Arriving home from work one afternoon, my son volunteered to shuck corn. It was the second bushel of the day and I was grateful for another pair of hands. It wasn’t long before his girlfriend began texting him. He explained he was helping with the canning because I had been at it since early that morning. She naively asked why I was canning. He replied, “For the Zombie Apocalypse”. I must confess that I haven’t always had a homesteading nature. I worked full-time outside of the home when my children were young so grabbing take-out after baseball practice or scout meetings seemed like the right thing to do. Back then, I focused more on what would make my life easier and committed to short-term solutions instead of looking ahead at the big picture. Words like additives and preservatives were of no consequence to me. I’m ashamed to admit, fast and cheap held a greater value. You can imagine their confusion when Mom changed and not only began to think in terms of nutrition, long-term food storage and self-reliance, but also our impact on the planet and sustainability. When a person spends their entire life with one mindset it’s not easy to switch directions and go against the grain. There’s definitely going to be some resistance. This new way of life that involves recycling and bulk cooking takes effort. It takes planning and it takes plenty of manual labor. So how do you get a bunch of young men to go from snacking on cheese balls and playing video games to eating granola and shucking corn? You appeal to their sensibilities. You ask for their help and engage them on their level. If you ask me why I enjoy canning, I will tell you that I love the taste of summer on a dreary winter day. I may also tell you how rewarding it feels to ‘go shopping’ from a full pantry. When my back is aching from standing in the kitchen for several hours, I will probably tell you I do it because I love my family and want to make sure they have the healthiest, most delicious meals possible. And if any of my four young men are nearby, I’ll tell you I can in preparation of the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse.