Grit Blogs > The Texas Pioneer Woman

Reclaiming Our Food Independence

“Most Americans believe they have outgrown farm work, which is reflected in their unwillingness to take farm jobs, even temporarily. The bottom line of this study is that we either import our labor or we import our food.”

– American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman on immigration reform following the release of an AFBF study entitled Gauging the Farm Sector’s Sensitivity to Immigration Reform.


The Texas Pioneer WomanGrowing fruits and vegetables, raising meat, hunting animals, fishing, and gathering wild berries and nuts for our family’s food consumption was a common practice a few years back. It took the whole family’s help, but we were independent producers of our family’s food. We decided what our family needed and set out about getting it. We raised animals; caring for their health and nutritional needs often growing very attached to them. We grew and tended to plants, knowing, if treated correctly, they would produce food for our family and fodder for our animals. We set aside days to hunt rabbits, deer and other animals to provide meat for the family. We also set aside days throughout the seasons to gather berries and nuts to supplement our meals.


We produced our own food because if we did not, we simply did not eat. If you happen to not provide your family’s food, you were looked down upon as not being a good provider. Providing for your family’s need was a source of pride and accomplishment. Today when I tell others that our family works together to grow and raise our food, I get strange looks and a lot of complaints of that is too hard of work and too time consuming. I am seen as an oddity. But, oh how wrong they are! Reclaiming our food independence has given my family much better food quality than what I could afford at the market, a great source of exercise, extra money in my savings account, an appreciation of hard work, a knowledge of skills that can be passed down to the next generation, and an appreciation of animal life and seasons.


Being an independent producer of our family’s food in today’s climate means we do not have to worry about food contamination of recalled meat and other food products. We do not have to worry about the high cost of beef at the supermarket. We do not have to worry about the scarcity of food on the shelves at the market in times of crisis. We do not have to worry about reading the country of origin labels and wonder if our food has been imported from other countries.


I say we all need to reclaim our food independence. We can reclaim our food independence on a large scale, where we provide all the food our family needs to survive, or on a small scale, where we provide some of the food our family needs. We also need to teach each other, especially our families, about the honor and duty that we have in providing for our family’s nutritional needs. We need to be proud that we provide for our family’s food and view it as an important skill.

I hope you are motivated into starting seeds indoors, growing a garden, starting a fruit orchard, keeping and caring for chickens and their eggs, raising pigs, slaughtering and butchering your own cows, preserving jam and jelly, canning fruits and vegetables, tending to your own honeybee hive, fishing, gathering edible foods, making your own fruit wine, and cooking food from scratch.

To learn more self-reliant skills, please visit

7/1/2014 3:15:20 PM

Ireally like your blogs, and I sgree with you about the Farm Life, I was raised on a Farm, but now I am living n te city limits, and city ordance says no chickens, would love to have them, I do the next best thing! I have a container garden. and I still do Home Canning, just put up 5 pints of cucumber relish, I have canned pineapple,mangoeschicken noodle soup, splt pea soup,to name a few,and I just had my 91st brthday June the 8th, so you see I have lived through a depression,I wish you all luck, in spreding the good life!

6/27/2014 7:40:03 AM

Hi, this is Mary from Capper's Old Dog New Tricks blog. I enjoyed your blog and wish everyone could understand and start applying what you've said. Hopefully as those around each of us see what we are doing, they will get the bug. We do a lot but if only we were just a little younger we would love to do so much more.

3/23/2014 2:47:40 PM

Howdy Texas Pioneer Woman.. I love your blog.. me and my grandkids ... 5,6,10.. have planted some seedlings .. yesterday I went to the dirt yard to buy a yard of dirt.. I heard that miracle grow is GMO and is no good for the bee's and human consumption when its soaked up thru the plants.. so I looked for some mixed soil to do my raised bed gardening in.. have to add more stuff to the dirt I am sure.. but this is a starter .. as we are beginners.. I have so many different books on how to get doing this .. nothing like trial and error.. =) anywho.. yesterday when I went to buy the mixed soil.. I had told the man what I needed it for " for conversation sake) .. he said " don't you know Kroger's sells vegetables?" .. I was like ..OMG.. don't you know that its cheaper to grow your own.. plus more healthy??? hahaa.. yes its hard work.. but this is what we need to get back to .. is the basic's of life.. its better all the way around.. my husband and my father in law which is 72 helped with getting the dirt out of the bed to the raised garden .. the kids helped me build it and helped with the dirt as well.. in the evening around the table.. we all was so tired.. it just felt GOOD.. and everyone slept in this morning.. hahaha.. which that never happens.. usually up at 4:30 .. and 6.. I am presently reading a book on how the folks before us (1845 era) did all this farming with crops .. its amazing how life has changed so much.. really its lost love... to me.. even though now and days there is so much convenience that you don't have to worry to much.. its awful that to many people don't want to really get back to doing things like this.. and teaching the children.. how to do gardening.. wish time would turn back.. thank you for your blog.. I love it.. =)

3/22/2014 9:57:27 PM

TPW, you post about raising food has merit for sure. I have noticed by reading many blogs there is a resurgence of growing food in urban city gardens. Vacant lots are being taken over by those that believe gardens can make a difference in city communities. My own experience with that has been a wonderful new group of friends that actually have encouraged me in many ways. It is true that our culture has strayed away from the hard work of growing our own food and my hope is to come back to the simple life of years past. The home grown produce that I give away always seem to be well received by everyone. I have to believe there is hope to change the perception of home grown vegetables to a good thing instead of a weird thing. ***** Have a great reclaiming food independence day.