What is a cultured home?
To “culture” something is to cultivate it. Cultivating has several meanings, all of them useful. It can mean to prepare soil for growing crops; to improve yourself by labor and study; to cherish or foster; to improve.
Cultivate the land. Cultivate your talents. Cultivate a love of excellence. Civilize.
So how does this relate to the home? It has EVERYTHING to do with the home! Have you ever thought about what you are cultivating in your home? What is nurtured there, what is labored over, what grows in your home?
Many families, often without realizing it, are trying to cultivate the true, the good, and the beautiful in our homes. For our family, the journey of faithful cultivating began with a change of direction over food and health. This led us down paths we could not have predicted when we first began. Homeschooling started some of our like-minded friends down this path. For you it may be something else entirely. What it all has in common is faith in the LORD God to lead our families.
So here we can share what God is doing and provide resources, roadmaps, hints and helps for others as He calls them. Your family may not look like ours, but you can also cultivate what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful in your own Cultured Home.
About the author:
Small Farm Systems Engineer
Author of this site’s food & farming topics through 2010
Tying together concepts across traditional topics is what I love doing most.
For example, I get really excited about how agriculture & food combine with life. It’s great to discuss how to use rotational mob-grazing animals to create a sheet mulch to follow after a no-till sowing of buckwheat. This is a forage crop for my naturally raised honeybees & other wild beneficial insects, and it makes the soil’s phosphorus available for growth. Plants with enough phosphorus help the eggs from our pastured poultry to have strong shells. These discarded egg shells are fed back to the layers who feed the soil biology through their manure. Healthy, living soils grow the grass which harvests sunlight and feeds the grazing animals all over again.
Traditional lacto-fermentation food preserves the harvest throughout the year. Milk from the grazing animals becomes cheese, kefir, & yogurt. Whey from the cheese making enlivens our food, soaks the grain for the family bread, and inoculates the animals’ feed with probiotics. Honey from the bees sweetens the meal and mead brightens the dinner of pastured meats. Springs’ surplus eggs are pickled in last years’ cider vinegar to complement salads brought in after the garden’s extended fall harvest. We sleep with pillows and comforters made from our own feathers and goose down. Socks & sweaters from our own fiber warm us during the winter in a home heated with local wood. Our children contribute useful projects of wood, fur, horn, leather, & food.
There is a place for everything, and everything here contributes. My job is to recognize and direct how the animals, insects, plants, and soil work together to support the farm. They do the work, the farmer does the management.
“The hay appeareth, and
The tender grass sheweth itself, and
The herbs of the mountains are gathered.
The lambs are for thy clothing, and
The goats are the price of the field. And
Thou shalt have goats’ milk enough
For thy food,
For the food of thy household, and
For the maintenance for thy maidens.”