Thanks for picking up our first issue of HomeSpun Magazine! We are excited to bring you a collection of articles and information from Central Oregonians with passions for gardening and cooking nutritious food. In this issue, and in the future, we will be bringing you actionable information before you need it. No Thanksgiving recipes that need to be tested the week before Thanksgiving. No gardening planning in June when you should have ordered your seeds in February. Stick with us and join our community of Doers.
Doer [Doo-er] noun ~
A person who acts rather than merely talking or thinking.
~ Educate and encourage people to be Doers.
~ Tell producers’ stories, advertise their products and educate their customers.
~ Bring together a community of Doers.
We are at a point where humans, as a group, produce more than ever before, but as individuals we produce very little for ourselves. Homespun will encourage regular people to be producers, or as we like to call them, ‘Doers.’ People have regular jobs that they need to pay the bills. Doers do the extra things that it takes to set up a second small income to pay for a great Christmas or to get out of debt faster. They could also produce a significant amount of their own food to cut down on their grocery bill. Whatever their goal is, they do what it takes while doing something that they like to do. HomeSpun Magazine wants to support these people however we can. From a grandma sewing baby blankets to supplement her Social Security to our local food producers that have the highest quality food we could ask for.
I grew up just outside of Lansing, Michigan on a ten acre “hobby farm” with a huge garden, orchard, cows, goats, pigs, horses, chickens, rabbits and turkeys, all to feed our family and be as sustainable as possible before it was trendy. I helped Mom can as much as 800 quarts per year. We made butter, wine, jam, pies, sourdough and more. I also helped Dad with hay, milking the cow and even the goat when the cow didn’t freshen. We harvested trailer loads of apples to make hundreds of gallons of cider that we sold at a roadside stand with Mom’s homemade doughnuts and spent summers working on my grandparent’s dairy farm in Mt. Pleasant.
During my time in Central Oregon I wanted to have a garden again and struggled getting vegetables to grow. Back in Michigan my mother made it seem so easy, I thought she could sprinkle seeds on the front lawn and they would grow like crazy. In Central Oregon we have a much shorter growing season and poor soil. Learning how successful growers worked was what I started looking for. The OSU Extension office holds the Living on a Few Acres Conference where I have attended classes on everything from raising chickens to pest management and soil information. I was also able to attend most of the OSU Master Food Preserver Class before I was excused. In my opinion, just because things have been a certain way, doesn’t mean it is the best way and it seems that my non-conformist views and constant questioning were not viewed as appropriate to be a representative of OSU. Wanting to be able to cook my home grown food, I enrolled in the Food Storage Feast class at HarvestEating.com where I learned to cook seasonally with my home grown and preserved food. I’ve read some books and listen to podcasts constantly on topics of homesteading, permaculture and entrepreneurship.
Learning is important, but doing is where the progress is made. I can soups along with fruits and vegetables, jams and jellies, dehydrate fruits and vegetables and fill the freezers every fall. I have built a seed starting system, a semi-mobile chicken coop for egg chickens and have grown and processed my own meat chickens and turkeys. Our turkey for Thanksgiving had never been frozen and weighed over 40 lbs! Gardening has been difficult due to renting and having to move over the past few years, but an herb garden provides teas and excellent flavor additions to our meals.
Our local producers will be writing articles teaching our readers and I how they do what they do. HomeSpun Magazine will be a resource for us to get actionable steps and resources. I am looking forward to learning right along with everyone else reading the magazine. We can lose our health, we can lose our wealth, but we can never lose our knowledge… HomeSpun’s focus is sharing that knowledge and encouraging you to do something with it.
We don’t have grand ideas of changing the world, but maybe we can help you change your world. It is easier now, more than ever before, to pick one thing we have a passion for, swing for the fences, and knock it out of the park. Maybe we only hit a double, but hitting a double is always better than watching someone else play the game. Once you are on base, maybe you become someone else’s RBI. Local products, inspiring people and entrepreneurship are my passions. I’m standing at the plate, pointing my bat at the left field bleachers, waiting for my pitch.
Get out of the bleachers and join me in the game.