Thursday, July 28, 2011
The Importance Of Having The Right Information
Let's talk about information.
Where do you get most of your information from?
The internet?Books? DVD's? Family and friends?
No matter where the information comes from,you need to be able to rely on it.
Weather you're gardening,farming,sewing,or whatever,if you're jumping into it blind without the right information,disaster could happen.
I learned a lot about gardening from my Mom as well and trial and error,reading books,watching videos,and listening to what others around me were saying/doing and what worked and what didn't.I'm still learning too,I think it's something that you can never learn enough about.
While there are literally millions of sources of information out there,sorting out what you need from what there is can be a challenge.
Say you want to can those beautiful peaches you just brought home from the farmers market...from my stand point,it's a fairly easy task,but if you've never canned anything before,it can seem daunting to say the least.
When it comes to food preservation,I would highly suggest you get the most current,up to date information you can get your hands on.The Ball Blue Book is reprinted every year with new and updated info.It's cheap too,and available where most stores sell canning supplies.
However,what if you want to learn to raise and butcher your own meat animals?You wouldn't be able to find that information looking in the "animals" section of the book store,you'd more likely find a copy of a children's guide to raising pet rabbits.Sometimes what you need has to be special ordered,but I did find a wonderful book about raising meat rabbits at the local Borders store that's going out of business,however it was in the gardening/farming section of the store.
There are scores of books out there,Ebooks,PDF files you can download and print out.
If you do a google search for "canning peaches" you're likely to end up with thousands of results in return,and you must pick and choose which is the right information for you to use.
I'm a book person,I love books,and love reading them,flipping through for certain information and instructions,in fact,you'll find very few books on my bookshelf that aren't related to "how to" or "do it yourself" type stuff.
It doesn't matter WHERE you get your information from,but it does matter how ACCURATE it is....a quick guide to canning peaches will do you no good if it's missing important steps like sterilizing the jars....
SO,be careful and choose your information carefully,check for references,and double check things like PDF files and blogs posts in group forums.
You can learn a lot by trial and error in areas where safety is not a concern,such as experimenting with planting too close or companion planting,or raised beds versus standard in the ground gardens,etc,etc....
However if you are planning on preserving your food for later use,or doing anything where safety now and later will be of the utmost importance,do not take risks with using information that may be incorrect and dangerous.
I know this probably sounds like a scolding rather than my normal upbeat posts,but I wouldn't want anyone reading this blog to go away from here thinking they can just jump in without instructions and come out with perfectly canned peaches. :)
I know of people who believe anything they read on the internet,or anything that a person says,thinking how could anyone give the wrong information,well,it happens,and when it comes to matters of safety,why take the risk?
That guy at the farmers market selling "miracle fertilizer" that looks like plain water,is probably selling you plain water...those fancy bottles of "manure tea"..um yeah...honestly,anyone can water down manure, and it'll still be manure....
There is no right or wrong way to garden,compost,fertilize,etc..and you may find a way that works for you that others fail at,or find to be too much hassle,or you may find something that works awesomely for one person,but when you try it,you fail...and that's fine,it's called learning.That's what life is all about right? Learning?
Just don't put your health,or that of you family and friends at risk by using the wrong information.Do some research,and get the facts before you do it(canning,preserving,fermenting,butchering,etc,etc),so that no matter what,you'll know that what you're putting in your pantry,and bringing to the table will be safe for everyone.