Grocery shopping with a homeless person will amaze you

I don’t usually link to another person’s blog here on my own, but this time I am going to make an exception.

The blog story I link to, at the bottom of this post, really amazed me.  It made me think of some things that I truly had not considered when it came to food and the less fortunate members of our society.

I have been in 88 countries in my lifetime.  I have lived full time in 3 of them.  I have seen poor people.  LOTS of them.  I see one every morning when I look in the mirror to shave, if you want to get particular about it.  😉

But I’m talking about the people right here in America that do not have a place they call their own… a  place to lay down at night that they own or control.  The kind that are talked about in the article I link to below.

When I stop to ponder my life, I have to think about how lucky I really am.  I have a meager existence because I chose to live life this way.  I chose to NEVER incur debt nor feel the pain of embarrassment that comes from having the electricity disconnected again or the phone calls from the bank, etc, etc.

I have had all the trappings of success… the custom made suits; shiny vehicles; a stereo system that would make any teenager green with envy;  the nice house in the right neighborhood and I have even spent over $400 on a pair of sunglasses once upon a time.

I have had money and I have owed money.  It’s much better to not owe, just in case you had a doubt how I feel about it.  LOL

So I guess I can’t really consider myself poor any longer.  Not if I use the standards that so many are forced to measure by.   I may not have a huge nest egg and I may have to budget the projects I take on here on my little six acres of the world, but I do have a roof over my head; I never miss a meal and I get to spend my days and nights with the most wonderful wife a man could ever ask for.

When we came back to the United States (after serving as full time missionaries in Guatemala), Ranae and I made a decision to be as frugal as possible and donate more and more to persons in need.  We still help financially support some of our fellow missionaries in Guatemala.

Here at our “Six Acres” we grow a good portion of our own food, etc.  We raise chickens for our eggs and we spend as little as possible at the grocery store each month.

Ahhhh… who am I kidding… Ranae does all the gardening.  She’s the Master Gardener.  I just do what she tells me to.  😉

I am always astonished at the price of fresh veggies at the supermarkets (which by the way are nearly 80 miles from where we live).  Ranae first got started gardening by doing a ton of research and drawing on her own life experiences with her mother and grandmother.  Then she went to work on her “Square Foot Gardening” quest.

“Square Foot Gardening?  What’s that?” I asked.  She wanted to prove to anyone, who would listen, that you didn’t need a ton of space nor anything elaborate to create a garden which could easily produce more than your family could possibly eat.


I had never heard of the concept before Ranae explained it to me.  I just built the boxes she asked for and stood back.  She did all the work.  She seems to love it, while I must admit… I hate playing in the dirt!  I do love what it produces though.

Our number of boxes has increased to six this year (Six seems to be a theme around here… LOL).   And the following photo is from JUST ONE DAY’s harvest of our six little 4’x4′ square boxes!


You can easily see, there is no way just the two of us could eat this much food!  I am proud to say that Ranae has given away countless pounds of fresh veggies and has kept our plates full of some of the best foods ever!!

My point to this story is not to boast about my wife, although I have been known to do so on a regular basis.  My point is to stress Ranae’s message… “It doesn’t take a huge garden to provide good veggies for you and your family.”

While I am on the topic of giving food away, I will boast about my wife a little more…. this morning she said to me “I think we need to get rid of those two extra roosters and replace them with two more laying hens and get four more laying hens to boot.”  I didn’t have to ask why… I knew it was so she could give away more eggs to those who have none.

I encourage you to get busy raising some of your own food. It tastes better; is better for you and as you can see is pretty easily done in just a 4′ by 4′ box!

Finally here is a link to a great article that started me thinking about how people see food… What I learned taking a homeless mother grocery shopping




One thought on “Grocery shopping with a homeless person will amaze you

  1. Ranae, maybe this is what I will do to be able to afford the fresh veggies for my hopefully healthier lifestyle in the near future. Of course in Iowa, it can’t happen all year round. I will have to do some google searching to see what I can figure out about this square gardening. My husband is pretty handy. I’m sure he can build me something.

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