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Clint Emerson is a retired Navy Seal. In his book, The Rugged Life: The Modern Guide to Self-Reliance, he shows us how to be more self-reliant and improve our health and fitness as a result.
[00:02:34.450] – Allan
Hey, Ras, how are things?
[00:02:36.260] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:38.260] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Tammy got on an airplane about 15 minutes before we started recording this to fly out for a vacation trip that she's taking with her friend. It was one of those pre-covid trips that got canceled. And so now it's like she's now on the list and got to go. So she's going to be enjoying herself for two weeks, and then I'm going to be responsible for Lula's, which will be interesting. No, I've done it before for her to go back to the States for things. It's just going to stick for two weeks and it's a slower period right now, but just some additional moving parts in my life, but otherwise everything's going well.
[00:03:18.560] – Rachel
Good. Glad to hear it.
[00:03:20.650] – Allan
All right. Well, are you ready to talk to Clint Emerson?
[00:03:23.960] – Rachel
Sure. Sounds great.
[00:03:51.790] – Allan
Clint, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:03:54.460] – Clint
Hi. How are you doing, buddy? Nice to be here.
[00:03:56.700] – Allan
So your book is called The Rugged Life: the Modern Guide to Self Reliance. And I think a lot of folks will sit there and probably wonder, well, why on Earth would Allan have somebody talking about self-reliance and homesteading and all of those types of things on a health and fitness podcast? But in my mind, self-reliance and health and fitness are like intertwined. They're like hand in glove. You can't really have one without the other in a grand sense of things. I guess you can be healthy and fit without having some of these things. But I think some of the things that you get and we'll get into that in a few minutes from living a little bit more of a rugged life actually enhances your health and fitness.
[00:04:43.750] – Clint
Yeah, exactly. You just nailed it. Like I always say, on the crisis side or with 100 Deadly Skill book series, first and foremost, your human performance is everything. To be able to get yourself out of trouble, to get your family out of trouble, you've got to have at least the heart, the lungs and the strength to get yourself away from whatever that threat is. And it could be natural disasters, man made events, you name it. It's out there. And rugged life really is stretching out. It's what you do as a lifestyle, the things you do everyday that can one give you far more fulfillment. And you get a Huger sense of satisfaction when you're doing it yourself. And most of the things that whether it's hunting, building, fishing or farming or whatever it is, those are physical activities. You're going to probably get in better shape than just visiting the gym for an hour to each day. So I think you hit it dead on is that living a more rugged life will exponentially increase your health, both mentally, physically and emotionally.
[00:06:02.830] – Allan
Now, in our world where, yeah, I've got a gem half a mile away from my home, we can call Uber Eats and they'll deliver just about anything you want. Netflix is on, Hulu or whatever your streaming service, or maybe you got more than one of them. We have everything pretty much at our fingertips. We don't have to lift a finger to do anything. And I think it probably might have been even about 20 years ago when the Internet was really just getting started someone wanted to do the experiment to see if they could stay in their house for an entire year and never leave. And way back then, back in the late 90s or so, this guy was able to do it early 2000s, late 90s, was able to literally stay at home for an entire year and not get out. Now, for many of us, we are in a situation with COVID where we weren't permitted if we lived in the city, particularly to get out. Now, I kind of kicked myself when we came down here at Panama, I didn't choose the rugged life. We chose something a little bit easier, an apartment in town, which meant we were pretty much trapped in our apartment in town with the lockdowns they did here, which were a lot more stringent than the United States.
[00:07:15.610] – Allan
Our friends who lived out and about on different Islands, generating their own electricity, catching their own water, living a little bit more of a rugged life than we were. They had a lot more autonomy, a lot more freedom. So that's kind of one of the reasons why I think the rugged life now appeals to me a little bit more than it might have before is seeing it firsthand. My friends were actually able to get out in the sun for more than 2 hours twice a week and walk around and do things. But for the normal person, what is this rugged life that we're talking about? And why would it be something that someone would want to do when there are so many easy ways to live our lives today?
