One of the central issues for this trip has been food. It was as a result of the blog starting, the subsequent research I was doing about Real Food, and the community of bloggers I found during that research. More than any of it...it was spurred forward by watching Food, Inc.
Our intent was always to come out here, see some of the country, & learn about producing real food.
Problem #1 - we set ourselves up, in these first 3 weeks, for a whirlwind tour. We left Texas 2 weeks & 2 days ago, and we have spent time at these places: The Turquoise Trail, Phoenix, The Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, Las Vegas, Kern River Valley, Sequoia National Park, Kingsburg, Yosemite, San Francisco, Napa Valley, and now Oregon. You see, my cousin is getting married this weekend near Salem, OR...and I really want to be there. Soooo...while we have seen so many amazing things, it has been non-stop tourism. As you can imagine, the food thing has kinda gotten lost in the shuffle...caught in the deadline.
Problem #2 - it's pretty difficult to plan around things that you don't know are there. We have found a few little farmer's markets...but, real food farms in the places we have been, so far, are few and far between. Oh, there are tons of orange groves, vineyards, and such...but, what we're looking for isn't a "mono-crop" situation. We are looking for bio-diverse, bio-intensive, sustainable food farms...the kind that, if the structure of society were to break down today...and it is absolutely that unstable...then the people who live on these farms would shrug, shed a tear, and keep on doing what they are doing, because they are only concerned for other people...but, they have and produce everything they need right there. The very definition of sustainable, is the ability to sustain oneself when the other shoe inevitably drops...therefore, The Sustainable Real Food Farm.
Isn't that strange...the movement we are experiencing right now, is about sustainability. That is to imply that our current situation isn't sustainable. "Green" is no longer cutting it. Why? Because those who care to educate themselves about any of this, realize that the question is only in small part about how we are "treating the earth". It's about the fact that the system we have in place is not able to hold up when crisis hits. Remember when gas shot up so high, and then food prices tripled? Everyone just accepted that it was because it takes giant transportation avenues to get the food to the people so, naturally, the prices will skyrocket. Naturally?! There is nothing natural about that. That means, if the oil was all of a sudden not available, if the gasoline all of a sudden dried up...the whole population would starve to death?! In our current state of affairs, that's not such an unlikely scenario...some would even call it inevitable. Like I said...not a stable situation.
So, where are we now? We are in Grants Pass,Or and the wedding is this weekend. We're pretty excited about being here...a)because we get to see some family this weekend (including my daddy!), and b) because this is where Real Food is most readily available. A large majority of people in this region either have a backyard garden, a homestead, a farm, or know several people who do. This is like the gathering place for people who think like we do about food. We are now going to be able to slow down and concentrate on learning food...on making the changes. We are less interested in seeing tourist-y things, and more interested in just marinating in the philosophy and knowledge of those who have been doing it for a long time.
I think much of my internal struggle during the first part of this trip, was because we weren't doing what we had set out to do...but, I realize now that there was really no way that we were going to be able to do it all until we slowed down.
So...please pray for us, as we begin the part of our journey that will be the most adjustment. I'm really excited about getting our hands dirty!
Until then...it's just about praising the Lord for this amazing place He has given us to live...I am blown away...truely.