It's one of those weeks where I feel like I should have a meter in my car and a drivers cap on. I will spend countless hours driving from one child's event to another. With fuel prices the way they are these days, I really take time to organize everything so that I am not burning unnecessary gas and I backtrack as little as possible. When you make the decision to live on one income it is important to budget wisely and this is no easy task.
May always seems to be busy like this. There are rehearsals and performances, not to mention summer soccer starts soon and softball for myself and the husband.
So getting supper on the table and keeping it healthy is a big challenge. We are literally in and out the door and everything seems to be happening right at supper time. I try to cook something in the morning that we can then heat up when we walk back in the door. Spaghetti, chili's and soups are a good friend for weeks such as these, and the Slow Cooker is a godsend. I still have some tomatoes from my garden last year that I had processed and frozen, so the house always smells delicious when we are having anything tomato based. Yummy.
We are trying to make a slow switch to a more Vegetarian based diet. The goal is to have at least 3 or 4 vegetarian days a week and so far it has gone well but it will be much easier when the veggie garden in is full swing.
Vegetables are so expensive now, especially where we live, so going vegetarian is actually not a cheap option for a family of five. Therefore I have to really plan what we are eating so we don't overshoot the food budget, which has been happening consistently for months now. And I'm also trying to minimize the amount of pasta and breads we are consuming so I'm definitely trying to be creative in menu ideas. If any of you out there have some great ideas for good vegetarian options feel free to inbox me. I appreciate all the help I can get. And I know we will never be complete vegetarians. We love our meat. I just wish it didn't have to be full of hormones and chemicals. That's why we will be buying a half a Black Angus cow and Organic Pig as soon as they are ready. They are grazing in the field nearby and we know the farmer which means we know what he feeds them, where they are coming from, and they don't need to be transported which makes it a very green option.
I am all about supporting the local farmer, and this is a great way to do it. Buying local, staying in your community and visiting the farmer's markets are a great way to sustain our food inventory and cut down on costs. I remember once a few years ago I was staying at a Hotel in the beautiful Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia which is known for it's apple orchards, wineries and farms. I grabbed an apple from the bowl the Hotel had provided and sat down outside to enjoy it. I was literally sitting next to an apple orchard where the trees were drooping with apples waiting to be picked. But my apple that I was about to bite in to was from the USA. Now how crazy and ridiculous is that?
When I drive around Yarmouth and Digby County's I notice we are surrounded by old fields that used to be grazed with cattle and used for growing food. The soil is rich, the climate is perfect for growing and there is an abundance of unutilized land. Yet there is hardly any one farming anymore. Maybe if the government could get on board to create incentive for the small farmer, we wouldn't be facing the high costs of foods that we are today.
Yarmouth has an untapped market. It could be an agricultural gem, if only there was some way financially for the small farmer to make a go of it. Every month more and more families leave this beautiful place to work the Alberta Oil Sands so they can make a living to support their families. Yet the world as a whole is facing a food crisis with 7 billion people to feed, and here in Yarmouth we are surrounded by all this land. You would think food is as valuable as oil.
But I am not an agricultural or political expert in any way, so there are many many things I don't know about what it costs to farm, the challenges the small farmers face and what it takes to make it worth the while to do it in the first place. But, I will keep thinking and researching because you never know, I may be on to something!