[00:07:55.750] – Clint
Yeah, man, you had a bunch of great stuff. I think. First I'll start by answering the question with the pandemic certainly taught us all that being a little more self reliant can be very valuable. It can be important. It can just allow a certain level of independence and freedom that you can't get if you are reliant on all these other things that you mentioned. So I would say first and foremost, you don't have to dive 100% into the rugged life. I've built the book so that you can just dip your toe if you want. You living in an apartment in an urban environment can do a lot, even with limited space, to increase your self reliance and actually fend for yourself, whether it's these vertical gardens now, I mean, you can grow just about anything inside your apartment in the corner with very little maintenance. It's just time, right? Just wait for things to grow and then, you know, you've got it. Or if you decide you dip your toe a couple of times and you like all these different little projects that you're doing and you're realizing, Holy, Holy crap. This is actually not just is it giving me something in return, but the hard work that goes into it just feels so much better than using an app, right?
[00:09:14.610] – Clint
I mean, you don't get any satisfaction except the fat pill that shows up to your doorstep by using all the different Uber eats and whatever else is out there, having your groceries delivered to your door. Yeah, that's pretty cool. But what if you could just grow some of those things yourself and that's just a piece of it, right. If you're not into the farming aspect, then maybe it's the hunting. If you're not in the hunting, and maybe it's just being your own handyman, being your own power grid, be your own homemaker. I mean, I was surprised at how many household products, especially in the hygiene and the hygiene and grooming side of the house, that if you just got beeswax and some coconut oil, you can make shampoos, pomades and conditioners. Right. So the other piece to this whole thing with the rugged life is it's more like a family experiment if you get the whole family involved. I feel like it brings everybody together because we are so stuck on technology these days. You have an entire family sitting in a living room. It's on Netflix, like you mentioned, but everybody is still on their own personal devices and there's no solid family time.
[00:10:29.480] – Clint
So rugged life, at whatever level you want to kind of live it. You will find out that whether it's one project or a dozen projects, when the whole family is involved, you're just going to all be so much more healthier. You're going to get that camaraderie going again. And you're not just a bunch of individuals living in the house together.
[00:10:54.430] – Allan
Yeah. It's interesting being down here. I run into a lot of people that they do this thing. They say, okay, look, this is so cool. There's this island, I'm going to go out there. It's just land. It's just raw land. It's jungle. We're going to clear a little bit of it. We're going to build a house. We're going to use solar, we're going to use water catchment. We're going to do these different things like composting, and we're going to have a garden. And this just goes on and on. And what happens, though, invariably, is that they move down here, they make that happen. They build their dream house. And then as a couple, one or both of them kind of decide after a period of time that this was not what they signed up for. They miss some of the creature comforts that they had because they kind of went a little too far into the woods. The jungle, if you will, before really going through and analyzing. Okay. Is this really me? Is this really me long term? Is this a project that I'm going to do and then get bored with? In your book, you had what you call the top ten are you sure about this thing? Could you go through some of those to help someone kind of see because it sounds so cool off the grid, doing this thing, growing my own food, chickens, you know, the whole bit. It's a lot of work.
[00:12:25.270] – Clint
You are correct. It is, yeah. Some of the top ten is basic questions like, do you like vacations? Because guess what? As soon as you bring in animals, you're not leaving because you got to take care of them 24/7. Right. You are going to live to take care of animals that in rich parent are going to take care of you. So going on a vacation becomes very difficult. You really have to like the people that you and your family. Right. You all love each other, of course, but you have to like each other because you're going to be working as a team like you never have before. And you're really going to see people's strengths and weaknesses, and everyone's going to have to adapt. But ultimately, you just hit it again. It's very romantic to think that, hey, yeah, we're going to go buy a chunk of land in the mountains, and we're going to build a cabin. We're going to have this awesome fireplace every night. And I'm going to be butchering these big steaks. And it sounds all great. It really does. And everybody should aspire to do it. But there is nothing easy about it. And that's why it's the rugged life. It can be very hard work at times, but the return on that hard work is far better than what you get from going to the grocery store, though. That is convenient. And so there's a balance. If convenience is at one end of the spectrum and then the rugged life is at the other. Right. Anything rugged isn't going to be convenient. Anything convenient isn't really going to be all that rugged. So you just got to find that happy medium for you and your family.
[00:14:10.500] – Clint
And that's why I do not suggest just jumping in 100% because you might find out that you hate it. I definitely push the hey, take some of the projects in the book and see if it's something that appeals to you. And the other biggest piece to all of it is that you're going to fail and you're going to fail over and over again. You may spend a lot of time getting the perfect soil, mix it with the compost going, then everything to make the perfect vegetables. And then those things never grow or they die or a predator comes along and eats them for you before you even get a chance.
