Archive | April 2016

Working with Farmers; thoughts. 

   

 I forced myself not to do food boxes this week. I worried I was letting people down or that I would lose customers but I knew it had to be done if I wanted to be able to be of good service 
It was starting to feel too fast on the road and too crowded in my office. I was quickly picking up food from farms and headed on to the next place flying by the seat of my pants. I can’t lose that connection of being able to have coffee and words and deep frying doughnuts spontaneously. 

Look at those yolks! The batter is totally coloured by yolks only!

  
  
  
I have to admit that with The Front Door starting to sell food boxes in the area, I thought I had to do more and be bigger and better. I’m glad I saw it before it killed me. I was able to step outside of it and consider what really matters. 

Getting good food to people along with working with farmers so they get a fair enough wage to make the work worth it. This is not an easy task. It’s very hard to compete with big business that have endless resources and cheap or free (machines) labour. This week, I’ve reminded some of my farmer friends that their work is so valuable and that they can charge grocery store prices or more. Whatever they need to pay for their inputs. Becuase if we don’t do this, the good food will be short lived and we will be back where we started with few options and most of them make me feel like I’m going to die. We need options. 

So, I’ve spent the week organizing, cleaning, preparing, staring into my children’s eyes as they speak and hanging out with friends who just happen to be producing amazing food. I love how the “farmers” are friends. I love how I’ve been able to work with them in a way that works for them, for me and for the customers. 

We’ve been able to work it so it’s not a simple me purchasing from them system but rather we can access what needs to happen on a much broader scale. Sometimes what they need is a good meal because they’ve been stuck in a barn or the field for 16 hours to produce food they may not get a chance to eat. Sometimes it is them telling me they have 90 dozen eggs and they need to move them, and so I take them and find a market for eggs. It’s all about listening to what wants to happen. Selling food hasn’t really been that hard. It’s something everybody needs. People have been very receptive to understand that we need to eat the abundance  and not expect to have everything all the time. Eating the abundance is essential to eating as locally as possible. We eat potatoes until we are so sick of them that the sight of potatoes makes us want to run. And then just like that, potatoes are done and the new abundance of fresh spring greens is exciting and so satisfying! You really feel the beautiful and miraculous shifts and changes of nature when you eat what is available. Along with coffee, chocolate and olive oil. 😉 

So, I’m excited for what’s next. I’m looking forward to pitching my tent in yards where chickens and baby pigs roam freely like at Sloughbottom Pastures and Prairie Pearl Homestead last year. I’m delighted by the idea of all the unexpected people that will come together for this amazing cause: GOOD FOOD. Because  food is life! If we don’t have good food to sustain and nourish us. What do we have? 

  
Here’s a picture of Clarissa’s broccoli because eating locally grown, buttery, not-sprayed broccoli in the winter makes me feel blessed. 
*Pictures of chickens and doughnuts: taken at Andrea’s. Or as we call her “On-it-Andrea” because she’s such a go getter and gets right on it.* 

Uni-Power

  
  

I look at this picture and for the first time ever, I love my growing in Uni-brow. 
I started growing it (mostly out of forgetful laziness) but then justified by a certain power that needed to be harnessed within me. This goes back to those first shamings in junior high when the boys teased me about my excess facial hair on the first day of school. I went home that night and hacked away at it through tears from the blinding pain of ripping hairs from sensitive skin. It was only to please them that judged me and I continued to do it for 21 years. The shamings went on as an adult from past friends and boyfriends. As soon as it would start to grow in, the readings would commence. Sometimes It started even before the first signs of it. I wonder if they were afraid of how they would feel towards me if I were to be my natural, hairy self. It’s a strange thing. 
Now, as I look at my two young daughters I see the same strong traits of when Norweigans breed with Native people and I notice this uni-brow appearing in them as well. I think back and consider that there must have been many women before us who wore their faces proud and furry. I wonder how my daughters will feel about it in the future and I hope I can provide them with the circumstances that allow them to choose to uni or not, based on their own desires and not someone else’s. 
As I am allowing it to grow, I sit and stir and feel the discomfort of wondering if someone is staring at it as we talk. 😂The uni-brow is teaching me a lot. I have learned to feel comfort in the discomfort. I recommend mastering this comfortable discomfort as its the best survival skill possible. 

Uni-power to me! And to two eyebrows or no eyebrows or painted eyebrows or caterpillars or tattoo-brows or you cut your butt hairs and glued them to your face brow or whatever you desire … power to you!
  
  
 Beautiful uni-brow girls. 

Meeting the Challenges. 

  

These last few weeks have been very challenging and I’m worried that it’s starting to show in how I deal. That’s me. Hiding under a table after bagging over two thousand pound of fresh nuts and fruit in combination with tryin to sort out some major conflict with some people I care deeply about and it’s concerning the thing dearest to me: the local food movement. 

 I keep telling myself to wait and struggle on because it’s in the hard times that we grow and get better. 

