Sow Revolution: Join the Grocery Store Rebellion

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Recently I wrote about how to break up with your supermarket and it really got me thinking. I like to say that I avoid shopping at the supermarket as much as possible, but is that really true?  “As much as possible” is pretty vague.  A better way to put it would be “as much as is convenient.”

I went through my pantry and realized, darn it, that we still purchase about 25% of our food at the supermarket. Another 25% or so comes from bulk vendors.  The rest is stuff we grow or buy from local farmers.  So really, as humbling as it is to say this, that can hardly be considered “as much as possible.”

The issue with the stuff sold at the grocery stores is that most of it isn’t even actually food.  It’s a hoax, perpetrated on people who go in expecting to nourish themselves.

Traditionally…and by traditionally I mean ever since there were humans on the planet eating stuff…food came from one of these sources: plants or animals.  It has been hunted, gathered, foraged, cultivated, and farmed.

But now these substances are being created in a lab environment. From purely synthetic ingredients, compounds are formed.  Sometimes a bit of the original food is present, perhaps a small bit of meat or vegetable or grain, and that item is stretched with chemicals to turn it into a food-like substance. The substance is shaped to look like food. It is artificially colored and molded into forms like some kind of semi-edible play-dough.  Then scents and flavors, also artificial, are added.  This makes the substances resemble food even more because now it tastes and smells like food.

Because it isn’t immediately lethal to ingest, those noble guardians at the FDA slap a label on it that the substance is GRAS – Generally Recognized As Safe.

Then the substance is placed into little plastic trays, foil, bags, or cellophane. That is placed inside a box with an illustration on the outside. The illustration looks like the food that the substance inside all of the packaging is supposed to taste like.  Perhaps it is a juicy roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes, savory gravy, and carrots.  Your brain processes this visual stimuli and expects that the substance contained within is indeed “food.”

But it isn’t.

It’s a scam.  People go to the store to buy food, but they are sold something else, something that only pretends to be food. (source)

A friend of mine said recently that the struggle for survival has already begun. Our food is poisoned, our water is poisoned…the very air we breathe is tainted. And she’s right.

As a person involved in the preparedness community, I’ve come to realize, there is only so much that we can actually “prep” for.  I was discussing this with my good friend Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition, and she put it perfectly. “It’s time to stop prepping for it and start living it.

So what does it mean to “live it”?

It certainly means that more than 50% of our food should come from local sources, preferably our own backyards. It means that you don’t run to the grocery store 3 times a week for “one more ingredient.”  It means that when peas are in season, you live and breathe for peas. You figure out how to work them into breakfast. You dry them, you can them, you freeze them, and you eat them until you really never want to see another little green orb rolling around on your plate. It means that if you don’t have it, you make it, and if you can’t make it, you wait a while before you buy it. It means a life of difficult simplicity, without all of the commercial hullabaloo. It means you might eat meat that you hadn’t really previously considered because it’s what is available.

The final argument for my upcoming decision came this morning. This basket of food I got today from the farm down the road cost me $10.  Add to this some eggs, some meat, and some raw milk, and how could you possibly yearn for anything more?

local produce

So there is going to be a big change here at The Organic Prepper website.  In just a couple of weeks, I hope you will join my family as we make our next leap into self-sufficiency.

I just don’t want to play anymore. I don’t want to support an industry that is slowly poisoning the country. I don’t want to read ingredients and try to avoid GMOs like they’re closely spaced landmines. I want to commit full-on Nutritional Anarchy with every bite of food we eat – no more of this halfway stuff. It’s go time. It’s time for a Grocery Store Rebellion.

We are flat out breaking up with the grocery store as of August 1.

We’re staging a coup and taking control of our food supply. We are going to sow some revolution in our own backyard.

That’s right. No more grocery stores.  We are turning our little quarter of an acre into a small-town homestead. If I can’t grow it, we’ll get it from the local community of farmers in my vicinity.  I belong to a group that barters homegrown goodies.  From our friends there, we get raw milk, meat, and items that I simply don’t have room to grow on a in-town property.

My goal is to not set foot in a grocery store…AT ALL…between August 1 and November 1.  Three months of eating what we can grow or procure locally, or what we have on hand.

So here are the rules I’ve established for our family:

1.) The first option is always to grow it myself.  We can grow pretty much year round here with the aid of greenhouses and coldframes.  

2.) If I can’t grow it, I’ll buy it from a farm.  And by that, I don’t mean a farm that sells to the store where I then purchase my semi-local goods. I mean, I’ll go to the farm and pick it up.

3.) I’ll can, dehydrate, freeze, and preserve as much food as possible.

4.) Meat will be purchased locally or not at all.

5. ) We can intermittently use our stockpile of baking supplies, rice, etc.  If it needs to be replenished, it will be mail-ordered so I’m not tempted  by the grocery store bounty.

