In our backyard grows a century old Scarlet Oak.
This tree provides abundant shade for the yard and patio while also serving as a squirrel hotel. The money maker in me would love to charge these little fur-balls a nightly rate, but anytime I bring up this subject, the squirrels hide in the branches and attempt to hit me with acorns.
At this point in our standoff, I’m resigned to observing their daily routine while hoping for a breakthrough.
As I watch them gather acorns, hide them in various places in my flower beds and yard, and generally make a mockery of my ownership, I’m reminded of our garden and my wife’s kitchen activities. Just like the squirrels, my wife largely does as she pleases, however, unlike the squirrels many of her activities benefit us both.
On area in which she provides a tangible benefit to the family is in the kitchen. She regularly cooks our meals, providing us with healthy nutrition while saving money as restaurants and take out are far more costly. She has also begun to can some of our garden produce, allowing us to enjoy homemade salsa, tomato sauce and soup, along with a butternut squash sweet potato soup.
These items are delicious, home grown, and homemade.
The point is that just like the squirrels, she is able to take something that we have in abundance, and save it for later. Ultimately, once the canning supplies have been purchased (many of our supplies were handed down from grandmothers, and purchased at yard sales), you have the potential to save quite a few dollars, along with learning new skills, and eating healthier local foods.
As our February weather has been decidedly un-winter-like, I’ve already begun to get excited for the spring, working the soil, planting the seeds, and enjoying the harvest. Each year our garden has been a bit more successful, as we learn what to plant and how to care for it. Also, my wife’s cooking and canning skills have increased, allowing effective use of our homegrown vegetables. Take note from the squirrels, and plan ahead, you may be surprised at the opportunities that arise.