bread recipe came from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by: Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. 

My soups are made with  ingredients leftover in the fridge.  Potatoes, corn, and homemade noodles are great additions too.

Here is my recipe: 
Cook 1/2 cup onion with 2 T butter in soup pot.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 hours. 
3/4 quart jar stewed tomatoes
3/4 quart jar carrots
1/2 quart jar green beans
2 stalks celery chopped
1 cup cooked barley
1 tsp. vegetable soup stock
1 tsp. thyme

*When I use my canned vegetables, there is usually enough liquid in the jars to fill the soup pot.  If more liquid is needed, add the water used for rinsing the jars.  


Jessica Griffith August 4, 2013 at 5:23 AM  

Hubby and I live in Maryland and are having the same issue. We raise dairy goats, poultry, garden and had a failed attempt at raising bees. We are always trying to cultivate like minded friends. I am super bummed because one of my friends who raised pigs is moving away. We would trade milk for pork. I feel like most people around here garden at best. Everyone thinks we are crazy for trying to do more than that!

Holly August 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM  

Hi Jessica,

Hang in there! Someone is bound to turn up somewhere in your neck of the woods. Are there farmer's markets in your area that could help jump-start some conversations? Sometimes it can be the people we least suspect who are making a difference---even if it's something like spinning natural fibers or growing a couple of fruit trees. I'm thinking about you and hoping something comes your way soon!


About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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