Sunday, November 22, 2015

DIY Dog Food

When I was 19 I worked for a specialty pet supply retailer located in a wealthy suburb of Dallas. The stores would later be bought out by a little California upstart named Petco, but before that happened our focus was entirely on pet supplies. No fish, no birds, no pets for sale of any kind. Part of my job was to know the premium brands of pet food inside and out, from the ingredients to the protein/fat percentages to the most important detail... what our markup was.

At the time Eukanuba was a favorite to push, along with the ever popular Science Diet. My personal favorite at the time was NutroMax. We all made fun of ANF, referring to it as Assholes Necks and Feet (a moniker we learned from the Science Diet rep). And Purina? Pedigree? *gasp* ALPO? That trash was not even allowed through our back door. As far as we or the sales reps were concerned, it was barely a step above feeding your dog table scraps. Just barely. To allow your dog to dine on your leftovers was considered the ultimate idiocy, and we heaped scorn upon those who dared to confess to that particular crime.

Fast forward a few decades and my how the worm has turned.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

I got seeds

My earliest memories of gardening involve my grandmother's massive garden and a fistful of prickly okra. There were many a summer night spent shucking a mountain of corn with my assorted cousins outside under a tree... I'd like to say it was a magnolia but I don't know for sure any more. I do remember there were fireflies and lots of them. I remember my grandmother and aunt and more assorted cousins up in the big house stripping corn from the cob and canning and freezing like a team of corn processing tornados. I remember the sticky aftermath, every surface in the kitchen coated in corn bits and starch, and the smell of the bleach used to clean it all up. And I remember looking into that freezer full of frozen corn and the shelves covered with gleaming glass jars of corn and being filled with an odd sense of satisfaction that we all made those.

Actually come to think of it all I remember is corn. No clue what she did with the rest of the haul.

Gardening is in my blood, and I've been doing it in one form or fashion since I was old enough to poke a stick in the ground and toss a seed inside. And yet I'm far from an expert gardener, and some years I feed more birds and grasshoppers and escaped chickens than I do ourselves. So when I hear a newly minted prepper proudly state they've bought a bunch of seeds and talk about how when TSHTF they will plant a garden and eat just fine, I can't help but roll my eyes. And if they called those seeds "survival seeds" I will struggle not to cough "douchebag" immediately after.