I am Preserving Today, and everyday, in our home and around our homestead. In this article I hope to convey the meaning behind the name Preserving Today and why I feel it’s so important. Not only in a practical way, but as a metaphor as well.
Our Mission Statement
Preserving Today’s mission is to encourage autonomous individuals to recover heirloom wisdom by sharing the skills we have learned through research and practice in an unintimidating easy to understand way.
Online Etymology Dictionary
“late 14c., preserven, “keep safe or free from harm,” also “act so as to insure that something does not occur,” from Anglo-French preservare, Old French preserver, Medieval Latin preservare “keep, preserve,” all from Late Latin praeservare “guard beforehand,” from Latin prae “before” (see pre-) + servare “to keep safe” (from PIE root *ser- (1) “to protect“).
What I do on a daily basis in my real life and what I share on this website was once common occurrences for most people. How to cook real food, ferment vegetables, grow a garden, keep chickens, sew clothes, weave baskets and make soap from animal fats. People knew how to save their present bounty to feed themselves through winter. Every family had to know these things to survive and to thrive. Even after we had more industry and more products available to purchase, people knew how to make the most of what they had so they could live a life of abundance regardless of the number of fiat dollars they had in their pocket.
Culture has changed.
In a relatively short amount of time we are already forgetting these basic life skills. This knowledge was once a cherished heirloom that we thoughtfully passed down from generation to generation. While children living in cities today may have never picked an apple from a tree, they still consume them. They just get them juiced, sauced or sliced in plastic packaging with their school lunch.
When people were more connected to what they consumed they likely knew instinctively how to tell if something was safe to eat or not. You didn’t need to just trust a brand or an expert. You could trust your experience, your senses and intuition. We could taste the difference between real, natural food and synthetic man made imitation food like products.
People knew how to barter and trade with neighbors without exchanging cash. We knew how to put our labor in today to have what we needed tomorrow. Working to procure what we actually need, use and consume has an overt satisfaction. Punching the clock at a job that you have no interest in is a sad trade off for your time. Whatever you buy with the money you earn can never get that life back.
Our only real asset is our time. How we spend that time is up to us. We should consider deeply the value in what we exchange for our time. Think of it as a business owner trading you cash for your hours which you then use to purchase a loaf of bread. Are you satisfied? What if you could instead spend your time raising chickens, trade your eggs for wheat that you spend some time baking into bread. Would the quality of life be better? Would the bread be better? Only you can decide.
By taking what I have available to me today and inputting my labor to increase its value I am in turn creating a richer tomorrow. Our net worth increases while no dollars are earned or exchanged. My pantry is a savings account. Sure, I could stick a head of cabbage in the bottom of my kitchen pantry, but if we don’t use it quickly it will begin to rot. By Preserving that cabbage today, I have sauerkraut in my cellar or fridge for a year or more. Infusing that cabbage with planning, skill and labor increases its value and longevity.
I find my time very valuable, and I believe my time is better spent with my family creating what we need instead of working for someone else to collect money to buy those things. I choose to allow my cabbage the time to be kraut, which I find more valuable. Our family has decided that our time is best spent working together to make the things we want and need. If we can’t do that, we can spend our time making something we can trade for what we want or need.
Of course, there are times when we need cash, like to buy gas for our car or pay our electricity bill. We still see the need to sometimes work outside of our home for money. With the understanding of this trade off and our priorities we can make life decisions that reflect our values and time preference. Less hours at work means less cash and more time to work for ourselves. It also means less money to spend on things at the store. It’s a choice all of us make everyday, but for many of us it may not be a conscious one.
One foot in, one foot out.
Certainly most people can’t just step away from their job and start growing wheat and baking bread. Someone needs to keep the lights on and a roof overhead. Regardless, using this mindset will allow you to spend the time you do have to improve your life. Maybe it will also help you find a way to spend more of your hours working for yourself, and less time working for somebody else.
If it takes more effort to do for yourself, then why?
I am Preserving Today because I take responsibility for the quality of goods we use and consume.
I am Preserving Today Because I care about our environment and how we impact our natural world.
I am Preserving Today because I take peace of mind in knowing that we are prepared for tomorrow.
I am Preserving Today because I know today’s excess can be tomorrow’s sustenance.
Today’s cabbage is tomorrow’s kraut and the only input was my time and labor.
…and maybe a little salt.
Plan. Prioritize. Preserve.
Plan, prioritize, preserve. Words we live by here at the Greener Postures Homestead while we are Preserving Today. Plan for tomorrow. Prioritize how you spend your time. Preserve our resources. Life is rich.
Thanks for reading,