By Marge Fulton
Our family may seem like Green Acres, the sequel. We moved from city to country. In many ways, this gives us amazing tools for coping and sustaining life. When we moved to the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky from midtown Memphis, some thought we’d flown the coop.
Actually the pocket of Memphis where we lived was a haven for college professors and creative folks. One of our neighbors got us involved in an Ozark Mountain food co-op. Every month we went to a member’s home and divided up the goods. I did some of the paperwork too. Our three children were always happy to see our order come home. Whole wheat graham crackers, big buckets of peanut butter, organic carrots, carob for brownies, yogurt; it hit the spot. They wore cloth diapers too. I loved folding those massive gauze diapers, but eventually found some Velcro wonders. It became second nature to use them.
Back to basics can be tough. I had a teaching degree but due to difficulties finding good child care, I decided to stay home. Actually, we found two great babysitters; one opted out when I had another son and the other was a dream but it got expensive. The notion of staying home to raise my kids gave rise to an idea. I ran a family day care and became a food provider with USDA.
My natural foods were our lifeline. As a provider, the local agency could drop in anytime. The only time that happened was one day that I took everyone to McDonalds. After I got them down for a nap, she knocked softly. I passed the test. Anyway, I always had to keep menus and we got commodities. Those along with my coop foods kept us going.
Now my children range from 23 to 29. They grew up healthy if you don’t count the weird illnesses picked up from other kids in my family day care. We saw Hoof and Mouth disease from a little boy from Australia and later Roseola. Other than those flukes and chicken pox, they were off to a good start. We ate many a bowl of mac and cheese made from scratch and even more spinach casserole. There were things like Soysage and tofu burgers after the day care kids left. I am allergic to soy so that had to stop! During the day we had traditional foods.
So, they had a good foundation. Food co-ops are vital in a big city. Here we can get many whole foods homegrown and at the bulk foods store in Hindman. A natural foods store appears to have opened up in Hazard catering to sports enthusiasts. However you fill the void, feed your family basic goodness. Years later, you will find enormous pride in them and your choices from the start. www.hazardgal.blogspot.com