6.) We can go out to eat once a week. (I had to make this deal with my kids to get them on board)

7.) Coffee is non-negotiable. Don’t make me hurt you.

Please don’t think that this is something you can only do if you have a magical green thumb and can grow tomatoes out of a rock. I am not a pro. Everything I stick into the ground does NOT flourish.  Heck, I’ve managed to kill an aloe vera plant and they are notoriously hardy. I’ve gardened before but I haven’t actually farmed. I fervently hope that my chickens-to-be are hardy enough to survive my inevitable mistakes and grace me with eggs.  I’ll try really hard not to scorch any plants in my greenhouse.  I’m inexperienced but that’s never stopped me before. I can’t wait to get dirty, mess stuff up, and then figure out how to fix it.

Some readers can be a bit judgmental, which is, of course, their right. We don’t censor comments here, so knock yourself out. There was some criticism previously when I wrote about the newbie errors I made when we lived in our Northwoods cabin for a year.  And it’s true – I made mistakes that would be deadly in a post-SHTF world.  I’d much rather make them now, when there is some back-up as close as the nearest grocery store, or heat at a neighbor’s house, than in the future when the repercussions of those mistakes would be a lot more drastic.

I have other reasons for sharing the downs as well as the ups. It isn’t to be discouraging and make you think it’s too hard to do yourself – in fact, it’s just the opposite.  I used to read homesteading blogs, then go out and try the things I’d read about.  Then, to my dismay, my efforts came out nothing like the pro efforts of the superhuman blogger whose ideas I’d been trying to emulate. With a few exceptions, the farms, gardens and homesteads out there in bloggerland were like supernatural Edens, and I always felt like a complete failure.

I don’t want you to feel like a failure. I want you to realize that the reality is, the only people that effortlessly do this stuff are those who were born to it. They grew up living that life, and it comes as naturally to them as going to Starbucks and ordering a venti nonfat caramel mocha Frappuccino with no whip comes to a city dweller. So, I’ve accepted the fact that plants may wilt, chickens may not fare so happily, and I have only the vaguest idea how to clean a recently caught fish. But I will give it my best shot, and another, and then another until I master the lifestyle I desire. And for your entertainment, and possibly to help you avoid the same mistakes, I’ll share the experience with you.

Here’s how you can join in the Grocery Store Rebellion

First of all, I can’t wait for you to chime in with your own experiences and knowledge because this could be a great way for us to all interact.  Many of you are already living this lifestyle to a great extent and I welcome your advice!

Second, who’s in?  I would love to see a mass exodus from the grocery store.  I realize not everyone has a nearby network of farmers, but now is a great time to start making the acquaintance of the ones who are in close proximity and figuring out what local resources are actually available to you.  Check out Eat Local Grown to find farms and markets near you. I was surprised to discover some great resources that I had yet to find.

The main thing is – dump the grocery stores!  Find ways to get your food that are closer to the ways that your ancestors did it.  Everyone can establish their own rules based on criteria like what is available to them, what they can grow, what the local laws are, and how much work they’re will to do.  Oh – and how much their families will tolerate. The idea is not to make it so difficult that only a few can do it – it is to make it so easy that anyone, anywhere can do it.  Figure out how to do this in your location and share it here – your ideas may very well help other people who want to rebel.

Let’s exit the food system that we’ve been taught to believe was necessary for our survival. Let’s refuse to enrich a system that is killing us. It’s time to sow some revolution and start a Grocery Store Rebellion.


Here are some great books for those who don’t have an actual farm.

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs: The Thrivalist’s Guide to Life Without Oil

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Urban Farming: Sustainable City Living in Your Backyard, in Your Community, and in the World

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Hey Daisy,
    I love your list, I laughed out loud when I read #7, ditto for me! I am so on board and have been slowly trying for a while. I bought 6 blueberry bushes and 2 raspberry and they are actually still alive! The two blueberry bushes I planted last year didn’t make it but this year I planted them in full sun, placed a lot of coffee grounds around the root ball and covered them with free mulch from a business that grinds up trees. I am buying two more raspberry bushes today. All of these have been half off.

    I learned the hard way not to buy fruit trees from the big box store. All of them died this spring while the ones I purchased from the nursery last year are doing great. Luckily, I got my money back and will buy again from the nursery this fall.

    I just ordered heirloom vegetable seeds for a fall garden so we’ll see how that goes. We are in a small town with a large side yard so I am trying to make do with where we are but I’m determined to make it work.

    I have always loved your blog, I check it daily, but I LOVE the direction it is going. We are trying to be more self sufficient on a tight budget and I appreciate the fact that you are sharing your experiences with us along the way, both good and bad. Keep up the good work!

  • I’m in! The only things I buy at the grocery store are olive oil, white vinegar, laundry detergent and cat litter and until yesterday, organic carrots and pears. Yesterday I found that the store had gotten rid of the organic fruits and vegetables cabinet and dispersed the items throughout the produce section. When I made my dissatisfaction known at the manager’s desk, I was told they (controllers) would help me find the items I want. I told them I would no longer buy my produce there. Now I only need cat litter and vinegar.

    I buy all of my other produce, eggs and meat at the county farmer’s market and grow what I can. My garden is only in it’s fourth season and I began to can last season. I have a LOT learn. I buy my organic baking supplies and coconut oil on line.

    Yeah, I know, I can make the laundry soap. That’s next.

    I’m with you 100%. Thanks for the boost!

    • Hi Barbara,
      Where do you buy your organic baking supplies and coconut oil? I have bought my coconut oil at the big box store but the jar is not very big. I have been using it to wash my face and as a moisturizer and of course to cook with for a few months now. I have been making my own laundry soap for about 4 years but I still have to go to the store to pick up the supplies.
      Thanks, Patty 🙂

      • Hi! I’m not Barbara, but I’m SO in on this challenge! You can purchase organic baking supplies and TONS of other stuff from a company called Azure Standard. You place your order once a month, and they contract with a trucking company to make a drop shipment (hopefully somewhere close to you) once a month. I have been ordering since last year, and I LOVE it! I think their prices are pretty reasonable, and they have so much more than just food items. One of the women at our drop purchases organic chicken feed for herself and several other people, and I know folks have also bought feed and supplements for goats. Check out the website – there’s all sorts of stuff to peruse through. I would be careful of the produce, though – it is organic and very good, but in the time it takes to get to you, some of it tends to get spotty. That said, I’ve gotten potatoes when I can’t find organic ones here, and I ordered 12 pounds of organic sweet cherries last month that are all in my freezer now.

        We are very fortunate in my area – we are blessed with an abundance of local meat and produce, and raw milk. Our farmers markets are in full swing, open for now on Tuesday, Thursday and our big Saturday market. We also have an online market with local meat, milk, eggs, live plants and veggies, even in the winter for those producers with greenhouses. I can order and pick up what I need once a week. I have been making my own laundry soap and cleaning supplies for a while now, so I really don’t visit the grocery store that often now. I am definitely taking you up on your challenge, though. Our problem is eating out too often, so I’m just going to have to take the time to prep more carefully during the week. Can’t wait!

    • You can make your own cat litter. Google it, and you will see a couple of ‘recipes’ come up.

      One more thing to not need the grocery store for.

  • So what are you doing for paper products, i.e. toilet paper? Using washable towels isn’t an option for all of us.

    • Vivian – I always order that stuff in bulk online. I like the kind that is bleach- and fragrance free. You raise a great point, though – there are other types of things we all get at the grocery store as well. I am focusing the next three months on freeing my family from the food supply, and after that, who knows what we might be able to accomplish? 🙂

      ~ Daisy

      • This was my question as well. I come to “preparedness” from a self sufficient, sustainable homestead lifestyle. Although, after spending years backpacking with AMC followed by 13 years in the Army, being prepared for anything and everything is deeply ingrained.
        I’ve considered many aspects of grid down scenarios…and for me TP is “IT”. I can and have done without TP many times but I don’t want to.
        It doesn’t matter to me anymore, but the other item would have been sanitary supplies.
        I totally agree with Tess’ comment about “living it”.
        Funny story…one of my “pavement people” friends asked why our garden was so big (120’x60′) as there are only two of us. Caught off guard I mumbled some sappy answer but later, after reflecting, it dawned on me that for her gardening was something to dabble in and have fresh summer goodies but I was/am attempting to grow a years worth of food for my family. This takes a lot of space and as I move towards becoming self sustaining, my garden needs become more than our current plot. This fall I will be doubling the size to include a fallow section to rotate.
        Anyhooo, thanks for sharing your ventures with us and I look forward to reading about your experiences.

        • Pam: You really brought up a good point: The noticeable large garden, with people trying to put 2+2 together. Around here, a good answer would be “half for us/half for the deer,” and people would get that since the deer are severely overpopulated and eat everybody’s front yard. Maybe you can have your practiced answer next time next-door Nosy Nelly comes a’knocking.

  • Bless you Daisy! I have not made that much progress but for me spending half at the Grocery is a big step in the right direction. This summer is my first season for container gardening as an apartment dweller and just clipped my first ripe jalapeno and it sure feels good.

    A ton of luck your way!

  • May I suggest plant poi, it is a whole food, one can live on it. I eat it fresh every day, ull get used to it.

