Letters to the Editor: Taking small steps toward self-sufficiency

It’s during snow-packed days like the one we just had, that my mind starts to wander and my imagination takes off! How long would my family survive if we were trapped in our house, unable to plow through the snow? Or if the highways remained closed for over a week? Fortunately, that isn’t a real concern at this time; but it serves to challenge me on how dependent I am on external services and products. It’s this type of thinking that has put me on a journey of trying to become more self-sufficient.

Step number one: acquire the needed skills and knowledge. I am so grateful for the Larimer County Extension Office! As a result of a partnership between CSU and Larimer County, residents can have access to practical and research-based tools to improve our everyday lives. A visit to their website provided me with abundant opportunities to learn about finances, small acreage, family leadership, gardening, and much more. Most interesting to me at this time, are their food preservation workshops. I immediately registered for the “Whole Grain Bread Baking” (happened April 24 from 6-8 p.m.) and the “Jams, Jellies, and Fruit Preserves” (happening on May 9 from 6-8 p.m.) classes. Perhaps my newly acquired skills won’t make a difference in my family’s survival, but they will sure bring a lot of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment to this wife and working mother of two.

As I wait impatiently for the class days to arrive, I picture myself baking wonderful breads, placing them in the dinner table and having my boys smother the warm bread with jams also prepared by their mom. And, in my daydream, the whole grains and the fruits have been harvested from my backyard! Which reminds me of step number two: learn to grow grains and fruits. But I’ll leave step two for another day — and I now know that Larimer Extension has a class for that too!

Irene Romsa

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