I like these hard times for one thing: it helps me really understand and see people. It heightens what really matters. I get how hard it is for everyone and I just want to curl up in an armchair, with a bulletproof coffee, in front of them and let their stories wash over me. 

It’s during these times that I learn to be slow and thoughtful and patient with other people when they need to cancel an order or make changes or forget to pay me. 😂

Our stories are so important. We all want to be heard and considered. I think it’s part of what really defines us as humans. 

My story lately is that I’ve made A LOT of mistakes in the past few weeks and it leaves me wondering what the heck am I doing?  Does it matter? Do I care? What’s next?

Obviously I do if the mistakes upset me so much, I care so much. 

It’s time to get back to the basics. Simplify. 

What’s important? 

To be connected. 

How do I become connected? 

By listening to what wants to happen and doing it. What wants to happen is farmers with eggs, cabbage to shred, food to move, chickens to butcher, poop to shovel, gardens to plant and on and on. 

The purpose becomes becomes apparent to me when I see and hear from people and they tell me what these foods mean to them. Of course! These foods mean everything to me. They are the soil, the earth, the sky and the rain. They are what dreams and a good life are made of. They facilitate it all; life. I remember how different these foods are when I visit the boxed goods at coop. They are so easy and tempting yet they always let me down with lacking in flavour and excelling in making me feel like crap. 

I never thought it would be so much work to move another persons hard work. I often think about the work with so many steps involved in the food. 

I look down at a stick of butter at the grocery store… Even at $7 lb I wonder how so much could go into something for so little. A farmer with only a few cows could get only a few lbs of butter a day. How can they compete with the feed lots of thousands and the machines to process it all? And at what cost does this happen? Handmade food is so sacred. 

I was at the grocery store the other day and was consumed by both how expensive food is and how cheap it is at the same time! 

If you actually think about what something is, from its origin to its end, you begin to wonder how one can even put a price on it. It seems ridiculously cheap as you hold a kilo of bacon and yoi consider all the hands of farmers and food handlers as well as all the animals and industrial stuff involved. It’s a life you hold in your hand and it’s on sale for $7.99. The shrimp rings are $12.99 and that’s like twenty lives!  But then I think about how much of each product/life we need to survive and it feels expensive. I don’t know what’s the truth and what the answer is but I know it is ok to continue on with what I do know and just keep improving on that. 

I know that supporting the farmers is good. Supporting them means paying what they ask, or more, because most farmers aren’t asking enough to pay themselves more than wayyyyyyy below minimum wage. Are they super vulnerable people to have to compete with the big guys? And they work sooooo hard, to the point of fall down exhaustion at the end of every day. Maybe we can find a way to make it a little easier. Maybe we can lend a hand and enjoy all the beautiful food that comes with it. These simple things are the reasons we are here; to be a part of what is happening. To wake up and ask what needs to be done today. I’m ready. Are you?  

 

*Green Sister Garden Greens*

Happening Thoughts

It’s late and I’m feeling nutty because I been nut baggin’ 1500 lbs of nuts and dried fruity fruit. 

My husband is possibly allergic to pecans and I always feel so scandalous when I bag those nuts while he is at work. I try to make sure there’s no evidence. Of pecans. 

Im lying in bed while the images of nuts dance through my head…I’m thinking and wondering what’s next. I am thinking about all of the people getting involved with the local food movement. The ones just starting and pursuing new ventures as well as the ones established. 

So much has happened in the last while and I’ve learned so much about what it means to be more than just a business and to be a part of a community. I’ve learned that my actions are very much more important than my words. And that I need to work hard to be accountable to the words. I like this. 

I’ve learned that I can trust and not feed the fears. I take deep breaths and go against what seems to be my human nature. But maybe it’s not human nature to immediately feel the pull to take for myself and only consider me? It does come up, and I wonder if all people experience the greedy need first and then rationalize and exude love and make good choices. I’ve discovered that my initial reaction, when not pure, only requires deep breathing and trust. If it comes up as a bad, pit in stomach feeling, then I need to do the extreme opposite of what it tells me. I have the stomache pit and want to keep sources a secret when someone asks where I get something? I turn that into share all the sources!!! Someone can’t prepay and says they will pick up their perishable food that you imagine melting and becoming instantly infested with maggots because in your mind they don’t pick it up? Trust all the people! Someone changes their mind and says they can’t afford a food box right now and you worry how you’ll sell it and the stomache pit comes back because maybe they just really hate you? Give free food boxes to the people! 

Ok, I’m being toooooo nutty now if that’s possible. So long as it’s fresh from the farm nutty. 

I’ve discovered that I can put people first. Always. I can be flexible. I can give to those unable to provide for themselves at this time. I can refund someone’s money becuase they are pregnant and everything makes them sick. The further I go into listening and responding to what people want, the more successful I am. I realizing that the more I share (from the right place), the more I have. I can pass on someone’s contact to purchase their own local food bulk order even if it means I don’t directly profit with cash. Because  I mean, the cash just gives me a feeling and what if I could Just directly access and go to that feeling and bypass the cash?