Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Colonial to Depression Era Cooking December 15, 2012

Filed under: gardening,homesteading,old fashioned,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 4:28 am

Have you ever taken a look online or in old cookbooks to see what type of foods people ate during the period between the Colonial days and the Great Depression era? The difference from the way we eat today is amazing. The families focused there diet on 3 primary factors: what was in season, what was easily obtained through hunting and fishing, and what could be easily stored.

I have been looking at these recipes and have come to the realization that they are just as sound today as they were back then. Families are spoiled today. There is such a variety that we feel bored with having to limit our choices. Should we continue to allow that attitude?

I am convinced that the generations before us had it right. They grew their produce, hunted, fished and raised their own meat, gathered berries and nuts from local sources, raised their own dairy cows to give them their milk, butter and cheese. They raised poultry for eggs and meat. They were so far ahead of most people today in their lifestyle. Today, society has become dependent on grocery stores and other resources for food. Each year, there are news stories of food recalls due to health issues. So much of this can be avoided by raising your own. If you live in a city, there are options. You can raise a small patio garden in containers. If you know someone who lives in a more rural area near you, maybe they would allow you to share in their garden if you help with the work in tending it. Find a trusted local farm to purchase produce from. The options are there for anyone willing to try.

The best option for those outside of a city is to utilize your resources and raise a garden of your own. I have been looking through and preparing my seed order from Baker’s Creek Seed Company in Missouri. I love buying seed from them. It is all open pollinated and they do not sell anything that is GMO.

By January, I hope to have the order placed so that we have plenty of time to prepare. I like to start the seeds ahead of time and transplant as much as possible to shorten the growing time in the ground. With drought conditions and hot temperatures, that is important to having a successful garden. In February I will begin starting to grow sweet potato slips. They should be ready to put into the ground by late April after the frost danger has passed.

I am looking forward to our garden. It will be our first year with a garden similar to what earlier generations may have had.

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2 Responses to “Colonial to Depression Era Cooking”

  1. Diane Tibert Says:

    My goal is to do the same thing. I’ve already put my seed order in and a few packages arrived last week. Now I can’t wait to get planting.

  2. I have used Baker creek for years and have 1000’s of saved seeds from what I have grown from their seeds…We are very self reliant here…not where we would like to be, but getting there. We raise our own pork, beef, chicken, and rabbit…my husband hunts and fishes so we have venison and squirrel as well as fresh fish. We just went off grid and are loving it!


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