[00:14:50.470] – Clint
Right. So there's a lot of frustration, a lot of fail. So you have to be prepared for that and be the kind of person that's going to go you know what? I'm not giving up. I'm going to keep going. I want to keep going until I get this right. And so if you're that kind of person and you enjoy learning, then you should give it a shot for sure.
[00:15:10.550] – Allan
Now, the cool thing about this and that's what I like is while you talk about that continuum of convenience to the rugged life is you can pick and choose your battles. You don't have to be in a cabin in the middle of the woods. Like you said, it can be something as simple as saying I'm going to do a few of these things for myself. And I like that concept of saying, okay, I can pick and choose now, one that I like to pick where I would pick. If you're really thinking about your health and fitness so that, you know the food you're putting in your mouth is there's nothing better than you being responsible for growing that food, particularly with vegetables. Vegetables. It can be simple as a vertical garden. It can be herb garden, it can be tomatoes. And I like your idea of upside down tomato growing right there. Can you go through some of the considerations of why we would want to grow our own food? And then if we're going to grow our own food, what do we want to think about as far as the approach and what we do?
[00:16:12.030] – Allan
Because it sounds simple. Put a seed in the ground. And having been in a family where we did a garden, we had three acres for basically, I think it was six of us, it was a lot of work. What are some considerations and things to think about if you're going to start growing your own food and where are some lines, like if I'm going to try to grow food for my whole family versus just have some additional good quality food for me on my plate each night?
[00:16:38.720] – Clint
Yeah. I think a good starting point is always what climate zone do you live in? Right. So if you have this dream of avocados. Right. And you're going to grow them and you're going to have as many avocados per day because it's a superfood and it's awesome and you can heat it 24/7, which I can you really have to start with climate zone. Right. And this is old school Farmers Almanac type stuff. Where you go, all right, where do I live and what am I going to have the highest success rate of growing that actually benefits my health. And so that's going to narrow the list really quick. So that's where I would start is the research and also talking to local farmers, going to some of your farmer markets and talking to everybody, selling any of the vegetables and fruits they have going there. And getting educated is like the biggest number one step so that you increase your success. Next, once you figure out what that is, it's a good idea to start indoors. Right. You can set up a basic lighting bank and get the seeds, the kick start they need with a little bit of soil.
[00:17:57.090] – Clint
And once they actually start to grow, you actually see them break the surface of the little pods that you put them in. Then you can basically put them outside using just common language. You're taking something that started growing and you're going to transplant it to outdoors. And it's a very fragile moment, but it'll be fine making sure the soil outside matches the soil that they're in. And then now they're outside in sunlight and on their own. And you're going to have to obviously give some care and maintenance. You're going to have to do research on pest control, any of the other predators that might want to nibble on whatever it is you're growing and basically put up whatever fortifications you need, which a lot of times just chicken wire over your garden will keep out the birds and any of those little ground animals like rabbits that want to come in and get a free meal. But I think the biggest piece is really doing the research in terms of what's going to give you that highest level of success in the area in which you live. And you really got to pinpoint it, especially like where I'm at Texas.
[00:19:07.730] – Clint
North Texas is far different than South Texas. And what you can grow in one, you can't grow in the other, even though you're in the same state.
[00:19:16.430] – Allan
Yeah. You have a really cool map in the book that kind of breaks it down into zones. Obviously, I'm a lot further south than any of your zones, and we can do avocados here. One of the interesting things is when you plant that, you have to set your expectations. You won't have avocados for ten years and then you won't have avocados at all if your dog digs up the plant.
[00:19:39.590] – Clint
Exactly. And that's a great point, because people do on that same point. They think about like Apple tree or an Orange tree or a peach tree. But you're still talking several years before you really get to the good fruit that tree produces. And like here in Texas, the pecan industry is huge. Right. And monetizing acreage, let's say you've got a couple of acres and you can put 50 to 100 trees, but a pecan tree is going to start producing pecans for ten years. Right. Like I said, it's still that you have to do that amount of research and put it in and then also regulate expectation. Right. Expectation management is a big part of all this, like you just pointed out.
