Sunday, September 12, 2010

A sense of community

I roasted my first locally-grown organic free-range chicken today and served it with roasted garlic chive mashed potatoes and string beans. I think I'm going to like this sustainability thing and going to the Farmer's Market to buy local.  There is something really nice about actually meeting the people who grow your food.  As I mashed the potatoes, I couldn't help but remember the elderly gentlemen in a John Deere cap who grew them up in Wisconsin.  When I asked him if they were organic, he said, "All I put on them was cow manure." 

Then there's the woman who grew the organic chives.  I also bought out her basil as mine had been dug up by our chipmunk.  I spoke with the sisters who grew my tomatoes and green beans, most of which are put up in my freezer.  I didn't meet the person who grew my chicken but I did meet the person who knows the person.  I could reflect on these people as I prepared my meal--no impersonal plastic and Styrofoam wrapped grocery store chicken where you don't get to see anyone but some kid stocking the shelves with an IPod plugged into his head. 

This is the essence of community.  It is the same community we build when we go to a farm or a fair and speak with the shepherds who grew our fiber and purchase their lovely fleeces.  There's a connection there.  A chance to know where these vital things-- our food and the raw material for our clothing--began.  I can think of the rolling foothills of the Adirondacks as I knit my Kinsale from an Elihu Farm fleece.  And I can think of the Wisconsin moraines as I eat my roasted garlic chive potatoes.  And I have met the hard working people who make it possible.

The photo has nothing to do with the blog since the pot of chicken stock I made with the leftovers isn't exactly photogenic.  It is a first shearing Jacob I purchased from a woman in Wisconsin and some angora bunny fur I dyed tiger-lily.  I'm going to blend it and tell you all about it in the near future.

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