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  #41  
August 17th, 2012, 08:04 PM
GiftsfromGod's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Many good points have been made already in this thread. In America (and even more so in other countries with national health care systems) the way the system is set up if you have children you are going to get financial incentives. It is a pet peeve of mine when people make a huge deal about not being on medicaid/food stamps/wic etc but have no problem at all taking the child tax credits on their income tax and getting thousands more back in a refund than they paid in (this really irks my single brother that he essentially pays in so we can get a huge refund just because he doesn't have kids), or the earned income tax credit, or have no problem sending their child to be educated for free from the government (ie public) school system (I realize there are many including us who home school and pay for this out of their own). Then there are the tuition grants and subsidized loans that loads of people use without any problem or stigma attached to them.

All of these are paid for by tax payer dollars (well and the money we borrow from other countries but that's another whole topic) regardless of if is in the form of food stamps, tax credits, public school etc. I don't understand why a stigma is attached to certain government assistance but not to others when ultimately it is funded from the same source (ie the tax payers)

The great thing is we live in a democracy so if you really think the government is paying for too much or not enough then let your voice be heard and vote for officials who support your views.
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Last edited by GiftsfromGod; August 17th, 2012 at 08:55 PM.
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  #42  
August 28th, 2012, 02:24 PM
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I agree Ruth, completely. Goverment money comes in many different forms, some are just more visable than others. But it all comes from the taxpayers.

The thing I don't really understand is why people have no shame in using government programs, or letting the government pick up the tab. Our relatives who lived in the Depression would have been shamed to ask the government for stuff.

We can and freeze everything. Our garden had a terrible year, but by word of mouth we've been given lots of garden produce. We traded cucumbers for tomatoes. It works. We raise chickens for meat in our shed, or garage. We make due. I don't understand why more people don't do all these things first, and than if you still need help, than ask the government. We have been able to can over 200 quarts and freeze 75 lbs of veggies. That's a lot of food. Our 7 year old was up at 6 am picking, washing, and cutting green beans this morning. And the best part was, I didn't have to ask him. He volunteered and was so proud of himself. When we do for ourselves we will see how much less government we really need.

If we don't work for it and the goverment gives it to us, we didn't earn it. No matter what pretty package they wrap it up as, and it makes us more dependent on the goverment. We really need to watch and learn what happens around the world to other countries who have lots of programs. Can anyone say bankrupcy? That's scary.
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  #43  
August 28th, 2012, 02:39 PM
Babymakes8's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Counting our Blessings, I just learned to can this year! We have always planted a garden, but always just enough to eat at the time, not enough to preserve. This year we tripled the size, and as I type this my second batch of green beans are processing in the canner. I'll be doing my first batch of tomato sauce tonight!

edited to add, we also have milk goats and are raising out a steer for meat and we have chickens for eggs.
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  #44  
August 28th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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YEAH!!! I'm so thrilled to read that. Way to go!

After I posted that, I almost regreted it. I didn't want it to come off the wrong way. I just want all of us to be able to prepare and take care of our families. And I think a big way to do that is doing it yourself

I'm working on tomatoes tonight as well Happy canning.
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  #45  
August 28th, 2012, 05:20 PM
Momtothe6thpower's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm so jealous of all you that can homestead (jealous is a good way of course ). That's dh and I's ultimate dream.
For now we support farmers' markets in the area and neighboring areas. Hopefully someday that will be us selling produce to locals that wish they could.
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  #46  
August 28th, 2012, 06:10 PM
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That's all fine and dandy for those who have the room. I can't have chickens, or a goat, or a steer since I live in the city and that is just not allowed. I also have a small backyard that could never hold a big enough garden to produce enough for canning, really its not big enough for any kind of garden the kids wouldn't trample. We attempted to grow tomatoes and collards last year and got bugs that tore them up.

I'm not saying I want to be on assistance, since I am fairly sure I already stated I didn't want to be, but not everyone can homestead, or whatever its called. There also aren't many farmers markets or road side stands around here, and the ones that do exist are higher than the grocery store.
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  #47  
August 28th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Counting our Blessings View Post

The thing I don't really understand is why people have no shame in using government programs, or letting the government pick up the tab. Our relatives who lived in the Depression would have been shamed to ask the government for stuff.
Not to cause a ruckus: but my grandmother was the youngest of 12; born in 1932. Her father was the sole breadwinner for her family and he was killed by a train in 1935. My grandmother's oldest sister journaled everything during the transition after their father died and later wrote an autobiography. In it, she wrote about the government vouchers that every family had access to during the depression. Each family was allotted a voucher with certain groceries on it and they had to make it last. In the book, she shared some of the recipes that my great grandmother and she used to feed such a large family using just the groceries that were in the vouchers. So yeah, families used government assistance even in the Depression.

Anyways, that being said, I'm a big fan of homesteading. To whatever extent that you can. We just bought our house a little over a year ago and hope to fill our yard with lots of lovely goodies. We have a VERY small lot in the city, but there is a petition going around the neighborhoods around here challenging people to plant food in place of grass. We are keeping large portions of our yard for a play area for the kids, but we are going to use most of it to creatively garden. I am just now learning and I am starting out in pots because I have no idea what I'm doing. Everything I've ever tried to grow has died, so this should be interesting.

I have lots of friends in the county over who have chickens for eggs, but my county does not allow it. I certainly don't have space for any other animal.

My husband and dad hunt for meat. But even hunting doesn't come free: you still have to process the dear and all that jazz.

