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WNIJ Perspectives

Perspective: Produce, Preserve, Prepare!

Natalie Rhea-Riggs


The first frost of the northern region (that’s us) is October 24th. Cool wet weather is predicted for September and October. The Farmer’s Almanac predicts heavier snowfall for our area. Frigid weather sets in the last week of January through early March. There you have it, winter in a snapshot. 



I can feel winter moving in as the urgency to harvest, preserve and winterize my gardens increases. It’s anticipation. Will I be able to preserve enough produce, soup, jams and fruit to get us through the winter to the first harvest? I hope so.  


What we eat and where it comes from is so important to this household. Local vegetables, organic produce and home preserving have been a part of my life these past four years. We eliminated processed foods and consume local products indigenous to the area (no strawberries in winter) and stay away from the industrial food complex that would have us believe produce raised in fields saturated with pesticides will not hurt us. 


I farmed with an organic farmer in exchange for food. He showed me where the deer passed by the GMO-sprayed field to eat his organic corn. What does the deer know that we don’t? If we are what we eat, refusing the abuse of the industrial food complex is important. Eat locally and in season produce and stay away from GMO or sprayed foods. 


I sink my hands into the land, and it feeds not only my body, it feeds my soul. It tells me to prepare -- for winter is coming. I will be ready, will you? 


I’m Lou Ness, and that’s my perspective. 


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