Emerson’s Acre

Ralph Waldo Emerson promoted a philosophy of self reliance. He felt the highest life a man could attain was by living according to his own works and his own merit.

I couldn’t agree more.

This blog will be a chronicle of my own efforts to attain a higher life right here right now.

I won’t define my intentions anymore than that simply because I don’t want to write myself into a box.

Here’s what I will tell you. I’m thirty nine years old, married and have three daughters. My mother in law lives with us. We have three cats, two dogs and at present two goats. Our house sits on just under an acre of land with over half of that land being behind the house.

It’s my goal to increase the yield of that land and begin to get more of our sustenance from it.

This is what I am not. I am not anti-social. I generally like people. I am not anti-technology. Obviously. I am not vegetarian. Although I do have several friends who are vegetarian. No, really. I am not anticipating the end of the United States government or the world as we know it. I fully expect that each of these will keep on keeping on regardless of what I do or think about them.

I’m just a guy trying to do the best that he can for himself and his family.

Part of that means providing the best food that I can find in order to ensure that we adults maintain our health for as long as possible and that my children have all that they need to grow as healthy and strong as possible. I work as a personal trainer/massage therapist. I’m self employed and manage a pretty good little business and bring home a comfortable salary.

Could it be better? Yes.

But here’s the rub. As a self employed businessman in a hands on type of work, every dollar I currently make is dependent upon me. I already devote 60+ hours a week to my business. What good am I to my daughters or my wife if I’m never around?

Life has it’s costs. Nothing is free.

But we often get to choose how and when we pay.

I want my family to eat organic produce. I want them to have grass fed beef, clean pork and organic eggs and chickens. Whole Foods sells all of these things and there’s one not too far from my house. But have you seen what Whole Foods wants for an organic, grass feed, free range chicken? We’d starve. We’re six big people with large appetites. Not to mention that I eat Paleo. Whole Foods is not a reasonable option for us.

What’s left? Do the best we can? What’s more important? Organic Produce? Grass fed meats? Are we doing ourselves any favors if our produce is free of pesticides but our meats are loaded with antibiotics and other toxins?

I think I can do better. I think that with the acre lot I have I can meet most if not all of those goals. I can produce organic vegetables. I can raise chickens that will at least provide eggs (chickens for meat is largely dependent on my daughters. We’ve had this discussion before and I usually end up losing badly.)

Again the cost is relatively the same. I just trade labor which I have in abundance for cash which I don’t have as much of. The benefit to me is that I get not only the produce I want but the added benefits of fresh air, exercise and time with my family, not to mention the sense of connection with God, the earth, and being able to see the fruits of my labor going into the growth and sustenance of my beautiful girls. You can’t buy that at Whole Foods.

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