Broken Pottery

May 6, 2021
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The Japanese concept of Kintsugi is to reconstruct broken pottery to an even more beautiful form than the original. 

This exquisite pouring vessel lost its handle to over-use. What was once perfect might now be considered obsolete or even useless. But Kintsugi offers another interpretation. It suggests that if we were break the vessel into even more pieces, it could be rendered to a state even more exquisite. 

That is a bold and aggressive action, which I couldn't bear to bring upon a hand-made vessel of such beauty as this one's. But the discipline is to take a mallot and break the pot. Collect the pieces carefully, and then begin the painstaking and loving task of reassembling them. The seams of pieces reassembled receive gilded glue, as they are carefully wrought back together.

Reassembling takes patience and skill, but the end product is an exquisite display of craftsmanship. The new pot is decorated by randomly-moving seams of gold, which are authentic to reconstruction of the vessel. The seams can not be designed in advance, but only derived by responding to what is inherent in the broken pot. The reconstructed vessel is worth hundreds of times the original in the Japanese culture 





This is a metaphor for life, that helps us when our boot is under water or our pathway suddenly blocked. It helps us we we feel obstructed, at loss, or in pain. These challenges break us, in part, yet always seem to make us better, in the end. Our scars show on our faces, in our pocketbooks, in our memories, yet we are nobler, wiser, and more becoming for them.

Such is where Grassroots Farm & Foods finds itself, as a business. We learned last week that for technical reasons, we do not qualify to join the summer market at Hyde Park. This after ten years of qualifying and two weeks before it is to open...

So, suddenly, 70% of the demand for our product has theoretically disappeared. It takes two to three years to prepare some of our animals for market, which constitutes a large investment on numerous fronts. For the flow of those meats to be suddently and seemingly arbitrarily obstructed has been mildly shocking and somewhat traumatic to absorb. Further, the sudden cessation of relationships with fellow vendors and numerous customers is heart-rending to entertain.

But in the end, we make our own place in life, and nobody can be blamed but the self. It was foolish to invest so many eggs in a basket controlled by one mighty hand. That market has been a wonderful and easy place to do business, but its structural issues finally cut our heads off. 

So, what do we do? We take out the Japanese dictionary and begin madly researching this Kintsugi thing! Can we rebuild ourselves fast enough to catch enough water, before the monsoon passes, that we won't expire from thirst?

Ever the optimists, we think we can, and here is the plan, evolving over the past week. 

We stay at Madtree, to serve as a drop-off point for pre-orders, at least. We will be there from 11-11:30, in our van, with a quick hand-off of orders, next Sunday. We may be able to expand what we offer there, but we will take this one step at a time.

We will expand our digital communication by one or two factors. This old horse might be able to learn a new trick, and we will begin including videos of the beautiful movements we witness around the farm. We think that will have appeal and be worth your forwarding to others. Chris will help us institute a protocol for a text-messaging reminder, to help close sales.

We will resume and increase farm tours to monthly events, so you can experience in person the power of what you are supporting through your purchases from us.

We will open a small on-farm, self-serve farmstore to encourage local traffic.

 We will begin engaging in more wholesale business, to broaden our base of customers.

We will ask each of you to introduce two of your friends to us, who would be good candidates for on-line ordering.

This is all within reach. We have excellent products; we have a deep and authentic story, that we relate regularly; we have an effective website; we are supported by many faithful customers; and demand for nutritious, clean, local grassfed meat is on the rise. We should be able to reconstruct our broken pot before the dry-season arrives, and it may well be even more beautiful than the one before.

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Five hundred Cornish cross chicks arrived this week, and are doing well in the new brooder facility. In two weeks they will be on pasture and in another six will be heading to the processor.

Speaking of the processor, we hauled 500 mature birds there to be prepared for you this morning. Departure-time was 2:00 AM. The driver arrived at the processing plant by 4:30, hoping to be the first in line and the first out. Someone else had spent the night, and our driver wasn't unloaded until 9:30 AM. He had to wait 5 hours to unload our chickens. The chickens were fine, it was just the loss of time to waiting that is problematic in a busy world.

Nevertheless, we will pick the processed birds up on Monday, and will have chicken wholes and parts ready for you for the following weekend. 



Last Sunday was Greek Easter, and wonderful Greek couple came out a few days before to pick up a whole lamb. Here it is on their roasting spit. Notice there are no coals in the center of the mobile pit, where ribs and chops are. Those just cook by inference, while the heavier ends of the carcass receive direct heat. Looks darn good to me!


The past week has brought us sleepless nights and a measure of fear that all will fall apart. We are emerging out of that state to one of conviction and faith, primarily because of our relationships with all of you. That is the secret force that will see us through to the other side. Your hands will help ours put the pieces back together even more magnificently. 

Chris and I will see you this Sunday, the last of the winter market.

On to Kintsugi!

Drausin & Susan

Bob & Beth

Chris & Yurie

Mike, Scott

www.grassrootsfoods.biz


Five hundred Cornish cross chicks arrived this week, and are doing well in the new brooder facility. In two weeks they will be on pasture and in another six will be heading to the processor.Speaking of the processor, we hauled 500 mature birds there to be prepared for you this morning. Departure-time was 2:00 AM. The driver arrived at the processing plant by 4:30, hoping to be the first in line and the first out. Someone else had spent the night, and our driver wasn't unloaded until 9:30 AM. He had to wait 5 hours to unload our chickens. The chickens were fine, it was just the loss of time to waiting that is problematic in a busy world.Nevertheless, we will pick the processed birds up on Monday, and will have chicken wholes and parts ready for you for the following weekend. 



Last Sunday was Greek Easter, and wonderful Greek couple came out a few days before to pick up a whole lamb. Here it is on their roasting spit. Notice there are no coals in the center of the mobile pit, where ribs and chops are. Those just cook by inference, while the heavier ends of the carcass receive direct heat. Looks darn good to me!






The past week has brought us sleepless nights and a measure of fear that all will fall apart. We are emerging out of that state to one of conviction and faith, primarily because of our relationships with all of you. That is the secret force that will see us through to the other side. Your hands will help ours put the pieces back together even more magnificently. Chris and I will see you this Sunday, the last of the winter market.On to Kintsugi!Drausin & SusanBob & BethChris & YurieMike, Scott


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