  • Daisy-I am so impressed and I totally will try this. I am going over a grocery list before I actually head out for Raley’s. Not only is everything from the corporate store “suspect” despite what they say, with the open border problem we now have, I am careful where I go. No, not paranoia; when I lived in LA I caught scabies from a grocery store clerk. It was an area with 90% illegals and no one is checking for diseases that will and can infect anyone. The disease was awful, it was expensive to treat, and no way I am repeating the experience! I do shop at Costco, but with the recent Dinesh D’souza incident, I will drop them for Amazon Prime. Or Sam’s Club. The coffee perk is the same for me-I’m going to try buying some green coffee beans from Monk’s Coffee and see how that works. You are so right-we need to live prepping now! There will come a time when we won’t have a choice. So let’s make mistakes now, sharpen up from scratch recipes, get better at making soap, candles, moisturizer, etc. I actually feel a little more empowered-thank you!

  • Funny that so many here are talking about toilet paper. I had just researched that very issue yesterday and found several ideas out there. One is to take old phone books, shred them then mince the paper in a blender. When it is a pulp, you lay it out on a screen and smash it into super thin sheets. One person decided that using a pump up sprayer was the way to go instead of TP. There are lots of ideas out there. Just look them up.

  • And Barbara, you can make your vinegar,too. I made it last fall and it turned out great…even has the healthy “mother”.

    Patty…you can buy excellent coconut oil from We buy it by the gallon pail.

    As homesteaders of 45+ years this is a pretty easy do for us except the coffee! We do keep a good stash of beans on hand. the grocery store is where we mainly go for “treats”…candy,ice cream but I even finally figured out Vitamix ice cream recipes and have been making that from our fresh berries. Our stock ups are from Amazon and Emergency Essentials and home canning. A local Mennonite store provides bulk grains or try the wonderful Palouse brand on amazon. You’ll never go back to dusty lentils from the grocery store. Homegrown beef in the freezer, chickens laying enough to trade at the feed store for eggs. Big garden and orchard.

    Where there’s a will there’s a way…small steps are better than no steps. Food and water are going to be the challenges of the near future and we should all be working toward more independence from the “just in time” stores.

  • Hi Daisy, certainly enjoyed your post and you made me laugh. I do live in a semi rural area and there are farmer’s markets around here that I need to start visiting more often. Not only are the foods more fresh and healthy but we are supporting a local industry with our purchases.

    Myself, I have began gardening a few years back and have learned from my mistakes. I have three raised bed gardens on a quarter acre and will be very busy at the end of the summer canning all the good food I’ve grown which will be a new adventure because i’ve never canned before but have some good friends who will provide their knowledge and time to help me figure out how to can my veggies.

    The veggies I don’t can I’ll take to work and my co workers will eat up all that good healthy food. I also give away excess produce to my neighbors who trade for other stuff that I like. The neighbor across the street shoveled my walk way and drive last winter because I gave her a bushel of potatoes and a half bushel of tomatoes last summer.

    I do support your effort not to visit the grocery store and am making a slow but concerted effort to not go to the big box stores. My reasons are in line with yours but I’m kinda of freaked out and intimidated by the size and crappy produce at the super sized stores.

    There is something very satisfying in growing and consuming your own produce. When I go out to tend my garden I find it very calming and eases my mind from the hectic and fast paced day that I experience.

    I don’t think I’ll ever be completely weaned from the supermarket but one can try!

    Snake Plisken

    • Altho I was surprised just last week, when I went to Costco, to find all of their blueberries came from a local farm just a few miles away.

  • “Some readers can be a bit judgmental, which is, of course, their right.”
    You’re being too generous. :-). If the idea doesn’t appeal to you, don’t read the blog LOL
    I try to limit my store purchases as much as possible, growing, buying local, canning my own, etc. I think the hardest would be to give up things that can never be grown locally, like bananas or mangoes.

  • Re: “most of it isn’t even actually food”. I think of such corporate “products” as Artificially Flavor-Enhanced Food By-Product Substitutes.

  • Like your idea but it’s going to be tough to grow that much on only 1/4 acre. We have our own hens for fresh eggs and what we don’t eat we sell for $2/dozen. We have a large garden and grow a lot of our own vegetables. Just in the last 24 hrs. we have canned 31 jars of green beans. We make all of our own dill and sweet pickles. We grow our own green peppers and jalepenos. They are both easy to freeze or you can dehydrate them and store them that way. We grow most of our own sweet corn, when it’s ready we blanch it and put it up in freezer bags in the deep freeze. (After getting used to eating “real” sweet corn all the time we cannot stand nasty canned corn.) We have two long rows of blackberries and have started a row of raspberries for homemade jams and for eating plain. We have eight rhubarb plants and several sweet and tart cherry trees. Actually, I literally just stopped typing this to go get a rhubarb/cherry crisp out of the oven. We also grow zucchini and put bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer and enjoy frying up quite a bit as well. We have tried growing potatoes in the past but when you consider how cheap they are and how much time and space they take we decided it wasn’t worth it. Anyway, there are a few ideas of things we grow and how to store them, ways to avoid eating all of the fake chemical and preservative infused “foods” from the store.

