in responsibility •  last year

You work a job you hate for money you’d rather not deal with to buy over-processed, poisonous food that is most likely in the process of killing you.

Ah, the joy of being a consumer!

Though my opening sentence may sound extreme to some, others may think that the reality of the situation is much worse.

However bad it may really be, I am concerned, and have chosen to become more of a producer than a consumer when it comes to my own food supply.

Though I have not always been trust-worthy in the past, I still trust me more than I trust complete strangers, the government, or big businesses.

Not only are there some serious health benefits to having a trustworthy food source, but having a return on my investment encourages more faithful stewardship.

When I buy some potentially chemical-ridden, pesticide-laced, GMO pseudo food and after two days in the refrigerator it starts to look a little questionable, it seems like it is almost in my best interest to get rid of it. In fact, it may not even be safe for my compost pile or to use as hog food.


But, when I prepare some soil, plant a seed, weed and water a plant, and encourage it to grow and produce, I seem to have more of an interest in making sure that no portion of that food is wasted. Even the leftovers or scraps can be used in a compost pile, worm farm, or as food for other animals.

To invest time and effort in producing a safe and healthy garden food supply is so rewarding when the harvest actually comes in, and the connection that one has with the food is unmistakable. This connection and certain level of respect for the food seems to mostly be lost in this society of consumers.


Though the effort invested is not the same, the effect of foraging can be similar. When one takes a wander through the woods or plains, picking as you go, there is a real connection to the food. It becomes more that just cramming some edible substance down your throat three times a day in a programmed attempt to gain nutrition.

Again, a certain respect for creation and the wild world we live in is hard to escape in this situation. Using an electric can opener and dumping a pile of soggy eight month old vegetables out onto a plate does not give one the same experience by any stretch of the imagination.

A leftover pile of green beans the kids refuse to finish from a can that cost $0.68 USD is too easy to pitch in the trash can. But when I pick something from the wild, can could have been food for another animal, I feel a responsibility to make good use of my harvest.


As a person who also enjoys meat, I have recently began hunting, and have been quite successful at it. I think that wild animals beat many of the commercial meat options for a variety of reasons. Though I do not enjoy killing animals, to eat meat, an animal should be dead first. Having a clue about how the animal dies can be a very reassuring feeling though.

When a healthy animal, such as a deer, crosses my path when I am hunting, I can rest assured that it looked fine and normal before I shot it. When it immediately tips over or only runs a few feet before it collapses, I can be confident that the animal died quickly and did not have to suffer a long time in the process.

I’ve heard too many stories about animals in mass production settings and how they choose who goes to slaughter first. The sick and maimed need to be quickly separated before they contaminate the rest of the herd or flock. To simply kill these animals and dispose of the meat is not profitable… at least not as profitable as selling it to you.

Having no prior experience hunting, field dressing, or butchering large game before, I had the responsibility to learn properly and quickly. All of the usable parts of the animal have been entrusted to me when I chose to take its life. I can’t just kill an animal to have its head mounted on the wall. Properly removing as much meat as possible is necessary, and also considering using the bones for soup or the hide for clothing is appropriate. Much like the native people of this land who had a respect for their wild game and took their stewardship of the harvested animal seriously, now I too have become aware of a greater responsibility that I have in my choices of how to provide food for my family.

The food will need to come, or we will starve, and we all have varying options on how that food will be provided.


Fishing can be a rewarding and entertaining was of providing food as well. I taught @mama-pepper early on that when the refrigerator and the wallet both get empty at the same time, we had better go fishing!

For some reason, fish are a little easier for more people to kill and eat than other animals. Even Kurt Cobain sung, “It’s okay to eat fish, because they don’t have any feelings” source. Still, to just catch and kill doesn’t help anyone. When the fish is caught to be eaten, it needs to be properly filleted or cut up.

I really like fish as a source of food, because the carcasses make such great fertilizer for plants. Also, the bones and the heads can make an incredibly nourishing and healthy stock. Yes, we have done that too. It’s amazing how many people will think that’s gross and yet have no clue what conditions their food lived in or was processed in.


Raising animals for meat can be one of the most difficult food supply choices that people can make. Yes, there is a connection with the living animal that can make it hard to be the one who makes it not living.

However, for those who choose to raise their own meat, a real stewardship mentality is very easy to reach. If someone is going to breed and raise animals for food, they had better be sure to be getting all the food that they can from that animal once it is butchered.

How many of us have just left some meat on the plate at a restaurant and not bothered to request a “doggy-bag” or to-go box? Been there, done that, have we? That meat came from an animal just the same as any other meat. But… because we have no real connection to it, we really don’t care much. When you are the one who raises the animal, dresses it, and butchers it, you have a greater concern for what happens to that meat.


A lot of what is going on in my life right now is new to me. As we seek to be more and more self-sufficient, we continue to engage in more and more of the activities I listed above.

With this lifestyle change is also coming a mentality change, and I am receiving a greater appreciation for many things in my life. By taking more of my family’s food supply into my own hands, I am receiving a greater responsibility to make sure that we are using what we grow or harvest, and I am enjoying the somber reality of reconnecting with my food. I am glad that my children will know where food comes from, and that they will have a respect for the plants and animals in creation as well.


Awesome Handcrafted @papa-pepper logo kindly donated by @vlad - Thank you!!

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Congratulations my great friend @papa-pepper for the good example that is giving his heirs to appreciate healthy and natural life, learning to care for and take natural resources offered by nature.
Thank you very much for sharing these good examples


It blesses my heart to read your comment here.

Thanks @jlufer for all of your support!

Your article makes it so clear to me that you've moved and are moving in a good direction. I wish you the best and most complete success! Thanks for an inspiring post! :)


Thank you @creatr.