[00:20:29.690] – Allan
But the advantages are this. You know what's in your food, if you use pesticides, you know it, if you use something in it, you know it, you know the seeds, whether they're heirloom or there's some of something else. But you know the food because you were in hand. And I can tell you when you grow your own food, it actually tastes better because you have a pride of ownership while you're eating that food that you just don't get when you walk into a restaurant or have Uber Eats deliver it to you.
[00:21:01.190] – Clint
Yeah, no doubt.
[00:21:03.470] – Allan
Okay, again, you can do all of this if you live in the right climate. You can do all your food. It can be plant based and it can be awesome if you can grow enough and you need to, again, make sure you are growing enough if that's what you're going to do. But for a lot of folks, we are meat eaters, so on the board. So we're going to want a little bit of meat in there too. And that's where things like raising your own animals, you talked about some considerations there as far as vacations and other things you got to do hunting and fishing, which there are also some general considerations about that. Why would we want to raise our own animals, do hunting and fishing? Why would we want to go through the effort of doing that? And then what are some things we need to think about to go through that process? What that's all about?
[00:21:54.170] – Clint
Yeah, harvesting anything like you pointed out, is going to be healthier in the long run. But it's also important to note it might not be cheaper. I think a lot of folks think that, hey, I might save money by having chickens. Well, not at first. And it's going to take a while to get an egg for as cheap as you would buy an egg at a grocery store. It takes a while to get there because you have to invest. But something like chickens are somewhat easy. And it's important to note you have egg chickens and you've got meat chickens. The egg chickens obviously good at laying eggs almost all year round. You might have to put some lighting because they lay eggs based on the sun. And then you've got your meat chickens, which don't really produce very good eggs, but man, they're good to eat. There's even one breeded chicken that you literally have to Butcher it at about eight to twelve weeks because it gets so fat its own legs will snap. So there's a lot the thing about rugged life is each chapter is novels on their own of information that could be written, no doubt about it.
[00:23:07.580] – Clint
But growing your own meat, yes, it locks you at home, but you know where it's been, what it's eaten and what it's doing 24/7. So the safety and eating it, the health benefits in eating it are all just automatically there when you've been doing it. And what I've also pointed out in the book is if the farming aspect of harvesting your own meat isn't your thing, then hunting certainly is the other option, because then it doesn't require you to be stuck at home raising these animals, whether it's chickens, goats, pigs, you name it. So then you can go Hunt. And with hunting it's popular. Bow hunting has become more popular these days, so a lot of variance to going and hunting, but that has its own skill and set of patience and work that goes with it. There is some investment, but I would say buying a rifle and ammunition is cheaper than raising or keeping pigs, for example. If you don't do it right, they can destroy everything. And the same with goats. People see these goats when they go to yoga, climbing on them and like, oh, I want one. But what they don't know is those things will eat the tires off your car if you leave them there long enough with your vehicle.
[00:24:38.030] – Clint
But overall, once again, knowing where your meat is, looking out for it 24/7, butchering it and serving it to yourself. I mean, that goes back to where our country was 200 some years ago, where every man, woman and child were self reliant. And they had all of these skills in the book and then some because it was just a way of life. And by drawing from a couple of these things here and there, you might find out that you like it as well.
[00:25:15.360] – Allan
Yeah. A couple of things that you can consider. In my opinion, if you don't want to go, like, full on with all of this stuff, is it's very common for folks to go in with a farmer. They know everybody goes in with the money, they buy calves, and they know where that's being raised. And there's kind of like a co op, if you will. So it's one way to kind of get around of you having to buy the land and you having to run the animals is that someone who's more skilled at that. But there's a great opportunity for you to learn those skills. Also, with the hunting and fishing is often you can get into groups. I know we would go hunting back in the day. They'd run dogs. So you'd have the guys running their beagles. And we'd all set up in different spots. And then you get done and it's like, okay, the dog that did the chase, he's going to get his first pick. And then the guy who shot the deer is going to get his pick. And then, yeah, the rest of us, if we didn't happen to hit that day, we're getting a little bit of something there.
[00:26:15.210] – Allan
So it's an opportunity to kind of get those things. I can say the hunting and fishing is hit or miss if you're going by yourself, but there are opportunities for you to get involved and try some of these things. And maybe to me, the biggest challenge of a lot of this, if you haven't done it before and you have a lot of great advice in the book, is the butchering of the animal, which is something that many people haven't experienced. But once you start getting into it, it's like, okay, now I understand where my cuts of meat come from. I know what this animal's life was like. And you're right, it's kind of intense, but it's a good intense to know the quality of your food and to know where it's coming from and to know that you had a hand in either making it or killing or catching it.
