Who We Are
How does one reply to: "Who are you?"
That is a confronting inquiry, which we are each forced to answer by one means or another during the course of a lifetime. How do we define ourselves? Is it the family we grew up in, the family we are creating, the culture we live in, the language we speak, the company we keep, the footsteps we take, the work we create, the words we use, the values we espouse, the issues we vote for, the sacrifices we make, the money we accrue, or the food we eat...? Which of these is most defining? Perhaps no one dominates, and it is the interplay among them that creates individuality. If I had to choose, it would be footsteps and words that show the colors of person or organization. What you say and how you act portray the picture. In the end, saying is acting, so it boils down to how you act or where you let your feet take you. May they always take you to your true self, which often requires time to emerge.
Who are we at Grassroots Farm & Foods? First, we are committed to the soil, to nurturing it, so it may provide for us and our customers. We protect it by keeping it covered in perennial pasture and enhance it through carefully managed grazing, requiring many footsteps. We have doubled organic-matter in ten years, which feeds micro-organisms below ground and regenerates mineral profiles that end up in the food produced. Healthy soil is esssential to healthy food. We are about Health.
Second, we are commited to our animals, to their care and comfort, so they lead contented and full lives. They pass that contentment to end consumers, who taste of their tender and complex richness. In addition, we artfully transform some of their meats into value-added foods in our kitchen, for the palates and convenience of customers. These efforts are about Taste.
Last, we strive to create enduring relationships with customers and with partners on and around the farm. Relationships matter and when tended to, engender loyalty. We go to farmers markets, we tell stories, we have farm tours, and we try to respond to each other and to customers individually. These connections create richness in life. We invest in Connection.
This is who we are and what we strive for: Health, Taste, and Connection.
If you feel confounded about not being able to reduce your life's goals to three words, you are not alone. It can take a lifetime to do so. But persist, for the vision for your own truth will come, through earnest effort.
Another characteristic of ours, we must confess, is a penchant for digging ditches. We have dug over four miles of ditches for waterlines over the past 30 years, and snuck in another 200 feet yesterday. We only severed two waterlines and one telephone line in the process, but we did implement the first step in establishing a room for washing eggs -- running county water into the shed where the eggroom will be constructed. We have repaired the two waterlines and are working on splicing the telephone connection.
We have harvested the last of our hogs for the winter and they rest ready for you in our freezer. Below are pork chops, baked apples, whipped sweet potatoes, and creamed spinach, all of which were fabulous. We brined the pork chops for 4-5 hours, then grilled them for 2 minutes per side, and put them in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Succulent and flavorful!
Pork can be purchased by the side, which is 70 lbs of meat at a savings of 15% over retail prices. Chest freezers are a great investment. We can deliver one to you, if you would like.
We will be serving Pork Ragout this weekend at the Hyde Park Market and the following weekend will feature Tar-Heel Pulled Pork on sandwhich buns, with Susan's homemade aioli and a leaf of lettuce. We have not tried serving pulled pork on buns, and look forward to your feedback.
May the quest for truthful definition keep each of us vital during all stages of life.
Drausin & Susan