Cooking from scratch is a great first step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. And for the homesteader already well into their journey, it can be a great way to gauge where you are at in your journey.
Here's a peek into a hommade meal from our kitchen...
As I journey to becoming more sustainable, I tend to use our meals as a gague of where we are at as well as areas we need to improve upon. For example, areas I see where we have already improved in our journey:
100% grass fed beef steaks, raised here on our ranch, by us, from start to finish. WIN!
Homemade bread made from scratch. Win!
Lettuce from the garden for salads. Win!
Everything topped with homemade butter, using cream from our milk cow. Win!
And then I see where we are lacking in our sustainability, and areas we need to work on:
1. Produce: The only food in our salad that is off our homestead is the lettuce. While I'm grateful we already have lettuce and spinach. However, we have a VERY short growing season and our garden is still in teh seedling stage. In another month we will have all the fixings we need to make a salad. We are also adding potatoes to our garden this year! Until then, I'm grateful for resources, like Azue Standard, that allows me to purchase produce from other family farms & support my farming community. A greenhouse would be a fantastic addition to our homestead, allowing us a longer growing season and more sustainablitiy. But greenhouses can be a big expense. And a hoophouse or hightunnel is just not realistic for our high winds. So we need to make the best of what we have until we can save up for a greenhouse.
2. Flour: Homemade bread is great! But homemade bread with freshly milled flour is even better. Fresh ground flour is full of nutrients and a cleaner option than pre-processed flour. I do have a grain mill & wheat berries on hand. I just need to get in the habit of using that resource.
3. Cheese: Adding a milk cow to the homestead was a HUGE added bonus for us this year. It's been wonderful having fresh raw milk. And now that we have the chore of milking wired, we need to start expanding on how we use that milk. I've conquered butter. But now I need to experiment with other things....like cheese! The act of making cheese if very daunting to me. But I've heard there are some great resources (like @cheese_from_scratch) that have some great, simple, recipes that are very easy to do. So I guess I need to add that to my bucket list.
Like I said in the beginning, cooking from scratch is a great first step in your journey to becoming more sustainable. The first step is to just start doing it. Then, as you become more comfortable in the kitchen, try to up your game by incoporating your own home grown ingredients.
Becoming sustainable doesn't happen overnight. It's a process, and the more you put it into practice, the stronger and more refined you get. Pick just ONE thing to work on. Refine it, then add another item. Before you know it your self-sufficiecy will have grown leaps and bounds. You got this!