Primal Eating is Great for Us as Modern Homesteaders

by Angela aka Farmer Jane on December 22, 2012 · 4 comments

When we first started our journey as modern homesteaders on 1.24 acres of land, the first questions on our minds were, “How do we grow wheat, corn, rice and other grains we need in our diet since the land is so small?”

Well, it turns out when you eat a primal diet staying in ketosis, grains and other starchy foods become obsolete.

While Dom, Simmi and I are the only people in the family eating grain free, it’s easy on the bank account to purchase bread, pasta, potatoes, and other starchy items for Noah and Anthony.

Shoshannah is home for Christmas, and with the three teens in the house, it took me over an hour and a half to get the things on the list they wanted from the store. Usually shopping for food takes maybe 20 minutes from start to finish. My heart was a little squeezed as I stuck crap filled junk food into the cart. Could I have put my foot down and said, “Hell no, you’re not eating that!” yes, but they are all young adults and able to make up their minds about the food they want to put into their bodies.

Beyond the scope of teens who will eventually spread their wings and fly away to college or trade school, are Dom, Simmi and I and our dream of homesteading.

We’ve already made so many plans, but as our brains change via primal eating, our new ideas have created a huge amount of excitement. I now feel so good that I believe I can take on more physical responsibilities. Primal eating has helped make that possible. Without joint pain, and being a slave to carbohydrates to keep my blood sugar levels steady, it would seem that I could do almost anything!

Industrial agriculture and our government have created a need around eating grains. Can you imagine if no one ate bread or cereals anymore? If thousands of acres of monoculture were no longer viable, it would create opportunities to grow fruits and vegetables in a more sustainable way in an effort to revitalize the soil, which would result in foods that are brimming with more vitamins and nutrients then ever before.

In our modern culture, it would seem that there is nothing progressive about it. Most teens and adults today seem to have limited knowledge of how to cook, but can navigate a microwave like a champ. To me, progressive means that a person can identify different meats, fruits and vegetables in their natural state and have some knowledge of how to prepare them for consumption. Unfortunately, many feel entitled to have others make food for them, which results in purchasing prepackaged crap disguised and masquerading as food.

As modern homesteaders, we save a significant amount of time, money, and storage space not thinking about how we’ll store wheat and other grains. Stockpiling grains seems to be a common practice nowadays, but is no longer necessary for the primal homesteader. To me, that’s a huge burden lifted off us. Most people stockpile as a way to save grain over the course of a year, and/or in case of emergencies, or just to save on the price per pound. Living as a sugar burner for your body’s main fuel needs, creates a need to stockpile various carbohydrates in case of an emergency. It means storing wheat, rice, beans, sugar, and other grains. Some feel this is a great way to preserve health and nutrition in times of shortage or emergency, but I no longer think this way.

Going back a year before we started eating a primal diet, our plans included storing wheat and other grains in five gallon containers in mylar bags and to create a space for long term storage.

So what do we think of storing now? Honey, flax, coconut flour, coconut oil, concentrated coconut cream, and a variety of nuts and seeds. We can also pressure can bone broth soup stock, fruits and veggies which preserve more nutrients than caning using a water bath.

Because coconut flour and coconut oil, nuts and seeds are so nutrient dense, its possible to store less than you would with grains and legumes, and get more bang for your buck. At least that’s what it looks like to me.

Dom and I are eating far less than we did before starting Nora Gedgaudas’s Primal Body, Primal Mind. It has allowed us to purchase higher quality products since we eat less, and still save money.

We can also now direct our attention to getting higher quality animals and installing a commercial kitchen and processing area to butcher our own animals for consumption. Pictured above are wooly pigs, also known as Mangalitsa Hogs. I’ve always wanted to raise heritage pigs, but after learning about the quality of meat produced by the Mangalitsa hogs, we are hoping to raise a few of these each year for our family.

We also plan on raising milk goats and a few small dual purpose cows, and now we can also look at which ones will be best for our primal lifestyle.