[00:27:05.210] – Clint
Yeah, you are dead on. And for people that want to try, kinda like the easy route, but it's also somewhat difficult. Homesteading World rabbits have been very popular. And because you can in a very short period of time. And I point out in there rabbits, they do hump like rabbits within a short period of time. With six rabbits, you can turn that into 46 kits or so. And then before you know it, you've got enough meat to eat five days a week for a family of four. And it's just exponential with rabbits. And they're smaller and easier meat to manage, especially if you don't have the land. But yeah, there's a lot of options. You make some great points doing things as a group. And the co op options, both with eggs, milk and meat, are all out there and available these days.
[00:28:05.390] – Allan
Yes, I'm going to tell this story probably shouldn't, because it's just kind of embarrassing. But I'm going to say I'm going to tell you anyway. I had a friend and they raised rabbits. That was their thing. They raised rabbits and they had the kids, the cages for themselves set up. And you try to check the rabbit to know if it's a boy or girl, and it's really hard to tell. And so they thought they had these two boy and a girl, and they put them in the cage and they were fighting. So they assume now, okay, they must both be boys and they're fighting. So the father wanted us to kill one of the rabbits. He picked one of them. He said, go kill the rabbit. And so we go out there, we grab the rabbit, and he hands it to me and I go to grab the rabbit. I'm holding it against my chest, and the rabbit just kind of rests its chin right there on my neck.
[00:28:54.090] – Clint
And you're like, I can't do it.
[00:28:55.540] – Allan
Yeah. And so a little tear starts coming down my eye. I'm 15 years old. My friend turns around, he looks at me and he looks at me for just a second. Then he gets a tear in his eye. And his father drives up about this time in his truck and he looks at the two of us. He says, damn it, build another cage.
[00:29:15.930] – Clint
Yeah, that sounds about right. That's what I said. It's easy, but also could be difficult because killing a rabbit. Yeah. They're so soft and cuddly. It's the last thing you want to kill. And they know that, too, about themselves,I think.
[00:29:32.960] – Allan
Okay, this one did because that chin on the chest, on my shoulder, that was enough to say, okay, this one gets a second chance.
[00:29:42.030] – Clint
[00:29:43.010] – Allan
But I think that's the other thing that I wanted to kind of get to with this is that you start having a newfound respect for the food that you're eating. So the concept of waste, the concept of just going out and doing something for the sake of doing it. You really get a sense of what the cost of this is, not just from a financial perspective of what we're dealing with, but just knowing that what you're doing is about survival, about you doing the right things for yourself. Again, I think you approach this with a very different mindset. Maybe you do eat less meat because the emotional cost of raising the meat for you is a little bit higher. And as a result, you're eating less red meat and maybe a little bit more vegetables, a little bit more plant based. And in the end, that turns out to be a more helpful choice for you.
[00:30:37.590] – Clint
Yeah, I think you're right. You're investing more than just money. When you go down this path, there's time and effort, then there's on the receiving end, whatever it is you're deciding to grow or harvest what it's given back to you. And so there's this relationship that forms with a lot of what you're doing, and every aspect of it becomes valuable, and you don't want any of it to go to waste. I think with people just do one little thing here and there, holistically they will kind of start to grow up in a different way than what we're used to, because these modern conveniences and technology, I think we all know it and we see it all the time that these things are necessary evil. And I mean, look at us now. It does give us these great capabilities. I'm communicating from Texas to Panama like live feed right now. And that aspect is just incredible. Right. But at the same size really makes us lazy and complacent. Like I said, 200 years ago, everybody knew this stuff, and now it's very rare, and it took a pandemic for people to wake up and go, oh, yeah, it might be a good idea that I know how to make something as simple as hand sanitizer.
[00:32:01.900] – Clint
Right. We all learned it really quick when the shelves got empty, along with toilet paper, which is really odd. But now that we're somewhat through it, this is an opportunity to really embrace it and start trying new and different things. And hopefully that's the kind of impact the book has on everyone. Yeah.