  • Daisy, a great idea! Thanks for the challenge. Prices are outrageous and going higher. I don’t think I can totally drop the stores yet but my goal is to cut down to only 30% by end of the year. I’m about at the 40% mark now through buying bulk, growing a garden, canning, dehydrating and freezing. I’m sure I can get it to 70% by end of the year. I should be able to make a compete break by next summer.

  • I wrote before about how self sufficient we were and the deleted it I think when I realized we still depended on the grocery store for more than I would like to think we do. Our list of garden produce canned or frozen is up to 17 different fruits or vegetables this year, and we have more to go. We have our own meat and render our own lard.

    You brought back memories with the peas. I can remember eating corn, beans, okra, tomatoes and cornbread 7 days a week this time of year when I was young. When you work hard, it looks good and taste good every meal. I still like it 70 years later, and we still cook it. Just not every day.

  • Last summer we knew that hubby was going to loose his job. I canned, dehydrated, and froze food. We had eggs. We purchased a steer. He now has a job, but that was then and this is now. The effects of the alphabets, such as NAFTA, etc. have shown their true colors over the years, and we must watch every penny. Going to the supermarket was, and is, infrequent. Unfortunately, we cannot supply all the food for the animals and need to buy hay (local) and feed (not locally produced). And yes, we do plant some food for the animals, but it doesn’t take us through the entire year.

    We had a challenging winter with protracted plunging cold temperatures. This negatively affected the apple trees. They are growing, but there aren’t many apples. Lambing season was a wash out, losing way too many lambs. The weather also affected the spring start up of just about every aspect of our homestead.

    Growing your own has its ups and down in any growing season. We still do not know what idiot animal is eating the tomato vines/leaves! In addition, our large animal vet always tells us that, “If you have livestock, you will have dead stock.” It happens. In addition, one year you get a bonus of tomatoes and the next year you get rot.

    We live a rather frugal lifestyle. Our list of big corporate items that are *never* purchased is rather long. In its place is a long list of substitutes. Some examples of never buys are toothpaste, shampoo, paper towels,and big corporate cleaning poisons, but there are things that we definitely need from the supermarket. I am not even thinking of TP. Push comes to shove, we have a safe, clean, back up plan for that. We also have a guerrilla list of substitutes; those things that work and are safe, but friends and acquaintances have a “yuck” factor when there isn’t any. Most think not using paper towels is unhygienic.

    It is nearly impossible to be self-sufficient, but doable to be self-reliant. Removing one’s family from supermarket groceries is possible (our local supermarket purchases from local farms and tells where they were purchased), but many non food items are made overseas, and it isn’t going to get better.

    This may be off topic, but I tell every adult to buy extra shoes. Maybe it is because I need special shoes that I think about this, but almost all made over seas. During WW2, the UK had a blockade. Anything that was imported (as food/grain and leather) was in short supply. What is the difference between a blockade, embargo, inflationary prices, or severely reduced supplies for obtaining what we need? The definitions may be different, but the result is the same.

    • “It is nearly impossible to be self-sufficient, but doable to be self-reliant.”

      Great line, and true. It is also better to be somewhat self reliant than not at all.

    • Excellent point about shoes…I also add underwear in the same category.
      Also equally important is the setbacks you mention. No matter how careful you plan, prepare and diligently watch…bad crap still happens to gardens, livestock etc. And your left standing in a field of decimated livestock wondering what the hell did this and cursing yourself for being a poor steward of your wards.
      Rare was the person or family, in times past, that was self sufficient. Even trappers came to town for things to trade. But aimimg for that goal is a good start. It always takes community. We are hard wired to cooperate with each other and all that goes with that.

  • Love the challenge! I absolutely hate grocery shopping and try to do as little as possible. You have just given me more incentive to stay away. So we are going to ramp up our efforts to produce even more of our own food and other necessities.
    I grow most of our herbs and vegetables. Some that I don’t grow a friend does so we trade goods. We have a large vegetable garden that will, God willing be supplying us with a year’s worth of fresh, canned and frozen produce. I am hoping to do more canning than in previous years, adding fruits, if I can find a way to do it without destroying my stove. I have a glass too electric and it is not recommended to do any amount of canning on it because it could cause the top to shatter. If there are any recommendations, I would love to hear them.
    We raise chickens so we have plenty of fresh eggs. Our meat is either from the local butcher who has only local raised beef and pork. Or it is what we can provide hunting and fishing. We are currently working on stocking the freezer with fresh salmon.
    We also have a variety of fruit trees and berries that will provide us with both fruit and wine. I am working on establishing a tea garden for herbal teas but for some reason they are not doing as well as my cooking and medicinal herbs.
    This is our first year with bees. They are doing well, so next year we will have honey and bees wax. We are also planning to collect maple sap for syrup and sugar next year so that will lessen the dependence on purchased sweeteners.
    The big things left to figure out are grains and dairy. We have plenty of room because we have acreage in a rural area, it is just a big adjustment for my husband who has always been a city dweller and never really raised crops or live stock. It’s not a quick journey but we are making steady progress.