In the meantime, we can get pastured beef raised right here in New Mexico for about $6.80 per pound. Have you seen the cost of grass fed/finished beef lately? Lets just say that it’s so expensive, that Dom and I wouldn’t dream of paying $17-20.00 for a 12 ounce so-so cut of grass fed beef. He was able to score an 8 ounce grass fed beef (chuck steak) for $4.50 on sale, but that was the first and last time we’ll ever purchase grass fed beef this way. We can get a half cow like my blogging friend Bee Girl aka Melissa and spend around $980.00. It might be a little more or less depending on the hanging weight of the cow. We would need to invest in a chest freezer to store all that beef.

Here is the website and information on grass fed beef in New Mexico:

D & R Ranch is located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico. Our animals breathe fresh clean air, graze on lush green grass, and drink crystal clear mountain water.

We have been family owned and operated in Mora, NM since 1976. Our herds have always been free to roam among the pastures of our ranch. We are committed to the health and happiness of each animal.

We didn’t want to necessarily store meat frozen, but until our ice house is built, the freezer will need to be a part of our lives. Fortunately there are solar powered chest freezers. Even though they are costly (SunDanzer Model DCF225 (large) Freezer $1,349.00) I would rather have us invest in a solar model knowing that if the power ever goes out, our meat investment would be protected. If a regular freezer breaks down, or electricity is interrupted, we would lose potentially huge amounts of money. I wouldn’t want to take that chance. After the ice house is built, the solar freezer chest would be used for our business. It becomes a win-win situation.

Other things that can be stored in the freezer are:

  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Flax seeds and meal
  • Other nuts and seeds

Primal eating actually raises the standard of living by providing abundant health (which money just can’t buy), excellent mental clarity, and physical strength and vitality which are all important in leading productive lives as modern homesteaders. Each day I’m thankful for renewed passion in doing what we love and having great health to enjoy living our dream.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) December 24, 2012 at 9:17 am

Love this post! While we have not yet jumped into primal eating, it has been on my mind for a couple of months now and I have enjoyed reading your thoughts and experiences with it!

(Thanks for the shout out, too!)

Reply

Angela aka Farmer Jane December 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

Hi Melissa,

You’re welcome. ;)

I have really loved every moment of our transition to primal eating. I definitely recommend Nora’s book for anyone curious about why her way is truly by far the best I’ve read and now, experienced as I’ve applied her principles to our everyday life.

Reply

Bobbi December 26, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Hi!

Great post! I keep reading your posts about primal eating :) I’ve been intrigued with it for some time now. And seeing how I feel after eating certain foods I know I need to change something (again!). I’ve been on a food quest/health change for some time now. It’s my understanding that there is no milk in primal eating. Is that correct? That’s my *only* hang up about it. My body needs it. I went without dairy for some time thinking it would help but only landed me farther into a health mess. I can not and don’t drink milk from the store, just from our goats. I guess I could still live by the same principles as primal and doing without the grains, etc and still having my milk. hhhhmmmm have some thinking to do. As i’m sitting here drinking a steaming hot cup of freshly made chicken/duck bone broth I just took off the stove….. :)

Blessings!

Reply

Angela aka Farmer Jane December 27, 2012 at 7:54 am

I thought we couldn’t live without milk either, but from what I’m reading in Primal Body, Primal Mind, that isn’t necessarily the case. Raw goat or cow’s milk and cheese is the best to have if your body can tolerate it. From what I understand apart from Nora’s book (maybe she’ll touch on it in later chapters), raw goat and cows milk that is unpasteurized is the best for health and vitality. It contains good bacteria which is needed to actually digest the milk. When milk is pasteurized, all the sensitive good bacteria is destroyed, including the the bacteria that consume casein.

Nora does talk about raw milk and cheese as being fine for those who can tolerate it. There are lots of paleo books out there that will advocate no butter or dairy products, Nora’s book is different I believe. Definitely invest in her book, she’s really awesome. ;)

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