Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 12: He's a trend setter

When my farmer and I were registering for wedding gifts a long, long time ago, we made a deal.  He got to choose and purchase anything that plugged in.  I got the rest. 

I think I won that negotiation.  I just don't have the patience to compare ratings and reviews for toasters, vacuums, or cameras.  Plates and linens are much easier.  If you like the design and it's within the price range, you scan the bar code or you buy it.  Simple enough.

One of his first corded treasures was a deep freeze. 

That summer, he filled it.  With local meat.  Before local was cool.

See that tiny speck below?  That's where our beef comes from.  It's a family feedlot.  Our families have been friends for generations (Sound familiar?).  For as long as we've been married, one of their kids has chosen a steer to enter in the county 4-H Fair Carcass Division.  The top animals are auctioned Friday night of the fair.  It's quite competitive for the kids and the bidders.  And, it's a win-win proposition.  The kids receive a premium for their animal and their hard work.  We get a freezer full of beef and the joy of supporting a local young person.

Our pork comes from the 4-H auction, too.  We can't see their houses or operations from our yard, but the kids we typically buy from are kids we've watched grow up. 

If local kids don't win, or we get out bid, we go to them anyway.  They often have halves or quarters to sell.  If they don't, it's not hard to find someone else to split a steer or a hog.  

A while back I started reading a blog which chronicled the author's research and journey into whole foods and the like.  It led me to read Michael Pollen's books and watch documentaries like King Corn. I was disturbed on so many levels. 

It also made me realize how lucky I am to know the people who raise the animals we eat.  It's easy to distrust the production practices of some huge, ominous, far away farmer.  It's a different story when they sit in the pew in front of you at church on Sundays.  Buying local, from people we know helps cut through the sensationalism and elitism of the food movement.  It also benefits people we care about.  And it's not a new thing.  It's something farmers and people with rural roots have always done.

A couple years ago, after reading the foodie blogs citing the health benefits of free-range chicken, I bought two from a neighbor.  We weren't wild about the flavor.  We quickly went back to the grocery store for our poultry.

Two out of three isn't bad.

He's a local food trend setter - One of the 30 reasons why I love being my farmer's wife.

Stay tuned for the 18 other things I love about my life on the farm and 18 more things that converted this Sycamore girl into a small town girl:).

And, check out my friend Holly's blog and the list of the other 30 day bloggers at 30 Days on a Prairie Farm.

Day One: Grandma Millie
Day Two: My clean car
Day 6: Farmer humor
Day 7: The first weekend in December - friends, food, & Farm Bureau
Day 8: His fourth grade girlfriend

No comments:

Post a Comment