FOOD & POLITICS: OUR FARM TOUR LAST WEEKEND REVEALED A COLLECTION OF CULTURES CONVENING OVER FOOD.
FOOD & POLITICS
OUR FARM TOUR LAST WEEKEND REVEALED A COLLECTION OF CULTURES CONVENING OVER FOOD.
Irish-Americans, German-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and India-Indians gathered together in a remote corner of Appalachia to celebrate the growing and savoring of nutrient-dense food, on a beautiful landscape. It was a remarkable cultural event, unlike any we have experienced on this farm. Many widely different perspectives quickly found unity over something essential - healthy food. Such convening seemed effortless, and was enriching and gratifying.
One couldn't help wondering - maybe something unusual is going on, something worth taking note of, in this gathering. How could this redeeming experience be magnified and expanded? Perhaps we should consider creating a political party centered on food... Wouldn't that be an interesting idea and a unifying focus? Wouldn't it be great to have a political party concerned about uniting rather than dividing, and what is more unifying than food?! That was the brainstorm of the day, as we stood around enjoying each other. So, beware reds, blues, and greens, the party of food may soon be emerging to unify this nation! And unity starts with the soil... Thomas Jefferson would likely approve.
Without a doubt, the star of the above event was its youngest participant - Shiv, age 4 weeks. Shiv's great grandmother owns and manages a farm in India, at age 99. His grandmothers are both exquisite cooks, presenting ancient food that bursts with flavor, complexity, and balance. His agrarian and culinary roots thus run deep. However, Hollywood already has its eye on him, for obvious reasons. But it is my prediction he will combine good-looks with a commitment to food, and will rise from the carriage to lead the Soil Party someday. Keep your eye on this young man.
An entertaining outing of the farm tour was a visit to the woodlot, where 10 Berkshire feeder pigs are thriving. We also visited cows, sheep, laying hens, and watched Bo herd a group of 30 heifers.
While cows have crossed the drainage ditch to greener pastures, a few calves are resisting the crossing. Mothers have been coming back to nurse, not forcing the issue. This afternoon, we managed to induce the last eight or so calves to get their feet wet and cross the ribbon of blue. Doing so took some struggle.
Last week's mention of Willa Cather's passage about red grass and happiness elicited numerous comments, from the canyons of Colorado to the shores of Manhattan. Most of the comments pointed out that Willa's name was misspelled - the "a" was missing. This reflects a number of things. First, and most importantly, that My Antonia was read by many, probably in Middle School, and left enduring and favorable impression, thus inducing a chorus of objection to the misspelled first name. Second, that "implicit spelling" (of course there is an "a" in Willa; it is just implied) does not pass muster. And third, that these newsletters are written in a measure of haste, opening periodic pot-holes into which the writer falls.
We have discussed "grazing tall". This picture reflects one of its virtues - allowing the milkweed plant to express itself fully, upon which monarch butterflies depend.
Above is "steak salad", with slices coming from a ribeye, but would work great from a strip steak or sirloin.
We will be smoking capons again tomorrow, so if you are interested in a half or whole, let us know. We will have them at Hyde Park on Sunday. Bob will be at Findlay Market on Saturday.
Drausin & Susan