That being said, we do what we can. But we still need help. I don't like it, but it is what it is. Hopefully it is just a season in our life, and we hope that things change. But I see nothing wrong with taking help for a season when we need help.
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  #48  
August 28th, 2012, 07:10 PM
Babymakes8's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Homesteading is definitely not for everyone, and not everyone who wants to do it live where they can do it, and not everyone wants to do it no matter where they live. I think that's what makes our lives so interesting, the variety in our people

We try to add one new thing each year, to see if it works for us. Last year it was bees. Beekeeping is AMAZING and we almost wish we had started with the bees over anything! We've arleady had a small honey harvest (and sold it all!!) and this year we added a second hive.
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  #49  
August 29th, 2012, 06:33 AM
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I so want to keep bees but dh is scared that they will sting the kiddos, I will have to work on him more and hopefully start next year.
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  #50  
August 29th, 2012, 06:55 AM
Babymakes8's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We chose an area of our property where the kids aren't allowed to be in. We've only had one kid get stung, and it was just out in the yard playing. No more risk, imo, than getting stung if you didn't have hives. Bees are still out there.

We honestly don't even know the bees are there. They mostly keep to themselves, and since they are positioned right smack in the fruit orchard, which is behind 2 of our gardens and the asparagus patch, plus the neighbors are to their right and never mow their hayfield, plenty of places for them to get food without venturing into our yard where the kids are.

Our pasture field is all clover, too, and in the spring, there's hundreds of bees out there.
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  #51  
August 29th, 2012, 07:12 AM
Repti.Mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Does honey taste different depending what you put it by?

Our lot is 2250, and the house is 1290 square feet, so if I figure it correctly, and they only count the 'liveable' floors (which at the time didn't include the basement) the house takes up 645 square feet of actual ground space, and leaves 1605 square feet on the lot that is 'free space'. So not much room. I could be totally wrong on how they figure that though.

We still planted chives, sunflowers, squash, grapes and lettuce. The lettuce was bitter and nasty, next year romaine or something like that, no little lettuce. The grapes of course wont be ready til next year, and not sure what we are going to do with them, I'll try my hand at jam or something. The sunflowers were kinda just for fun.

I also can't have any farm animals. We would be allowed to have chickens, but not for food. You can't kill them, and you can't have a rooster I don't think (they might have changed that law recently), so no eggs either.
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  #52  
August 29th, 2012, 07:16 AM
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UM, I completely understand living in a spot where you can't grow your own, I've been there. But I think it is a mindset as well. You mention that you shop sales, use coupons, you are stretching your food dollar. That's a job as well. We can all do that, and it really does make a difference. If you've exhausted all other possibilities and still need some help, than I'm glad that help is available

Babymakes8, that is awesome about he bees. We buy ours at the farmers market, a gallon a month. We could definately use some bees on our land. I might be stalking you for advice

Que, I also know that govt programs were available during the Depression. But it was some of those programs that kept the Depression going as long as it did. Sadly, when an unexpected death happens, families have tough choices and I'm glad they were available than. My Grandma walked two miles the neighbors everyday to bring them eggs because they didnt have any food. She ate eggs everyday for two years. I guess that explains why she was never a fan of eggs when I was growing up
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  #53  
August 29th, 2012, 07:28 AM
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Reptimom-We don't have a rooster and we got tons of eggs
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  #54  
August 29th, 2012, 08:52 AM
Babymakes8's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Repti, you don't need a rooster to get eggs, just hens. You won't get chicks without a roo. If they'll let you keep a few hens in your back yard, totally worth it to get fresh eggs. Some towns have ordinances where no roos are allowed because of the crowing. You can also cut down on feed prices by worm farming (sounds gross so I don't do it) and you can grow sunflowers and supplement chicken feed with that. We plant sunflowers for our chickens every year, but I also buy commercial feeds. I've cut way back from 150 chickens to just 20. Saving lots on that feed bill, and since we've only got one neighbor, I am able to free-range so that helps, too.

The flavor of honey is affected by what pollens the bee collects, but not necessarily where the boxes sit. Clover honey tastes differently than wildflower honey, and locust honey tastes different than clover and wildflower. Our early harvest of honey this year was clover honey, because that is what was in bloom. Right now, it is wildflower honey. Locust honey is really dark, but we won't get any of that this year because the locust didn't bloom.
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  #55  
August 29th, 2012, 08:57 AM
Repti.Mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Now that I looked it up, I find conflicting info about roosters. Not that we'd need one. Not even sure I'd want to keep chickens. DH wanted to keep rabbits, but that's even more smelly. I also don't know if he wants to butcher the things. He knows how, but even when he goes fishing he'd rather pay the guy 1.50 to gut/head the fish than do it himself. lol We have TONS of salmon though!

Oh, the sunflowers. We planted a ton of them, but only 3 made it. I think the chipmunks at them when they were small. One is a midget sunflower it's only like 4' tall and flowering just like the 10' ones.
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  #56  
August 29th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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The only time I really object to people being on assistance is when they nothing to try to improve their situation or they feel entitled to it.
Like my sister. I love my sister but she makes me crazy. She is 26, has 4 kids from 2 fathers. She has never held a job for more than a few months. Her children often go without food, diapers, doctors etc, Just because she cant be bothered. The government pays for all those things for her. She is getting grants that I would LOVE to get to go to school but she's not using the degree she already has. It makes me nuts.
That's the kind of situation that attaches such a stigma to public assistance. And people who think we have more children in order to qualify for aid make me laugh. Its a whole lot cheaper to just not have them.lol
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