Tag Archives: Food

My Start with Permaculture

How I am getting started with Permaculture

The most major part of self-sufficiency is being able to grow as much of your own food as possible.  I learned this at an early age growing up on a small farm.  At the end of the summer and early fall, the only trips to the grocery store were for items that we didn’t grow.  With canning, freezing, and drying we were eating this produce for most of the next six months.

But that was just very small scale gardening, and the rest of our livelihood came from conventional mono-crop agriculture.  I always wondered why we had to plant everything in rows and spend so much time weeding.  Thankfully we didn’t spray chemicals on our garden.  Perfect it was not, but I learned a lot about planting, weeding, seasons, watering, staggering plantings, collecting sends, harvesting, protecting from early/late frosts, bugs, blights, and composting.

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Apple Crisp Recipe

Apples are a blessing in Canada.  We can make apple pies, apple sauce, apple cider, dried apples, and add apple as a flavouring to many of our baked goods.  But the most common thing I make with them is Apple Crisp.

My Apple Crisp Recipe:

I hesitate to give exact measurements for this recipe, because they really aren’t all that important.  It’s not like we’re baking a cake or bread where more precise ratios are important.

  • Apples – as many as you think you need
  • Oatmeal – 1 cup
  • Butter – 1/2+ cup
  • Brown Sugar – 1/3 cup
  • Cinnamon – 1 tsp
  • Nutmeg – 3/8 tsp

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Consumer Nutrition Responsibility

I recently answered some questions on a survey for the Canadian Government about Consumer Nutrition, Food Labelling, and what they can do to help.

The survey was poorly laid out for most consumers to actually answer; Questions were unclear and the survey was too long.  It likely cost us a lot of money to put on though, no doubt.

I thought I would share some of my answers which reflect my opinions on consumer nutrition responsibility and food labelling requirements.

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GMO Food Labelling

GMO Food Labelling does not Mean Halting Research

Of more importance than the post on consumer nutrition responsibility, today I want to cover GMO food labelling.

GMOs are a hot topic for debate these days.  On one hand they allow farmers to grow more food, with less effort, and generally with the use of herbicide sprays that would kill the non-GMO versions of the plants.  Other GMOs have nutrients added in to the food to help prevent some malnutrition in children in poorer countries.  Golden Rice is the best example of that.

But that is exactly the issue, do we want to eat this food that has been heavily sprayed with roundup?  Do we want to eat food that has been modified at the genetic level with fish genes and a virus?

I won’t go into my beliefs on whether GMO foods are good or bad.  In short I think the research is good but I don’t want to consume them.  But there’s the problem, how do I know what foods have GMO ingredients in them and what foods do not?

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Not mine, just borrowed

Weekend Podcast Episodes

Podcast episodes that I recommend while you’re working or working out this weekend.

Some are new, some are from the archive – but all caught my eye for the weekend.  Get in all four, but aim for the six.

  • Chef Keith’s Harvest Eating Episode 176 – Charred Tomato Chipotle Salsa (Keith is behind on his show notes so you will just have to listen to it in iTunes).  If you are in iTunes and have time, check out episode 174 – Ideas for cooking with local fall Apples.  I loved the idea of charring your veggies for your salsa.  Warning these podcasts always make you hungry.  I have previously recommended that you subscribe to this podcast for all episodes.  But these two are important and timely enough for fall food preparation, that I want to specifically mention them here.

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Components of Personal Sovereignty

There are many components of personal sovereignty that will help lead you to the freedom and independence that you desire.

The four Pillars are:

Thought Sovereignty – You have to think for yourself.  Most everything you read contains a hidden agenda, marketing spin, or an outright misdirection.  Being able to research and then analyze the facts, coming up with your own conclusion, is an absolute requirement for individual thinking.  As Canadians, we do like to assume that people have the best of intentions  when dealing with us.  We don’t have to become cynics, but we should consider what people’s agendas are and what’s in it for them.

People without thought sovereignty are called Sheeple – they walk around like sheep thinking and doing exactly what the TV networks, fashion retailers, and government want them to.

Food Sovereignty – Nothing in our lives makes us as dependent on others as our food supply.  The typical Canadian these days buys almost 100% of their food at a Supermarket (and unfortunately I have to count myself in there as well).  Growing a garden is one of the best steps you can make in your path to individual liberty.  From there, the sky is the limit with what you can produce.  This allows you to escape the ever decreasing nutritional value of the foods in the grocery store (which seem to have prices going up at the same time).  Food sovereignty is tightly relatedly to the other three pillars; the food you eat is affected by the level of thought independence that you have, and it is turn affects your finances and health.

Financial Sovereignty – Debt is financial cancer.  It destroys marriages and leads to modern day slavery in the form of being stuck to a job just to pay your debt.  When it comes to debt, Just Say No.  You also want to maintain control of your finances – don’t put every dollar of your savings into RRSP plans.  Sure there are times to make use of this program, especially when employers are matching contributions, but it is the most visible and controlled form of money in Canada.  Resist the movement to a cashless society where money can be controlled or shut off.  Hold cash in your home or safe deposit box, own silver & gold, buy long term capital goods that will save you money in the long run (i.e. high efficiency refrigerators, solar water heaters, etc.), invest in farms, houses, land, or your own businesses.  Essentially, think for yourself and what is important to you financially, not what the talking heads on TV, the puppets at your bank, or the bureaucrats in Ottawa say.

Health Sovereignty – Being Canadians, we are aware of nothing but being reliant on the government for health care.  I’m neither a hater or a lover of the Canadian health care system. It’s not wonderful and it’s not terrible – it’s adequate.  And by adequate, I mean it is only adequate at testing, detection, and treatment.  Prevention of sickness and promotion of healthy living is not a goal of the medical industry in Canada.  The pharmaceutical companies don’t promote healthy living and disease prevention, they promote the Standard Canadian Diet (SCD aka SAD – Standard American Diet) and then controlling sickness and disease through the use of drugs.  The only reason they want us to live longer is so that we consume their drugs for longer.


These four pillars are very important components of personal sovereignty and should be goals you have.  I am nowhere near perfect myself and have to work on all four on a daily basis.

A great discussion on personal sovereignty can be had at Jack Spirko’s The Survival Podcast Episode 985: From Pawn to Personal Sovereignty
I listened to it this morning after writing half of this post and was extremely inspired.

Do you agree or disagree with these recommendations?  Are you working towards them yourselves?  I would love to hear your comments.