    • Much to my dismay, I also have a glass top stove in my new house. I’m going to try some waterbath canning and see how it goes. I’ve been looking into some outdoor propane or electric stoves for canning outside of the kitchen. 🙂 I’ll keep you posted!

      Your homestead sounds wonderful!

      ~ Daisy

      • Years ago I had a glass cook top and did some canning on it. It broke and was very expensive to fix. After that my husband talked to a friend at the local appliance store and bought an old used electric range. The oven didn’t work, but the heating elements on top of the stove have worked just fine for many years. This stove cost a bit to have the power wired into the garage, but it is sure nice in the hot summer to have the heat from canning out of the kitchen.

      • I know this comment is probably “a day late and a dollar short” so to speak, but we have a Whirlpool glasstop that is every bit of 20 years old and we pressure can and water bath can on it every year with no problems. Getting set up to do a bushel of peaches as I type.

        So, maybe we are just lucky.

        • I have a glass top and I water bath and pressure can on it. Just watch the weight. Another alternative that I have done with water bath is using a gas turkey fryer. I set up outside and boil away. I do not use the gas fryer for pressure cooking though because the flame is hard to regulate.

    • We do almost all of our canning outside in the garage. Not because of a glass top stove but because canning inside heats the house up too much. We have an old Coleman 3 burner camp style stove that my wife heats the water up in to disinfect the jars and we have a separate larger burner that she sits her large pressure cooker on. It has one large burner built into a frame large enough to hold something like a large turkey fryer or similar sized pot. Works great for her pressure cooker. The pressure cooker she normally uses is an old one that her grandfather used and is a double decker so to speak. You can stack two layers of jars on top of each other in it so you can do up to 14 quarts at one time. We put up 31 jars of green beans over the weekend and we are getting ready to go out and pick more here in a few minutes.

  • I have kinda been boycotting the grocery, but I am going to join your challenge and get serious. I already have a huge garden and chickens for eggs. I live in zone 5 and researched winter gardening last year. I strongly recommend everyone give it a try. My husband and I were eating greens well into December. To do this we planted seeds in a cold frame and small hoop house in August. Another tricked I learned was picking all my green tomatoes before the cold killed them and ripened them in a card board box covered with newspaper. My have to haves includes coffee and milk. I am going to set myself a $10 a week grocery budget! For everything else we will “shop” the pantry, the garden, or the freezer.

    • We live in zone 6 and last year I was able to grow until the end of November. A green house or hoop house is on the list for next year so that I can extend that further.
      Thanks for the advice on the green tomatoes. I will give that a try.

  • Great post!
    There was a television show a few years ago called The 100 mile challenge that I just loved. It showed families and their struggle to live off of only the things that were grown within 100 miles of their homes. It was a huge eye opener for me.
    I’m anxious to read about your adventures with this.

    • I remember that! What a terrific show. I tried to do that challenge, but it was so difficult… and expensive. However, it changed the way I viewed products in life. Now, I belong to CSAs and shop local as much as possible.

  • Regards the issue of canning on a glass top stove.

    I was a long time canner for personal use (25 years+) and village market sales before my current life. I started canning and pickling at about 14 years of age and that is nearing to 50 years ago!!

    There is ONE canner out there that will allow you to use on glass and I have canned with this item several uses this season.

    It is SMALLER AND LESS PRETTY that all the big ones, also ALOT less expensive. Presto canner model # 1745 fits only pints for water bath canning but will take 7 quarts or pints(maybe 8) for pressure canning. This is the weighted model, there is another with dial pressure guage. Both are about 70.USD on Amazon or big box.

    Metal is very light weight and the actual bottom that sits on the stove is smaller than the rest of the diameter of pot.
    I use only PINTS … family of two.

    The only thing to watch out for is to ALWAYS lift the canner off stove….do NOT SLIDE it across.

    Please know that I am NOT in any way attached to Presto or any other firm and this is my first ever post on internet. I responded ONLY so others would know there is a possible solution.


      • It is very interesting – according to Amazon the 23 quart Presto is also safe on smooth top stoves….I might try it. 🙂

        • I have a glass top stove and use both the 23qt and 16qt Presto canners on my stove with no problem. I often have two canners on there at once.

      • Thanks Daisy for the link. I have never canned before so I am already very intimidated but having a glass top stove has made me even more so. I bought a bunch of jars a few years back so I’m determined to start soon. Am looking forward to your new book as I already have the other and LOVE it!

