COVID-19… you’ve heard all about it in the last two weeks, and you may not want to read anything else about it.
I understand—it’s all over our news, all over our social media, all over our conversations.
But as we all amend our daily lives to limit the spread, I want to share some sustainable living practices that will help us have more control over our lives in these unstable times.
Grow your own healthy food.
Spring has arrived!
Yesterday officially marked the first day of the new season. Now is the time to begin planning and planting your spring garden.
The benefits of growing your own food without pesticides—especially in a time like this—go beyond just your health.
Growing your own food allows you to be less dependent on grocery stores. If you have been to the store in the last week, you know that so many shelves are empty, including fresh produce.
While having a garden won’t entirely replace the need for occasional groceries, it can be a source of provision for you and your family. Even in normal life, growing your own produce helps you cut down on your grocery bill.
Worried about fresh food going bad? Preserve your produce through canning methods to help it last longer. We do this with our summer produce and are able to enjoy our bounty long after the growing season has passed.
You can learn how to grow your own food and preserve & ferment your bounty at our Sustainable Farm Conference, coming up this May!
We also offer several resources to help you get started growing & preserving your own fresh food.
- Top 3 Tips for a Successful Garden
- Reduce Waste & Add Nutrients to Your Garden: Your Guide to Beginning Vermicomposting
- Attract Pollinators to Your Garden with these 12 Common Plants for Bee Foraging
- Our Favorite Gardening Hacks
If you’re local to the Nashville/Franklin, TN area and don’t have your own space for a garden, we have a few garden rental plots still available. View details here.
Preserving Your Produce:
Replace your paper products.
And then there’s the toilet paper conundrum.
As people have stockpiled their toilet paper, the shelves sit completely empty—even paper towels and tissues are in short supply.
It’s no secret: Americans use a LOT of paper. We went through 7.4 billion lbs of waste related to paper napkins and toilet paper in 2015 alone. Yikes.
But there’s a silver lining to this shortage. Facing our lack, we’re now given the opportunity to switch to sustainable alternatives.
Here are a couple reusable options to replace your single-use paper products.
Paper Napkins → Cloth Napkins or Bandanas
Consider investing in cute, washable cloth napkins that you can use again and again with your meals. We’d suggest ordering these from a small business’ online store, as they are getting hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
If you live in Nashville, Charleston, Louisville, or New Orleans, homegoods store White’s Mercantile is offering to ship items—just give them a call.
In our family, we use bandanas in place of paper napkins. They are inexpensive, can be washed, and don’t need to be ironed! We get our bandanas from Hobby Lobby.
Toilet Paper → Bidet
While popular in other areas of the world, bidets haven’t really had their time in the spotlight in America. Except maybe now!
A bidet doesn’t have to be an expensive investment, either. Stores like Lowes offer handheld bidets, all under $100. My husband, Olin, advises ensuring that you closely follow installation instructions for these, as he has seen leaks occur due to improper installation.
This post offers instructions for using a handheld bidet.
Build your immune system.
Keeping your immune system at its highest level is imperative right now.
A healthier gut is a healthier you.
Researchers are only now beginning to understand how our gut plays an important role in immune health. This post offers a fascinating read into how the bacteria in our gut plays into colon cancer, IBD, and even tuberculosis.
I’ve experienced my own struggle with gut issues.
For years, I battled debilitating IBS. I tried increasing my fiber, but still found that my IBS flared up, especially during times of stress.
But then I took natural steps to improve my gut health.
One of the steps I took was adding Kombucha and Dairy Kefir to my diet to increase the good bacteria and beneficial yeast in my gut.
Purchasing Kombucha from the store is high in both price and sugar content. So I learned to make Kombucha myself for pennies on the dollar, flavoring mine with fruit (instead of added sugar) for the antioxidants and natural sweetness.
Dairy kefir is another way to add healthy probiotics to your diet and support gut and immune health.
Pronounced “KEE-furh”, it is a fermented milk beverage that carries a ton of tummy benefits. It packs in 30 – 50 beneficial bacteria to support digestive health. The active yeast, digestive enzymes, and good bacteria can lead to relief from a multitude of intestinal issues, like constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, and more. It’s also a great way to restore your body’s helpful bacteria after a dose of antibiotics.
Want to learn how to make your own kefir? Check out this video on our Youtube channel.
Microgreens pack a punch of nutrients.
Microgreens are young vegetable plants harvested anywhere between 7 – 21 days after germination. They are chock full of immune-boosting nutrients—antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, you name it!
Growing your own microgreens is one of the topics we cover at our Annual Sustainable Farm Conference. Microgreens expert and holistic health consultant Lilly Castro, known as the “Sprout Chick,” leads these sessions.
“Anyone can grow this powerfully healing and delicious food in their own home with minimal space and minimal investment,” she says.
If you’re looking to grow your own microgreens, this post from Wellness Mama is a great resource.
If you are local to Middle Tennessee, you can also order fresh microgreens from Lilly. This is a double win—you’re supporting a small business while enjoying the health-boosting benefits of microgreens.
Plan for the future.
Many of us are not only worried about the health of friends and family, but also about the economic health of our country. Our hearts go out to those of you who may be facing job loss or decreased income because of this pandemic.
Sustainable living practices can help us all get by on less. Olin and I are fortunate to have been able to retire debt-free thanks to Stoney Creek Farm, and we want to help you do the same.
We offer multiple resources to help you get started living sustainably:
Stoney Creek Blog.
Check out hundreds of posts on tips and tricks for sustainable living.
We regularly share helpful content & resources to our Facebook page. Like us to follow along!
Check out our video library full of easy-to-follow sustainable living guides.
Life Skills Classes.
If you’re local to Middle Tennessee, we offer life skills classes at our farm. Classes coming up in April include our popular Gardening 101 class and Canning Your Own Healthy Food class.
Dirt Rich: How to Experience More Joy & Less Stress Through Sustainable Farm Living.
Our book packs in everything you need to know to begin your own farm or homestead journey. You can order a physical copy from our online farm store or on Kindle from Amazon.
Annual Sustainable Farm Conference.
Join us on a Saturday this May (exact date TBD) for our favorite event of the year: the Sustainable Farm Conference.
This one-day event offers you hands-on learning for all the homesteading essentials, including:
- Sustainable housing
- Working with a debt-free operation
- Growing your own healthy food
- Preserving & Fermenting Your Food
- Microgreens for Health & Profit
We hope you’ll join us on the farm this May! You can learn more conference details here.