At some point after I had my daughter I realized I knew almost nothing important. I had this little person in my life who I had to prepare for life in the world, and I had practically nothing important to teach her. I wanted to her to be strong, independent, and able to handle any situation thrown at her. I knew what needing something felt like, what hunger felt like, and what dependence felt like, and I didn't want her to have to bother with any of that. So I set on a bit of a mission to learn important things.
Lucky for me, I have the internet! You can learn literally anything on the internet. Which plants are edible and which ones are just as medicinal? Which ones are poisonous? How do you grow your own food? Preserving meat, pressure canning, self-defense, water bath canning, shelf life, hunting large game, hunting small game, shooting a gun, how to butcher an animal, how to make a trap, purifying water, building a fence, small engine repair, first aid, how to deliver a baby, what kind of trees are best for what, how to build an A- frame structure... I wanted to learn it all. I never wanted her to be without the knowledge to survive. When I look around, it's astonishing to me that we seem to feel we've outgrown the need to know how to care for ourselves, by ourselves. We gripe and complain about politicians and government yet we literally put our entire life in their hands. If they don't have to competence to keep us safe and keep the stream of (mostly imported) food flowing, than don't you want to know how to do it yourself? Best part, the information is right under your nose. You don't need someone to teach you, you can literally teach yourself anything.
So that's what I've been doing. My first year gardening was a bit rushed, I got some good tomatoes, sugar snaps, chamomile flowers, a couple beets and lots of kale, but not near enough to preserve any, and most everything else didn't go so well. That's okay though, I learned more about planting times and soil through my failures. This year will be a bit more methodical and organized, and Sylvi is old enough to help out a little! By next year I want to have an aquaponics setup because they're amazing. A little, perfect, simple, ecosystem! So I'll update on how that goes.