[00:32:24.340] – Allan
And I think other folks are going to look at it and say, okay, there's also the aspects of inflation and where my food is coming from. You look at some of these industrial plants where they're bringing in meat or eggs or whatever, and it's just horrific to see some of the stuff that they do to these animals. And to know that you can do this in a different, more sustainable way, I think is really a big step. Plus, again, not initially, but over time, just depending on what goes on in the world, being self reliant, having the sustainable source of something, whether it's vegetables, food, whatever, meat or whatever and being able to Hunt for yourself, being able to fish for yourself, those things is going to give you a way of having control. When inflation is out of your control and you just have to pay what the market costs. When you want to have a steak or have some fish or have some eggs, you just pay what the market is versus if you are doing your own thing and get to a point of sustainability, it's now just about you taking care of the animals and them taking care of you, as you said earlier.
[00:33:39.090] – Clint
Yup, you've nailed it. I mean, it's a crazy world and I'm not a fear monger by any means, but reality is reality. You come out of a pandemic, you've got Russia invading countries, you have interest rates already going through the roof. The economy is screwed because of supply chain issues. Supply chain issues aren't getting fixed because other countries are still dealing with the pandemic which slows things down. And recovery is just going to take a while. The economy is always kind of like this accordion and the impact of today, we may not recover for a couple of years down the road. And so being more self sufficient and self reliant.
[00:34:23.250] – Allan
Alright, well, Clint, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:34:33.990] – Clint
it's a good question. Number one, having a routine that looks after you first, right? I always have to tell myself, look out for myself first each day. And that's only because if I let the day get a hold of me, then I may not actually do anything for myself. And when I say that, I mean you get up and you work out, right? And get that workout under your belt. It's also the same as, hey, I get my coffee, the MCT oil and collagen in my system right off the bat as well because I'm looking out for myself first and then, okay, sit down and organize your mind, right? So I'm a big list guy. So get those lists and keep your mind healthy and get the clutter out and down on paper. And then start tackling those tasks in the order of priorities in which whatever it is you're dealing with for the day. And then of course, you have to power yourself. So make sure you're taking in the things that fuel the body and fuel the mind. I like the intermittent fast. I feel like it's done. Everyone is different about that kind of stuff.
[00:35:49.190] – Clint
But for me, waiting till around lunch time to really start taking in calories seems to work. And then I pretty much eat somewhat healthy from lunchtime till about six or seven. And then that's it. I think regulating and getting into a routine and then implementing what can I do that's healthy for the mind, healthy for the body, healthy for the spirit and then just integrate that into my day. Then boom, it becomes automatic after some time, and then before you know it, you realize, wow, I feel a hell of a lot better than I did a year ago. And that's how it should be, right? Every year you get older, you should be able to go, I feel better than I did last year. Hey, you know what? I feel better than I did last year, even though I'm getting older and it seems to be working. But I don't know. I'm no expert.
[00:36:43.930] – Allan
It's working. Clint, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, The Rugged Life, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:36:53.350] – Clint
Yeah, my entire ecosystem is @clintemerson.com super simple. You can pre-order or order the books right now, right there. And I really do appreciate your time and any of your listeners that go check clintemerson.com out or my Instagram page. I thank you ahead of time.
[00:37:12.140] – Allan
All right. Well, thank you so much, Clint, for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:37:16.870] – Clint
No, thanks for having me, buddy. You got a great thing going.
[00:37:19.520] – Allan
All right. Thank you.
[00:37:27.590] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:37:29.270] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Wow. I'm telling you, you're speaking my love language here. We talk a lot about home studying at our house up here.
[00:37:36.650] – Allan
Yeah, I see a lot of videos. I know that your husband is a Hunter and a fisherman and just kind of the whole idea of the whole concept of going out in a hut on a Lake and cutting a hole in the ice and sitting there, not my thing. I'll take my kayak out here in the water and cast out or fish from a beach. But I think the thing that I wanted people to take away from here is understanding the source of your food and taking that on as a personal challenge, to be more involved in the food. It's good for you. And it's great for the younger generations who in some cases have no concept whatsoever of what this stuff is and potentially how bad some of it can be. I would never encourage anyone to really go spend a whole lot of time diving into this, because it's not pretty how animals can be mistreated and terribly raised. So the more you're able to get involved, the more you're able to create sustainable opportunities for yourself. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, a small herb garden, a small this or that, going in with a few friends and finding a co op.
