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Learn from the Ant by Kathie Palladino

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Learn from the Ant

Ed note: 
The following article originally appeared in New Harvest Homestead Newsletter, September 2007.  It is reprinted by permission.

Many years ago I came upon a section of
Scripture which speaks of learning from the ant.
(Proverbs 6:6-11). How silly, I thought, as I pondered
the pesky ants that kept sneaking into my kitchen and
raising havoc. They would build nests in every nook
and cranny until I would find the rascals and bait
them with a Terro trap. Thinking my ant miseries
were over, I confidently began leaving sweet foods
on the counter again. However, it wasn’t long before
a larger army of more stout ants had begun running
through the food and out a minute hole in a window
ledge. The worst thing was they had trampled all over
my husband’s double-death-chocolate-suicide cake
and were now carting pieces of it to their nest.

Disgusted and in a rage, I marched outside with
determination–death to my foe! My goal: destroy the
nest and destroy the problem. However, little did I
know, I was to learn a valuable lesson from these
pests. In knocking down the ant’s nest, I discovered a
priceless treasure, the meaning of the verses in
Proverbs 6.

As I dismantled the nest, which was
partially above ground, to my amazement I saw
sections. One section contained eggs and another
food. While I chopped away, the worker ants were
scurrying around trying desperately to remove the
eggs and the ant queen to a safer location. However,
what really caught my attention was their unique
storage of food. These little fellows really understood
the meaning of being prepared.

It didn’t take me long to realize that they didn’t go
to a local grocery store and purchase little jars, bags,
and packages of prepared foods. No, these little
geniuses stored whole foods and stored them in bulk.
At this point, my journey began.

T hose who have attended Kitchen2 classes and
been to the website,, have found
many exciting ways to purchase and save a lot of
money. That savings has allowed us to purchase a
newer car, a freezer, a refrigerator, and a second
kitchen in our home–Kitchen2.

So, if you want to be prepared, here are some

  • Whenever possible, purchase in bulk and case lots.  You could save as much as 50% or more. If you can’t use it all, buddy-share with a friend.
  • Join a grocery co-op. We use United North East UNE) ( ) for organic grocery items.
  • If at all possible, don’t purchase pre-mixed or prepared items. Learn to make them from scratch and save. I have found it exciting to take a pre-mixed package of something and try to figured out the recipe on my own, obviously leaving out the food additives, which are known to be harmful and some times deadly.
  •  Purchase your meat in bulk. We invested in a used, upright freezer, which has proven to be a grandinvestment. If you don’t live rurally in order to buy a half or whole cow, you can still go to butcher shops and request to purchase this way. Be sure to ask for a discount. Also, request to know if the meat you are purchasing was tainted with hormones, antibiotics, and other contaminates, which are now found in most grocery store meats.
  • Watch for bargains at small, discount grocery stores. One of my husband’s favorite past-times is hunting down bargains; and, he can really find them. You would be surprised at what you find in these little "buy-outs" stores that will save you a bundle.
  •  Learn to read labels. Not only is this important because you might be purchasing more "junk" than real food, but the additives are sometimes quite harmful. We use a little book called Food Additives– A Shopper’s Guide to What’s Safe & What’s Not, by Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C.
  • And best of all, start a garden. Don’t say, "I don’t have room." I said that and then in desperation plowed up our entire backyard while living in a large city in FL. Not one neighbor complained and I had wonderful veggies with no contaminates. I even shared my crop with the grateful neighbors. In order to "get started" my husband purchased my first gardening book, The Joy of Gardening, by Dick Raymond. It is very simple and to the point, for all types of gardening. For years now, we have planted an "eating" garden and a "saving" garden. The "eating" garden consists of things like lettuce, cukes, etc., that don’t store. The "saving" garden contains tomatoes, corn, beans, eggplant, peppers of all sorts, and more. Putting up all of this wonderful food, that we grew, is a real delight for my daughters and me.We also learned how to saving seeds using Saving 25Seeds by Marc Rogers. This is another great way tobe prepared.
Speaking of being prepared, I have to thank the
Lord for first using the "ant" to teach me a much
needed lesson; and then adding to that a Force-5
hurricane, which destroyed our home in FL and the
blizzard of ‘93 that we experienced in NC.

Both of these events left us without electricity and water for
weeks. Our small food supply was destroyed when
the hurricane hit our home; and, basically there was
no way to obtain food after the blizzard hit. We were
not prepared. However, through the Lord the ant has
taught us to manage our home, to be alert and to be
prepared–not only for our own family needs, but
giving us a willingness to help others.

Kathie Palladino, Murphy, NC

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