I’m up very early this morning watching the international news. It’s not good. I don’t remember a time when resource depletion has been so front and center in the main stream news. There are a number of big events on the horizon that make me very happy to have a deep pantry and a way to heat my house. But back to our regularly scheduled programing.

We had a double birthday party here yesterday and after cake, ice cream and presents the talk turned to gardens. Ben and Maggie want to put in a small kitchen garden this spring. Without hesitation I began to plan out how they could get real bang for their space buck in a typical suburban back yard. It didn’t take long to decide where to put the asparagus and the strawberries. Potatoes and squash could be container grown. Three dwarf fruit trees would replace the one huge tree that is there now. The front yard could have plots that held gorgeous rainbow chard, towering kale and a border of beets. The back fence should be used as the support for tomatoes and string beans and lettuce would keep the ground mulched. There is a corner that would do just fine as a walking onion patch and I think garlic would do well in a patch by the shed. I could go on about some backyard chickens but I think they were really just talking about a couple of tomato plants. I do get ahead of myself.

In checking out a youtube video this week I found a series on wartime kitchens and gardens. It was wonderful although I could only find a few of the ones I wanted. If any of you have any idea where I could purchase the series I would be eternally grateful. It may seem a bit silly to. While others are watching videos of cats playing the piano or children singing inappropriate songs, I’m watching demonstrations on how to butcher a rabbit and learning how women stretched ration coupons. Here’s what I believe. When you think about something over and over you create a path. The longer your walk that path, the deeper and more worn it becomes. Before long, it’s a lane, then a road. That road is your choice. You can choose a life of consumption or one of frugality. You can choose to eat fast food or good food. You can choose to grow food or buy plastic lawn ornaments. Just be aware that your decisions, large and small, become your life path.

The surgaring season is going better than expected. We are still collecting sap and will probably boil all week. I need to get into the summer kitchen to do some candle making in preparation for two conference I’m presenting at later this month so I’ll be glad when we wrap the sugaring up. I’ll be selling candles, books, honey and t-shirts at both conferences but I don’t have enough candles right now. I don’t make much money when I present food preservation workshops. The decision to have Bruce and the girls man a vendor’s table did not come easily to me but with gas so expensive and the time away from home I need to figure out how to make presenting work for me financially. The vendor’s table will help.

I’ve been amused by the reaction of people to the Nat Geo segment. I have gotten (and deleted) a number of comments on how I’m a target and how men plan to come steal my food. Where are people’s minds when they would rather plan to steal applesauce from unarmed women and children than put aside some food for themselves? I would be ashamed of myself but the shame bar is apparently set pretty low. The other response has been an under-the-breath admission from some that they too are worried about our economic or environmental future and have been putting aside a bit for a while. What is odd is that more people are embarrassed to be prepping for an uncertain future than are embarrassed to be planning to be a thief. Crazy.