        • I taught myself to can about 5 years ago and now I am an addict. I canned lemons this past winter for fresh lemonade. I can venison my husband provides, meatballs, ham, chicken. I can have a healthy, great-tasting meal on the table in 30 minutes all from my pantry (or “food room” as the g-daughter calls it). Watched my mom have a bad experience with a pressure cooker when I was very young and was scared to death. It is a step-by-step process that where you cannot use shortcuts. You will love the feeling of accomplishment and the look of the beautiful food on your shelf! Blessings~~

      • Thank you LindaB…

        This is exactly the pressure canner we use on our glass top stove and have for about 20 years.

        Shoulda read down before I posted about glass tops above.

  • Good for you!!! I am an avid gardener and grow many things. I’ve learned to can and freeze well. Several years ago, I began only shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joes, but I find myself heading to Shoprite for paper goods (I can’t find them cheaper anywhere else.) Check out CSAs for produce and meat. I belong to Miller Organic Farm in Lancaster,PA and their meat is excellent! For coffee, you can order online from Law Coffee and support a local family. It’s a family run business and their coffee is terrific! I am totally on-board with you; it’s convincing my kids that’s the hard part. I can’t wait to read your posts!!!!

  • I just stumbled across your site and I am impressed with the wealth of information. I have a decent size garden growing; 30 heirloom tomato plants, 20 pepper, cucumbers etc. My family will not be able to eat all of this food between now and October. Can you recommend a good video that demonstrates canning. My greatest fear is to blow up my house like I’m cooking up Meth. Also, you might want to add chicken coops to this “Grocery Store Rebellion” idea. A few free-roaming chickens will provide nutritious, organic eggs, and in a few years, non-grocery store poultry. I touch on the idea briefly at my website:

  • Thank you so much for posting this! It’s an inspiration and a worthy goal.. We will be giving this a try, too. It will be quite an adventure in some ways, I’m sure 😉

  • When I retired we moved back to the farm. I got a new glass top stove & a new pressure cooker & went to work the next summer canning. Guess what… I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to can on that stove. So here we are 7 years later & some of the electronics on the knob area are wearing out but my glass top is still in good shape. I have a niece who has never canned on hers & has had 2 break. Go figure.

    Since I am wonder woman in training (total hip replacement this spring. Couldn’t bend more than sitting position for 3 mo. or bend to pick up off floor for six mo.) we decided to plant a smaller garden because DH would have to do most of it along with his work. We also had rain, rain, rain so some of the garden isn’t doing too well. I will therefore still have to buy more than I want from the store.

    It is amazing how much a person can do for themselves. When I found out that canned soups have half your days salt in just one cup I almost quite buying them except for a few cans for special times. 2 years ago a friend gave me a recipe for tomato soup that tastes like the bought stuff & I just put in the salt I want to. We make a lot of our own juices by cutting up the fruit, putting in a pail & adding boiling water to cover. Leave 48 hrs., strain, & bottle with enough sugar for your taste. Some of these juices are stong enough that I delute one to one with water at serving time.

    A few years ago I decided to try & grow enough tomatoes so I wouldn’t have to buy oranges (they don’t grow in Canada)for our vit. C. Now I hardly ever buy oranges or orange juice….just if I really want some & of course at Christmas we buy manderin oranges.

    Our neighbour will have free range eggs for us later this summer & we buy most of our meat from neighbours.

    I still must buy rolled oats as that is usually our breakfast, milk, wh. flour,( we grind our own br. from a neighbours wheat.)salt, yeast, baking powder sugar,etc. We do make our own maple syrup. I have been collecting recipes for yeast but have’t tried yet.

    I think you are starting a worthwhile adventure Daisy, both for yourself & for those you encourage to be more self sufficient. Good eating everyone

  • I’m in.
    I’ve been a journey to produce all my own food for about 10 years now. It got a hole lot easier when for health reasons, I adopted a paleo diet.
    Pet and livestock feed can be sourced from local farms, or produced yourself. My animals have never seen factory processed feed, and do very well. If you produce it yourself you know what the meat you consume was fed.

    • We eat what I like to call semi-Paleo. It has been amazing for our health and I don’t miss the products I cut out at all. We do consume oatmeal and rice a few times a week, but aside from that, we stick mostly with raw grass-fed dairy, meat, eggs, veggies, and fruit. No wheat, no soy, and only organic corn. It has improved our entire way of life!

  • Living in Canada I find too many are reliant on the stores. I applaud anyone who wants to be self reliant…it is a learning curve to be dependent on yourself. We have been working toward the goal of self sufficiency for 5 yrs. Every year we extend the size of the garden. I have been preserving jams/jellies, making pickles,dehydrating, freezing, etc. since living on my own at 17. Our goal this year is to have enough food to last to this time next year…we almost made it this past…we eat wild game, catch fish and freeze it. We buy eggs from the local farm…however milk can’t be bought that way here. Wish we could.

    Happy growing .

