Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Joy found in Simple Work

I tend to think that the final weeks of pregnancy may be a strange time to unleash my homesteading/homemaking/pioneer aspirations, but that's just life. 

Several months ago, I was reading a book about urban homesteading-type activities, and I came across a section that discussed the value in using freshly milled flour. The book talked about the way that flour loses natural nutrients once it's milled. If there was one step the reader wanted to take in embracing more of a homesteading-type lifestyle, the author encouraged milling wheat berries at home to use. I was intrigued to learn more--after all, freshly milling flour at home sounded much more doable than cultivating an extensive garden or owning my own chickens. I began researching the topic, but I wasn't sure if I was ready to take such a big step. 

Months slipped by, but the idea of buying my own mill wouldn't leave my mind. But then, I discovered I was pregnant, and amid the nausea and fatigue, this fell off my radar completely. However, a few months ago, I unexpectedly received a monetary gift and as I wondered what I should get with it, I thought of flour mills again. 

I do not make significant purchases often, but after a tremendous amount of research and overthought, I finally made the jump. After even more research and some messaging to local farmers, I learned (to my surprise) that hard white wheat (the type of wheat I was looking to purchase) is not commonly grown in Oklahoma, due to the climate. So, I picked up a bag of wheat berries from the grocery store the other day. When I arrived home, my husband saw the bag I was hauling over my shoulder and made a comment about how I never make impulse-buys, but when I do impulsively purchase something, it involves twenty-five pounds of wheat berries. 

We've had our mill for just a week, and we've already made honey wheat bread, crepes, and muffins. Not only has everything been delicious, but knowing that we're getting much more nutrients from our wheat, I feel lots better about the amount of carbs we're consuming ;) 

In other news, my four-year-old just announced his interest in learning how to weave, so he and I spent a recent evening with yarn and looms. I love working with yarn, and it was so much fun to share this activity with my oldest. He got so excited each time he completed a row of weaving, and seeing him take pride and joy in his work was a delightful experience. The toddler was very intrigued as well (part of the reason why I set up my own, slightly larger loom, was to distract the toddler), so perhaps he'll learn how to do this alongside his brother. 

I'm finding a rich joy in this simple work: milling flour before kneading it into bread, stringing lengths of yarn across a small wooden frame, and breathing in the scent of timeless activities that enliven our home. I am grateful for the chance to enjoy these simple pleasures as we steadily march (in my case, waddle) towards the eventual birth of the child who fills my womb. 

Life continues to be wildly unpredictable and stressful for many people, and I hope that all of us can find some sort of simple work we can take joy and pride in, so that we may slow ourselves down and bask in some precious moments of peace. 


  1. That all sounds wonderful! I'm intrigued at the idea of milling my own wheat!

    1. I think that milling is well worth looking into-there are even some "flour mill attachments" that you can use with certain mixers if you don't want to go all-in for an actual mill. From what I've read, you can get really intense with milling, but even just slightly dipping my toes into it has been really fun :) Whenever I start the mill, everyone in the house usually comes running to watch-it's so neat to see the wheat berries get dumped in the top and then come flying out the chute as fluffy flour!

    2. That's good to know! Thanks! It sounds really fun to watch! :-)

  2. This is so much fun! I can't help but think of Laura using the coffee grinder to grind the wheat in The Long Winter. And that loom looks so fun!