[00:38:58.810] – Allan
And you mentioned a few cool things.
[00:39:01.100] – Rachel
Yes, we do a lot of gardening at our house, and I say we very generally I do not have a green thumb. It's all my daughter and husband, they're way more skilled at this type of thing than I am. But we choose our vegetable gardens based on how we eat, and we tend to eat a lot of peppers and tomatoes. We do a lot of herbs. So we choose some pretty easy things to grow. And we put some in the ground, some in pots, like herbs can decorate your kitchen. It would look lovely and smell lovely to have some good herbs in your kitchen. And then on top of that, if gardening isn't your thing, our local community has an area in town where you could for a low price of just $20 in the entire summer. They'll give you maybe a ten by 20 or so square foot area where you could grow whatever vegetables you are so inclined to grow. So if there's no room on your property, there's a place to go. And also my brother and sister in law, they have been doing a co op where for a weekly fee, they get handed a bag of vegetables, which is really fun from their local farm because you never know what you're going to get.
[00:40:10.720] – Rachel
So you can get really creative in the kitchen if you're getting some vegetables that you may not normally Cook with. So there's a lot of affordable options if growing isn't your thing. So that's what to look into.
[00:40:23.490] – Allan
And the reality of it is there's some work involved. I grew up and we had three acres, and so that was a chore. And then after you get the food, you have to think in terms of you don't want it to go to waste. Like, we had plum trees and there was like three or four plum trees and they would all come ripening at the same time. I can personally tell you from experience, don't eat a lot of plums at one time. Plums are prunes, okay? They're just moisture prunes, and they will do the same thing. So what you end up doing is saying, what are the preservation techniques that I can employ to keep this food and have it for later? So you talk about tomatoes and you can tomatoes. You learn how to use the Mason jars and hot water and creating pressure and put the caps on and letting it sit and hear that pop. And you're like, OK, we're good. Same thing with the preserves that we did for, like I said, the plums, we would do that also with blackberries. The BlackBerry preserves went very, very fast, though.
[00:41:35.190] – Rachel
That would be delicious.
[00:41:36.650] – Allan
They were. But that's the whole point. We knew where our food was coming from, the chickens and Ducks and turkeys that we raised. We knew what they were eating, we knew where they were. And so that gave us some ownership there and changed behaviors because it wasn't the simple thing of throwing things out and not utilizing them because you knew the cost and you knew what was involved with the fishing and the hunting. It was like, okay, we know where our meat is coming from. And we know sometimes we're going to be lucky and have a good harvest, if you will. And then other times we're not. And we have to look at what's going on. Why aren't there as many deer? And maybe it's a good thing we're not getting a big harvest this year Because if there's not enough deer for us to see the deer, Then maybe we don't need to be hunting the deer as much. So it allows you to get more creative with understanding the environment you're in and hunting and fishing and growing your own, raising your own. I think those are just huge opportunities for us to become more self sufficient.
[00:42:41.610] – Allan
And Clint book, again, it is about being resilient, it's about being self sufficient. And it goes a lot deeper. He teaches things about welding, solar panels, water. So all the things that you would say if I was really going to homestead and figure stuff out for myself. And is it a complete manual for how to do this? No, but it is an excellent source. If you're saying I really want to start figuring out I want to buy that cabin in the woods and move there. I want to buy that house, that property down there here about Bocas del toro, where I can own my own island for less than $200,000 And I can build a sustainable house with solar water catchment and all that. This will give you some general ideas about what's involved in doing that and kind of coming to the conclusion. And I really cut out to do that Because so many people move down here and say, yeah, this sounds great until we go three weeks without rain. Or we go three weeks with rain.
[00:43:46.830] – Rachel
Yes, like you just did. Oh, my gosh. Yes. Well, it's good to try some of these little things and absolutely buy the book because it's good to read about and do your research before you invest a whole ton of time. Because you're right. Failure happens. We evicted two groundhogs last year that ate a good chunk of our garden before we could. And it's just these type of things happen. So it's good to try these experiments every now and then and see what happens.
[00:44:15.450] – Allan
Okay. Well, Ras, that's all I really had for this week. What about you?
[00:44:19.750] – Rachel
Sure. No, that's great. Take care.
[00:44:22.440] – Allan
You too. Bye.
[00:44:23.400] – Rachel
Thanks. Bye bye.
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