Saturday, February 2, 2008

Asparagus in January

As I mentioned, I've recently read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Now, this might sound dramatic:

It pretty much changed my way of thinking about food and farmers.

I've lived in a lot of places. The capitals of Thailand, Malaysia, and Hawaii, to be specific. (As well as smaller cities in Ohio. Can't forget those!) I've visited more than a dozen other countries. I love cities. LOVE. Love the thriving masses of people in the streets. Love how you can get a chocolate sundae at 2 in the morning. (Or, in the case of my prom night, get greasy pad thai at 2 in the morning.) Love how there's always cultural activities, progressive people, and unique, funky stores.

I love cities. To the point where I'm a bit of a snob, actually. Country bumpkins and rural farmers, psh. "How cute!" I cried when my friends in the Hawaii exchange program told me they had never ridden a bus (or any public transportation) and didn't know what to do. Secretly, I was thinking Oh man! Are you serious? So glad I'm a city girl!

When we honeymooned in Vermont on a few farms, I noticed a difference in their rural folks. They were progressive, well-spoken, and there was no back-country drawl. How interesting! But I went on my merry little way, with a slight sense of condescension for those country kids back in the Midwest.

Now, Barbara Kingsolver has called me out. She challenged my attitude and pointed out how most of the media and culture is like me and favors the densely packed cities, while disdaining the country folk. Those "country bumpkins" are the ones who feed us ALL. How dare I look down on them, where would I be without them? For shame, Ashley!

That really strikes me. Those farmers, the ones who I feel sorry for because they're "so much more sheltered" than I? They're the ones who are working their butts off so we all can EAT. And the Lord KNOWS I love to eat. :) So I'm changing my ways!

Sometimes it's all to easy to forget where our food comes from. We just expect there to be fresh produce in the grocery store. Year round.

I've decided (again, Barbara coerced me into it!) to try and make a modest effort to pay attention to what I eat. No more out of the country produce. No raspberries in February or kiwi, probably EVER. In fact, we're going to even make an effort to eat as locally grown as possible. I mentioned in November that every Saturday morning we head to the farmer's market. This time of year, we can still get some things from the farmer's market - Amish cheese and butter (heaven. fatty heaven, but HEAVEN), some potatoes, onions, garlic, maple syrup, and citrus fruits (not local, but comes from Florida, not TOO far away).

It's been completely crazy to realize that everything has a season. I was so unconnected with my food that I had no idea what was harvested when. Except, of course, that pumpkins and apples are in the fall! Here's to country lovin'...
only love, mr. farmer!!

PS: We passed the 1,000 visitors mark! Yippee!!


  1. yep, i'm trying to be more conscious of that too. also trying to buy more local and organic stuff, instead of getting it shipped in from out of state. better for the environment AND my community! :)

  2. Hey, I saw your comment on someone's blog about finding your career. I dunno if this helps you, but I found that when I started college and felt that pressure to find "a career" that it just wouldn't come no matter what I read or did, but when I stopped forcing it and just focused on living in the moment, it came to me. One day , after a particularly uplifting seminar I went to, I woke up and realized that I had found it. It had been there underneath for a long time. Just live every day fully, present in every moment and it will come...hope that helps.


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