My previous post was intentionally directed at supporting small and local businesses during the Holiday buying frenzy. You might be asking "How is that related to Holistic Health, Wild Crafting, Increased Self Sufficiency, and spending more time in nature?" Here ya go!!! I'm going to suggest seven ways to accomplish these objectives throughout the Holiday season. Please remember that much of what I write will have common themes. One of my primary goals is to learn to think before I act, use my "pause button" more frequently, and make more choices that are in line with my belief system. Every time I purchase something I VOTE WITH MY DOLLARS!!! Hopefully, through conscious effort, my votes will increasingly be for healthy choices for myself, my friends and family, and small business and agriculture which are undeniably the strength of our country and individual communities.
Clearly, some of my ideas for actual purchases cannot be made directly through small businesses. For instance, I am unaware of anybody manufacturing food dehydrators, or canning jars in their home shop or garage. By all means, if you know of a small business that is doing these things, let me know and I will be sure to promote them. Also, some of these mass produced items may well only be found through retail corporate giants. I personally prefer to choose items for purchase in the following geographic order; 1) locally produced by small business 2) regionally produced, preferably by small business 3) domestically produced, again preferably by small business.
Unfortunately, in this global economy, many of the things we desire, want, or in some cases even need, are not to be found domestically produced. I have learned that the more I use my "pause button" and take the time to look for options that represent my belief system, the more often I actually discover a source for the item in question. The result? I VOTE WITH MY DOLLARS!!!
Okay, enough time on that soapbox. Here's the list;
1) In my previous post I mentioned an alternative to expensive, mass produced bath and body products. I provided a link to Clearwater Cultures https://clearwatercultures.com/products/wise-man
Here's another great option that we recently ordered from on Etsy. Great products, great service, was able to use PayPal, and the order even came with some free sample products
2) In keeping with the themes of producing or Wild Harvesting foods and preserving those foods as well as buying domestically produced products, I found this site https://www.usalovelist.com/made-in-usa-canning-supplies-dehydrators/
This site also covers other products domestically produced. Unlike myself, it appears that the owner of the site is compensated for clicks on links, but good for them for doing the research for us. Food dehydrators, canning jars, storage products have all been in short supply this past year as everyone has a renewed interest in preserving and storing food. I hope that trend continues because it represents healthy choices.
3) If you're buying a food dehydrator for either yourself, or as a gift, don't forget to include Oxygen packets or other moisture absorbing packets to insure the hard work doesn't go to waste. There are many domestic products. I buy mine in bulk from uline.com
4) For the gardener or gardener wannabe on your list, I suggest a garden seed package. The varieties and quantities vary widely, so plan on spending some time in search of the perfect kit. This is definitely a good idea since vegetable seeds and starts were hard to get last Spring with so many people suddenly concerned with growing their own food. Most companies are currrently well stocked following harvest. https://redfoxorganics.farm/ has a wide variety of packages available. Most, if not all are heirloom variety, and organic.
5) In the past, I have made homemade wild game snack sticks and jerky for family and friends. Sadly, my hunting opportunities have been delayed this year and this may end up being a New Years gift. Sorry Sis ;). I know many of you may object to hunting, or maybe it's not your thing. I personally enjoy it and see it as another form of Wild Harvest. Going to Natures Grocery Store, coming home with exceptionally high quality foods, and thanking the Universe for the gift is exceptionally powerful for me. I had a brother in law who used to give me a gift of homemade beef jerky for Christmas every year. I loved it!!! It was thoughtful and delicious. He used a simple recipe and dried it in the oven. No special equipment needed. If you choose to go down this path, I encourage you to support small producers such as Travis at BarJ4 ranch BarJ4@yahoo.com, or another local rancher. I know you can purchase "organic grass fed beef" at Whole Foods, Costco, or other retail outlets, but I suspect these products are mass produced and organically certified only through the bastardization of the certification made by Big Ag. I don't need to know all of my food intimately, like I do from Wild Harvest, but I at least like to know where it actually comes from.
6) Also available as a gift, or for your own use from small local producers, are beef and pork packs, lamb, poultry, eggs, produce, preserves, and of course ELDERBERRY SYRUP. Small businesses and agricultural producers are usually very willing to customize your purchases to fit your wants or needs. Many of them may not be certified organic, but may in fact follow organic protocols partially or completely. For me in many cases, knowing how my food was grown, sometimes even personally knowing the person who grew it, is way more important than some stamp put on a product that frequently is more about the money spent for the stamp than about the quality and integrity of the product.
7) ALL SMALL BUSINESSES NEED YOUR SUPPORT!! Especially right now. Small businesses are closing at an alarming rate while Amazon (and their wholly owned subsidiaries Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, Zappos,etc) are making record profits along with other giant corporations. I propose buying gifts, including gift certificates from small retailers and shop instead of the stuff you pick up in the check out line at Walmart. Coffee shops, Ice Cream shops, Bakeries, Restaurants, Delis, Clothing shops, they all need your help and many of them have products that are local, organic, wild crafted, everything a person like myself is looking for. Jeff Bezos won't notice if you buy from someone else. Trust me, he'll be fine LOL.
In the end, and yes, this is the end for today, this is all about VOTING WITH YOUR DOLLARS. I'm voting for more time outside and less time staring at and captivated by electronic devices. I'm voting for more homemade foods using natural, sustainable, local ingredients and less highly processed, corporate owned factory produced stuff. I'm voting for being more self sufficient through Wild Harvesting and growing my own food and storing and preserving it. I'm voting for my health, and the health of my family, community, and country by practicing use of my Pause Button.