The world is always crazy somewhere, but right now Israel and Gaza are in the news exemplifying it.

forage farming pigs, mangalitsa pigs, hogs, pasturedI thought about the situation as I went about my chores: picking up the eggs, checking the proscuittos and other pieces in the hanging room, grabbing a jar of grass-fed cow’s milk for the house, and seeing what the garden offered for supper. It occurred to me that these things happen: hens lay eggs, cows make milk, broccoli grows new heads, regardless of what ever we humans do out in our world.  

It’s this layer of security, this growing of what sustains life and knowing how to process, preserve, and use it, that I’m grateful for. No matter what happens in the Ukraine, Israel, or various other parts of the world, we have the knowledge and skills to have a measure of security.  We’ve been sharing that with folks, growing a bigger circle of skilled and secure people, for over 12 years now.  Over the past 12 years we’ve trained a lot of folks in the skill of butchering a hog at home without all the big equipment.  We’ve preached that anyone can farm and grow food. And our Tribe shows it. 

This is the kind of inspiration our students are to us, as they come, learn, then go out and do: 

“My husband attending a homestead hog harvest totally changed the trajectory of our lives!! He saw the beauty of hands on connection to our food.  It ignited a passion in him that he didn’t know existed. Then we attended Tribe Day. And now we are actively looking for land to build our own farm!”   Amy Bacher

Mike and Amy were city kids. Before they started the nomadic life they’d never driven a pick up or pulled a trailer, much less grown vegetables or chickens or pigs.  Now they’re inspired and doing.  How great is that?! 

So, I encourage you to make room for sadness and the emotions that go with tragedy, but to also do what Mark calls “fortifying your position.” Get skilled up before a crisis hits so you’re secure in your knowledge and skills to thrive. Come and learn with us, or someone like us.  I’m glad I did that, and I’m happy to share with those who really want it.  

And that’s what I thought about: Israel, Gaza, craziness, and farming, as I did my chores.


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pork, charcuterie, hog harvest, Israel

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Here’s Mark’s full thoughts on Israel, Gaza, and the Homestead: