First, a photo from our recent trip to Asheville. Fortunately, other than one brief stranding of our van in an icy parking place, it really didn’t affect us too much. And yes, we had a great time. Perhaps I’ll manage a Biltmore House post later.
As for the title of this post; well, I’ve always been a bit embarrassed by the pretentious title of this blog. I’ve tried to explain on several occasions; first, in the banner beneath the title, then in the “Why Read This Blog?” page, and finally in posts like “The Jack of All Thumbs Part“, that self sufficiency is our goal, not our current state of affairs. It is an aspiration rather than an accomplishment. And certainly there are innumerable people who are more self-sufficient than we are, so this little blog is about our attempts rather than our accomplishments.
For example, as far as food production goes, we grow a lot of our greens and fresh vegetables, but haven’t managed a root cellar for year-round storage. And yes, we supply almost all of our eggs, but not all of our poultry. Etc., etc. Well today we took another small step toward self-sufficiency, and toward reducing our dependency on the grocery store by utilizing what’s around us. It is a step that is an integral part of many of our neighbors’ lives, but I just never seemed to get around to it. Today, we put thirty-five pounds of venison in the fridge.
Yeah. I shot Bambi.
First off; my hunting skills are clearly nothing to brag about. After all, a few weeks ago I showed you a photo of this very deer and three of her friends in my flower beds….So this was less challenging than Euell Gibbons ‘stalking the wild asparagus‘. No, this simply required lying perfectly still for ten minutes until the deer decided I was yard art, and then hitting the spot I wanted on a 150 pound target from thirty yards away. I was fortunate. The deer never took a step, dropping straight down after being hit. Odd as this may sound, my first action when I approached her lifeless body was to thank her. Now, if you abhor hunting, this may appear to be adding insult to injury, but I prefer to think of myself as an honest carnivore. Yes, I eat meat. But I understand the cost involved and, for example, am willing to raise cockerels for meat and kill them myself, instead of insisting that it happen out of my sight and mind. Rather, I offer the chickens twelve happy weeks in exchange for five dark minutes. And now, I’ve added another item into the negative column on my karma page, but I’m hoping that that great bookkeeper in the sky feels the same way, and doesn’t have “Bambi” on DVD.
But I don’t plan to quit my day job. Despite having a great knife, (locally made from an old industrial saw blade), I was as slow in processing a deer as I am in plucking chickens. Fortunately, my wife donated most of her day (and her skills as a surgeon), or I’d still be at it, and I’d have to charge $50 a pound to break even.