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Monday, October 21, 2013

Nothing to Do ??? BS !!! Part II

Nothing to Do ??? BS !!! Look Around. Do it. Part II

Well back to one thing leading to another.

Let me start with my own house, my self, my neighborhood, my county.

Throughout the summer my garden demanded a lot of work, I had learned a lot from last year and tried some new things.  Some from reading but mainly talking with neighbors and farmers in my area.

The harvest was great.  I was able to freeze green beans, corn and Turnips and turnip greens.
I also did my first canning.  I managed to can 15 half pints of Strawberry Jam, 7 half pints of Grape Jam, 7 quarts of carrots, only 3 quarts of tomatoes along with 3 half pints of tomato paste.  Along with that I have roughly a year’s supply of potatoes and onions.  Along with a few parsnips of which I am the proudest.  I had been trying to grow those for 4 years and never even a single one till now.  This time about 15 grew to maturity out of about 100.  They are still in the ground, as they get better tasting once they feel some frost.

My Broccoli came out great.  Grew my first watermelon and it was sweet along with a bunch of acorn and summer squash and my first spaghetti squash, I had it for dinner last night with some butter and brown sugar, it was excellent.

My wood again is all cut and split ahead of winter, racked and tarped – enough for two years.  This is now the 2nd year I’ve managed that.

This Thanksgiving I will indeed give thanks.

My job as Road Commissioner has the added blessing of giving me a reason to get out and meet people from throughout the county.  Forgive me if I spend a little extra time with those that farm or garden.  Believe me, I’ve been traveling some pretty small two tracks finding roads, places and people I didn’t know.

Much as I did in Muskegon, I’m spreading out across the county meeting people and seeing the different areas of Oceana County.  Kind of one person, experience leading to another.  

I’m also going to the different township meetings.  While I hear a lot of complaints about the roads, the people are usually pretty polite about it and seem happy that I came out to see them.   They after all are the people who know (their) roads better than anyone.  At some of the outlying township meetings I have been the only person in the audience.  In one Township the Supervisor said that I was the first Road Commissioner to actually sit in on one of their meetings since he could remember.  I felt good about that.

This just reinforces my idea that what we need to help us change things in the big picture is to start the change at the bottom or local level and working with the next level on up the ladder.  This way generates a groundswell instead of a "flash in the pan".  Getting on a township board is relatively easy and is a great place to start to learn how government works.  

However it takes some work and then time actually doing it, but speaking for myself who thought it would be easy, I’m learning from the Road Commission that there is a lot to learn and then of course the politics of the job comes into play and that is another skill one learns from the doing and I think it's worth it. 

Remember starting out small is a great way to begin to make a difference, especially if you make a mistake or make a wrong decision, this is where it will affect the fewest number of people.  Before you start on a high horse about mistakes – take note you as well as I are human, we all are and humans and we all do make mistakes, in fact that is how we seem to learn best.

Out in my townships, I've been meeting smaller farmers that take the whole idea of self-sufficiency back to a level that it was meant to be.  These are the entrepreneurs that know what government regulations are all about and how they can hamstring a start up and small to midsize business.  It still surprises me that many of them vote Democrat.  This is where the conservative message needs to be spread.  This is where it will be of the most help to the people that need it desperately.

Perhaps if more legislators got out into the weeds of their districts and met these fledgling entrepreneurs vs. the big companies/donners,  they too might learn from them the true cost of over regulation. 

One family farm (the Wrights) raises chickens and lamb for sale, cattle for themselves along with other wild fowl.  They also grow a lot of farmer’s market produce which they sell in person locally and as far away as Chicago.  It is great to see how the whole family pitches in.  One boy specializes in the produce and with the help of the rest has erected a couple of hoop houses to prolong the growing/sales season.   Another boy raises lamb and has learned to shear them pretty well.  That single skill has allowed him to travel as far away as Colorado for sheep shearing competitions from  which he was hired to shear some sheep there and the whole thing paid for itself and then some.

Last time I checked they had a heard of over 30 sheep.  They also raise some pigs, and a horse or two
Another similar farming family I've met just down the road from me are the Hendrions.  They raise a lot of chickens in chicken tractors.  This is a method of range feeding chickens enclosed in a small floorless “coop/tractor” that you move ahead each day to provide fresh forage for these “broilers”.  To further this, Mr. Hendrion and his family built a brand new FDA approved chicken processing plant on their property.  The whole craziness of government regulations really hits home when one is confronted directly with this kind of process.  Mr Hendrion said that the State and Federal regulations were pretty straight forward and he really didn’t have much of a headache until he met up with the township and their interpretation of the regs.  They caused him a lot of grief he said.  The grief came from not understanding the regs and what he was doing.

The whole “Chicken Tractor” movement was started by Joel Salatin who has written many books about self-sufficiency on the small family farm.  One of his books that points out problems of the interface between the government and individuals is aptly titled “EverythingI Want to Do Is Illegal”.

Also since my last post as Chair of the County Republicans we put on our Annual Brat Fry.  While I tried some new things to boost attendance from within the community, they didn't seem to work.  The food was great and our speakers Sen. Goeff Hansen, and Rep. Jon Bumstead were good, but the turnout was below what I was hoping for.  The excuse of it being a non election year has some validity but I wanted to see an increase at all our event, all excuses aside.  We need to come up with a new way to get people to come out.

Along the same lines, we held our 2nd “Adopt a Highway” cleanup hosted by the Republican Party and that went very well.  Rep. Bumstead was there and a group from Ferry Township showed up.  I had gone to their township meeting and let them know we would be cleaning up part of M-20 in their area, and 4 of them showed up.

One thing continually leads to another if you let it and keep an open and flexible mind.

I’m also trying to set up a multi-county Republican bash with US Senate Candidate TerriLynn Land as the guest speaker.

I’vw just started thinking of starting a Conservative Movie Night and feature movies like Hating Breitbart, and some Reagan flicks.  Need to find a place etc.  This idea came from the Unleashed movie night in Hart sponsored by the Baptist Church.  As with the Cozy Conservative Corner we continue to have, I hope to promote unity of conservatives not disunity.

So from the Bottom Up I continue to let one thing lead to the next and see where it takes me.
My new signature.

Regards, Live Dangerously be a Liberal Conservative

PS.  For an explanation of the reason for adding the word Liberal see this post in my other blog.
See the last Part the PS.

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