This is the direction that we feel led to go!

I am very glad you are living this life and sharing it with us.

I feel that more and more people will start desiring this life style. There is a certain wholeness to it that fills the emptiness that you get from the rat race.

Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity, used to have a high six figure income, and he says, that it took him a while to learn this lifestyle, but if he had it to do all over, he would run to this lifestyle.



Thanks for the encouragement as I share!

Spot on. Good article and some awesome pictures to boot!


I like to do all my own thoughts and photos, it seems to help me be creative.

I like your rabbit post too!

We are doing that as well!

Always a pleasure reading your posts!


Thanks for reading and enjoying it.

I try really hard, so I'm glad it's paying off.

Great post as always, top to bottom.

Your categories were well thought out and lined up well, the logo you made about STEWARDING fits right nicely into your life which you lay bare before us with things daily on here.

I smiled reading this whole post, right from opening about the sketchy franken-foods and gov't stuff, right to the end.

Thanks always for your work. And for teaching your kids and making it part of their lives.

Thumbs Up brother.


Big thanks for that one @barrydutton!

I seriously appreciate the reply, and the thought that went into it!



YW brother, I appreciate what you are doing across the board. And WHY.


There is One who has the best plan in the world, I just want to get with that program.

nom nom nom
We have wild mustard all over our yard. I'm not sure if we did last year, but this year I knew it for what it was and have started eating it. I'm not sure if we have two varieties or it's different stages of maturity, but I find some leaves are broader and that they're less spicey than the more undulating ones.
You showed purslane yesterday. That's an amazing plant. We get tons in the spring.
If we were out of town we'd get more varieties. But I'm working on it. :)


Gotta love the wild mustard and purslane.

I could just eat some people's yards!

From one weed to another, THANKS!


There are a lot of different wild mustards. I made a YouTube video on one of them, the wild field mustard. It's everywhere. It's young leaves look a little different than the older leaves. Even one plant can give you a lot of food, because even the big leaves are good, the stalks are good, the flower buds are good, and the flowers are good. I say it's like finding a $20 bill. I ate some tonight! I'm glad you have some wild mustard, whatever kind it is.


I wish they were $20 bills. I would be rich!! It's like a lawn here right now.


haha - I guess you have to start selling bundles of mustard leaves on the street corner. And then they really could be $20 bills. ; )


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They could use it!

You are truly an inspiration @papa-pepper.
My hope is to farm, forage, and raise my own food and be a responsible steward to the land and to my family. I've also been researching aquaponics in order to have an organic source of fish as it creates an ecosystem for my (future) plants.


Aqauponics is on my list too!

Thanks so much!

I'm glad for you and your family, @papa-pepper! Once you start this direction, there is no going back. It makes your life easier, more secure, more grounded, healthier, tastier, and just plain more interesting!

I would say, though, even though commercially canned food has problems, some kinds of home canned foods are hard to beat, like homegrown tomatoes. When my grandmother was in her 90s, people would ask what she wanted and she would answer "home canned tomatoes" every time. On the other hand, who wants canned string beans or peas, lol. Freezing them is so much better. Where are you storing all your deer meat? Did you buy a big freezer?


Big freezer for now on the deer meat, but we are looking in to making prosciutto and hard salami and things like that, using natural nitrites in celery and arugula and stuff to help preserve it.


Very cool! If there are some first generation older Italians in your area some of them are top notch at that. I used to work for a guy back in Canada who was second generation from Italian parents. His father taught all of his grandkids to make prosciutto and each of the four had a large prosciutto hanging from hooks in his cellar! That's passing on knowledge!


Might have to try it with my next deer, or when we butcher a hog!

Exciting stuff!


That would be pretty neat! Good luck with that!


We will see... didn't get one this morning.

Now that's food for thought!

Very nice post with many interesting points. As I walk down the isles in a grocery store I often reflect on how absurd it actually is and how far most of us have drifted from a reality that had lasted for millenniums.

Well done @pappa-pepper!

@kus-knee (The Old Dog)


Thank you very kindly Sir!

This is why real men know how to forage, hunt & fish. I was taught these basics as a kid when we went camping. My grandfather was full blooded maori and taught all his children how to hunt and gather, which was in turn passed on to me. I don't have a great relationship with my father, for other reasons, but I am grateful for the lessons he's taught me; hunting & gathering especially. I feel comfortable knowing that if I was ever stranded in the bush I could survive. Light a campfire, make a fishing rod, set a trap, find food almost anywhere, Bear Grylls style. It saddens me when I speak of these experiences to friends and they don't understand the fulfillment that being self sufficient in the wild brings. I'm inspired to make a post like this now. Been needing an excuse to get back out there anywho. Life skills worth remembering! Excellent post!




Do your real life skills post, that would be incredible!

Be inspired and do it man!

People either love that kind of thing, or they need to start!

Great post papa-pepper!


Thanks much!

@papa-pepper I totally agree with you on this

To invest time and effort in producing a safe and healthy garden food supply is so rewarding when the harvest actually comes in, and the connection that one has with the food is unmistakable. This connection and certain level of respect for the food seems to mostly be lost in this society of consumers.

It's better to grow your own food! At least we know what's in it than buy crap - sorry for the word but most of the time when I read labels of processed food it reads poison - I feel sorry for the people who'd buy them. The food industry has sugar coated words like aspartame sounds nice but it's actually very dangerous.

As for the carcass dropping - at least you made it speedy quick. It would be hypocritical to condemn someone who kills animals this way for food and eat animal meat at the same time. At least you didn't do it for fun nor showed off like the shot animal is some sort of a trophy.

So - uup freaking voted :D!


Thanks for that awesome comment!

I try to keep it honest and real, and to LIVE like my LIFE depends on it!

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