Google+ Authentic Parenting: Feeding a Family in the Middle of Nowhere

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feeding a Family in the Middle of Nowhere

Welcome to the November edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Enjoyment cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting. This month, we write about what food and how we simplify things related to it in our lives. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.


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For the past seven years, my family has been living in rural Africa. We've lived in 4 different countries (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, DR Congo and now Liberia) and one place more rural than the next. In the Congo, it actually took us three days to get to a shop. As a result, we never actually got to the shop, we had to send lists to the head office in Kinshasa with all the mayhem and chaos that resulted from it (think ordering two boxes of milk and getting two full 24 packs!).
Now we're at one shopping trip a month, so it requires careful list making and planning ahead. So how do we do it?



  • We try to grow stuff - ever since the Congo, I'm a bit sick of planting things, since I managed a garden there that fed 7 expats and often it was our only source of food. I do have various fruits in the garden here and coriander, since that's the only thing that seems to grow. I also try to grow sprouts, to have some fresh nutrients the days that our stock of fresh food is low.
  • I go to the market when I can. I've always loved African markets, and even though you can't find a great variety of things, you can find some fresh produce.
  • We adopt local foods. When we arrive in a new country, we investigate what people eat and - if it fits within the paleo diet - we try it ourselves. If it's something our family likes, it will become a staple food. We prefer to eat local as much as possible, cutting down on the (expensive) city shopping.
  • We try to find local meats. Mostly it's about networking and slaughtering ourselves. (Frankly, I think if you want to eat meat, you have to be able to kill it yourself)
  • We freeze a lot of stuff when we get back from our monthly shopping trip. 
When I say rural, I mean rural. This is the view we had in the Congo
This is the view from our house here in Liberia

Shopping for food in rural Africa is a completely different experience than it is in the Western World. Nothing is ever certain or taken for granted. We have huge stocks to be able to survive in emergency situations and we use our resources and connections to find fresh and healthy food. All in all, I think we are doing very well.



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Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting. We hope you will join us next month!
  • Seeking Balance - At Sagetribe, Kelly speaks about how their journey as a family has very much been marked by their journey into finding and learning about real food. From veggie burgers made and immediately frozen to homemade breads and cheeses, they've found the best way to find balance in their food story, is to keep simple ingredients on hand.
  • Keeping Holiday Food Simple - At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy shares how her family has developed a holiday tradition with food that allows her family to enjoy the day rather than slaving away.
  • Grain-Free Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup Recipe - A hearty and delicious crock pot soup recipe helps to simplify food planning and preparation for any family. Amy at Anktangle shares her tried-and-true recipe for loaded baked potato soup—made without any grains or flours. What's more: it freezes well for reheating later!
  • Feeing a Family in the Middle of Nowhere - At Authentic Parenting, Laura writes about the many ways she has found over seven years of living in the middle of nowhere to feed her family paleo.
  • The Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Taste - Zoie at TouchstoneZ sees cooking with her family as a mindfulness practice and as service to her family.
Share your posts on simplifying meals, great simple recipes, healthy eating, and more. Just link up any old or new posts between now and December 19, 2013.


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5 comments:

  1. That sounds so wild and exciting! Like pioneering days! My life here in Canada is so cushy compared to your reality. I don't know where most of our food comes from and that's kind of scary.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading this post! Living in Central Mexico has meant giving up some of our favorite accustomed foods and finding new ones. And like you, we have endevored to become more self-sufficient in the adaptation. Food availability is not often one of the things people consider when making a life-style/place change, but so important!

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  3. Wow, how interesting! We live in a small town in Kosovo and have to drive about an hour to do any "big" shopping and I was thinking that was pretty "rural." Haha. If I may ask, what sort of work takes your family to these places, or is it simply lifestyle choice?

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    Replies
    1. Nowadays we're at a 3h drive to the nearest (real) shop, quite a bump up from the Congo.
      My husband is a civil engineer and has been involved in Industrial building projects and green energy the past 7 years, that's why we live in these places.
      As a lifestyle choice... it has benefits, but I think I'd like to be a bit closer to a city if it were up to me.

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  4. Wow, how interesting! We live in a small town in Kosovo and have to drive about an hour to do any "big" shopping and I was thinking that was pretty "rural." Haha. If I may ask, what sort of work takes your family to these places, or is it simply lifestyle choice?

    ReplyDelete

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