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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Farm to Table: Thanks for Joining Our Movement

As we sat on the porch and enjoyed a dinner together on a summer night my husband said, 
"honey, our entire dinner came from a 3 mile radius.  People talk about this new local food movement, but farmers have been eating local forever."

I had to laugh as I ate the first bite of my local dinner and sipped on my not so local vodka.  

(Glick sweet corn, lamb links from the neighbors and 
zucchini from the local farmer's market.)

And that got me contemplating a lot about it; the local food concept.

While our farming families have been eating local for as long as humans have been eating, others have not been able to enjoy that same fortune.  And they are just starting to catch onto this trend that farmers don't necessarily understand but support. 

I mean they can't even get out of their own sweet corn field without eating some of their own crop.

My family has the great fortune of having a large group of friends that we have camped with over the years called “The Village”.  Many times, it was our family’s responsibility to bring the meat for our pitch-in dinners around the campfire.  Dad was famous for grilling with one hand and having an ice cold beer in the other as our mother was busy prepping the other dishes.  

My sister and I are notorious for being honest, and sometimes blunt but truthful.  One weekend as our family friends took that first bite of the juicy burger my dad cooked from our family farm, my sister proclaimed, “guys, we are eating Henrietta right now.”  Their astonished and confounded looks were a little shocking to me because we always ate Henrietta or Bessie or whoever made it to the freezer that year.  But they did not, they didn't completely understand the local, farm to table experience we so enjoyed each meal.

And I will never forget my first year showing animals and that last day of the county fair when I was to sell my 4-H pig at the auction.  I was confident and determined to get in the ring and make a profit for my college education (and the $50 my mom would let us keep for back to school shopping...we didn't tell dad).  

But along with the confidence came the fear and emotions that every 4-H kid faces on auction day—I didn’t want to say goodbye.  I didn’t want to go home without my pig that I had worked with all spring and summer.  But as I confidentially exited the auction ring and headed back to the barn where I could see the semi in the distance I looked up at my dad with teary eyes and he said, “Say your goodbyes, you did your work.  Let it go, Katie.  He has to go on the trailer.  This is what I told you about; that's just part of it.  Part of the process of 4-H and agriculture.” 

And then he walked away!  He left me there to experience the heart-wrenching process of putting my animal on the trailer to head to the market.  Looking back now, that is when I started to understand the whole process of “farm to table” but didn't quite know it yet.  This is when I started to care for animals that would someday be on someone's table--someone else's bacon.

My family has been part of the “farm to table” process for generations and we will continue to be for many years to come.  I am excited that so many people have just recently become aware of the “farm to table” concept, but it’s not a new movement for farmers.  It was always a way of life, always "just part of it", always “farm to table”.  Thanks for finally joining and appreciating the family farm and the food we bring your table.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! That dinner meal looks so mouthwatering. I can just imagine having a field of sweet corns and plucking one ear and eating it on the spot. Such is the good life, I guess. Hahaha! Thank you for sharing that lovely story, as well as the pictures! Wishing you the best of health!

    Darren Lanphere @ Mirr Ranch Group