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And so it starts: Building a stockpile for a vegan homestead

Updated on August 2, 2016

Camping Trip

As a nice way to unwind and enjoy some much needed one-on-one time with my son we took a four day camping trip. It was nice to be able to get away from the stress of life. I recently graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition Science and have been anxious to find a more permanent job verses my per diem job at the local hospital. My son has not received as much attention as I would have liked through completing my studies, with all the studying and papers I had to write. This was a nice way to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

We had so much fun! I love teaching him things that I learned as a kid, such as building a campfire. I also like telling him ghost stories and playing games with him that I used to play as a child. We even did some smudging with white sage, which I was happy to teach him all about that as well. We took a nap on the hammock, went swimming on the beach, played like little kids on the playground, saw some horseshoe crabs and other sea creatures, meditated and all sorts of things. I loved cooking on the open fire. This year I was excited to try to make more than just veggie burgers and tofurky dogs!

While we were enjoying other selves, I couldn’t help but to people watch. There were teenagers roaming around with their phones trying to catch a pokemon and adults spending almost their entire time checking their cell phones and playing on them. One family was trying to get their son, who looked like he was about five years old, to come up to rinse off and leave. He was completely ignoring them until the father threatened to take away his tablet, in which he came running after that. Really a 5-year old has a tablet?? My son and I agreed that on our camping trip we would have no electronical devices. I was so glad to be free from the technology that I felt sorry for all these people who were not able to enjoy the outdoors because they were attached to their devices.

While camping, I couldn’t help but to notice that any anxiety or depression that I might have been experiencing before the trip seemed to of vanished. However, as soon as we got back home from our trip, it started to reappear. All the worries, stress, and lack of motivation – boom – all back. As I was thinking about this, it seemed to reinforce my dreams of having a sustainable vegan homestead. Working to live instead of living to work. Having something that you are proud of and being able to enjoy nature. I always loved the idea of living off the land and many people have often told me that I was born in the wrong era. I love making things from scratch and growing my own food.

This is going to be a long journey but I am more than ready to start! Today, I harvested my spearmint and started the process to make a mint extract (recipe below). I think I will start building my stockpile including my medical herb “farmacy” to help keep up on my motivation while I work on the other things I need to do in order to get going and look for property.

I harvested about 2 cups of spearmint leaves. I crushed them up a little, using a mortar and pestle to help release some of the plant’s oils. Then I divided them into 2 sterilized mason jars (1 cup of leaves per jar). I filled each mason jar with 2 cups of 80 proof cheap vodka. I put the lid on it and gave it a little shake.

I will let them rest like that in a cool and dark place for about one month. After that I will strain it really well, using a cheesecloth; bottling up the liquid in a dark glass jar and labeling it.

Spearmint Extract before it rests for about one month

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