  • I would love to pry the family away from the grocery store, but that’s simply not an option right now. Perhaps when the dream comes true and we get a piece of land where there are no county restriction (can’t have small livestock, definitely no beehives, and I was actually surprised that I could save rain water), we’ll be in a better position to stay away.

    Both sets of my grandparents were pretty self-reliant. They had 3 gardens – 2 for them, 1 for the deer. One set went to the store once a month for necessities that they simply couldn’t do themselves, including coffee and medications. The other went for coffee, milk, and tobacco and rolling papers. So I’m no stranger to that lifestyle, but the Army stationed me well away from home and I’ve never been closer than 8 hours, even after I got out.

    I’m trying to convince the hubs now to let me take over the lower portion of the yard for a better garden next year. Where I set up this year was “ok” to an extent, but the spotty sunshine definitely didn’t make for the best gardening experience.

  • We have bypassed the grocery store big time for the last couple years. We buy in bulk from buying clubs or our coop, as well as mail order. We garden and we work at a local farmers market where we barter and trade for high quality organic food, or get it from farmers for a wee fraction of the price.

    Here’s praying that this trend will catch on. Great work and will be a regular follower of this GREAT blog!!!!!

  • We have a goal of 3 yrs to buy land and build an earthship to start our self-sustaining lifestyle 🙂 for now I’m learning how to grow my food and eventually can it. We have a small yard but we’re taking advantage of any extra space to plant. I have an herb container garden on my front porch in cinder blocks. We have a large and small garden on the outside of our fence. I have great neighbors that keep an eye out for me and eventually it will turn into the block garden 🙂 and also a small garden in our yard plus raspberry, blueberry and strawberry plants in with the flowers and bushes. Im slowly reducing my grocery bill until I would need it anymore.

  • Hi! I love your attitude. I go through this phase often where I just get fed up with the commercial food system. The thing that makes it hard for me, and usually gets me right back to the grocery store, is I have young children. 2 and 5. Why can’t I make them see? Lol I still opt for organic and few whole ingredients as much as possible but I’m still plagued with “is this really good for us?” And “what mother company am I supporting here?” My husband and I are coming up on year 1 living on our 10-acre farm (we no longer have ANY excuse) and although I’m very happy with the things we’ve accomplished this year (we are NOVICES!), I know we can do better!! This year was a trial, trial, trial year. I’m looking forward to my fall and winter garden, failing and succeeding, learning new things and improving on old things. Thank you for the inspiration to keep going!

  • “Some readers can be a bit judgmental.” But so can some writers — even more so. They say some of the silliest, most judgmental things imaginable:

    “The issue with the stuff sold at the grocery stores is that most of it isn’t even actually food. It’s a hoax.”

    “sometimes a bit of the original food is present”

    “your brain processes this visual stimuli and expects that the substance contained is indeed ‘food.’ But it isn’t.”

    “the struggle for survival has already begun. Our food is poisoned, our water is poisoned . . . The very air we breathe is tainted.”

    “I would love to see a mass exodus from the grocery store.”

    “I don’t want to support an industry that is slowly poisoning the country.”

    When did insanity become a fashion statement? Judgmental? Yes. And so are clinical diagnoses of dementia. Those are judgments also, and well placed ones at that.

  • Hi Daisy

    I have truly been enjoying your blog. As someone who has gone from two people working to one supporting the household and struggled this year with bills, your articles on prepping and frugal living have really resonated with me. As a newbie Prepper, this year I have planted a container organic/non GMO garden, investigated local farm markets and local pasture-fed meats. I am slowly building a Prepper pantry, and seeing what is happening in Toledo today – the water supply poisoned (they say from run-off chemicals from factory farming) and they are trucking in water with the National Guard, even though I am not affected I am truly grateful for the month’s supply of water I keep on hand at all times. Right now I am learning to can and freeze produce, and I just took on your Austerity challenge – although I am going at it slowly. I give myself $20 per week for this first month. With that I buy products I need from the store – mainly pet food, cat litter, aluminum foil, olive oil. And those I get from my local Health Food Store. I really enjoy your posts – keep them coming! They made a difference for me when I had some tough choices this summer and have taught me some very needed skills. 🙂

    • Dear Karin:

      Thank you for the kind words! I’m really glad that the website is helpful to you. 🙂 I think the situation in Ohio has the potential to wake a lot of people up, if they just pay attention.

      An option for pet supplies that has worked well for us is the Feed Store. We get great prices for high quality food there.

      Keep up the great work!

      ~ Daisy

  • My goal for the last few years has been “Live like there’s no Walmart”. From experience, this is much easier said than done. It is hard to come out of that “go to the store” paradigm. I think the hardest part for us lazy, want-it-now Americans is that it takes a huge amount of planning and effort up front.

    Thank you for your reminder and encouragement that this process is well worth it!

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